Bouquets: NParks implemented fair and orderly system for birdwatchers to take photographs

The very rare fairy pitta was sighted in Singapore for only the second time at Hindhede Nature Park on Oct 30.

This drove the birdwatching fraternity here into overdrive as bird enthusiasts descended the following day on the spot where it had been seen.

They inadvertently blocked the pedestrian footpath leading to the picturesque quarry and inconvenienced park users, to the extent that the National Parks Board (NParks) had to intervene by deploying officers to safe-manage the situation.

On previous occasions, NParks would normally just close off the entire area, to the annoyance of both birdwatching enthusiasts and park users alike.

However, to the pleasant surprise of birdwatchers, NParks divided the footpath into two, allowing birdwatching on one side and park users on the other.

It also implemented an orderly queueing system in which only 10 photographers were allowed at any one time for 15 minutes. Others had to wait their turn, and re-queueing was allowed as there was no guarantee of sighting the bird within the time allocated. This resulted in a very cordial atmosphere between birdwatchers and NParks officers.

Apart from carrying out the Covid-19 safe management measures, the officers also had to ensure that the 15-minute time limit was strictly adhered to. These tasks they did very politely.

The birdwatching fraternity would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the management and NParks team at Hindhede Nature Park for initiating and implementing this win-win situation in our City in Nature.

Art Toh Keng Jeow

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