Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the little grebes at the s'pore quarry

picture from another source

today, i visited the s'pore quarry, a part of the newly opened dairy farm nature park. there are a few ways to get to this enclosed disused quarry. most people would park their cars at car-park 'a' and walk past the moe adventure camp to get to the road leading all the way to the quarry. a shorter route can be had by parking your car at railway mall and walking to the end of jalan asas, which will eventually join up with the road to the quarry. a third way is to follow the mountain bike trail till you come to the tunnel. above the tunnel is the same road that leads to the quarry. you can actually get to the s'pore quarry from the bukit timah nature reserve by following the mountain bike trail.

besides enjoying the serenity of the place, we also indulged in a bit of bird-watching today. i have read about the precious little grebes that inhabit the shallow waters of the quarry pond. some visitors pointed them out to me and i realised that i had seen similar birds somewhere, though i am not able to put a finger to the place.

the little grebe was too far away from me. if you follow the streak in the water, you can visualise the bird at one end of it.

there was another majestic bird we saw - the white bellied sea-eagle perched high on a 'matchstick' tree. according to another regular visitor to the place, two young eagles are often seen in the vicinity. i am familiar with the eagles because i always hear and see them from my bedroom windows, though the same ones.

i also managed to spot another medium-sized bird on a raft-like structure. i was told that it was a common sandpiper. the sandpiper has this peculiar habit of bouncing a few times when it lands on the ground or any surface.

however, what really captivated me was the playfulness of the little grebes and their ability to disappear and reappear somewhere else. from my two visits to the quarry pond, i have observed that this bird is very fond of diving. the birds build their floating nests among the reeds. you can tell that there is a family among some reeds when you hear their distinctive trill.

if you visit the singapore quarry, you should armed yourself with a pair of binoculars otherwise you may miss the sight of these beautiful birds. a lot of people miss this attraction because the little grebes tend to keep far away from humans and they hide themselves by diving into the water the moment they are disturbed by loud noise.

most visitors notice the kois, tiger barbs and other small fish in the water. unfortunately, a lot of them miss seeing the liitle grebes. they may also notice the'sausages' on the reeds sticking out of the water but not the birds hidden among the reeds.


peter said...

i didn't know the old quarry is now filled with water . very peaceful indeed. I thot I saw another pond created somewhere down the PIE on the side of the Sime Road golf course - due to water pipe laying. Again so tranquill.

Yu-Kym said...

I love the pictures you take of birds. I think birds are very difficult to capture because they're very fast and alert. Or maybe you are every birds' friend. They all love you enough to let you take their pictures :)

yg said...

peter, they actually filled up the quarry but over time water has collected and so now there is a shallow pond. i have also seen the one - a small pond - at sime road from the bus.

yg said...

yu-kym, no, i didn't take those pictures. to produce such shots, i will have to use a camera with a telephoto lens. my camera is the point-and-shoot type.

Jacob said...

Looks very serene and peaceful, I am staying in one of the Singaporediscount hotels downtown and I must find out how far is it from here.