Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kent Ridge Park

Supposed to have posted this days back but was rather busy with some stuff and late nights that had kept my spirits down lately.

This field trip is part of a Geography module I'm taking this sem, Ecological Systems, and the trip itself is at Kent Ridge Park, a place near NUS but I have yet to go there once.

I wouldnt introduce the flora of this place, since it was largely similar to that of Adinandra belukar forest; same as an earlier post @ Kent Ridge Road. The fauna however is more of interest to me particularly, since came across several animals I had not seen before

I was surprised how unafraid some birds are towards humans, apart from those myans and eurasian sparrows. Several White-crested laughing thrush were hopping at the road using in front of our group while our lecturer, Dr Wang, was describing the flora to us.

And just further ahead, I noticed a male pink-necked green pigeon. Me and Justin left the group to admire this beautiful bird. Din meant to not pay attention but all these astounding beauties never fail to catch my attention. These pigeons exhibit clear sexual dimorphism with the males having a more colorful plumage of purple, pink, orange and green while the females are just plain green.

There was a canopy walk near the end of the trail. Wow... this place is really not bad! keen-eyed Diana spotted two green-crested lizards (Bronchoecela cristatella) just in front of us. It was then I started cursing myself for not bringing a better camera today. All my pictures turned out to be blurred except for this...which isnt exactly a good one too.

The reason for my excitement is that this is my first time seeing this lizard. A common textbook example of describing local invasive species: the green crested lizard, a native forest dwelling species, was severely out-competed by the highly adaptable changable lizard (Calotes versicolor), an exotic species thought to have been introduced from Malaysia or Thailand.

I'm sure everyone reading this post have seen the changable lizard (above) somewhere at sometime but may not recognise it. This shows how successful this lizard established itself.

Towards the end of the walk, someone spotted an oriental whip snake. According to the SLOG blog, these snakes are mildy venomous but harmless to humans and rather docile. But that doesn't mean one can poach them!

And, the field trip ended and me Justin and Diana backtracked our way to the carpark where Justin left his car. I spotted another whip snake again, this time, without other students scrambling to take photos, I managed a closer shot and touched it gently. It then swiftly moves away up the canopy. I was mesmerized by its gracefully movements.

Definitely a place to revisit next time.

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