Thursday, 25 October 2007

back to the drawing board....

Version one of our project plans got half (ok,maybe it was more like 3/4) shot down yesterday during our long long discussion amidst all the little distractions and sidetracks. So begins the process of proposal revising and rewriting until everybody is somewhat happy with it. Good thing is that we managed to a consensus with regards to the recce survey method for the first section of the project. Just need to get all those little details down in black-n-white to send to the rest to make sure that it is feasible and sound. Do seriously wish that one of the long term researchers would come up with a protocol book on all the various strategies and methods we can do.... Especially when it comes to easy-to-implement methods on gauging coral growth and health... Starting to feel thoroughly inept with regards to my work, and just feeling so lost and useless....

This was also a day after we trashed out some changes in the groupings adn other miscellaneous stuff for ReefWalk this Sat.... Yar. Having had this kind of week(s), it won't be surprising if I just start ranting to people over the next few days.... Okies, back to planning...
Click for the rambling...

Friday, 12 October 2007

And now a juvenile peaceful dove....

It seems that our office attracts birds despite being near a relative busy-ish road. Has been pouring most of the day, even storming at times, resulting in this juvenile peaceful dove (Geopelia placida) being blown out of its nest and onto the road. Wilson found it just outside along the road (probably around 1445h or so). Having just had an unexpected feathery guest yesterday, we promptly produced a small container lined with shredded paper (yes, it's always good to re-use stuff!), and whipped out the camera. As doves and pigeons produce crop milk to feed their young, cow milk (yes, bovines are not feathery but it's the best we have!) was taken from the fridge and heated to feed the little one. This little fella needs to be fed every 2 hours or so, thus Wilson's gonna bring it back over the weekend to jaga, and then back to the office. Do hope it survives our human-nannying it. I'll only get to see it on Tuesday since ZMY and I would be out diving at Semakau on Monday. Would try and keep a mini-diary/record of how it's doing.

Geopelia placida (2)
The wee little fella. Ain't it cute? Really hope it survives~~

Geopelia placida
And the top view of it in the little makeshift nest...

Meantime, any volunteers to be on the feeding roster? And any tips on looking after baby doves?


For more about the peaceful dove:
Sungei Buloh info page
Wikipedia: Peaceful Dove
Click for the rambling...

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Oriental dwarf kingfisher @ Peirce Road Depot

We had this unexpected little visitor in office this morning at around 0940h. One of our nice cleaning aunties walked into the office carrying a plastic bag looking a little worried. Why was that so? She found this really gorgeously coloured small bird outside, but it wasn't moving, even kept still when she picked it up. Thinking it was a baby bird that didn't know how to fly and fell out its nest, she brought it over to us to ask for help....

At first, we were wondering if was actually alive, and that was settled when CCL picked it out of the bag. This feisty little bird is definitely alive! (Is is possible that it was just sitting there waiting for the sun to come and warm/wake it up? Pretty unlikely, given that birds are warm blooded) GD came along to tell us it is an adult oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca). It belongs to the family of Alcedininae kingfishers whose members are all rather small (like the African pygmy kingfisher) with iridescent feathers. Apparently one of the rarer kingfishers that we can see around Singapore, so it was really a treat for us to see one at close proximity and take photos (albeit in a less natural environment). As the thrill of having such a gorgeously colorful guest around wore off a little, I made a quick dash for a camera to snap a few shots before letting it go...

Ceyx erithaca
Brilliant pose, lousy focusing

Ceyx erithaca (5)
Not as nice a pose but at least it's in focus. Look how tiny the feet are!!

Ceyx erithaca (8)
View from the back, showing off all those nice shimmery bluish-violet feathers *swoons*

Ceyx erithaca (10)
Close up of head. Especially love those purplish feathers about the eyes. Really looks like it has eyebrows!

Ceyx erithaca (1)
Getting a taste of CCL's finger

Ceyx erithaca (3)
Apparently not getting enough of a taste... Definitely one disgruntled bird. REALLY time to let it go~~

And off it went, flying fast and far away from us meddling humans....


The colouring even looks exactly like the one shown in this article by Dr Cheong Loong Fah!!
More useful sites:
Click for the rambling...

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


どうして仕事中いつも眠い、全然わかないよ~~ だけど、この1ヶ月でいろいろなこと教えてもらった、本とに嬉しい。 シンガポールの大自然とか、珊瑚礁とか… 自分のプロジェクトはまだ始まらないけど、来週から、蒼い海は戻るはずです~~~ 

Don't worry too much if you don't understand this entry. It's just a random ramble that was brought to it's abrupt end due to my superbly rusty Japanese.... That's as far as I can go at the moment when rambling in Japanese. Need to oil me Japanese gears man! 加油!頑張ります~

p/s. このブログの酷い日本語を許してくださいね~  使わない時間は長いだから…
Click for the rambling...

