Tag Archives: Birding Photography Tips

Kranji Marshes – A Freshwater Marshland

The Kranji Marshes, Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland was recently declared opened to the public on 1st February 2016. With a size of 56.8 hectares, the Kranji Marshes is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, with more than 170 species of birds, 54 species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies making Kranji Marshes their home. For a small country like Singapore, we have green and nature areas, such as the newly opened Kranji Marshes, that the locals and international visitors can get away from the hectic city life to visit and enjoy the lush greenery, peace, quietness and tranquility!

IMG_9816

There are two areas inside the Kranji Marshes, the public area and a restricted area that is accessible through guided tours. The restricted area is the core conservation area and this would allow this ecologically sensitive site to grow back the vegetation and the wildlife to come back there.

KranjiMarshes_Map

Map of Kranji Marshes (Source: NParks website)

I remembered walking along Neo Tiew Lane 2 a few years ago, visiting Kranji Marshes when it wasn’t developed at all, I was there to look for the Blue-Eared Kingfisher that resides in the Kranji Marshes (I did not manage to find it though). While there were some physical changes, with the addition of the raptor tower and bird hides at the public access area, most of the Kranji Marshes remained untouched and not spoilt by the structural developments to convert Kranji Marshes into a beautiful nature park, Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland.

When you are walking in from the park entrance towards the Marsh Station, the Neo Tiew Woods is on your right, keep a lookout at the tall trees and greenery and you spot some wildlife high up in the trees!

IMG_9818

The Kranji Marshes is a beautiful destination, lush greenery, quiet and peaceful, accompanied by the sounds of many different species of birds residing/visiting Kranji Marshes. During my recent two trips to Kranji Marshes after her official opening, I was able to spot and photograph a small number of different species of birds residing/visiting Kranji Marshes, do take a look at my Kranji Marshes (Avian) collection here on Flickr! With over 170 species of birds recorded at Kranji Marshes, I hope that I am able to photograph each different species of over 170 birds recorded at Kranji Marshes into my Flickr collection.

IMG_9804

The Raptor Tower is ideal to catch the sunrise across Kranji Reservoir, it also gives a bird’s eye panoramic view of the Kranji Reservoir and the Kranji Marshes. At the top of the Raptor Tower, you might be on the same eye level with the birds on the trees nearby the tower! There are two bird hides there, the Moorhen Blind and Swamphen Hide. They are great to sit down, wait, observe and look out for the different species of birds that visit the marshland.

2T2J9863

2T2J9882

If you love the outdoors, nature and wildlife, Kranji Marshes is a very nice destination to visit. Bird photographers would love the Kranji Marshes, they would be able to photograph the bird species that visit/reside in Kranji Marshes. I might go back again to document/photograph more bird/wildlife species at Kranji Marshes before the end of the migratory season in March 2016.

Key Information for visitors to Kranji Marshes

Location

Kranji Gate

11 Neo Tiew Lane 2

Singapore 718814

Opening Hours

7am to 7pm daily

 Tel: 67941401
Fax: 67937271
Email: nparks_sbwr@nparks.gov.sg

More information can be found here on the NParks website.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Birding Photography Adventure @ Lorong Halus Wetland

With the introduction and testing of the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L lens, loaned to me by my boss/colleague. I slowly got myself more interested in birding/wildlife photography with my current setup suitable for both sports and wildlife photography. Birding and wildlife photography also brought me to more green spaces in Singapore that I wanted to explore again or revisiting those green nature belts/park connectors that I haven’t been to for quite a long time such as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a destination that I have to revisit since my last trip there!

2T2J4372

Till date, I covered the following areas near my home for birding and wildlife photography, West Coast Park, Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector and Botanic Gardens. There were quite a number of different species of bird residing/visiting both areas mentioned above. My birding photography adventure was fun, quite a bit of waiting, being very observant and quiet, with some decent and nice photographs!

2T2J4444

One area that I was very keen to explore was the Lorong Halus Wetland, part of the National Parks Singapore North Eastern Riverine Loop, this extensive network of park connectors that I haven’t finish exploring. I heard so much about this wetland over time and keen to visit it. On a public holiday Monday morning, my boss/colleague brought me there and showed me where to drive in, where to explore and what to watch out for at Lorong Halus Wetland. The wetland was beside the Serangoon Tidal Gates (dam/barrage) that enclosed Sungei Serangoon. Leading into the sea. This is a very beautiful and tranquil location, greenery on the sides, the river and the sea.

2T2J4488

Since it was my maiden trip to Lorong Halus Wetlands and my emphasis was on birding photography, I didn’t take landscape/travel photos of this beautiful area. I would be planning to visit it again and share more photographs of my birding adventure and the surrounding areas. During this maiden trip to Lorong Halus Wetlands, I managed to spot and photograph the following birds

–       Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater

–       Common Kingfisher

–       Paddyfield Pipit

–       Long-Tailed Shrike

–       Raptor  (ID to be confirmed, it should be from the Buzzard family)

–       Spotted Dove

–       Baya Weaver

–       Grey Heron

There are a lot more species of birds residing and visiting at the Lorong Halus Wetlands, my hope for photographing the raptors around there didn’t materalise since they didn’t fly out to hunt for food (or they might have flew off to their home destination).

2T2J4475

During my short time at Lorong Halus Wetland, I learned a few tips on birding photography from my boss/colleague, an avid bird photographer and photography seniors that I usually chat with at my regular photography shop.

–       Birds are creatures of habits; they would usually be back at their favourite/usual locations.

–       Patience is a must for bird photography.

–       Explore and recce the location on where to camp/position yourself next time when you return for bird photography.

–       Always mount your lens before going in there. You might just spot some birds along the way in (if you are driving).

–       The time frame to photograph the birds is not long, probably a few hours in the early morning from 7am to 10am or late afternoon around 4-6pm (when the weather is not too hot).

–       Don’t make too much noise and talk too loudly, our voices and sound can frighten the birds to fly away and hide.

–       Be very observant and always keep a lookout of the surroundings and skyline.

–       Always be ready to “fire and photograph”

–       Shoot at a high shutter speed (or higher if you prefer) e.g. 1/1000 to freeze the birds in action since their reaction and speed can be very fast.

–       Read up and understand more about the various birds.

–       Consider a tripod or a monopod; both have their pros and cons. It also depends on whether you would be camping at one location or walking around to explore and look for the birds.

–       Have the handy NSS Bird Guide App with you in your smartphone (especially useful and helpful for me to identify the various birds that I photographed)

–       Wear clothes that blend in well with your surroundings e.g. green/brown/khaki clothes.

–       A hat/cap is very useful to provide shade for you from the strong sunlight.

–       A pair of binoculars would be very handy and useful.

–       Be prepared to get wet, muddy and dirty when exploring in the forest, wetlands, swamps etc

–       Do not rush into photographing all the birds in the area, be patient, revisit the location over and over again.

–       Do not destroy habitats or nests of the birds and wildlife.

–     Take only photographs and memories; leave no litter behind, don’t take anything from the natural surroundings. Leave nothing behind but your footsteps only.

2T2J4466

It’s also good to stay up to date with the following groups for more information and updates on the wildlife, nature reserves and birding photography in Singapore, especially on migratory birds arrival

–       National Parks Singapore

–       Nature Society Singapore

–       Birding Singapore

–       Saving Bidadari for Birds and People

–       Nature Photographic Society Singapore

I would be combining bird photography with nature/conservation photography in some areas for the upcoming months in 2013 and I hope that I would be able to share more of my stories and photos here with everybody here. Do take a lookout of my birding photography collection on Flickr and 500px!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.