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Friday, 18 August 2017

Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (18 Aug 2017)

The weather was not very good as it rained heavily in the afternoon. Nevertheless, I decided to carry on with my weekly macro-photography session at the Pasir Ris Park as I was eager to try out my new flash diffuser.

The new diffuser is 25% smaller than my previous diffuser. The reason for the change is because of my new smaller and lighter Sony A6000 camera was put out of balance by the bigger diffuser, which was suited for the larger and heavier Sony SLT-A58 camera.

My friend Reynard decided to join me for this trip to Pasir Ris Park because his place of study is near to where I was going. Here's a picture of a small 20 mm Praying Mantis found at the place.


Not surprisingly, the first beetle for the trip was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) on a thin vine.


Near to the Chafer Beetle was a small 4 mm Leaf Beetle found at a patch of low bushes,


After a bit of walking before this Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) was found munching on a leaf.


Coming to the spot where several colonies of Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) I found previously, I was disappointed to find only this single specimen. Not sure what happened to the colonies.


The highlight of the trip was a 30 mm Click Beetle, found by Reynard.


On a leaf of a Clidemia hirta plant was this Sweet Potato Weevil (Cylas formicarlus) with only 4.5 legs.


Near to the Sweet Potato Weevil was another Click Beetle (Pectocera babai) with  its fan-like antennae closed up.


More walking before finding several of this 2 mm Darkling Beetles on a small tree.


On the same tree was this well-camouflaged Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassiornis).

On another tree was a tragedy in action where a Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) was attacked by a group of Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina).  This was a little odd as Chafer Beetles usually do not rest on tree trunks, which these Weaver Ants were found.


A stone's throw away was this large 25 mm Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis) munching on a leaf.


Sadly on another tree was this Darkling Beetle being taken alive by another group of Weaver Ants.


The last beetle for the trip was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle hiding in a crevice of a small tree.


The trip was not expected to be fruitful, but I am still happy as I am able to test out my new diffuser which seemed to work well with my new camera.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Morning Walk At Pulau Ubin (11 Aug 2017)

It has been years since I last set foot on Pulau Ubin (a small island about 10-15 minutes of bump boat ride from Singapore) and so I decided to take leave from work and go there for this week's macro photography session. When I set off from my home the sky was clear, but as I was nearing the Changi Point Ferry Terminal the sky became dark and started to drizzle. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I decided to proceed as planned.

When I reached the island, the sky was not drizzling but remained overcast. The last time I was on the island I rode around the island on a rental bicycle, but it turned out to be not so effective as the number of beetles encountered was really disappointing. For this trip I decided to walk instead of cycling, knowing that I may not be able to cover much ground on foot.

Here's a photograph of an Oriental pied-hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) supposedly to be commonly sighted on the island.


There is a new Sensory Trail and so I decided to take a look at the trail. The trail is lined with cultivated patches of herbal and food plants, and on a patch of ginger plants were several of this Leaf Beetle (Gonophora pulchella).


On another patch of ginger plants was this 3 mm first-time-encountered metallic-blue color Leaf Beetle. This beetle was very sensitive to movements and it promptly flew off after two photographs.


On a different patch of ginger plants was another first-time-encountered 3 mm metallic-bronze color Leaf Beetle. Not sure if it is a sexual dimorphism of the same species of beetle as above, or is it a different species of beetle.


Further down the trail was this familiar Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis).


The Sensory Trail passes through a patch of Sea Hibiscus and on one of its stems was this lone Leaf Beetle. Sadly, this was the last beetle that I encountered on the trip as the sky started to rumble and dark clouds were gathering overhead, and looked like it will rain any time. So I decided to call it a day and took a bump boat back to Singapore.


This trip was no better than the last but it was probably because of the rain. Nevertheless, it was still consider a good trip as I was able to encounter two first-time-encountered beetles.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (04 Aug 2017)

HW and I decided to go to Pasir Ris Park for our regular night macro photography session. The week has been hot and dry, but it did not prepare me for what I saw at the place. The vegetation at the place were all withering and if the sky still doesn't rain, I am very sure all those plants that I saw would all dry up and die.

With the dry weather and the withering vegetation, it was not surprising that the number of critters encountered dropped tremendously. Nevertheless there are still critters around, albeit that they were very much harder to find. Here's a small Stoliczka's Crab Spider (Thomisus stoliczka) resting on a Siglap Grass (Zoysia matrella).


The first beetle for the trip was a small 1 mm Fungus Beetle, hiding in a depression on a small tree. Please pardon the not so good picture taken as I am still trying to get use to photographing using my new Sony A6000 camera.


The next beetle was a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) encountered after a while of walking.


More walking before finding this small 8 mm Leaf Beetle. The beetle looked pretty dirty with the tar-like stuff on it.


More walking without finding any critters, until coming to a small tree with this lone Darkling Beetle on it.


