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02/2018 – Gaharu Forest (14 Apr 2018)

At about 6 am, it was raining lightly in Jurong West.  A few members also reported that it was drizzling in the north and eastern sides.  Fortunately, the weather turned to our favour when we reached the meeting point at 7.30 am.  It was bright and sunny for the next few hours!

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A relatively large katydid was spotted at a nearby forested area.

We realised later that there are many katydid of different species as we explored further in.

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Katydid nymphs were much smaller in size but they were equally photogenic.

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(Henry Tan)

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(Kyaw Htay)

Blogging in progress …

 

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01/2018 – Laurel Woods, 10 March 2018 (T_206)

 

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This is our first outing of the year!

The rain was playing tricks on us … rain … no rain … rain … no rain … we waited … and it did passed.

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Drenched Leaf by Allan Lee

Many rain drops, every where, on leaves.

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Rain drops by Anthony Quek

Then, like magic! Subjects appeared to us one by one:

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Hatched by Allan Lee

Egg shells, whose?

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Ledrinae, Flat-headed LeafHopper Nymph by Anthony Quek

This flat nymph looked so strange, it was my first time to see. Have you seen it before?

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Cocoon by Allan Lee

A Cocoon with very unique structure.

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Mating bugs by Anthony Quek

One of Anthony’s favourites … couple.

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Guardian Spider by Kyaw Htay

A Parent was guarding its nest before Mr. Kyaw Htay.

26 Endy n Ben Ee - Mormon

Left: Open wings by Endy. Right: Mormon Side View by Ben Ee

Butterflies were aplenty.

© 2018 Ben Ee Tiang Hwee

Painted Jezebel by Ben Ee

There was a big branch of flowers at low level. Ben just waited there patiently and observed.

© 2018 Ben Ee Tiang Hwee

Skipper by Ben Ee

The butterflies were busy, feeding.

© 2018 Ben Ee Tiang Hwee

Burmese Lascar by Ben Ee

Sometimes stop for a rest.

© 2018 Ben Ee Tiang Hwee

Dragonfly by Ben Ee

Dragonflies were also in the crowds.

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Resting dragonfly by Anthony Quek

Many were still resting under foliage.

30 Endy -LongHorn Beetle

Up on the Leaf by Endy

Turning back from one end, i looked up and there … a pretty longhorn beetle on leaf.

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Red dots, white dots by Allan Lee

Two red dots, Five white dots, each dot is encircled by black lines. Nature is indeed an artist!

32 Endy - Centaur Oakblue

The Caterpillar and Ants by Endy

An unusual caterpillar was seen on a leaf. So many weaver ants were surrounding it. but why? After checking, it was a caterpillar (5th instar) of Centaur Oakblue butterfly. The protective ants feed on the nectar from the caterpillar’s dorsal nectar organ. A Win-Win  relationship, eh? smart!

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Ants and Caterpillar, A Closer Look by Allan Lee

The Colour of both creatures actually matched.

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Patterns by Endy

Overall, we had a good time, we saw so many little creatures, nature is so beautiful!

Yes, It was another successful outing!  See you again  in the next trip  : )  .

Participants: Anthony Quek, Allan Lee, Tan Chuan Yean, Henry Tan, Dion Wong, Ben Ee, Kyaw Htay, Choy Kah Wai, Syn Chue Pui, Endy (trip leader)

 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

11/2017 – Labrador Nature Reserve, 9 December 2017 (T-205)

Our last visit to this quiet park was in 2012.  We planned a trip on 19 November but it did not materialise as I was unwell. Our 2nd attempt on 9 December went ahead but some participants did not show up as their weather forecast app provided an inaccurate weather condition.  There were only 5 of us on a hot sunny day.

We parked our car at Tamarind Hill and were greeted by squirrels and a praying mantis. We set up our equipments and started our walk under the sheltered walkway.  There were many big tree trunks that were chopped into huge logs.  Henry spotted a Robber Fly feasting on a Plant Hopper, the biggest prey we have seen to far. Cathy captured a beautiful image of the predator and prey.

Cathy E - Robberfly n prey

Next we spotted a yellow Tussock Moth.  We did not spent much time when we saw a big group of tourist walking towards us.  We proceeded into the dense secondary forest housing diverse flora and fauna.  I read some 50 species of birds and 11 species of butterflies have been recorded within the reserve and the species lists are still growing.

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Does anyone know what this strange looking cocoon is?  If you have the answer, please comment below.

