Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Singapore, Day 5 - II, Jurong Bird Park

I took a taxi from the Zoological Gardens to the Jurong Bird Park. I never knew there were so many types of parrots and while they were placed on me, squabbling amongst each other alarmingly, I had my picture taken.

Pelicans were loose in the Park and one started following me as I proceeded to their enclosure. He then flew up onto a fence right next to me and demanded that I take his portrait. So I did. What I didn’t know was that it was pelican feeding time. A man with several large blue buckets filled with fish walked up and began the pelican feeding frenzy. Um, they can move fast for big birds. I was glad I did not resemble a fish. Just an observation, but they have really big, sharp beaks. Ever noticed that? I actually had to move out of the way. The keeper threw fish into the water for some of the less dominant birds. I ran out of film and it began to drizzle.

I moved on to the small parrot cages and saw parrots, lorries, keets, love birds, conures and more in all colors. It was rather easier to tell them apart when there were signs to help even though I am a birder back home. Duh. I do know what love birds look like.

Then I went to the bird enclosure (netted area) that had a beautiful waterfall and it began to rain a bit harder. It got darker out and then it was difficult to spot the brightly colored birds and I wasn’t sure my pictures would come out. I could feel that rain was imminent and there was no shelter there, so I moved on.

I went on to the hornbill exhibit when the pouring rain started. Fortunately there was a monsoon shelter arch in front of the enclosure. So, it was just me bonding with the hornbills in the monsoon. The rain was coming straight down with such a force that the splatter alone carried it far into the arch (10 feet or so - 3 meters) at each end. I had to put my camera away to keep it dry and stand in the very middle of the arch to keep dry myself. Fifteen minutes later the rain was just hard again. If you’ve never experienced a monsoon, you’ve never seen how hard rain can get.

I left the relative dryness of the enclosure and got wet to see the scarlet ibis, crested cranes and roseate spoonbills. I got my feet wet in the sopping grass shooting those. I also saw toucans and birds of paradise.

Now, with very wet feet, I completed the path noticing a fine koi pond on my way out.
I took a taxi back to my hotel. While there, the phone rang and it was the tour company saying that tomorrow's one day tour of the fishing village of Kucup and Orchid Valley in Malaysia was cancelled due to lack of interest, so a bit crestfallen, I booked the one to Johor Baru instead. I really had my heart set on seeing that fishing village and the orchids.


Anonymous said...

i'm bored with my life and want to travel now.


Sue said...

I miss it too.

Sue said...

Where shall we go? When do we leave?

Anonymous said...

Very nice site! »