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Going Wild at Pun Hlaing Estate and StarCity with Jon Skipper

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

MINGALABAR, Hello & Welcome to the October edition of GOING WILD.

I hope you all had a great September, with the best of the monsoon behind us we can now start planning some GOING WILD activities for the months ahead.

One suggestion I’ve received is to organise a sunrise nature walk at Star City, taking in the sights of the golf course and riverfront where many of the species that have been featured so far can be viewed. A time & date for this will be posted next month.

If you have any other requests or ideas you’re very welcome to send them to me via my email address which you’ll see at the end of this issue.

To start us off this month we have something a little different, this interesting, coloured pencil and felt tip pen image of the Pun Hlaing Estate Hornbill who’s now been named Penny, perched in her favourite tree with a bright blue sky and some lush, green palm trees in the background, expertly drawn by one of our younger readers, local resident Isla.

Penny - The Pun Hlaing Hornbill

This is the first drawing I’ve been sent for GOING WILD and I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone who has an artistic flair that it would be great to receive more. This will enable others to understand which animals and flowers you find the most exciting and interesting.

Next up are a collection of photographs featuring three different species of butterflies which were beautifully captured by another resident of Pun Hlaing Estate, Arti Maholtra.

Swallowtail Butterfly

Queen Butterfly

Emperor Butterfly

These butterflies along with many other species can be spotted all over the Pun Hlaing & StarCity Estates and attracting them into your home can be done quite simply by introducing some additional flowering plants into your garden or balcony display.

Oriental Garden Lizard

I was fortunate enough to take the above photograph of this female Oriental Garden Lizard after I discovered her stuck in a bucket of rainwater she’d fallen into outside my office. Usually these athletic looking lizards can be seen sunning themselves on the road or searching for insects in vegetation, moving so rapidly when disturbed that it’s almost impossible to see any of their amazing details. However this little lady needed some help and was easy to catch and photograph.

Being a reptile and therefore cold blooded she was a bit slow and drowsy at first, so I warmed her up in my hand until she let me know she was ready to go by swishing her elegant, long tail around. I released her into some nearby undergrowth and she darted off quite happily as though nothing had ever happened.

I especially liked looking at her ink black and bright gold coloured eyes up close, she looked so intelligent & fearless and I enjoyed our brief encounter immensely.

Praying Mantis

A majestic looking Praying Mantis was spotted on our balcony at LakeView Apartments - Pun Hlaing Estate, after a massive thunderstorm.

He wasn’t looking too happy after being rained on so heavily so I placed him in my wife’s potted herb garden where he soon settled in, adopting this rather striking pose. He’ll be ready to give her a nice surprise the next time she goes to pick some basil leaves for one of her recipes... 😎

Praying Mantis’s can appear quite fierce but they aren’t venomous and don’t sting or bite humans.

They’re extremely good at controlling pests in the garden, so if you’re lucky enough to see one it’s best to just leave him to carry on with his business of hunting beetles and caterpillars... and posing. 

Climbing Perch

This Climbing Perch was shimmying through some puddles after a recent downpour. These fish are able to walk on land using their fins as legs and surprisingly can live out of water for up to ten days.

The spiked tips of their dorsal & pectoral fins can inflict a nasty jab so if you happen to see one it’s best just to look and not touch. 

They can also be dangerous to predators who attempt to eat them as they are able to puff out their razor sharp gill covers, causing the other animals to choke when swallowing them. 

Click on the video of him sprinting along the roadside. 

Blue Tailed Bee Eater

Finally for this month, regular contributor Uncle Potato has provided the above watercolour painting of one of his favourites StarCity birds, a Blue Tailed Bee Eater

These elegant, colourful birds enjoy open countryside and can frequently be seen perched on branches, fences and telephone wires. 

When in flight they have a very distinctive shape, with broad, sharply pointed wings and a long tail. Their flying style is quite unusual as they tend to take off and then glide, catching insects, including bees whose stings they’re able to remove with their long beaks, on the wing. 

That’s it for October, again I’d just like to express my gratitude to everyone who provided submissions this month. The popularity of GOING WILD is rapidly increasing and it’s all thanks to the involvement of our readership so please continue sending your entries to me at

Join us again next month for another edition of GOING WILD. 

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