Saturday, March 14, 2009

Highlights of Vertebrates of Sungei Buloh

Last Friday was the last day that we conduct the workshop for Yu Neng Primary School in the morning, and the guided walk for the nature explorers at Sungei Buloh. We saw lots of interesting animals, including several vertebrates that really made my day!

Smooth otters (Lutrogale perspicillata)
A total of 6 smooth otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) were spotted! As the name implies, this otter has a smoother and shorter coat of fur than other species. This is also the largest otter found in Southeast Asia.

Smooth otters (Lutrogale perspicillata)
I thought the way they swam and move about on land were rather interesting - it looked as if they had some kind of standard formation, like a section of army soldiers.

Smooth otters (Lutrogale perspicillata)
The otters stared at SY when he stepped on a branch.

Mating plantain squirrels (Callosciurus notatus)
Love was in the air, when we spotted a pair of plantain squirrels (Callosciurus notatus) mating. The male was thrusting rather vigorously, and the whole affair lasted for quite a few minutes.

After they are done, another squirrel joined in. I had thought that it's a rival male, but what they were doing appeared more like a courtship dance.

Managed to capture a video of it.

Plantain squirrels (Callosciurus notatus)
After sometime, the male actually went behind and hugged the new comer. Does that mean the latter is also a female? Been trying to google for the mating behaviour of plantain squirrels, but couldn't find any that says that the males can pair up with a few females at the same time. Hmm...

Plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus)
When I went back to look at them after a while, the male appeared to be rather exhausted and kept still on a branch. The female was also resting nearby.

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)
We were visited by 3 long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at the visitor centre. Fortunately, I did not see them eating any human food this time round, but were eating the fruits of the buah cheri tree (Muntingia calabura).

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)
They rested for a while on the roof of the cafeteria before they jumped off into the forest.

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)
Here a closer look at two of them. This monkey was described by Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles in 1821. It supposedly has the third largest range of any primate species, behind only humans and the rhesus macaque.

Common greenback frog (Rana erythraea)
Again, we saw a common greenback frog (Rana erythraea) in the freshwater pond. And again, it was out there under the hot sun.

Yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)
The yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) is one of the most common bird in Sungei Buloh. This bird has adjusted well to human presence and is commonly found in parks and gardens too.

Crimson sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)
I finally managed to get a decent photo of a crimson sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja). Most sunbirds feed on nectar, fruits and sometimes insects.

Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus)
The above are whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus), large waders with long down-curved bills to reach deep into the mud for little animals. They blend in so well to the surrounding mudflat that if they don't move, it will be quite difficult to spot them.

I thought it will be nice to end this entry with a migratory bird, since it's near the end of the bird migratory season, and these birds will be flying north soon. Well, guess we'll see them towards the end of the year again. The best time to see migratory birds in the reserve is from September to March.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks so much you gave me all the info i need