Pulau Ubin trip 9/12/08

December 11, 2008

It was a wonderful trip! I saw many birds there at Pulau Ubin and also a parakeet in Changi Village. It started when my father said he would bring my brother and I to Pulau Ubin.

I wanted to think of some ideas for a paper in the hornbill conference. I was thinking of writing one, but have not come to a decision.

Hoping to see a hornbill in Pulau Ubin or Changi Villages to get some inspiration, we drove to Changi Village to take a boat ride to Pulau Ubin. On the way, my father suggested to me some good topics on hornbills that I can do about. When we parked the car in a car park at Changi Village, I saw a green object flying past. Knowing it was a bird, I traced its flight path till it landed on a tree.

When the car stopped, I immediately dashed out of the car with my camera on my hand. Looking closely at the bird, I knew it was a parakeet. Then, I thought it looked like a red breasted parakeet, which was common then, but for a novice birder, that was a lifer! Ok, I took some pictures and now that I learned how to over expose, the picture was so sweet! After I reviewed the pictures I confirmed it was the red breasted parakeet. Here is the picture:

 

Then, we went to Changi Point Ferry Terminal to catch a boat to Pulau Ubin. There were 6 people already there, two equal groups of 3. The first group was a family of 3 while the other group were three students. With my father, brother and I included, there were 9. The boat will only leave when 12 people are in the boat, or when they can collect 30 dollars (You can pay for the rest of the vacant seats to leave without waiting. One trip is worth $2.50.

In the end, each group paid $2.50 more as all of us were tired of waiting.

Okay, I have to admit, the diesel of the boast stinks! Smelling it may cause your health to suffer! I hope those boatmen are all right…

The salty sea water sprayed up onto the boat onto my face as we cruised towards the Granite Island. The excitement in my heart flowed through out my body, causing my fingers to tingle. (Sorry about the primary school composition styles, after all I just left primary school)

After 10 mins, I reached Pulau Ubin. We got out of the boat and went up to the information kiosk. There was this man there who politely showed us where the artificial nestboxes are on the map. I learnt that there were some for the hornbills here: http://besgroup.talfrynature.com/2008/11/11/oriental-pied-hornbill-success-of-nesting-boxes/ . We then went in search for the nest box. We also went up to the voluteer hub and they told us the exact spot of the hornbill nest box was, and here is a picture of it:

We did not see any hornbills there so too bad :(. We saw many insects and spiders there. A beetle, which I don’t know which species:

As for the spiders, the pictures are so yucky so never mind, shan’t post that picture.

After walking for a while, I saw a pretty dragonfly. Oh, it had yellow stripes at the tail and it sure looked good. I couldn’t focus with suto-focus as it was too thin so i manual focus and it turned to be perfect! Here is the picture:

After a while, I was greeted with a very loud call. Looking towards that direction, guess what I saw? I saw what I have came for. In fact, I got even more that what I bargained for. I did not see a hornbill, I saw 2 of them:

Here is one of them:

 

The two of them:

 

I was so happy while I watched their behaviour. Apparently, I found that when one of them flew the other followed. Then they flew to a palm tree (or was it a coconut tree?) before flying away.

After that, we walked. At one part of the walk, there were dogs all around, looking at us as one moved to the middle of the path behind us and the other in front of us. In case they attacked, my father, brother and I took branches to protect ourselves. They didn’t attack us in the end. I took a very nice photo of them though:

 

Good! Just when I thought the day was over, a wild boar came! It walked from one side of the path to the other. I was so excited my hands were shaking! Sorry about the blur photo:

 

I also saw a grey heron and took a good picture of it flying!

 

We went back to Changi Village after that. I saw the red breasted parakeet again, and long tailed parakeet. Then, I saw the Tanimbar Corella! Too bad I was too excited. The picture became blur again. I feel so sad. Next time, I will try to improve my photography skills first. Soon, I will be able to take good photographs!

I learnt a lot that day and have more understanding of birds. I too have more good bird photos and observed a lot of bird behaviour! Looking foward to my next birding trip!

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