Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sungei Buloh on 29 Jan 2009

Today I was back at Sungei Buloh for another guided walk. The students were late and thus I didn't really have much spare time to take photos. But fortunately, we still managed to cover most of the interesting aspects of the reserve, with in fact quite a few nice surprises too!

Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris)
The berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris) was blooming! Previously, it was believed that this plant only flowers at night, but recent researches have shown that it blooms both at night and during the day, and of course, now I am seeing it with my own eyes. It was also observed that more pollinators, in terms of both diversity and frequency, visit the flower during the day, probably due to the higher volume and energy value of nectar in the morning.

Tiger moth
We spotted this very pretty tiger moth (Family Arctiidae) resting on the main bridge just before the students arrived. Most species of tiger moths tend to be more active during the day rather than at night.

Malayan water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator)
As we reached the freshwater pond, there was this huge Malayan water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator) slowly crawling underneath the boardwalk, and the students were really excited about seeing this huge animal so up close!

Brownlowia tersa
And course, Sungei buloh has a rich variety of mangrove plants. Today, I decided to take a photo of this Brownlowia tersa. This mangrove plant is quite rare on the whole, but in Sungei Buloh there are quite a few patches. Locals used to use this plant for fencing or as firewood.

Giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri)
The giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) is the biggest mudskipper in Singapore. As the tide is rather high, the mudskipper looked very clean and free of mud compared with the ones we saw during our last trip here.

Tree-climbing crabs (Episesarma sp.)
And also because of the high tide, we saw lots of tree-climbing crabs (Episesarma spp.) on the trees, getting away from the predatory fishes that came in with the rising tide! These crabs are able to climb up trees with their pointed legs.

Smooth otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
The highlight of the day must be this smooth otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)! The earlier group actually saw 3 of them playing in the freshwater pond. Another group saw 2 of them just underneath the boardwalk! I didn't managed to get a good photo as it was moving really fast.

And here's a short video clip of the otter.

And at the main hide, there were lots of migratory birds in the pond. Certainly a great way to end the day's exploration!

1 comment:

Ain said...

What a cute otter. LOL