Clouded monitor lizard (possibly Varanus bengalensis nebulosus) on tembusu tree, Bukit Brown. Spotted by Lai Chee Kien with the help of Angie Ng.
Strike a pose!
Snap shots of butterflies at Bukit Brown courtesy of Victor Yue and EiLeen Ong. There is a Chinese belief that butterflies at cemetery are signs ancestors are around and happy for the company.
More information on butterflies spotted in Singapore can be found by joining this group Butterflies of Singapore and Malaysia
On Sunday 26 August, Nature Society of Singapore led a bird watching walk through Bukit Brown. Thanks to Cuifen, NSS member for compiling this album on highlights from the wal kwith additional photos from her fellow bird watcher, Leng Leng. Enjoy!
Birds, Flowers and More – this shows you not only the real birds and flowers but the tomb decorations depicting birds and flowers
Here’s a look at a pangolin
FOR PREVIOUS NSS WALKS:
A Nature Ramble – this helps identify some plants at Bukit Brown
Beyond Grave Matters – this is a beautifully written commentary and event report by Rosalind Tan, whose ancestors lie at Bukit Brown
Photo essay by Suki Singh
A staring incident…?
Might be more than he can chew….
This looks like a good place to nest, this pigeon seems to think …
Not so fast, says the mynah.
The glossy starlings move in too….
The glossy starling gets argumentative with the mynahs.
Suki is an avid photographer and the honorary Sikh guard among the volunteers of Bukit Brown, affectionately known as Brownies.
Dateline 2 May 2012 at Bukit Brown.
This magnificent creature was “captured” this morning by Georgina Chin the accidental photographer. She writes of the moment:
” He was brave and stood on a perch like forever and didn’t move. I sat and just watched him. He was soaked . I was soaked. I call him white socks.”
She is the photographer and writer of the book “Birds in my Backyard.” Bukit Brown is literally her backyard as she lives off Lornie Road. Georgina started birdwatching in 2009.
Photos by Suki Singh
These are the real angry birds of Bukit Brown! And why are they so fierce-looking? Scroll down to see the chick they were protecting!
And this is their treasure…..
Suki is the honorary Sikh guard of Bukit Brown, and an avid photographer. He knows the grounds very well after decades patrolling it as a policeman. He specialises in night tours every full moon.
So come join us for walks and tours in Bukit Brown! Here are some reports:
On the evening of April 22, there was this rare sighting of a pangolin by Konamoto Dominic, who often frequents Bukit Brown, the resting place of his ancestors. This was at Hill 3, the largest of the hillocks at Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery.
There are eight pangolin species, also known as scaly anteaters, according to SavePangolin.org. The site says:
“Pangolins, often called “scaly anteaters,” are covered in tough, overlapping scales. These burrowing mammals eat ants and termites using an extraordinarily long, sticky tongue, and are able to quickly roll themselves up into a tight ball when threatened. Eight different pangolin species can be found across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Poaching for illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss have made these incredible creatures one of the most endangered groups of mammals in the world.”
“All three Asian species are opportunistic and can be found foraging both in trees and on the ground… Some pangolin species even have semi-prehensile tails—they can grasp and hang from branches with their tails, which aids them in climbing.
“Pangolin scales provide good defense against predators. When threatened, pangolins can quickly curl into a ball, protecting their defenseless undersides. They also deter predators by hissing and puffing, and lashing their sharp edged tails. Pangolins, dependent on their strong sense of smell, identify their territories by scent marking with urine and secretions from a special gland, and by scattering feces. Scientists suspect that these odors advertise dominance and sexual status, and may also help individuals recognize each other.”
It describes the Malayan or Sunda pangolin (above) is an endangered species. For more details and images, click here.
Brownie alert: If you see this pangolin, please give it a wide berth and let it enjoy the safety of its own habitat. Animals have a right to their own safe space. We prefer a blurry photo and fond memories, than a clear close-up and a stressed-out pangolin, don’t you agree?
p/s The English name “pangolin” comes from the Malay word peng-guling, which means “roller”, referring to the animal’s habit of rolling up into a ball. (Britannica)
From Bukit Brown’s Poet- in- Residence – a poem inspired by a little sparrow “captured” by Bukit Brown’s Photographer- in- Residence. Be inspired and be of good hope.
