Final Nature Observations in Singapore

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On my final day in Singapore we spent the afternoon on Palawan Beach on Sentosa Island. I photographed a pair of blue-tailed bee-eaters (Merops phillippinus) on a small island near the beach that purported to be the “most southern extent of continental Asia”. The blue-tailed bee-eaters like the other 26 species, they migrate long distances and catch insects in flight. It breeds in northern India and southern China and spends the winter in south east Asia. Bee-eaters have a special place in my heart as I fondly remember watching a nesting colony in Belgrade (link).

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On the way back to the train station, I photographed this changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor) that was trying to scale the walls of the steps. After several unsuccessful leaps, it eventually made it, just before Oliver could grab it, it quickly scooted for the protective cover of a bush. The changeable lizard was introduced to Singapore in the 1980s and drove out the native, and in my opinion, more beautiful green-crested lizard. Introduced species are a common theme here.

I will be recruiting in Bangkok and London for the next couple of weeks. I will not have my sister-in-law’s camera, but hope to make some nature observations.

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