Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mangrove Pitta spotted @ SBG, is it a blessing or curse?


Did a rather short visit to SBG today, had an important event to tend to so I had some time in the late morning to explore the gardens :) I started my walk from the visitor centre this time, I was quite surprised at the morning crowd on a weekday, the whole area was literally bustling with activity!

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Zingiberaceae flower - ID welcomed
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Saraca thaipingensis - they seem to be flowering rather profusely everywhere in Singapore
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Saraca thaipingensis
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Victoria amazonica - I have yet to see a fully open flower
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Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis) - it was exceptionally vocal today :) spotted a few within the short time I was there
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Sterculia parviflora - one of the trees that have been flowering recently
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Sterculia parviflora
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Mesua grandis - just outside the function hall of Botany Centre

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Mesua grandis
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The Bougainvillea sp. was flowering very beautifully even in this dry weather, such a pretty sea of pink
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More Saraca thaipingensis
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Saraca thaipingensis

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Saraca thaipingensis
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Alpinia aquatica
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Spotted Aphanamixis polystachya fruiting near the visitor centre!
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Aphanamixis polystachya
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Spotted an Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) while I was looking at the Artocarpus fruits!! Managed to grab a few shots before it flew :D
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Clerodendrum thomsoniae
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I heard news that a Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) was spotted at the Healing Gardens so I decided to drop by to take a look since I was just nearby...
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I was really surprised at how near the photographers were to the pitta and it was standing really still... Even when one guy moved his equipment, the bird was completely not affected... I was feeling very puzzled by this rather abnormal behavour so I asked one guy whether the bird was fed or bird calls were used to attract its attention... HILARIOUSLY  =.= , the guy said ' nope, the bird is just super friendly'... I was damn skeptical!
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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Abroma angusta
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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Then, I heard the recorded calls played LOUD and CLEAR, so I was like O.O seriously, did you just lie to me?
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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And then I saw how the bird was literally looking intently at one of them, who was luring it towards a particular tree trunk where worms have already been placed... WTH people!
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Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
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Yup, this is the tree where WORMS were placed to attract it to the trunk... for them to get the 'NATURAL' shot... I didn't stay for long because I was increasingly getting pissed off by the guy, and I mean, WHY do you have to lie to me? It is freaking obvious isn't it??? I left soon after that, I guess I was being a hypocrite too since I sneaked a few shots of the bird... the whole situation felt really pathetic though..
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A more natural situation to look at - Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) gnawing at Artocarpus fruit
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Schizolobium parahyba fruits?
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Barringtonia calyptrata
I wonder whether it is a blessing for the bird to be seen here, large crowds of photographers flock to see it, and everyone wants the best perfect shot of it.. Baiting with worms and recorded bird calls were used to lure the bird's attention, and everyone poised to get the wonderful 'natural' shot of the bird on the tree trunk

But is it really natural? Is it even the bird's natural habitat? And at what cost are we doing this? To us, it might just be the pretty picture, but to the bird, could it pose a problem with all these feeding?

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