Dubai, city of the future

Keen-eyed regular readers of Green Path may have noticed that my recent posts about my European holiday were time-reversed as compared to the holiday itself. This post completes the sequence in that it begins in Dubai, the first stopover on the trip. However, it isn’t really about Dubai but about climate change and what it may mean to us in daily life. The connection is personal but direct.  Continue reading “Dubai, city of the future”

Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

Park logo and parrots
The parrots are real

The last stage of my recent holiday was a two-day stop-over in Singapore. It gave me time (at last) to get to the Jurong Bird Park, some distance (by Singapore standards) from the city centre – about an hour by train and bus.

It was well worth the effort. The park is beautifully laid out and maintained (everything in Singapore is well maintained), and the birdlife on display is stunningly beautiful. Flamingos? Three species. Parrots? Too many to count, and including lots of South American and African species as well as the Aussies. Birds of prey? Of course, and a falconry museum to go with them. Toucans and hornbills? Marabou Stork? Ostrich? Of course. Penguins? Yes – four or five species in an large airconditioned building with a glass-walled pool so we could see them ‘flying’ under water.

The photos below are merely a small selection of the many I took on the day. Clicking on any of them will open a larger version and let you view all of them as a slideshow, as usual.

Penguins – King, Humboldt and (in the background) Fairy
pink flamingoes
The brightly coloured Caribbean Flamingo.
grey wading birds
Grey Crowned-crane
yellow bird
A smaller bird, local or exotic, found flying freely around the park
Feeding time in the Pelican Pool.
The local mynahs are black and charcoal rather than black and brown but are the same as ours in all other ways
gold and green parrots
Golden Conures, from South America
Photo-op with Greater Flamingos
Photo-op with Greater Flamingos
Scheepmaker's Crowned Pigeon - a big bird, about the size of domestic hen
Scheepmaker’s Crowned Pigeon – a big bird, about the size of domestic hen


Butterflies at Changi

Airports are not nice places. They are people-processing facilities par excellence, designed for maximum efficiency, maximum control of the hordes of people who pass through them. “Getting stuck at the airport” is an acknowledged hazard of travelling by air, and no-one ever says they “had a great time at the airport” or visited an airport just for fun. That said, not all airports are equally soul-destroying. Singapore’s Changi, in fact, is not bad at all: if I had to get stuck at an airport, it would be my first choice. In fact, it was my first choice, since I picked it as our stop-over between here and Europe last month after comparing it against others endured on previous trips.

Why? In the first place, the background colour is not grim steel-and-concrete grey but a warm sandstone. In the second, they have gone to a lot of trouble to bring the natural world indoors. There is a whole wall of greenery in a large atrium and seven themed gardens (bamboo, Heliconia, cactus, sunflower, ferns and orchids), koi ponds and (the clincher for me) a two-storey-high tropical butterfly garden with its very own six-metre waterfall.

Click on these thumbnails for larger images.

Butterfly on feeder
Butterflies on feeder
waterfall in butterfly house
The waterfall in the butterfly house
Butterfly and maintenance team
Butterfly on staghorn, maintenance team in background
butterflies on feeder
Butterflies feeding on pineapple slices
pink orchids
Pitcher plants
Pitcher plants in the butterfly house