LITTLE SPARROW ON THE TREE
by Lim Su Min
What seeeth thou from up there,
Little sparrow on the tree
With thine tiny eyes thy vision cast
Across this cemetery?
Canst thou see the things unseen
Thousands upon thousands of souls in pain
Canst thou hear with thine tiny ears
Their plaintive cry for “peace again?
Little sparrow on the tree
Soar up to heaven to pray
To plead that these anguished souls
Would truely “Requiescite in pace” .
A bumper crop of walks for Nature Lovers have been planned by the Nature Society (Singapore) for March from bird watching to an introduction to plants in Bukit Brown.
Saturday 10 March 8 am – 10 am, join Wing Chong as introduces you to the various bird species that call Bukit Brown home. Please check in here to register interest
Later in the afternoon Goh Si Guim will reprise this nature ramble in the afternoon from 4pm – 6pm . Register here.
Sunday 11 March 9am – 10am Angie Ng will introduce you to plant life of Bukit Brown including some edibles if you are lucky . Please register your interest here
Please check in next week for the Nature Society’s events.
Check out our handy tips for a more enjoyable walk here
Report & photos by Goh Si Guim (Nature Society)
Bukit Brown Nature Ramble 19 Feb 2012
The Bukit Brown locale is made up of small, gentle and wooded hillocks. Thousands of graves were densely laid on the slopes of these hills. Being away from mainstream traffic, it has been mostly undisturbed for most parts of its existence. This has allowed the vegetation, particularly large trees and shrubs to mature. The area also received colonization of pioneer plant species from the adjacent rainforest of MacRitchie.
The enhanced diversity has, in turn, enabled Bukit Brown to support a great diversity of wildlife. These are certainly greater than that found in manicured and sparsely vegetated parks in the midst of urban centres.
The original vegetation of the area was lowland rainforests, very much similar to the nearby MacRitchie forest. Little, if any, of these can be found here today. The vegetation type here is compose of colourful ornamental shurbs planted alongside graves. Some large shade trees were also planted, such as the Daun Salam, Tembusu and Raintrees.
Many beautiful towering wild-grown Albizzia trees are also widely distributed over the landscape. Many of these old-growth trees have achieved stature and elegance. In particular, many giant Raintrees are festooned with a variety of ferns and orchids. Looking up from underneath one of these trees gives one a sense of awe and the laden outstretched limbs make a breathtaking sight. Be it against a clear blue sky or silhouetted against a grey backdrop, it is a mesmerizing picture.
Many of the large fig trees, such as the Banyans and Warringins were most probably left alone during the initial land clearance. Some, especially those found associated with large trees, could have been brought in by animals such as birds and squirrels. These ‘strangling figs’ can now be seen in the advance stages of ‘snuffing out’ their host plants.
Wildlife is ever present but do not lend themselves easily to observation. Most of what we see would be more active and by chance, sometimes with the aid of equipment such as hand lens, binocular or camera. Most of the wildlife resides in the deeper recess of the dense vegetation.
During this trip, there was a profusion of small snails and slugs on trees and dead vegetation. There was a constant presence of birds in the forest. They can be observed actively foraging for food or their calls can be heard over great distances.
Commonly encountered birds include sunbirds, Common Flamebacks (woodpecker), Banded Woodpecker, Striped-tit Babbler, Pink-necked Green Pigeons, Spotted Dove, Blue-tailed Beeeaters, Yellow-vented Bulbul and Changeable Hawk Eagle. Rare encounters reported include the critically endangered Grey-headed Fish Eagle and the White-bellied Woodpecker. Winter migratory birds also visit Bukit Brown to forage for sustenance.
Some plant common to secondary rainforest are also found here. The Macaranga hypoleuca stands out from the greenery as the underside of the leave is white, even in dried, shed leaves. Another related example is the Macaranga gigantea, whose leaves are large, hence the name.
These are but a small selection of flora and fauna in Bukit Brown that can be encountered at any one time. A great variety of plants and animals have yet to be uncovered. Their relationship and association has developed over a long period of time into a complex ecosystem. A habitat of equilibrium has been established.
This equilibrium is resilient but is susceptible to disruptions. This must be avoided or minimized.
Read about the Nature Society’s position paper here.
After the nature ramble, Suki Singh found these green pigeons and the chicks at the entrance, near Lorong Halwa: