Saturday, 7 June 2014

Another Good Day

It looks like the hot weather is here to stay. My recent visit to Dairy Farm Nature Park was quite eventful, even though I spent most of the time hiding in the shade from the merciless sun. A fair bit of the activity was actually at the entrance of the park, where the human traffic was very high! The first butterfly was a pristine Malayan Sunbeam.  

When I accidentally disturbed it, it flew down to the concrete pavement to puddle. Every few seconds, someone would walk past and frighten it, making it difficult to get a picture of. There seems to have been quite a few sightings of sunbeams recently.

After a while, it got tired of all the people walking by and retreated to some taller shrubs, way out of my reach. 

There were a number of Malayan Eggflies at the entrance too. Their caterpillar hostplant, Pipturus Argentus (Australian Mulberry), must grow nearby since I always see them flying there. The Malayan eggfly occurs in different forms. This one, with a whitened patch on the hindwing, is form nivas.

The females of this species are known to guard their eggs, which they lay by the hundreds, until they perish. Malayan eggflies are highly territorial insects and constantly fly out to attack intruders to the "air space", including other individuals of the species. This can be quite a nuisance for butterfly photographers, for they sometimes get excited by falling leaves! This is another form, form anomala.

Where the cyclists were washing their shoes, this little Fluffy Tit came down to puddle. Its long feathery tails were fluttering in the wind. Unlike the sunbeam, it was not  at all bothered by the presence of people walking by.

After spending quite some time lying flat on the ground and shooting it, I walked up the main dirt road all the way until I hit the flower patch at the top of the hill. It was disappointingly quiet and besides a few monkeys, there was hardly anything to see. I watched this male Common Mormon chase a female relentlessly for a while.

She eventually grew tired of him and sped off. Later, I found her feeding at a cluster of pagoda flowers. She must have been very tired and hungry from being chased by the male and spent a long time at the flowers to re-fuel.

Back at the entrance of the park, there were numerous little blues puddling on the road. They were wary and flew off at the slightest disturbance. When puddling, they also hardly stood still and were crawling around a fair bit. This male Pointed Line Blue was one of the more cooperative models.

Looking back at my pictures from Dairy Farm in 2009, when my family and I first visited it, the nature park seems to have always been a great place for butterflies. I think its very close proximity to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve allows it to have a great range of forest plants and trees, which helps to attract butterflies; they usually stay near their caterpillar host plants. I can't believe that I've been butterfly-blogging for five years already. Onward!

(This is near the entrance, in 2009. It still looks the same!)


  1. What a lovely selection of butterflies. It certainly sounds like a great day! We are not doing to badly here for butterflies. We will never have the variety of butterflies that you have in Singapore, but I had seven species on my transect today.
    I'm looking forward to your next five years of blogging!

  2. Wow it's good to hear that the activity is picking up over too! I suppose having less species is a boon too; identification is a lot less painful!! I'm looking forward to more years to come too. This blog started out from a school computer lessen way back when!!