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N. Sivasothi,
a.k.a. Otterman,
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Wed 31 Jan 2007

The Yellow-bellied Prinia on Explore Singapore!

Category : tvradio

Explore Singapore! is a television show that was broadcast late last year, taking viewers on an investigative journey through many of Singapore's museums.

I just watched the 11 Jan 2007 episode that featured the Raffles Museum along with the Sports Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum and the Museum of Shanghai Toys.

It was an easy glimpse of the four museums, enough to whet your appetite, and I'm planning to go on more museum visits this year, if not during roundtable meetings then on my own.

In light of this objective, and the dazzling speed at which this project was put together, there is a long-winded approach in order to show off the museums.

For example, the investigative couple visit this natural history museum in search for answers about a bird stamp.

However, they first walk through the Public Gallery, examine the 1986 East Coast Black Marlin and 1883 Siglap Leathery Turtle (actual specimens are on display) complete with a sombre conservation message (e.g. see this), stroll through the Wet Collection, examine Wallace's flycatcher and some songbirds.

All without showing museum staff the stamp! In the story, it eventually doesn't matter since the clue was in the Chinese phrase for "songbird".

Well the bird stamp tickled my interest when I watched the episode and the screen grab reveals it to be the Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris). Here is more information about the bird at Naturia.

Here are a couple of lovely photos of the bird by Paul Huang of Naturestops, taken at Punggol Grasslands in 2005 (click for larger images):

Quite a number of Singapore birds have been featured in stamps before. Hop over to bird-stamps.org and take a closer look. Have you seen them all in the wild?

My favourite has to be the distinctive 1966 blue stamp featuring a Black-naped tern; a childhood favourite. See the Changi Heritage webpage.

Posted at 9:51AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news