shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

New camera at Jurong Bird Park // Shades of Yingshiong


More photos in Flickr folder 20130409 Jurong Bird Park

You recalled my last entry.

Half the time I was moaning at how heavy an SLR and SLRs seemed to get heavier and heavier each time I carried that about. The other half the time in that blog, I was moaning how wanting those compact camera was in the quality of photos taken, especially of wild birds on long distance shots. Even of beasties such as that beautiful colugo at near finger touching range and in low light condition, the compact camera was found wanting.

I half toyed in my mind about once again getting an SLR. Then I thought again how I had bought and given away Nikon and other good SLRs to friends, to son, or used as door stops. And would that be the same fate for the SLR that I wanted to buy?

An old friend on my list as if he read my mind wrote to me he had the same problems in the past in love/hate relationship with SLR/compact camera.

He is Chiu San, a well known aviculturist and an avid wild bird watcher in Singapore. I had mentioned him before such as his defense of chicken feed in
In defence of chicken feed // LiBai // Shama singing competition at Bishan

He was also a camera man which I was not since using SLR as door stop and then arm twisting my son to accept that as a gift. For all I know, my son used that as doorstop in his apartment.

He wrote to me of the new (new to me) micro four thirds, an intermediate between SLR and compact, designed for those with love/hate relationship with SLR/compact. That was a revelation to me. First time I ever heard of micro four thirds. Something lighter than SLR, with interchanging lenses and good quality shots.

I googled and googled and pondered . I knew I would be travelling about and I would like to take better shots than with my Canon IXUS. I went to the shops to hold and feel the cameras.

And bought myself an Olympus Pen PL5 with silver body and two lenses. A 14-42mm and a 40-150mm. That will be equivalent of SLR 28-84mm and 80-300mm. And a lot lighter than SLRs. So those reading me and with love/hate relationship with SLR/compact, you might think of this too. I had thought Olympus died in financial fiascos. But I was wrong, and Olympus was at the forefront of M43. I used to have Olympus digital in early days with Tinkerbell. And I liked the shots and color taken then.

I charged up the battery and shot and shot my cats, my books , and other stuff. I took that camera with me everytime I went out to shoot and shoot anything that move and things that do not move.
Seen those shots and deleted all of them to shoot and shoot again. That was to get the feel of the camera. Found the lithium battery BLS5 can allow 500 shots to be taken and recommended to have a spare battery. I called up the shop and was told a ear popping price of SGD80 a battery. I fired up Alibaba and checked on Internet a battery equivalent was USD 10.6 with free shipping and ordered that. I then recalled my wife telling me one of her Alibaba purchase came 6 weeks later. I then went to Sim Lim Square and found a shop selling BLS5 equivalent for SGD 18. So I bought that in case the China battery come to me 6 weeks late and I needed a spare battery before I go off in a few days time (An email came to me today my order already mailed and on way to me).

I got to say I really liked the way the Olympus PL5 handled. In taking the camera with me, I was experimenting the ways I could carry that camera in a small Lowepro zipped up camera case. With aid of my trusty Dyneema lines, I came to a nice compromise where the Lowepro camera case could be attached to the front of my backpack for easy taking of the camera, or kept in the backpack.

I was looking for a bino, a Nikon Action Extreme 7x35, highly recommended by a birdwatching society for weight, quality and cost. I could not find that yet.

I wrote I got myself one year free entries into the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park as I decided I will not be getting any birdie until I know I am more permanent in a place.

And so it was on 2013, April 09 that I went to the Jurong Bird Park to try out my Olympus PL5. The last time I was there was in 2008 April 9th with my wife to see Yingshiong. That was exactly 5 years ago. I only realised this when I was editting this after I incorrectly listed 13 april was the time I went, changed that to 9th April in checking when the photos were taken.
Shama Yingshiong - Final Closure

I did not go back to Jurong Bird Park since then. I was not even certain if Yingshiong was still there.
This entry to JBP was to test fire the new camera and with the telephoto lens.

Please excuse this rather average camera man holding that good camera. How average I was/am can be seen the shots were all taken under auto mode of the camera, basically making the camera a point and shoot camera.

