Tag Archives: Slender Squirrel

Hooters, Flutters and Lemurs at the Durian Loop.


The normally quiet Durian Loop is where one goes for free durian during the season. But earlier this month, a pair of Brown Hawk Owls were spotted roosting there. The Sunda Scops and the Buffy Fish Owls fever at the Singapore Botanic Gardens had cooled down. This has become the next challenge and a chance to get our only hawk owl on our sensors in the daytime.

Tree Hugger Male
Common Housefly more at home in the forest.

Depending on your luck, they can be either perched high up near the canopy, calling inside the forests or sitting pretty in plain sight. Shooting owls in the daytime requires a little more patience than shooting other birds. They spent most of the time sleeping. You will just have to wait for them to wake up and preen once in a while.

Slender Squirrel looking for divine intervention.
Slender Squirrel looking for divine intervention.

But most times, it was a waiting game just to get a small window and a few record shots. Luckily the other forest citizens were around to keep us busy during the wait. We had the Malayan Colugo and Long-tailed Macaques to shoot.  Then a Slender Squirrel came around and started going round the tree trunks. Closer to the ground, a male Tree Hugger and Common Housefly gave us a chance to practice our marco shooting. Greater Racket-tailed Drongos and a bathing Little Spiderhunter kept some of us busy.

This part of the forest is still rich in bird and mammal life even though it is a little fragmented. A new club house is almost completed just outside along the main road. Lets hope that that would be the last development here.

The Common Tree Shrew at Hindhede Nature Park

Tree Shrew at Hindhede

Birding in the forests in Singapore has other rewards if you tune your senses to things happening around you. It was one of those days at Hindhede Nature Park this morning when the birds were slow and everything was quiet. Even the resident Colugos were hiding. That was until I saw a small mammal running along a dead tree truck on the ground. I thought it was a Plantain Squirrel. Then I saw the long pointed snout and realized that it was a Common Tree Shrew Tupia glis. This is the only tree shrew in Singapore and are found inside the Central Catchment and mature secondary forests. It is active during the day moving around looking for seeds, fruits and insects. Despite its name it is not that commonly seen as they are wary of any movements. This my first decent photo of this tree shrew, which is placed in a genus of its own: Scandentia.

Slender Squirrel at Hindhede                                        Not to be left out this Slender Squirrel was jumping from branch to branch a few meters away. As you can see it has a more rounded head when compared to the tree shrews. The tail is long and bushy. It is also smaller than the more common Plantain Squirrels and does not move out of the mature secondary forests. The greyish white underside is one feature to separate it from the Plantain. These are the only two native squirrel species in Singapore.

This nature park is full of surprises and is a great birding spot during the migration season. The Orange-headed Thrush stayed around for two weeks last month together with the more skittish Hooded Pitta. One of the easiest place to see the globally threatened Straw-headed Bulbuls.

Reference: Wildlife Singapore. Ecology Asia.