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The image of the day has to be this group of hairy caterpillars.   It was dim but I saw a black patch on the tree trunk about 1.5 meters away.  Upon closer inspection, they made my hairs stood up instantly.  Yes I got goose bumps.  Did they give you the same effect here?

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We had extra time and all participants agreed to explore another site.  Well look what we found?  Join us next time …

ENDY - YellowCaterpillar

Participants: Henry Tan, Dion Wong, Endy, Catherine E, and Sharon S. Lim (trip leader)

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

10/2017 – Windsor Nature Park, 4 November 2017 (T_204)

It was raining the night before and the cool night was so conducive to sleep. Nevertheless, glad that I’m able to lead an outing to Venus Drive (old name) again. It was probably more than 5 months since I last visited this place.

Nothing has change much except that another tree is being chopped down :(.

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These were flowers of a rubber tree, seldom see them at this level as most of the time they are found high up on the tree.

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Photo by Endy

Some subjects with water droplets.

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Ant by Anthony

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One of the common subject that can be found at VD, dragonflies.

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Dragonfly by Anthony

We expect to see many mushrooms and fungus in such a wet environment but there wasn’t many. Here’s one of them.

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Fungus by Allan

Spiders, spiders and spiders, many of them but mostly found without a prey.

 

 

Some other subjects photographed

Can you spot the frog (Copper-cheeked)?

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Friends in GOOD terms:

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Friends in BAD terms:

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Cricket & Katydid by Allan

Spotted by Endy, this got to be the “Star” of the day.

A very good size cricket, Gryllacris species. Interesting blue colouration on some part of its abdomen and legs.PB040181A

Gryllacris species, Cricket by Allan
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Gryllacris species, Cricket by Allan

This was the last subject we photographed before we called it a day at quarter passed 12 and stop for lunch.

Participants (5) : Kyaw Htay, Lee Yu Teng, Anthony Quek, Endy,  Allan Lee (trip leader)

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

09/2017 – Hindhede Walk, 14Oct2017 (T_203)

HW site01We explored another part of the Green Corridor near Hindhede Walk.

ENDY - nature pattern

Nature Pattern by Endy

ANTHONY QUEK - dragonfly close up

Dragonfly by Anthony Quek

DAVID YOW - robberfly n prey

Robberfly and prey by David Yow

TIMOTHY TAN - spider breakfast

Spider Breakfast by Timothy Tan

TIMOTHY TAN - dragonfly

A Blue Dragonfly by Timothy Tan

DAVID YOW - mating flies

Mating Flies by David Yow

KYAW HTAY - caterpillar

Caterpillar by Kyaw Htay

BEN Ee - butterfly

Butterfly by Ben Ee

ENDY - Skipper

Skipper by Endy

ENDY - fruiting fig tree

Fruiting Fig tree by Endy

KYAW HTAY - butterfly

Butterfly on fig by Kyaw Htay

CHOY KAH WAI - spider on snail

Spider & Snail by Choy Kah Wai

VICTOR ONG n KYAW HTAY - spiders

Red Spider by Victor Ong. Spider with Prey by Kyaw Htay

DAVID YOW - spider

Spider by David Yow

. . . . . .

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We also explored a forested area nearby

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Tiger Moth by David Wong

ANTHONY QUEK - cricket ate flower

Cricket eating Flower by Anthony Quek

ANTHONY QUEK - caterpillar

Jewel of the Day by Anthony Quek

Blogging in progress . . .

Participants (12) : Ben Ee, Henry Tan, Dion Wong, David Yow, Choy Kah Wai, Kyaw Htay, Timothy Tan, David Wong, Victor Ong, Zaw Min Soe, Anthony Quek, Endy (trip leader)

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

08/2017 – Zhenghua Forest, 16 Sep 2017 (T_202)

I left my house at 6.30 am. Along the way from Jurong to Zhenghua, the sky was very cloudy and I received messages from participants that it was raining heavily with thunderstorm in the east as well as Yishun and Ang Mo Kio areas. A few asked whether the outing was on or not. I replied yes although I was not optimistic that it could proceed as planned. At 7 am, it was drizzling at Zhenghua and started to get heavier. To my surprise, all turned up except one.  We enjoyed our breakfast and nice chit-chat at the coffee shop near Kim San Leng for more than 2 hours!

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(Photo by Hwang Nian Huei)

The rain finally stopped at 9.15 am. We headed to our macro site, about 200 metres away from the coffee shop.

