Hutan Panti Reserve just north of Kota Tinggi is still the closest birding site for the many of the lowland bird species that went extinct in Singapore over the past 50 years. Families like the trogons and broadbills come into mind. But it is also a place for some of the rare forest butterflies that cannot be found here.
I wish I had spent time looking for them during those early years when we were birding there. But it is not too late as many of the rare species are still there.
Last weekend we spent two mornings there. It was quite birdy. Two Scarlet-rumped Trogons showed up and a flowering Syzygium attracted spiderhunters and a Red-throated Sunbird. Collectively we had a total of 80 bird species, many from calls. But unfortunately no lifers for me.
It was a good thing that we went looking for butterflies as well. We found some rare ones and some real stunners. Most are new to me. Yes lifers! Here are a few that I managed to photograph.
The Arhopala trogon is rare but have been photographed at Panti before. So easy to overlook we are just lucky to find it.
The Sumatran Gem is uncommon in Panti, but rarer in Singapore, recently shot at Rifle Range Link.
The Great Marquis is a family new to me. Uncommon resident of lowland forest like Panti.
The Syszgiun flowers also attracted this female Great Helen and other butterflies to it. My first photo of this large butterfly. Uncommon in Singapore.
This badly shot oakblue is identified as the Large Metallic Oakblue. They all looked so similiar to me.
Ref: iNaturalist Butterflies of Malaysia.