Monday, 25 November 2013

Ubin Before the Rain

I would never have known that the blue sky over Pulau Ubin would 
be so short-lived. The rain did more than just pour; it literally 
flooded the air completely. The enormous winds did not help either.
That aside, I'll write about the butterflies I saw before the downpour.
At Butterfly Hill, Pea Blues were numerous and were fluttering around
in full force. Here is a male who was sunbathing on the sandy ground.

Blue Glassy Tigers were about as well, floating from flower to flower.
Their close relative and lookalike, the Dark Glassy Tiger, was just as 
common but I did not manage any pictures.

While the Malayan Birdwing was nowhere to be seen, I was still 
thrilled to see its cousin, the Common Birdwing. The two species 
represent the largely Australasian genus, troides, in Singapore. There
were at least three individuals roaming the hill. Each time one 
passed by the ixora bushes for a sip, we would rapidly fire at them 
in hopes of getting a clear shot. This is the female.

Sometimes our reactions were too slow.

Here is a male. It is smaller than the female, and lacks the black 
spots on the sunny yellow hindwing.

While the rest were busy with the Birdwings, I decided to venture 
into a thick bamboo growth further away. The elusive Bamboo Tree 
Brown was everywhere. Their colour, bouncy flight and habit of 
landing in obscure places made them hard to track. I have always 
been drawn to their lovely patterns. While it is only brown, it is the 
variations in brown I find beautiful.

On my way out, I passed by this male Club Silverline. It liked to 
land under leaves very low down; quite a headache for me! Soon 
it perched on a leaf in some shade.

It was a really enjoyable trip. I had excellent company; the people 
from ButterflyCircle are amazing. The rain will never be able to 
dampen our spirits. ;)


  1. Lovely pictures as every Jonny. It is great to see butterflies again as they haven't been flying here since the beginning of the month. Your picture of the Pea Blue is particularly nice. I can't imagine it is easy to get a picture of the open wings like that.
    Do you have any experts in the butterflies of the Philippines in ButterflyCircle? There is someone who posts on the UKButterflies forum who is visiting there for three months, but he is baffled for IDs for many of the butterflies he has seen!!

  2. Nick, the butterfly numbers here aren't so great either. I'm sure next year will bring you more surprises. :)

    The pea blue was a lucky shot. It landed in front of me and opened its wings. I don't think we have anyone who specialises in butterflies from the Philippines but I'm sure we can see what we can do help!! I heard there are many interesting and endemic species there.

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  4. If anyone wants to pop by the UK Butterfly Forum, I am sure their help would be appreciated!

  5. Hey Nick, I think it would be easier if he could post his pictures on the 'Butterflies of Singapore' facebook group. Then we'll be able to put our heads together to crack the IDs. ;)

    Here's the link:

  6. Thanks. I have put the link on his diary on the UKButterflies Forum.

  7. No problem Nick. I took a look - some fantastic butterflies there!