Swallow on a Stick

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A Pacific Swallow ruminates on life when perched on a post in Dairy Farm Nature Reserve.

Something Insanely Exciting

So, the other day I got an email. (See if you can tell where this is heading.) From Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

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Most wildlife photographers have heard of this competition – organised by the Natural History Museum of London (only one of my favorite museums ever – dinosaurs, anyone?) and BBC Wildlife, it’s considered the Oscars of wildlife photography. They’re halfway through judging this year’s entrants now… aaaand three of my photographs got selected for the Final Round! (Yes, that deserves to be capitalized. It’s that important.)

I submitted at literally the last minute, realizing submissions were open a day before they closed. I had almost forgotten about it, to be honest, so this was really, really surprising.

Without further ado, here my three shortlisted images – some of which you may recognize from this blog, some of which you may have seen on Saving MacRitchie.

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Read more about my spotting of this spider on this post from Saving MacRitchie.

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Not seen this image before? Well – wait till next Monday, when I post on Saving MacRitchie, and you will have. Hop on over then to read about the fascinating and aptly named robber fly.

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You will have seen this before, in my post on my visit to the Dairy Farm Nature Reserve here. But the lizard’s red eyes haven’t stopped holding me thrall.

I’m so, so happy my photographs made it this far in the judging process – even if they don’t go any further, the honor at being considered amongst the number of fantastic photographers out there is just – woah. Thank you all for sticking with me all this way. I’ve enjoyed – and will continue enjoying – every minute.

Quarried

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Singapore Quarry seemes to come out of nowhere: one moment you’re lost in the steamy rainforest of Dairy Farm Nautre Reserve, the next you’re confronted with a vast lake and sheer, scarred cliffs. It used to be the site of a granite quarry that devastated the wildlife of a once diverse area; now abandoned, the animals are slowly returning– we saw a Grey-headed Fish Eagle, an internationally endangered species.

Grey-headed fish eagle, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus-- if you can see it.
Grey-headed fish eagle, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus- if you can see it

While the environmental degradation in the rest of Singapore isn’t as visible, it is no less harmful. Singapore Quarry is only now recovering from its blatant abuse, after a good few decades. This fish-eagle is a sign of growth and good health, but it has taken so long to reach that stage. With the accelerating rate of development here, places starting to grow back can be destroyed in a matter of months, or places that have been left alone for as long as Singapore has had a history just as easily become the new sight of a highway (*cough cough* BUKIT BROWN *cough cough*). The stark beauty of Singapore Quarry shouldn’t serve as a proof of humanity’s ambition, but rather as a reminder of the cost of it.

Eyeing the Greenery

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A recent trip to the Dairy Farm Nature Reserve with NSS yielded this Green-crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella). These beautiful reptiles are usually found solely within primary and secondary forest but can be found in disturbed areas as well. When they feel threatened, they turn brown; however, these stunning creatures’ population here is steadily decreasing due to competition with the more adaptable Changeable Lizard.