10 April 2010

Pulau Ubin quickly: hornbills and more

After the talk by Ali Ibrahim, November and I went for a short stroll on Ubin.
Almost immediately, we chanced upon a flock of hornbills!

This pair seemed to have a close bond! They were always settling next to one another. And even flying off together.
A cyclist who was forced to stop as we jammed up the road looking at the hornbills exclaimed he had never seen the birds although he regularly visits the island! Oh dear.

Along the way, primed by the tree talk, I noticed the ground was strewn with fallen Durian flowers (Durio zibethinus)! And the tree above had lots of bunches of flowers about to bloom! Looks like we might have a good durian season ahead of us!
I also came across this short tree with very pretty fruit pods and delicate pink flowers. From the NParks floraweb, I think it is Sterculia monosperma.
The road next to the quarry near NParks HQ has been closed. We're not sure why. Perhaps there is some subsidence? The water level in the quarry is very high! Almost reaching the top and overflowing on the road. But there are still lots of white egrets on the trees in the quarry.
We take a short detour to Butterfly Hill, and there is a lovely fragrance from these tall trees with drooping clusters of white flowers. I have no idea what they are!
Of course, there are lots of butterflies on this hot sunny day. Here's a few lame photos of some that we saw.
There was also a very well camouflaged Changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor)!
Pulau Ubin is always a delight to visit. Even a short trip reveals interesting wildlife if we stop to take a closer look.

More about Pulau Ubin and how to get there and what to see and do.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Ria..glad to know you had a great time at Ubin..a walk would have been the cherry atop..Aha..the droopy white flowers you were mentioning at Butterfly Hill are probably belonging to the tree known as Citharexylem spinosum or known as the Fiddlewood..(ha..common names finally!) You may want to check this with the great Ali Ibrahim..have a great week ahead..

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  2. Thanks Paul! Those trees are lovely. In fact, the whole Hill was lovely! You and the team are doing a great job!

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  3. No butterflies on the fragrant flowers? What a pity! Anyway, decent shots on the male and female Blue Pansy. You're getting better at shooting these skittish buggers! :)

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  4. Thanks for the IDs Khew! Wow that is high praise. It's a sad sad result unfortunately. Nothing of the quality produced by BC! Alas, no butts on the fiddlewood. November and I were too overwhelmed by the fragrance and profusion of flowers!

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  5. An interesting thought crossed my mind. Since you are out there in the field more regularly than some of us, perhaps you should also help to document observations on flowering plants. In this case, fragrance and flowers are meant to attract some organism to pollinate the flowers as part of the plant's procreation DNA. So if all that fragrance is 'wasted' as there are no butterflies at the flowers, that perfume must be attracting something else! Bees? Ants? Such records should be kept somewhere as this will be useful info in documenting Singapore's biodiversity and plant-animal interrelationships.

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  6. That's a great idea Khew!

    I am already trying to document pollinators of any kind. Will redouble efforts (though photos will be blurry). So far, I've focused mainly on mangrove and coastal plants.

    Great idea to keep a sniff out for smelly flowers (not all flower smells are necessarily nice...haha).

    New mission! Fabulous!

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