Bidadari Hillock to be retained as a Bird Sanctuary.

9th June 2016.

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The boarded up “valley” section to facilitate drainage works. The hillock is on the left.

This morning members of the Nature Society (Singapore)’s Conservation Committee and Bird Group made a site visit to the old Bidadari Muslim Cemetery with the planners, architects, engineers and landscape contractors from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and staff from the National Parks Board (NParks). The purpose of the visit is to mark out the boundaries of the hillock where most of the migrant species were found. The hillock is centered around the “Bida Studio” at the western end of Bidadari.

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Dr. Ho Hua Chew, Vice-chair of the NSS Conservation Committee with Ms. Lim Shu Ying, Director (Urban Design Dept.) Research and Planning HDB and her colleagues at Bidadari and Leong Kwok Peng, Chair of the Conservation Committee NSS (in yellow). Photo: Alan OwYong.

The HDB had agreed in our previous meeting to retain and keep this hillock largely untouched as a natural sanctuary. It will be part of the main 10 hectare park. We showed and explained to the planners the importance of keeping the different clusters of bushes and clumps that are frequented by migrant flycatchers, pittas and kingfishers. The trees will be retained for the mid-level species like the cuckoos, shrikes and paradise flycatchers to forage. Some of the fringing Albizias will be cut down for safety reasons. On the ground level, the weeds and grasses surrounding the bush and clump clusters will be allowed to grow as buffers with trimming done only in the open areas. All these measures will hopefully preserve much of the original character of this core area for the winter visitors and passage migrants that stop over here during the migration season.

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Housing and Development Board’s landscape planner and engineers marking the trees  to be retained.

The “valley” parallel to Upper Serangoon Road and a diagonal stretch across the cemetery has been boarded up to facilitate the construction of infrastructural work for the estate. The hillock and the “studio” where we do most of our birding is still accessible from the Bartley Road side. Even when work starts at the lower section along Bartley Road in the coming years, nature lovers will be able to walk through this hillock sanctuary to bird watch and photograph them. Hopefully some of the regular visitors will still return to this part of Bidadari.

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Dr. Ho Hua Chew pointing out the importance of keeping some of the Albizias for the foraging Black Bazas, nesting Changeable Hawk Eagles and other passerines. 

Even though we were not able to save all of the Muslim section of Bidadari, at least this core area will be kept “wild” to provide a refuge for our winter visitors to rest and refuel during their migration.

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9 thoughts on “Bidadari Hillock to be retained as a Bird Sanctuary.

  1. Brad Roach

    Well done. It is important that these efforts have been made to preserve such a unique area for Singapore’s birdlife and migratory species.

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    1. Alan OwYong Post author

      Thanks Brad, the key to this outcome was the Bird Group’s GPS mapping survey showing the location of the concentration of the migrants at the core area.

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  2. A. Doreen

    Congratulations and well done Dr Ho, Alan, Kwok Peng and Team!   Your dedicated perseverance and never-give-up attitude towards conservation in Singapore has not gone off unnoticed.

    Thank you and all the best,Doreen

    WordPress.com | Alan OwYong posted: “9th June 2016.The boarded up “valley” section to facilitate drainage works.This morning the Nature Society (Singapore)’s Conservation Committee members conducted a site visit at the old Bidadari Muslim Cemetery with the planners, architects engineer” | | Respond to this post by replying above this line |

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    | | | | Bidadari Hillock to be retained as a Bird Sanctuary. by Alan OwYong |

    9th June 2016.The boarded up “valley” section to facilitate drainage works.This morning the Nature Society (Singapore)’s Conservation Committee members conducted a site visit at the old Bidadari Muslim Cemetery with the planners, architects engineers and contractors from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and staff from the National Parks Board (NParks). The purpose of the visit is to mark out the boundaries of the hillock where most of the migrant species were found. The area is about 2 to 3 hectare in size centered around the “Bida Studio” at the western end of Bidadari.Dr. Ho Hua Chew, Vice-chair of the NSS Conservation Committee with Ms. Lim Shu Ying, Director (Urban Design Dept) research and Planning HDB and her colleagues at Bidadari with Leong Kwok Peng, Chair of the Conserrvation Committee NSS (in yellow).The HBD has agreed in our previous meeting to retain and keep this hillock untouched as a natural sanctuary. It will be part of the main 10 hectare park. We showed and explained to the planners the importance of keeping the different clusters of bushes and clumps that are frequented by migrant flycatchers, pittas and kingfishers. The trees will be retained for the mid-level species like the cuckoos, shrikes and paradise flycatchers to forage. On the ground level, the weeds and grasses surrounding the bush and clump clusters will be allowed to grow as buffers with trimming done only in the open areas. All these measures will hopefully preserve much of the original character of this core area for the winter visitors and passage migrants that stop over here during the migration season.Housing and Development Board’s architects and planners marking the boundaries of the hillock.The “valley” parallel to Upper Serangoon Road and a diagonal stretch across the cemetery has been boarded up to facilitate the construction of a road through the new estate. The hillock and the “studio” where we do most of our birding is still accessible from the Bartley Road side. Even when work starts at the lower section along Bartley Road in the coming years, nature lovers will be able to walk through this hillock sanctuary to bird watch and photograph them. Hopefully some of the regular visitors will still return to this part of Bidadari.Dr. Ho Hwa Chew pointing out the importance of keeping some of the Albizias for the foraging Black Bazas, nesting Changeable Hawk Eagles and other passerines. Even though we were not able to save all of the Muslim section of Bidadari, at least this core area will be kept “wild” to provide a refuge for our winter visitors to rest and refuel during their migration. Alan OwYong | June 9, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Tags: Bidadari | Categories: Conservation | URL: http://wp.me/p4VGho-1Xk | Comment |    See all comments |

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  3. David N Chai

    Well done, “Nature Society (Singapore)’s Conservation Committee.” Its badly needed for SG Birders as we have very little location for taking nature picture. This inclusive of birds and Bugs.
    Your efforts appreciated.

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