Yesterday was my 13th birthday! To celebrate I thought that writing about my visit to Tampines Eco Green Park would be perfect. Nature gifted me with a lot of things as I saw so much interesting wildlife. At first we got lost in Tampines Avenue 9 but finally saw the huge entrance.
At the entrance itself, I was overwhelmed by the number of butterflies, lizards, insects and birds. There were many fruit and flower plants that had specially been planted to attract them. I found myself running around, frantically trying to take photos of all of them. It was butterfly heaven! Here are a few I saw: Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina)
Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus)
A Peacock Pansy:
A Day-flying Moth (that also regularly visits my garden), sitting under a leaf:
Throughout the park, we saw many Changeable Lizards with different colors that were lazily enjoying the sunlight.
There were many loud noises near the path and we moved towards the sound to see two stunning black male Asian Koels. This was one of them:
The stunning Leea rubra red flowers attract a lot of butterflies and have helped maintain the rich wildlife at the park.
A Common Grass Yellow (Euerma hecabe contubernalis) feeding on the flowers
Dark Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides agleoides) which I managed to capture in flight.
I was stunned by this beautiful butterfly that I saw on a long blade of grass- its inside was multi-coloured and it was striped outside. I found out it was the Club Silverline which is quite uncommon in Singapore- but are seen pretty often at this park.
Tampines Eco Green is quite unique and different from other parks because it consists of many different habitats- open grasslands, marshes, freshwater ponds and a secondary rainforest. It has various viewing platforms, bird lookouts, vegetable swales and trails which are all made of recycled materials and eco-friendly products. There is even an eco- friendly toilet!
We first entered the diversity trail which was 1,100 m long. The dead trees were sited away from the paths but not removed because they are essential for the nests of many birds such as woodpeckers.
There were many bird hides made of twigs and branches that provided excellent views of the water and trees, ideal for bird watchers.
Some butterflies at the Diversity Trail….
There were also many dragonflies buzzing around the swaps and ponds. It provides them with a perfect spot to sunbathe! For my birthday, I was so excited to have been gifted the book- A photographic guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore. It has been a wonderful reference.
There were many Yellow-Barred Flutterers in the forest trail that were sitting on some long grass.
This Batik Golden Orb Weaver had a stunning web. This spider is one of the largest orb weaver spiders in the world! This was my second time seeing it, since I saw it once in Labrador Nature Reserve once.
I saw a White-throated Kingfisher perching high up on a tree. Even though it is one of our most common kingfishers, I haven’t seen one before!
The open grasslands were the best place to view the birds. From a distance I kept clicking in case I saw any movement.
While looking back at the photos, I realized that I had seen a Red-whiskered bulbul, a common cage bird. I was surprised to see it in the wild! It was stunning with its tall, black crest and red patch on its face. I feel so sad when these birds are caged by pet owners.
As we entered the Marsh trail viewing platform….
We saw a flock of Black Bazas (Aviceda leuphotes) sitting on the bare trees! Again, it was my first time seeing this distinctive raptor. It has a white and black plumage, and looks almost comical with its long crest.
Even though were a good 10 feet away, they seemed to sense our presence and one by one they flew away, until only one was left!
That came to the end of our amazing trip to Tampines Eco Green. I can’t wait to go back again to this beautiful place. It was very calm, relaxing and not many people were there. I had such a unique experience as I had close encounters with nature and wildlife. For example, while I was walking in the diversity trail, a Grass Yellow butterfly that I was trying to take a picture of, actually sat on my neck for a while, probably feeding on my perspiration! Sadly I couldn’t capture it- but sometimes, it’s best to enjoy the moment and fully embrace it.
TIPS FOR TAMPINES ECO GREEN PARK
When to go: Early morning, or afternoon at around 3-4
What to bring: Binoculars, your camera, water bottles, snacks, mosquito repellent
What to do: Follow the sign boards that will take you through different habitats- the diversity trail, marsh trail and forest trail. Have a jog or stroll in the park and continue on to Tampines Bike Park. It is a wonderful place nature photography and bird watching.
What to wear: Comfortable clothes, preferably cotton and lightweight and trekking/jogging shoes
Walking time: 1-2 hours
What to look out for :Best places for bird-watching in the open grasslands and bird hides, dragonfly/damselfly watching near the ponds and marshes, butterfly watching at the entrance. Birds that can be seen here are: Red-breasted parakeets, Blue-tailed bee-eater, Asian-brown flycatcher, Long-tailed shrike, Oriental Honey Buzzard and Baya Weavers. To find out more wildlife in Tampines Eco green- check out http://ihengbok.blogspot.sg/2013/03/tampines-eco-green.html
How to get there: There are many buses that go to Tampines Avenue 9, where the park is located. It is a 20 min walk from the Tampines MRT Station
Address: Tampines Eco Green Between Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Avenue 12
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