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There is a piece of greenery where we could find vegetables and various fruit trees probably planted by nearby residents.  Here is a White Mulberry tree full of fruits on it.  Do you know why it is called White Mulberry where their fruits when ripe are pink in colour?

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(White Mulberry)

There were quite a lot of ginger flowers and dragon fruits.

A few spiders were spotted including a Laglaise’s Garden Spider and a tiny lynx spider with prey.

Leaf-footed bug and katydid nymph used to be abundant here but we could only find a few.

Allan found a earwig, an insect not so commonly found in Singapore.

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(Earwig by Allan Lee)

Two different moth species were spotted too.

At 10.15 am, we headed towards the forested area and Allan found an interesting stick insect. Many insects use mimicry, a form of camouflage that entails acting like another object or organism. Few are more talented mimics than stick insects, which disguise themselves as twigs!

Robberflies are quite commonly found in the forest but this species, nicely captured by Allan & Sia, is not.

This is likely to be a Wood Boring Beetle. Let us know if it is not.

Wide-Jawed Viciria is a relatively large species of jumping spider. This is a handsome male with a wide long jaw.

Butterflies are so difficult to photograph but Kyaw Htay managed to shoot this beautiful common bluebottle.

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Due to the wet weather in the past two days, there were plenty of fungi on the forest floor.

A caterpillar with water droplets on its body caught our attention. Most of us took turns to have at least a shot with it.

After a fruitful day, we packed up at about 11.30 am. While on our way out, we saw a flying lizard. Only Kyaw Htay and Lester caught it on camera!

Participants : Catherine E, Henry Tan, Hwang Nian Huei, Kyaw Htay, Lester Koh, Sia Kian Teck, Allan Lee, Endy, Sharon S Lim, Anthony Quek (Trip Leader)

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

07/2017 – Dairy Farm Nature Park, 19 Aug 2017 (T_201)

After a 3-month break, we decided to visit Dairy Farm Nature Park (DFNP), one of our favourite macro sites.  I arrived DFNP at 7.05 am but to my surprise, the car park was already full!  We learnt that there is a new cycling track near DFNP which attracted many cyclists to park their cars very early here.  Anyway, after some time, those who drove managed to park their cars except Ben who had to park at the opposite heavy vehicle park.

While setting up our gears at the shelter, a Great Orange Awlet visited us.

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(Sia Kian Teck in action)

As it is quite a rare skipper, many of us did not mind to go low in order to get a good angle shot.

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(Great Orange Awlet by Kyaw Htay)

On our way walking towards the Wallace Trail, Seah who came much earlier, pointed to us a stick insect.

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(Stick Insect by Huang Nian Huei)

Due to the wet weather in the past one week, we found many mushrooms of various species growing on the forest floor.

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(Horsehair Parachutes by Anthony Quek)

Lester has a good eye for photography in that he has the ability to see beyond the first look.  When he looked at these mushrooms, he immediately spotted the interesting shadows which most people missed.  Very creative shots.

Seah who came before sunrise was fortunate to photograph these luminous mushrooms.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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(Luminous Mushrooms by Seah Tock Toh)

Spiders were plentiful.  Here are a pair of mating Striated tylorida and a spider having its breakfast.

Endy appeared to have a special interest in butterflies as the 3 photographs that he contributed are all flying beauties of nature.

Ben got a uncommon monkey grasshopper and Nian Huei a freshly moulted one, about 1 cm in size.  We have no idea how they got their unique nickname.   Someone suggested that because it has big eyes, lives around trees, and jumps!

Other subjects captured include Fungus beetle, Long-horned beetle, Caterpillar, Cicada, Katydid, etc.

Although this was a macro photography outing, Ben with his 180mm macro lens, managed to capture this cooperative Pin-striped Tit-babble!
@ 2016 Ben Ee Tiang Hwee

But the catch of the day had to be this amazing leaf insect.  Most of us have not seen such a strange insect before because it has an uncanny ability to “disappear” into the surroundings by mimicking leave. To further confuse predators, when the leaf insect walks, it rocks back and forth, to mimic a real leaf being blown by the wind!

Here is an short video showing the elegant movement of this fascinating creature!

We called it a day at 11.30 am and headed to Bukit Timah Food Centre to join Tony and Foong for lunch.

Participants : Ben Ee, Catherine, Choy Kah Wai, Dion Wong, Henry Tan, Hwang Nian Huei, Lester Koh, Kyaw Htay, Seah Tock Toh, Sia Kian Teck, Zaw minsoe, Endy, Anthony Quek (Trip Leader)