I went there at about 230pm. Since I have a year pass, it did not matter if I went there late. For you folks coming to Singapore and visiting the Jurong Bird Park, you should plan on coming here early in the day and spending the entire day here. I was here just to test my camera out and visited just a few of the many exhibits here.

Still here are some opening photos



The owl was in a very very low light environment to simulate night time. Of course, it will be unthinkable for me to use flash. The owl photos were better than I expected. But bloody hell! Olympus PL5 was not cheap.


The conures were behind wire meshes. The camera kept focusing on the wire mesh. I then made the camera focused on equivalent distance on bush, and with button half depressed, turned on the conures which then focused on them and blurring the wire. This was done later to the hornbills and toucans and others.

The ibises were shot through plate glass window




Next was the walk in enclosures of the Emporer pigeons

The Victoria Crowned Pigeons


The common Crowned Pigeons


Sheepmaker's Crowned Pigeons


Bird of Paradise was also a walked in aviary.

Forgot the name below. It was shot at extreme focus of SLR 300mm equivalent and it was dark there with rain clouds above and in my unsteady hand. I think the auto stabilisation could do only so much.


Hornbills and toucans

I had to focus outside the cage to equivalent distance and then holding that focus to blur out the wire mesh








Beautiful Rhino Hornbill (I think)

Cock of the rock at extreme distance and dark conditions.


3 pm was the time the free flights of birds were done.

I had difficulty in following the birds in flights and almost all the photos were binned, about 200++

Here are a couple of shots



Then it was time for me to go to the South East Asian exhibit where Yingshiong will be, if he was still there.


Reeves pheasant on way to the shama

Racquet tail Drongo on way to shama. This used to be so common in the forest reserves when I was younger. Beautiful bird with metallic call. Never seen or heard them in forest reserves the times I went there.


A very friendly straw headed bubul. He was first on my hand, but with the tele lens, I could not focus on him until he came to my toes.



And then I was at the shama aviary.



I was excited. I liked to think that was Yingshiong. I called out "Yingshiong Yingshiong come come come"
He looked steadily at me. I called again, and again. I was imagining he was Yingshiong. I thought he forgotten about me. I could not blame him. I had not seen him for years. I thought about seeing him each time I was back.

He could not have known it was too painful for me to see him. That it was not because I did not care for him or forgot him that I did not come to see him. It was still very sad to see his cold shouldering of me.

I called again to see his indifference to me.

Then I noticed a flicker at the far end of the cage. Another shama was at the far end. I called Yingshiong.

And that shama at the far end flew, remaining at far end. My throat was up in my mouth.
I called again to see him flying about. I stood there and waited a while. The earlier shama flew off. And then the one at the back came to where the earlier shama was.




I truly like to think the 2nd one was my Yingshiong. Yingshiong had a way of hanging his wings low to show more of the white of his white rumped. Sadly, I seldom shot YS when his back was to me. But here is one

See archive photos of Yingshiong


and some of his songs

I have no way of knowing. I could have asked JBP people. Those I known have left. Would they know of one tiny bird in their collection of truly awesome birds? YS might not mean anything to them even if Yingshiong meant more to me than to them.

Partly might be my own cowardice. What if I was told YS died?
Would it be good to ask?

The clouds above started to open up. I had to leave, knowing I have a year pass to be back.

I passed an aviary when I turned my head. That was an Asian Fairy Bluebird. I knew that could not be Oberon.
But you all will understand I had to take a photo even though the rains were coming down strong


I then had keep my Olympus to protect it from the rain and ran to the exit.

In a few days, I will be going to Pangkor Island opposite Lumut to check out that place. And if that oter BLS5 battery get to me before that, it will be great. If not, I do have a spare.

More photos in Flickr folder 20130409 Jurong Bird Park

14 Apr 2013

I have kicked Old Nic for One miraculous year, two incredible months, two wonderful weeks, three luvly days, 20 bloody hours, 12 misc minutes and 15 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 22584 cigarettes not smoked, saving $11,857.09. Life saved: 11 weeks, 1 day, 10 hours, 0 minutes.

LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —

Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

Durrell-life member
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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