Crimson Sunbird

Aethopyga siparaja

The Mandai Gardens in Singapore was established as a commercial orchid flower business in 1950 by John Laycock, a British lawyer. It was subsequently expanded into one of the most successful cut-flower and live orchid exporters in the world by his daughter and her husband, Amy and John Ede, both of whom I knew well. This basically is where I began my love of bird photography, having selected this Crimson Sunbird as one of my first subjects and having learnt that Mandai Garden was the best spot to see it. This was also the place where I first met Chng Peng Eik, one of Singapore's top photographers, and he showed me my 70 - 200mm zoom lens was nowhere near enough glass to pursue this hobby at a serious level. I have thanked him elsewhere on this website, and I thank him again here for all his help.

Sadly, the Singapore Zoo bought this leasehold land for their own expansion in 2011 from the last owners, an architect and a stock broker from Singapore, both of whom I also knew well. Thus, Mandai Gardens was closed for good. It really was a Sunbird haven.