Sunday, October 04, 2009

From Ubin to Pasir Ris on 3 Oct 2009

Had wanted to go Sungei Buloh initially, but changed my mind and went to Pulau Ubin instead. My main objective for the day was to get some photos of the Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii). Now that I had a camera with better zoom, I was hoping to get some better photos for use in future.

Mangrove Tit-berry (Allophylus cobbe)
Along the way, I found several of the Mangrove Tit-berry (Allophylus cobbe) fruiting. The leaves of many of them were in rather bad shape though - many them were eaten up by some herbivores.

On some of them, I found lots of these little bug nymphs that I couldn't identify. Are these the ones feeding on the leaves? Hmm...

Rapanea porteriana
I also spotted a wild Rapanea porteriana. This was my first time seeing a wild specimen on Ubin! Understand there were a few huge trees on this island, but until this trip, I have only seen the ones planted by Nparks. Unfortunately, it wasn't flowering or fruiting though.

Cicada moults
I also found many cicada moults. While I could hear them singing among the trees, I did not spot any adult cicadas during this trip though.

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
And finally, I reach Noordin Beach, and found the Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii). There were lots of flowers on the tree!

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
I managed to get a few close-ups of the flowers growing on lower branches. Unfortunately, none was as low as the one I saw at Pasir Ris last time.

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
A few had developed the seedlings already too! The calyx (cap-like structure on top) was pinkish in colour, with the sepals bending downwards like claws. However, I noticed that this bright colour was only present on seedlings exposed to sunlight.

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
This seedling under the shade had calyx that was greenish-yellow instead of pink.

After taking a few shots, I decided to head towards Kekek Quarry to take a look at the mangroves along the way.

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Along the way, there was this Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) that was rather cooperative, and I managed to get quite a few shots of it.

Sonneratia sp.
I had a pleasant surprise when I saw this young plant at the edge of the mangrove. It looked very much like a Sonneratia caseolaris from the leaves, especially with the reddish leaf stalk. However, the branching was more typical of Sonneratia ovata, and I have seen young S. ovata with slightly pointed leaves before. Guess I would have to wait till it's more mature to really confirm the ID.

Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina)
Another nice surprise was this Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina). This mildly venomous snake can be regularly spotted on Pulau Ubin.

Saw a number of the usual mangrove plants before I reached Kekek. And as I was walking back, the ever-so-kind van driver, Mr Chu, saw me and gave me a ride back to Ubin town! Thank you so much, Mr Chu :)

Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)
Back at Changi Village, I stopped by the Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) near the hawker centre to check out the figs. Wonder if they will change colour as they ripen?

As it was still early, I decided to go to Pasir Ris to check out the Berus Mata Buaya there. But before I reached, it started pouring! I had to seek shelter at the park to wait for the rain to stop.

Podocarpus sp.
Not far from the shelter were several Podocarpus trees. This tree is a conifer, and thus does not flower. Instead, the reproductive structures developed on cones, and there are male and female trees. This was a female, as I could see the ovules (the fruit-like structures).

Podocarpus sp.
On one of the trees, the ovules were already fertilised! The receptacle turned yellow and eventually, red, and the ovule became the seed.

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
I finally reached the Berus Mata Buaya at Pasir Ris. It had many seedlings too!

Rapanea porteriana
I remembered Nparks planted a few Rapanea porteriana and decided to go to the site to take a look. Unlike the one I found at Ubin early this morning, a few of them were fruiting! But due to the rain, I did not managed to get better shots.

Guess I probably have to come back again another day to get some better photos :)


Anonymous said...

Alamak! so you have gone there already! now I'll have to track down the fugitive brugeria with the curved claw-like sepals sometime next week.; hope they are still there! Thanks for the lively blog, Ron.

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Sorry sorry. This week's schedule turned out to be rather tight. Will be flying off on Wednesday night, and had a lot of things to clear these few days, so had to go down last weekend. Pai seh.