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Going Wild at Pun Hlaing Estate and StarCity with Jon Skipper

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

Mingalabar, hello and welcome to the very first edition of GOING WILD, YOMA Land’s very own natural history blog.

Every month we’ll be showcasing some of the amazing wildlife that can be found at either Pun Hlaing Estate, Star City or both, so everyone will have a chance to keep an eye out for the many species of flowers, trees and animals which will be highlighted.

Starting us off for July is one of the most spectacular birds that can be observed in Southeast Asia, THE BURMESE ROLLER.

Burmese Roller

The Burmese Roller is around 26–27 cm long and is difficult to confuse with any other species, as although it can’t be identified from its melodious song like some of the other birds which make Pun Hlaing and Star City their homes, having instead a harsh, crow - like call, it’s plumage is a fantastic range of vivid hues which include it’s deep cobalt and pale blue wings, a sky blue tail, a turquoise belly and a purplish, lilac throat.

These colours are particularly noticeable when the bird is in flight and throughout the March to July breeding season, during which males take part in impressive, aerobatic displays involving dives, twists and turns as part of their courtship rituals, and it’s from these that this bird gained its English name.

They can be commonly seen in open grassy areas which make our Golf Courses and the surrounding areas an ideal habitat for them to thrive in.

Each month, to encourage the participation of our readers GOING WILD will invite residents and guests to send in a photograph, drawing or painting of an animal, tree or flower with a few lines explaining where they saw it and why they chose it, so why not get started right away and send your entries to

Plains Cupid Butterfly

This month Araya, age 11, from Lakeview Apartments, Pun Hlaing Estate has provided us with the above photograph which she took on her iPhone of a Plains Cupid butterfly which she saw on her balcony.

Araya said “this butterfly was so, so tiny but when I zoomed in I really liked the colours of its body and wings.”

Green Bee Eater

Another Pun Hlaing resident known only as Uncle Potato sent in the following article after a visit to Star City on the 14th July.

Heavy rain showers with light warm wind. A time when many Burmese birds start thinking about breeding!

As always a variety of bee-eaters take advantage in gaps in the rain to take any flying insects and often beetles they see on the ground. During the rain they sit patiently on the electrical wires staring into space with drops falling from their curved beaks, ready to zoom off into action as soon there is a gap in the weather.

Heavy rains every day are good news for the anything that likes small frogs. As well as many egrets we are seeing many Grey Herons plus the rare Purple Heron feeding on half inch baby frogs that are plentiful at lake edges on the golf course as evening approaches and the golfers head off for a beer.

Purple Heron

The Scaly Breasted Munia’s are building their beautiful tiny ball shaped nests wherever they feel safe. The pairs are very cheerful and industrious with glossy black beaks and a wonderful silver fish scale patterned waistcoat.

Scaly Breasted Munia

There are about 2 pairs of red whiskered bulbuls that live in the yellow palms between A2 and the canal. Lively and with a distinctive and rather snappy feather crest they look pretty cool with their red underpants and sunglasses setting off the white belly and brown black. When it stops raining they sing their hearts out. A lovely musical and varied letting everyone know it’s the breeding season.

Red Whiskered Bulbul

And finally, as always there are solitary Greater Coucal. A badly put together great lump of a bird, brown at one end and black at the other. Perched uncertainly on a small branch it always looks like it is about to fall off. On the ground it stumps about untidily turning over dead leaves while uttering a depressing and penetrating series of moans. Any area that is messy will do for them as long as there are no dogs.

Greater Coucal

Ko Ro Kim of Pun Hlaing Landscaping captured this video of a Greater Hornbill whilst carrying out tasks at Jasmine Gardens. This year Greater Hornbills have been seen in numerous parts of Pun Hlaing Estate, especially across the Golf Course and clambering amongst the flame trees opposite Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospital. The vulnerable conservation status of Greater Hornbills means that we’re extremely fortunate that these impressive creatures have chosen to share Pun Hlaing with us, and we are hoping that some of the specimens which have been spotted so far pair up during the monsoon season to increase their numbers.

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