Thursday 26 June 2014

Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore, June 2014

It is hard to resist the lure of Singapore’s Botanic Gardens and in particular the Heliconia Walk. I am supposed to be exploring pastures new, but it’s hot and the gardens are cool. Why make life difficult?

The Metro station is just outside the gate at Google Earth ref; 1 19 19.22N 103 48 55.20E. From here, the gardens open out into the Ecopond area. Javan Mynas and Asian Glossy Starlings were seen immediately with a small group of Oriental White-eye shortly after passing through the gate.

A park worker was walking through the shallows of the ecopond which may have spoiled my chances of rails or Yellow Bitterns, but the Lesser Whistling Ducks still made good subjects. 

In the spirit of exploration, I took a path less travelled and found myself looking over a tiny pond with mosquito fish in the open water and a White-breasted Waterhen skulking around the edges keeping an eye on her chick.

Heliconia Walk was as delightful as ever. For a little while the sun stubbornly refused to cast any light on them, but the Olive-backed Sunbirds didn’t seem to mind. 

Once the sun cleared the trees though, it became too hot to stand still and my glasses steamed up for lack of a breeze.

No bitterns could be found in the Symphony Lake either, but a large Water Monitor Lizard was on the prowl for something to eat.

The remnant forest and the Ginger garden were similarly quiet as the day became unbearably hot. A Plain-throated Sunbird came to feed at a Cannia Lily near Swan Lake, but I had to call it a day after that.

On the way home a fine looking Red Junglefowl crossed the lawn ahead and an Ashy Tailorbird responded to a half-hearted “pish”.

Bird list for Singapore Botanic Gardens; 22

Lesser Whistling-Duck 18, Red Junglefowl 4, White-breasted Waterhen 5, Spotted Dove 8, Pink-necked Pigeon 15, Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot 1, Germain’s Swiftlet 30, Common Flameback 2, Common Iora 1, Black-naped Oriole 2, Pacific Swallow 5, Yellow-vented Bulbul 15, Dark-necked Tailorbird 2, Ashy Tailorbird 3, Oriental White-eye 5, Oriental Magpie Robin 5, Asian Glossy Starling 60, Common Hill Myna 5, Javan Myna 80, Plain-throated Sunbird 2, Olive-backed Sunbird 8, Eurasian Tree Swallow 6.

The park has two main access points. The gate at the northwest corner is served by the Botanic Garden Metro Station and buses 7 and 77 pass the gate in the southeast on their way to and from Somerset. Gates open from dawn to dusk and there is no charge for admission.

Visit the dedicated Asia page for more posts from Singapore, including; Paser Ris, Sungei Buloh and Fort Canning.
Birding, Birdwatching in Singapore

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