Hutan Lipur Sungai Batang, Bekok – 23 April 2016

Bekok is a town located at the eastern side of the district of Segamat, Johor, Malaysia. It has a Recreation Rainforest known as Hutan Lipur Sungai Batang. It lies on the south western entrance to Taman Negara Endau Rompin, the second largest national park of West Malaysia. The locals go there to picnic and to dip into the cool fresh waters of the mountain stream.

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(Map leading to Bekok)

I joined Nature Photographic Society, Singapore on a macro photography outing here on 23 April 2016. This was my third trip to Bekok waterfalls. The meeting point was at the first Petron Petrol station after Tuas Second Link. 21 of us gathered at 6.45 am, drove to Kulai, Yon Lai Restaurant, for breakfast. Thereafter, we took the North-South Highway and exit at Yong Peng. Then moved north pass Chaah along Jalan Labis and arrived Bekok at 10.20 am, approximately 200 km of driving.

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(Breakfast at Kulai)

Before we commenced our photography, let us take group photo at the entrance of Bekok waterfalls.

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(Photo Credit : Tony Png)

There is a crystal clear stream near the entrance which was the main area for our macro photography.

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As in our previous outing, the Black-Spotted Rock frogs were plentiful mostly cling on rocks just above the swift flowing stream.

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(Black-spotted Rock frog)

When the frogs were in abundant, it was not difficult to spot 2 of them together.

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Frogs are photogenic subjects and it was no surprise to see our photographers trying to get the best angles.

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(Photographers in action)

We found a few Giant Asian Toads. They were huge and looked grouchy but still attracted many of us to photograph them.

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(Giant Asian Toad)

We spotted a few damselfly species. The most common one here should be Heliocypha perforata.  This is an elegant damselfly where the male as a distinctive blur markings on its thorax and abdomen.  The female, in comparison, is less colourful.

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(Heliocypha perforate, female)

One of the most interesting behaviours of this sun-loving species is when two males are involved in aerial territorial fight.  Getting both males sharp while they are fighting in mid-air are extremely difficult.

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Another gorgeous damselfly species is the common flashwing. It has metallic green colouration and  attractive clear wings that can sparkle with purplish iridescence when photographed at a correct angle with fill flash.

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(Common Flashwing, male)

Butterflies were not difficult to find too.

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(Lesser Darkwing)

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(Straight Pierrot)

There are many mini waterfalls, small in terms of height but not in terms of volume of water. Swift flowing stream making its way through numerous big and small boulders form the waterfall.

 

 

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We stopped for lunch at about 1 pm.  Most of us bought packet nasi lemak from Yon Lai Restaurant.

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After lunch, we walked through the forested path towards the upper stream where there are nicer refreshing waterfalls.

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Along the way, we spotted two lantern bugs. As they are very rare in Singapore, it was not surprising to see most of us taking turns to add this to our collection.

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(Lantern Bug)

At the upper stream, a small slender snake was spotted near the edge of the fast flowing water.  It should be a Haasi Bronzeback, a rare species of Dendrelaphis in Singapore.  It was extremely cooperative that didn’t move an inch for more than half an hour.  Here are two images, one taken with fill flash and the other with full flash.
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There are more waterfalls in the upper stream which were relatively taller and wider. Does it give you a sense of peacefulness and relaxation?

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We called it a day at about 4.30 pm. After washing up, the iMOG (Informal Macro Outing Group) leaders posed for a group photo.  This was their first overseas outing where all 7 leaders were present.

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(iMOG Leaders)

It was a tiring but rewarding trip. We headed back to Kulai for a well deserved yummy dinner!

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