We visited Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Monday. The reserve is 130 ha of mangroves, mudflats and secondary forest. I timed the visit so as to arrive at low tide and as we walked around the reserve the tide would push into the mangrove swamp. The plan worked and after de-steaming my camera lens we set off.
The first animal of note was a Dog Faced Water Snake, which was spotted in a mudflat pool by one of my sons. Around the snake were a number of Mudskippers. There are 12 species of Mudskipper within the reserve. At low tide they climb onto the mud and as the tide rises they tend to climb onto mangrove roots. Every time I see these fish I am amazed as they clamber out of the water.
Dog Faced Water Snake, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
Blue Spotted Mudskipper, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
We crossed the main bridge over the River (Sungei in Malay) Buloh from where the reserve gets its name. It was from this bridge that we saw our first Estuarine Crocodile. These have been seen on and off for a few years now but this was a first for me so I was well pleased. Within 10 minutes my wife picked up another. This one about an eight footer was just off the footpath basking on the shore edge.
Estuarine Crocodile, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
Between the two Crocodile sightings we had watched a few of the scrapes and had decent views of Marsh Sandpiper, Pacific Golden Plover, Whimbrel and Greenshank. Grey Herons were common around the reserve as were Little and Great Egrets. Due to time constraints I did not have too much time to spend looking for the smaller birds but on the walking circuit we did pick up several Brown Throated Sunbirds, and had brief views of a single Ashy Tailorbird and a Copper Throated Sunbird the last two are mangrove specialities. Black Naped Orioles were calling from all around the more wooded areas. Quite strange how a Blackbird sized bird which is a striking golden yellow can be so hard to find in the tree tops. Another very common bird was the Yellow Vented Bulbul, not just in the mangroves but all over the island.
Copper Throated Sunbird, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
Brahminy Kite, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
We also came across several species of lizard. The most numerous were the Malayan Water Monitors. A very impressive animal which I will talk about more in another entry. We also had great views of a Green Crested Lizard through a lady’s scope. The lizard was only about 15 feet away but looked superb close up. I could have taken some decent shots of this lizard but unfortunately my camera was completely steamed up after getting out of the air-conditioned cab. The five minutes I had to wait for the de-steam was enough for the lizard to disappear.
Mangrove Cicada, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
After we returned to the centre for a well earned drink at the café we were treated to some superb views of a party of Smooth Otters, again I will post an entry about this sighting later. The only drawback to a great day was the fact that the café was closed for Chinese New Year. Typical.
Black Naped Oriole, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
Yellow Vented Bulbul, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
Tree Climbing Crab, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010
Black Capped Kingfisher, Sungei Buloh, 15 Feb 2010