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GOING WILD with Jon Skipper

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


This month we’ve had some cracking submissions from friends of the blog who are residents at our YOMA Land developments and starting us off this month is something extra special ....


ORIENTAL DARTER or SNAKE BIRD


These beautiful photographs of an Oriental Darter were captured by keen wildlife photographer and longtime contributor to GW - Arti Maholtra - at the lake which runs along the entrance road to Pun Hlaing Estate and Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospital.


These rarely sighted, elegant birds wait patiently while perched on a tree branch or wading into shallow water, remaining completely motionless until their unsuspecting prey swims close enough for them to rapidly strike out with their pointed bills and capture the unsuspecting fish or frog who ventured too close.


The subtle, muted colouring of this bird is what makes it so visually appealing but its graceful shape hides its real nature as that of a true predator.



I spotted one on the other side of Pun Hlaing Estate taking off and managed to take the above shot using my iPhone.


It’s nowhere near as good as Arti’s but just goes to show that anyone can get published in GOING WILD !


FLAME TREE


Conspicuous throughout our Estates, these trees were planted many years back and the now mature specimens really come into their own at this time of year, providing a vision of brightness and instilling a sense of joy to all those who behold them.


BRAHMINY BLIND SNAKE


Sam a resident at Star City, sent me this photo a few months back and I’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to use it.


These tiny reptiles are completely harmless and burrow into the soil much the same way as earthworms do, however upon closer inspection they have miniaturised scales and tiny mouths.


There are many non-venomous snakes such as these all over this region and they play an important part in the biodiversity of their habitats, so please think twice before being unnecessarily unkind to them.


BANDED BULLFROG


The Banded Bullfrog is also known as the Asian Painted Frog, Rice Frog, Bubble Frog and in the pet trade the Chubby Frog !


They can be commonly seen in the evenings, especially after a downpour which is when I saw this little specimen dawdling across the road, picked him up and placed him safely on the grass verge, ready for a quick photoshoot.


If threatened these amphibians are able to puff themselves up as this one has done, making them look less of an easy target to a passing snake or crow.


OLIVE BACKED SUNBIRD


These sprightly little birds often gather in small family groups and can be heard before they’re seen, using their shrill, high pitched, monotonous calls to let each other know where they are. Pictured here is a female but look out for the male with his iridescent purple breast feathers.


WHITE BREASTED WATER HEN


Usually shy by nature Water Hen’s often lurk at the waters edge amongst reeds and lillies, however the neatly manicured roundabouts and lawns around the Star City and Pun Hlaing Estate’s seem to invoke a sense of adventure in them and they can often be spotted feeding on insects and worms in the short grass before jerkily running off into the undergrowth to hide once they’ve been disturbed.


GOLDEN TREE FROG


This little frog was spotted hiding amongst some orchids which had been grafted onto a palm tree.


They go by many names but I like this one the best, I never tire of looking at their bulbous, golden rimmed eyes.


GREATER COUCAL


We’ve featured this bird before but until now I’d never seen such an amazing close up photograph of one, bringing it into a whole new dimension.


The vivid scarlet eyes, long eyelashes and detailed feathers really stand out in this amazing picture.


ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN


Popular as cagebirds across Asia due to their beautiful songs and bold personalities Magpie Robins can be found almost everywhere across our Estates including gardens and throughout the Golf Courses.


They are extremely territorial and can often be seen chasing one another during the breeding season which is finishing around this time as the impending monsoon gathers momentum.


RED VENTED BULBUL NESTLINGS


I spotted these little nestlings whilst visiting our Pun Hlaing Estate Security Team during the lockdown.


Their parents were eagerly flying around capturing insects to satisfy their ravenous appetites and when I visited again a couple of weeks later they’d both fledged and the nest was empty.


Let’s wish them all the best.


SUNFLOWER


Many of these glorious Sunflowers could be seen last month at the Going Wild outdoor refreshment venue, Pun Hlaing Estate.


Seeds were sown in the Community Garden planter boxes by residents and staff and were then meticulously cared for by members of our very own Estate Landscaping Team.


MARRAYA GRANDE


Not truly wild but too hard to ignore, the delicate flowers of this shrub look so fresh against the vivid green leaves, especially after an impromptu rain shower, and I thought it would be a nice note to go out on this month.


I hope you enjoyed reading GOING WILD, many thanks again to Sam, Arti and all the other contributors.


Don’t be shy, take a good look around you, you’ll be surprised at what you can see, then send your contributions for next months issue directly to me at -


jonathanskipper@yomaland.com


Be well, keep safe and take care.


Wildlife loves social distancing and so should you !


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