Choa Chu Kang Park

Choa Chu Kang Park is a public park situated in the north-western part of Singapore within the residential town of Choa Chu Kang.

Though not a large park, it offers various recreational facilities, including walking and jogging paths…

…fitness corners and children’s playgrounds…

…open spaces and shelters for picnics and relaxation…

…a Therapeutic Garden where park-goers can sit, relax and enjoy the trickling sound of a water feature….

…and a community garden where those with a passion for gardening have the opportunity to lease gardening plots, hone their gardening skills and cultivate a variety of greens and plants of their choice.

A plethora of lush greenery within the park serves as a haven for diverse bird species, making it a charming spot for birdwatchers to relish the melodious chorus of chirping during the early mornings and evenings.

Among the common birds that reside in the park, we’ve had the pleasure of encountering the Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)

…the Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis)

…the Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis)

…and the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

…whom we caught during his busy time, diligently hunting for breakfast.

While ambling along the park path, we ran into a juvenile Malaysian Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) who looked like it had just recently fledged and was wandering around aimlessly hunting for food on its own.

A few paces away, we spotted a younger juvenile Malaysian Pied Fantail perched in its nest, looking somewhat oversized and struggling to fit comfortably inside…

…and the hapless parent attempting, with some difficulty, to hold the young one down.

During the bird migratory season from September to April, a variety of migrant birds can be sighted here in Choa Chu Kang park. A regular winter visitor of the park is the Brown-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris), who usually starts making its way here from July onwards.

Other migratory birds that we have seen here include the Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis)…

…the Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris)

…and the Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus). Although Brown Shrikes are very common winter migrants to Singapore, this particular shrike that we spotted here at Choa Chu Kang Park happens to be the much rarer Philippines race (Lanius cristatus lucionensis), which shows a slate-grey crown instead of the usual brown.

Choa Chu Kang park has managed to preserve its rural heritage, once flourishing with kampong villages and crop plantations. The word “chu” represents a well-established clan. The name “kangchu” refers to the early Chinese settlers who made their homes along the river, Sungei Berih.

A modest and unassuming opening at the side of a path beckons us into a winding forest trail tucked away in the park’s eastern section.

Venturing in leads to an entirely different realm, a world where peculiar and thriving creatures abound…

…and curious, unusual miniature durians litter the forest bed.

Deep inside the forest, perching and preening high up in a tree was a Banded Woodpecker (Chrysophlegma miniaceum), which kept us entertained for a while.

After a brief hike, the trail eventually guides us back into the bright civilised world.

On the southern side of the park, a bridge runs across a serene stream, inviting us into another wooded area…

…that exudes an enchanting and mystical atmosphere.

As we strolled along the bridge, the distinctive call of the Changeable Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus) captured our attention. Gazing up at the surrounding trees, we soon noticed the magnificent eagle perching regally beneath the shelter of a Flame of the Forest tree.

Just a short distance away, we spotted a sizable, twig-laden nest that served as the home for a young Changeable Hawk-eagle.

We had initially thought that this small neighbourhood park nestled in a densely populated residential estate wouldn’t offer much excitement for us nature enthusiasts. However, every time we visit, the park constantly amazes us with the abundant array of bird species and diverse wildlife thriving in its rich greenery and varied habitat.