In Singapore highly urbanised landscape, Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve is the ideal location for visitors looking to connect with nature and photographers looking to shoot wildlife photography. Designated an
Asean Heritage Park in 2003, this 202 hectare reserve located in the north-western region is a key stop-over point for migratory birds from as far as Siberia on their way to Australia to escape the winter months.
Reserve visitors at the Kingfisher Observation Pod (Coastal Trail) enjoying nature along the mangroves along the water edge. Schools of tilapia and mullets can be frequently seen here with the resident crocodiles hunting for its next meal here. Reserve staff conducting research and data collection work at the river. Enjoy Wildlife in Natural Settings A family chanced encounter with a lone smooth coated otter along the walking trail. The Asian Water Monitor Lizard. Like the Komodo Dragon, the water monitor will often eat carrion. They have a keen sense of smell and can smell a carcass from far away. The lizard forked tongue is split is to make it better at detecting and interpreting smells. The two halves of the forked tongue collect and deposit scent particles separately, allowing the lizard to identify which direction it should go in its pursuit of a meal. A juvenile Estuarine or Saltwater crocodile, lurking at the river bank. It has adapted to the reserve brackish and freshwater habitats. According to the National Parks Board (NParks), ‘Tailless’ is the name given to this crocodile that has a shorter and misshapen tail. It was the result of an attack in 2009 by a larger crocodile at Sungei Buloh Besar. Since losing a portion of its tail, ‘Tailless’ has continued to be spotted due to its unique features. While the crocodile’s powerful tail is one of its most important appendages, both for propulsion and defence, ‘Tailless’ appears to have survived and grown against all odds. (Source – Mothership) Observe Migratory Birds Migratory Egrets and Marsh Sandpipers taking off in tandem at the wetlands. Up to 108 species of migratory birds have been sighted at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve over the past decade. Around 2,000 birds, from over 30 countries fly from the Arctic to Singapore annually to escape winter’s cold. A flock of Marsh Sandpipers and Whimbrels, observed from Observation Hide 1D. They are always present at Sungei Buloh during the migratory season. A flock of Great Egrets in excited communication at Hide 1D. Located about 100m to the left from Hide 1D observation deck. A Great Egret landing. Most tend to confuse between Egret and Heron. Great Egrets are a little smaller than the white-phase great blue heron, but the differentiating trait is the color of the legs. Great Egrets have black legs while white-phase great blue herons have much lighter legs. Herons also have slightly heavier beaks and “shaggier” feathers on their breast. A Great Egret on the prowl for its breakfast. Reptiles and Insects Adults of this beautiful Oriental Whip Snake are a striking bright green, while juveniles are brownish. It has yellow eyes, with horizontally elongated pupils. (info-Nparks). A Mudskipper – its likened as a “fish out of water”. This is because they are amphibious and can live out of water for extended periods of time. They breathe by retaining water in enlarged gill chambers, and can also breathe through their wet skin. A Toman (Snakehead) fish with its babies. As a predatorial fish, fry from other fish will never get the chance to be so close and be alive. Amazing sight indeed. Paper wasps are typically small to medium-sized, most being no larger than a 5-cent coin. Close relatives of the hornets, paper wasps also live in colonies and construct their hives using plant material. Most species of paper wasp become aggressive and will sting when their hive is disturbed or threatened. These hives may be found among leaves, on tree trunks, or built on man-made structures. (info from Nparks). A group of recently hatched grasshoppers sunning themselves on a blade of leaf. Observation hides situated alongside the walking trail for visitors to view the wildlife from a discreet distance. It used to be just tree line but with construction of high-rise apartments at Danga Bay, Johor Bahru, the rustic scenery has changed. Conclusion
Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve is Singapore’s largest nature reserve, ideal location for wildlife photography and also perfect for nature lovers, birding and macro photographers or anyone looking for an escape from the city urban cityscape. For other events and photo tips, you might like
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