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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Morning Walk At Bukit Batok Nature Park (01 Jan 2014)

Here's wishing everyone a blessed 2014 ahead! Happy New Year!

While my family was sleeping in for the morning, I decided to continue where I left off a day before at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Upon reaching the road leading to the BTNR Visitor Centre, I was surprised to find the place jam packed with people and the car park was full with cars spilling out along both sides of the road leading to the car park. 

Seeing the crowd, I decided to go to the Dairy Farm Nature Park instead. As I made my way to the Dairy Farm Nature Reserve, I saw the tourist attraction sign for the Bukit Batok Nature Park and it occurred to me that I had not been to the park for many years. So I changed my destination there and then and headed for the Bukit Batok Nature Park. By the way, the Bukit Batok Nature Park is located right in middle between the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Diary Farm Nature Reserve. 

The first beetle that I encountered was a Leaf Beetle (Astathes contentiosa) and it was just meters from the entrance into the park.

The vegetation at the initial part of the trail were very much ferns and Simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa) plants which I didn't find any beetles at all. Only after having walked for about 10 minutes that I found this Leaf Beetle (Colasposoma auripenne) hiding under a badly eaten leaf.

Besides the ferns and Simpoh air plants, the initial portion of the trail was also "fenced" up with railings along the side of the trail, giving additional challenge for photographing critters in the bushes. Along the side of the trail there is a rotten tree stump with many white fungus growing on them. On them were several of these Fungus Beetles.

On the same log was this first-time-encountered Fungus Weevil.

After the stretch of ferns and Simpoh air plants, I found this small 2 mm curious looking first-time-encountered beetle which initially I thought was a very small cockroach. I later encounter many more of this beetle throughout the entire park.

The next beetle was a hyper-sensitive Leaf Beetle that didn't allow me to get close to it. This photograph was taken using a telephoto zoom lens.

Moving to an area of tall trees with little undergrowth, I found another hyper-sensitive Leaf Beetle that don't allow me to get close to it.

Moving on to some secluded part of the park where there are a few talk bushes, I found this first-time-encountered Chafer Beetle. This looked very like another Chafer Beetle that I previously encountered except that this Chafer Beetle has 4 red patches on its elytra instead of two in the previous Chafer Beetle.

The next beetle was a tiny 1 mm Leaf Beetle that looked very much like a black speck on the leaf until you see through the macro zoom of the camera.  Guessed that this is the beauty of macro photography.

It was almost time for me to leave and just as I was heading towards where I entered the park, I came across a patch of tall ferns where I was surprised to find about 20 of this Tumbling Flower Beetles. Usually these type of beetle would be found singly or at most in group of 2-3 and they are hyper-active and would not stop too long for me to take a good macro shots of them. This time round the beetles were so calm that I was able to take some really nice macros shots without needing to chase after them.

The last beetle that I found before I exited from the park was this first-time-encountered Leaf Beetle. In fact, I found several of them in the same location and all of them were feeding on the leaves of some ginger plants. It was a good way to end the trip.

The trip was surprisingly fruitful with the finding of 4 first-time-encountered beetles. The human traffic at the park was pretty high which  possibly accounts for the relatively low number of beetles encountered given the time I spent at the park.