Greenleaf Forest

Let me make this clear: I am not a morning person. I would be perfectly happy if no one woke me up ever again in my life.

However, sacrifices must be made for nature, so that’s why I often find myself cursing my alarm at 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday morning, sleepily pouring myself a bowl of cereal, and slipping my camera over my head, walking out the house before I realize I have forgotten the binoculars, leaving again before realizing I am missing a phone and thus a link to the outside world, and once again exiting before realizing my distinct lack of sunscreen.

I don’t have much time to feel sleepy, though, before I am busy examining a flower/butterfly/tree/piece of plastic that actually did look suspiciously like a bird.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Greenleaf Forest, a secondary growth forest located just off Sixth Avenue, with the amazing Lavanya Prakash of My Nature Experiences. We had been planning this for sometime but previously had been delayed by one thing or the other so it was lovely to finally meet.

An view of Greenleaf from the outside.

We were lucky to spot a Tembusu tree flowering there. Tembusus are further proof of the creativity of science: named for their fragnant flowers, their scientific name is Fagraea fragnans.

The flowering Tembusu illuminated against the morning sun.

However, flowers weren’t the only things on it! We spotted a bright red shield bug as well that quickly scurried away once he realized he had been exposed. Still not sure of its exact ID, though.

Mr Red

A multitude of smaller creatures followed– too many post, for sure. But what was most exciting was Greenleaf Forest’s highlight: a White-bellied Sea Eagle’s nest. Spotted on the last NSS Bird Group walk there because of the lack of trees due to the dry season, we were lucky enough to see the eagle flying around it as well! There is no other place where it would be possible to see it. It is a good kilometer away from Greenleaf, but because of the unique location of the forest, it’s possible to see it. It’s actually located along the Green Corridor, but because of the multitude of trees, it would be impossible to see it from there. I’m not going to post a picture of it because currently, I have a Find-it Friday ongoing. Can you spot it? Have a go and comment if you can!


We didn’t see many birds other than a few Scaly-breasted Munias, a pair of pigeons, some Asian Glossy Starlings, and the White-bellied Sea Eagle, due to the migratory season being complete, but butterlifes abounded. While we didn’t get to see a visiting Common Birdwing, an uncommon butterfly that is the only Singaporean species listed on the CITES checklist, we did see a Psyche, a Blue Glassy Tiger (that didn’t want to sit down), the eponymous Common Five-ring, a Tailless Line Blue, some species of Sailor (it was too far away to examine its markings), and a ‘lifer’ for me: a Striped Albatross.

The Striped Albatross perches on a leaf after a long chase.

Singapore being the industrial and rapidly developing city that it is, this visit was bittersweet. At some point in the future, this forest is likely going to be replaced by HDBs or houses or even worse, a shopping mall. Which, you know, sucks. I’ll keep posting pictures of my visits and I’ll keep hoping that one day Singaporeans will realize the value of what they have around them.


3 thoughts on “Greenleaf Forest”

  1. You nature types are insane, I swear. I mean, trust me, I’m all for pursuing your passion! BUT 6:30 IN THE MORNING. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. *looks around* *sneaks off to set alarm for 4 AM because that’s the only time the house is quiet enough to write* 😉


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