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Driving home a message - Expedition Linne

Disclaimer: Noticed that on the wildsingapore "Wild Web Updates" section, Ria described this entry as "an inspiring film about the father of taxonomy" and that is a little misleading since the documentary film was NOT about Carolus Linnaeus himself but more about how journeys and endeavours such as the ones taken by Linnaeus and his many apostles opened up new spheres for us, and is more of a thought provoking film on how the great man himself may view our present world.


Just got back from watching the film screening of "Expedition Linne" at SBG. Was nice to see some of my friends (MS, Yaohui, Robert...especially since I came with my office folks) at the screening as well ^^ Nice to also see the number of Swedes (amongst other foreigners) at the screening. Think that in the light of "An Inconvenient Truth" and various other things happening, I would agree with Prof Peter Ng that this documentary film does an interesting job of putting pertinent environmental issues (in addition to the slightly over-publicised climate change) in the light of preserving biodiversity and our enviroment.

The idea of having 3 young university students of differing backgrounds (biologist, medical student, economist) being sent to various parts of the world in the spirit of "Linnaeus explorations" and presenting their different viewpoints and experiences makes the whole idea of biodiversity and the general populance rather believeable. Just like the skeptic of the 3, many of us have probably wondered at one time or another "What has the discovery of a new species of plant got to do with me?" Does at the same time highlight the plight os scientists when dealing with people who are not as interested (or see the basis of their enthusiasm) when dealing with their (the scientist's) area of passion.

What I can say is that, by the end of the film (and jetsetting across 7 continents), I would say that I am truly inspired to keep on doing what I have been doing for conservation in Singapore. The way may be straight and narrow but every little bit that we do to save energy, recycle, cut down on wastage etc. can go a rather long way (especialy if EVERYBODY pitches in!). Despite the modern day extinctions and pollution and mass destruction/wastage that we humans are doing at the moment, active steps to rectify the situation back toward some kind of balance with nature should ease things up a bit. Just what I need to put things sort of in perspective to carry on with my intertidal guidings and work at NParks!

Since this is at the very least a half rambling post, more information on "Expedition Linne" can be found here:

Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

While lunch is digesting...

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you truly see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.
You enjoy relationships as long as they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.
You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable


You Are Brownie Batter Ice Cream

You've been known to lick *everything* clean


Your Inner Blood Type is Type B

You follow your own rules in life, even if you change the rules every day.
Sure, you tend to be off the wall and unpredictable, but that's what makes you lovable.
And even though you're a wild child, you have the tools to be a great success.
You are able to concentrate intently - and make the impossible possible.

You are most compatible with: B and AB

Famous Type B's: Leonardo Di Caprio


You Are a Carnation

You are down to earth and grounded.
You tend to be more traditional than trendy.
Your confidence gets you through anything.
People trust you and are very loyal to you.
Click for the rambling...

Monday, 1 October 2007

First time guiding at Semakau!!

So here's part 2 of this month's intertidally weekend! This time at Semakau. Honestly speaking, am a little drained after 2 consecutive days of guiding. Really admire people like July who have been doing the Semakau walks from Friday to Sunday. *round of applause*

It's my first time guiding on my own here at Semakau, and I haven't really gotten a rhythm to pace myself, so I do apologise to my group of Anemone Clownfish (aka Nemos) from NUS High School of seemingly rushing them from thing to thing.With the stress of guiding and stuff (just like SY) I didn't really take photos. I even forgot a photo of my group! *doh* Enough rambling, on to the photos and little descriptions before I KO and catch my 40 winks before work tomorrow. Erm.... I meant work later today...


First up, when we arrived at the NEA offices, we were greeted by this little mayfly that was posing nicely on the door before it got spooked of onto the false ceiling. Not the most natural of settings but still rather encouraging to see it there when we arrived.


One of the highlights for me today was seeing not one but TWO noble volutes laying eggs!!! This is pretty cool for me after having seen the eggs earlier this year (Refer to this entry). My fellow Semakau guides have been seeing them on everyday over this weekends walks, and Ron mentioned that they have been observed to be laying eggs for the past few months already!!

Here's the other one just finished with it's egg laying. Seems like it's egg laying season as there were a number of sand collars (egg masses of moon snails) all around as well, same as with Kusu yesterday. CH also saw a nudibranch laying egg masses during today's Hantu dive with Debbie's Hantubloggers gang. *jealous*


Well, after the sun set, the common seastars that we spotted earlier in the evening were all nicely arranged in pairs like the one shown above, with the smaller "male" seastar stacked above the "female" one. All in preparation for start making their progeny and thus ensuring that they continue being common!


One of my favourite things about the Semakau flats is the sunset. Just gorgeous. What a nice treat to go along with our walk ^^

For more takes on today's (yesterday's) walk, here's Siyang's entry and take on his first time guiding that also includes a photo on how our very own "mosquito attractant" guide risks flesh and blood each time he guides.. As well as July's post with a photo of an octopus. Yes, we came across one today but sadly no stingray....

Seriously, it's time to turn in. Will consider adding/editing things when I'm more recharged and less sleepy.
Click for the rambling...