Monday, February 08, 2010

Crocodiles and Otters at Sungei Buloh

Made 3 trips to Sungei Buloh recently, and was really lucky to spot 2 crocodiles and several otters there!

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
Here's one of the Estuarine Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) that I spotted on Saturday.

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
And here's a close-up of it taken just now when it was right under the main bridge.

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
Here's the other crocodile which I photograph on Saturday. I personally thought this one has more yellowish/brownish coloration, while the previous one is more greyish in colour. Not sure if it was due to the sunlight or what.

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
When I saw it again earlier today, it appeared to be stalking a Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)! So guess Peiting might be right afterall!

Somehow, both crocodiles appeared to be keeping a safety distance between each other - either one on each side of the river bank, or each side of the bridge.

Smooth Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata)
And earlier, we were exceptionally lucky, as not only we saw 2 crocodiles, we saw a family of Smooth Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) too!

Smooth Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
They eventually decided to ran over to river to catch some fish to eat. Wow! The students with me were all really excited.

Kalak Kambing (Finlaysonia obovata)
Last Friday, before we went to Sungei Buloh, I managed to get Marcus to accompany me to go to Sungei Kadut to check out the Kalak Kambing (Finlaysonia obovata) there, and a number of them were flowering. While this climber is rather uncommon else where, there is a good population here, with more than 15 individuals. And that's before I eventually decided to stop counting.

Kalak Kambing (Finlaysonia obovata)
On Saturday, I also managed to get Peiting (thanks a million for providing the transport) to accompany me to check out Kranji Nature Trail, which I had spotted a Kalak Kambing previously. And it was actually fruiting with huge fruits! Somehow, the fruits always remind me of the Pringles moustache... There were lots of Red Weaver Ants (oecophylla smaragdina) on the fruits. Unfortunately, all the Kalak Kambing that I had spotted previously at Sungei Buloh were neither flowering nor fruiting. Still, I had taken a number of photos of the ones at Sungei Kadut and Kranji Nature Trail, so guess will put up a separate entry (update: the entry is up!) when I have the time.

Atlas moths (Attacus atlas)
Not too far away from the Kalak Kambing, we saw a pair of Atlas moths (Attacus atlas) mating! These moths are considered the biggest moth in the world in terms of total wing surface area!

Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
We saw this Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) near the visitor counter at Sungei Buloh. In fact, this was like the third or fourth time that I had seen it here, foraging for fruits and seeds on the ground.

Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
While checking out the crocodiles and otters at the main bridge, I managed to get a shot of this Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) too. This is the largest kingfisher in Singapore.

A smaller kingfisher we saw was this Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), which can be commonly spotted in many parts of Singapore.

Scaly-breasted Munias (Lonchura punctulata)
At Sungei Kadut, we saw a small flock of Scaly-breasted Munias (Lonchura punctulata) feeding on grass seeds.

Fruit Bats
Marcus was rather happy to find that the fruit bats were still at the same spot he showed me the last time.

Wasp Hive
And near the bats' roosting area was this wasp attending to its larvae.

Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris)
At the entrance to Sungei Buloh, I found the Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris) fruiting! Even though this was planted, it was still quite exciting to see this rare mangrove plant fruiting.

Tumu Putih (Bruguiera sexangula)
Further away in the reserve, another mangrove plant which was rather rare in Singapore was flowering! It was the Tumu Putih (Bruguiera sexangula), and this plant was a naturally occurring one!

All three trips were certainly rather fun and fulfilling for me. And somehow, with the crocodiles appearing so often these days near the main bridge, I just can't wait to find time to go there again soon!


yg said...

hi tide chaser, sightings of crocodiles at sungei buloh wetland reserve have become more common these days. i first saw one under the main bridge last year. two of my friends have seen a huge one near the main bridge recently. i have also seen two baby crocodiles from the bridge along the kranji trail.
the smooth otters have made the sand bath their resting and sleeping area.
i often wonder how you manage to see so many things during your outings. i didn't know there are bats in sbwr. thanks for sharing.

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Hi yg, thanks for visiting my blog! First saw a croc in 2006 actually, and that was a really huge one. Unfortunately, we heard it was removed by the authorities. But the crocs have been appearing rather regularly middle of last year. First it was 1 at the bridge, the other in one of the prawn ponds. Then it appeared the one in the prawn pond also swam out to the bridge area, so now we have 2 at the same area!

Have not seen the crocs along Kranji Nature Trail though :P

I guess there are bats in most of our wild paces :)

Yu-Kym said...

I didn't know there are crocodiles there. You sure have sharp eyes to spot so many things.

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Thanks for visiting my blog :)