Every morning on Thursdays and Saturdays, there will be a group of bird enthusiasts gathering at the void deck of Blk 39A with half dozen to a dozen cages of birds. Watching the birds dance and listening to their crisp and clear whistling, many Queenston residents found friends and soul mates here. It is believed that the low ceiling and many pillars around Blk 39A provide a conducive environment for birds to sing a melody gleefully. And many residents are captivated by the unique attraction at the void deck and join the group. Mr Lee Cheng Aik, 55, is one of them
Mr Lee and his prized asset
Mr Lee resides in Blk 90, Commonwealth Drive for the past 20 years. He is married with a son who serves the national service and another who studies in a polytechnic. Initially, his family members was apprehensive of his unusual hobby but adapt to it. He used to live in a kampung at Bukit Merah before shifting to Queenstown. Occasionally, he would visit Tiong Bahru during the weekends during his younger days to the bird shop with his friends. He found these birds cute and interesting and grew a liking for them. Now, he will bring his prized assets to a neighbourhood town garden in Ang Mo Kio for Birds Competition.
"I buy my bird food at Clementi. There is also one gigantic shop that sells all kinds of bird food and bird species at Serangoon. Once in a while, I will stock get there for some special food for my birds. A packet of birds can last for 3 weeks for my 6 birds."
Having birds can be a 'hazard' to the family or the neighbours but Mr Lee explained that these birds are inactive at night unless a slight disturbance that will make them "hyper" again! All these years, his neighbours did not complain about his hobby because he keep his birds inside his home instead of hanging along the corridor because that is unhygienic. He makes it a point to clean the cages every night.
"Listening to the birds can help me relieve stress and provide a source of get away from all my problems in life. I share a special relationship with these birds. They give me joy, give me inspiration and it's a pity I can't share this joy with my friends any longer once the building is demolished. I wonder if there's a possibility of setting up a bird garden nearby. There are certain aspects of Queenstown that makes this place unique. And Bird Watching is a part of this heritage."
The stretch of corridor where the bird watching takes place