Monday, March 14, 2011

Nature Explorers Guided Walks at Sungei Buloh

We have conducted several guided walks at Sungei Buloh for students under the Nature Explorers Programme over the past one week, and here's a quick look at some of the interesting things that I managed to take photos of.

Smooth Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata)
On one of the days, we saw 3 Smooth Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) at the freshwater pond near the visitor centre! The above photo shows 2 of them.

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
We only saw the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) on the same day, and even this sighing was pure luck, as it appeared for less than 5 minutes! I was telling the students about the prawn ponds when this crocodile appeared, got swept under the sluice gates, tail-first, by the water flowing out with the receding tide into Sungei Buloh Besar! The confused crocodile stayed near the water surface before it swam towards the mouth of the river and disappeared.

Shore Pit-viper (Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus)
On another trip, we saw a Shore Pit-viper (Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus) on an Api-api Bulu (Avicennia rumphiana) right next to the mangrove boardwalk!

Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) nest
There was an Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) nest right next to the bridge over the freshwater pond at the visitor centre. There was even a little chick inside!

Yellow vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)
And not too far away was the nest of a Yellow vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier).

Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) Nest
Outside the theatrette, we found an abandoned nest with an egg inside. It looked like the nest of a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius). The nest was on a small plant right next to the walkway leading to the threatrette. Could the many people walking in and out of the theatrette caused the parents to abandon the nest?

Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)
AT the mangrove boardwalk, we saw quite a few Ashy Tailorbirds (Orthotomus ruficeps).

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
By the water's edge, there was this Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) shaking its tail up and down as it foraged for worms and other little animals.

Green-crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella)
This Green-crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella)was really tiny - about the size of the usual house gecko! It had a really long tail though.

Common Sun Skink (Mabuya multifasciata)
One some of the days where there was sunshine, Common Sun Skinks (Mabuya multifasciata) could be seen basking in the sun.

Golden Orb Web Spider (Nephila pilipes)
It appeared to be the season for Golden Orb Web Spiders (Nephila pilipes), and we saw many of them. It is interesting to note that there are times when we could hardly find any of these spiders, or only see small ones.

Lined Nerites (Nerita articulata)
As usual, there were lots of Lined Nerites (Nerita articulata) near the base of the mangrove trees. These mangrove snails feed on algae.

Once in a while, we would see an Onchidiid Slug (Family Onchidiidae) high up on a branch of a mangrove tree. They feed on algae too.

Not too forget the plants, I spotted a Tengar (Ceriops tagal) with a mature seedling!

Mangrove Lime (Merope angulata)
I also checked out the young Mangrove Lime (Merope angulata) I spotted last time. It was growing right next to a young Sea Holly (Acanthus sp.), and appeared to be doing well. Glad to see more of this locally critically endangered plant coming back to Sungei Buloh! :)

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