Walking in the hot weather was not so pleasurable and I was sweating buckets before finding this Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) on a low bush.


Some more walking before I found this tiny 1 mm beetle on a small tree. I am not sure what beetle it is but it resembled a small Ladybird Beetle (Scymnus sp.)


The trip was getting boring as not only we did not find any beetles we also barely find other critters. After more walking I finally found this Chafer Beetle munching on a leaf.


Near to the small Chafer Beetle was a much larger Chafer Beetle (Phyllophaga marginalis).


Sadly our usual spots where we would find beetles were turning out empty, until we came to a small tree with several of this 4 mm Darkling Beetle.


More walking without finding any beetles, I was hoping to find the colony of Tiger Beetles (Cicindela aurulenta) at a particular location but sadly the colony was no where to be found. It was only after walking for a while that I found several of this Tiger Beetle on a small plant.


The last beetle for the trip was a small 5 mm Leaf Beetle.


The trip was a disappointment due to the super dry weather. I hoped that rain will come soon, if not many of the critters will be lost like during the year when we had super dry weather. At the same time, more work needs to be put in by me to get use to the new camera.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Night Walk At Upper Seletar Reservoir (26 Jul 2017)

I happened to be free in the night and so decided to go for a quick walk at Upper Seletar Reservoir to get use to my new camera set-up. To my dismay when I reached the place, it looked like it just rained not too long ago and the vegetation at the place were pretty wet. Notwithstanding I pressed on to search for beetles among the wet vegetation.

To my pleasant surprise, I found a Stick Insect that I have not encounter for a long while.


The first beetle found at the place was a 10 mm Ground Beetle.


It took a while of searching before I found several of this Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on some low bushes.


After some walking, I came across several fallen trees and on a dead vine near to the fallen trees was this 4 mm first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle.


Near to the first-time-encountered Darkling Beetle was this roundish 3 mm Darkling Beetle.


More walking before finding several of this commonly encountered Darkling Beetle on a rotten log.


Coming to a patch of Clidemia hirta plants, I was glad to find another 5 mm first-time-encountered Chafer Beetle. This looks like the metallic bronze color Chafer Beetle that I encountered previously, but differs in its size and the more slender shape of its body.


More walking without finding any beetles until I reached a fallen tree overgrown with white fungus mushrooms, where this Darkling Beetle (Promethis valga) was found.


On another tree nearby was this small 1 mm Fungus Beetle. Please pardon the not so good photograph taken as I am still trying to get use to the new camera setup.


On a tree further down the trail was this 3 mm Darkling Beetle.


The last beetle of the trip was a large 10 mm metallic bronze color Chafer Beetle mentioned earlier.


Although the number of beetles encountered on this trip was relatively small compared to my other trips, I am happy that I am still able to find two first-time-encountered beetles.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Night Walk At Punggol Promenade Nature Walk (21 Jul 2017)

The cost of repairing my Sony SLT-A58 camera that malfunctioned during my last trip was almost half the price of the camera, so I decided to buy a new camera since I had the camera for more than 4 years already. After doing some comparison on the various camera options, I decided to stay with Sony and bought the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. Although it is an older model, the specification of the camera is more than I needed for macro-photography.

The decision was also based on the fact that I need not replace all my lens, especially the 1:1 macro lens which is pretty expensive. All I need to do is to buy a Sony A-mount to E-mount adapter at half the price or less of the macro lens.



Although I was at the tail end of a bout of flu, I am eager to field test out my new camera, and so I chose the night's macro session to be at the nearby Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, just in case that I need to cut short the trip due to my flu. Nothing special encountered except for this Stink Bug which don a rather bright underside coloration.


The first beetle for the trip were several of this Darkling Beetles found on a small tree.


My friend HW was with me on this trip and both of us found it strange that the number of beetles encounter was exceptionally lesser than our previous trips to the place. Nevertheless, we continued and found this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) after walking some distance.


After walking a distance without finding any other beetles, HW called out to asked if I have photographed this Leaf Beetle, which I have missed.


It was pretty odd that the number of beetles encountered was so low and it was only after a fair bit of walking before I found this Ladybird Beetle hiding under a leaf. The beetle looked like Epilachna indica Ladybird Beetle except for the extra spots on its pronotum.


The last beetle for the trip was another Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata) resting on a leaf.


This trip was a let down as the number of beetles encountered was surprisingly small. I will likely to give this place a miss in the near future due to the massive development work that is going on near to the entrance of the Coney Island.

Nevertheless, this was not a total washed out trip as I managed to test out my new camera. My initial feel of the camera is that the grip of the camera is rather small for comfortable one hand operation, and the dials and buttons tend to be in the way (or rather I kept accidentally activating them) when trying to take photographs with one hand. I guessed it will take me a bit of time to get use to the handling of the new camera, but it was a good buy as the quality of the photographs taken were pretty good in my humble opinion.