Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rambling at Mandai

SD and me were at Night Safari today with DL who was doing a bird survey there. Interesting to be there in bright daylight instead of the dark when it is open to the public.

While waiting for them to come, I sat beside a peahen for company. Unfortunately, it decided to do it's "business" then (can you see the dropping?)...

Anyway, we were standing in front of the Cape Buffaloes' (Syncerus caffer) exhibit watching some woodpeckers and a barbet while these huge animals watch us curiously. It was pretty comical looking at their expression but don't be fool, these guys are actually the top 5 killers in Africa and we learnt that a vet here had a near miss experience with one of them.
I am not very into non-local flora and fauna, especially those in enclosures so I will not blog about them today. It is not possible for me to take any pictures with my camera too. Anyway, me and SD decided to visit the nearby Nature's Niche at Orchidville and he suggested walking there while seeing if there are any interesting things along the way.

He pointed to me a small group of Lesser Dog-Faced Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) roosting above our heads. These flying mammals are active at night feeding on nectar and fruits.

We saw a Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) scrambling up a roadside tree while nodding it's head. I wonder what that signifies.

There was a nice view of Seletar Reservoir and we headed down for a closer look. The water was covered in a mass of green, a sign of eutrophication. There were also white foam floating along the edges of the water body.

An at the exposed flats, many fishes of the same species laid dead. Could this be the result of the algae or pollution? What fishes are these also? Update: These fishes appeared to be Eartheater Cichlids (Geophagus altifrons). Thanks to Ivan for the ID.

Nearby, I found a little wild flower growing among the grasses that I have not seen before. Can anyone help?

Lastly, while strolling along Mandai Road, SD discovered this large Dipterocarp fruit on the pathway! This means that there is actually a mature tree somewhere near us! The fruit can spiral like a helicopter using it's wings, helping to aid the dispersal of the seed it carries.

We tried searching for it's ID in Nature's Niche and I thought it looked like Dipterocarpus kunstleri from a Nature's Watch article. WF also suggested that it could be Dipterocarpus cornutus which was recorded by Ridley in Mandi some time back. I guess it will be awhile for us to see these strange looking fruits next time, since the mass flowering of these trees had just passed.


Ivan said...

Cool! From time to time, I've wondered how it would be like to experience the Night Safari in the daytime.

The dead fish appear to be Eartheater cichlids (Geophagus altifrons), a native of the Amazon Basin that has now become established in Singapore. Quite popular as aquarium fish I think, which probably explains how they ended up in our reservoirs. =/

Siyang said...

Thanks ya~ :)

Diana said...

thought that one might be a wild orchid.. hahahha... :D

Siyang said...

Highly unlikely wor. Should be the same family as Asystasia.

Anonymous said...

nice to see more of these majestic tropical trees! Dipterocarpus, Shorea, Intsia..etc. Very rare now as emergents in Singapore.

SD said...

Head bobbing in lizards, are normally a display. Can be territorial, can be mating. Usually warning away other males or intruders into their territory. Might have been aimed at us, or there might another lizard in that tree that we missed

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