Bird Watching @ Kranji Marshes, #5 Kranji Reservoir Park

Hey there! Today, I went with Nature Society Singapore (NSS) for bird watching at Kranji Marshes. We met at the Kranji Reservoir Car Park, took a bus, and reached Kranji Marshes, not far from the Kranji Resort. The three guides (Gerard, Ee-Ling and Jimmy) introduced themselves, and then we started our walk. The guided walk was simply incredible, and by the end of it , I had learnt so many new bird and plant species!  We spotted two  nests that were hanging from the branches, and learnt that they were of the Baya Weaver. Its nest is so unique and extraordinary, but we do not know for sure why they build their nests in this way. According to what Gerard told us, the weaver builds  it hanging to prevent large predators like the water monitor lizard or even snakes from eating their babies. Another interesting fact is  that they like to build their nests near the hornet’s nest for protection! The Baya weaver takes about 18 days to build its nest, with almost 500 trips to gather sticks, grass and leaves.

I wish I could have taken close-up pictures of birds, but my camera doesn’t have the distance lens. So I’ve borrowed pictures of birds from Wikipedia. The rest of the pictures are what I’ve taken.

Baya Weaver

File:BayaOnDisplay.jpg

Baya Weaver Source: Wikipedia

Next, we saw the long-tailed parakeet, a magnificent red, green and black bird- with a long, blue tail, which followed us throughout the walk.

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This was our group, watching the  Pink-necked green  pigeon.

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The beautiful view 🙂

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The lush landscape with tall trees, vines and creepers.

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Finally, we reach the Marsh Land. Gerard, our guide told us to look out for the Purple Moorhen. We were unable to spot any because they are very rare and shy, but the stream was beautiful with its reflection of the clouds and sky. There were many butterflies, dragonflies and water striders.

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We also spotted some weird, pink snail eggs, that we thought were flowers!

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I learnt something important today from Ee Ling, one of our guides. She was so sharp and attentive to different bird calls. I really hope to learn the skill too.  Some of the birds we saw include:

The Common Iora                                                

Common Iora
Source:Wikipedia

 Common Flameback

Common flameback
Source:wikipedia

Changeable Hawk Eagle                                                       

Changeable Hawk Eagle
Source: Wikipedia

Juvenile Starling            

Juvenile Starling
Source:Wikipedia

White-breasted laughing thrush                              

White breasted laughing thrush
Source: Wikipedia

Olive-backed Sunbird  

Olive-backed Sunbird
Source:Wikipedia

The guides soon led us to a restricted area of the park, called the Kranji Bund. There were signs all over saying ” CAUTION: CROCODILE SPOTTED”.  We crossed our fingers, and hoped we would see a few of the Estuarine Crocodiles that were spotted there before. We didn’t see them-but instead saw the Purple Heron, Little Tern, the Common Sand Piper and the Changeable Hawk Eagle.

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Purple Heron                                                                                                           

Purple Heron
Source:Wikipedia

Little Tern

Little Tern
Source:Wikipedia

Estuarine Crocodile ( spotted at sungei buloh, kranji resevoir, and many other reserves and estuaries)

Estuarine Crocodile
Source:andamantarutao.blogspot.com

Common Sand Piper

Common Sand Piper
Source:Wikipedia

With that, we ended our Bird watching tour. It was super fun, exciting and fact- filled. I made new friends, and learnt so much about Singapore’s bird species and their behavior. As I boarded the bus back to the car park, I looked at the lush greenery and thought to myself, that these beautiful birds that play a vital role in the ecosystem,  need large wild areas, that we, so mercilessly cut for ourselves. We must- somehow, put and end to this, or at least reduce the amount we destroy. If we all do our part, by reducing our consumption- we can get there.

*Photos by Lavanya Prakash, except if mentioned otherwise*

Your tree hugger,

Lavanya Prakash, mynatureexperiences(at)hotmail.com

https://mynatureexperiences.wordpress.com/

Dear Readers,

I have corrected the following, as suggested by Gerard ( our guide)

– The Pink- Necked Green Pigeon

-The Common Flameback

– Common Iora

22/4/13

3 thoughts on “Bird Watching @ Kranji Marshes, #5 Kranji Reservoir Park

  1. From post: “We also spotted some weird, pink snail eggs, that we thought were flowers!”

    Hi Lavanya, thanks for sharing your experience & photos of the Kranji Marshes & Reservoir Park.

    For info, the bright pink eggs belong to the freshwater snail called Pomacea canaliculata, otherwise commonly known as Channelled Apple Snail or Golden Apple Snail (though its shell is not always golden). The species epithet “canaliculata” is the Latin word for channels — a reference to the deep grooves located between the whorls of the snail’s shell.

    The egg clutches (each consisting of 200-600 eggs) are typically deposited on rocks or other sturdy surfaces above the water-line. Did you know that these colourful eggs generally avoided by most animals ? Reason: Not only are they bad-tasting, research has also shown that they contain proteins which resist digestion, as well as neurotoxins lethal to mammals like laboratory rats. The bright-pink colouration is likely a visual warning to any creature contemplating these eggs as a snack, although certain land snails have been observed to eat them.

    Native to South America, Channelled Apple Snail is a globally-invasive species that is very well-adapted to degraded, poor-quality freshwater habitats. In other words, you are unlikely to spot this snail species within S’pore’s nature reserves — unless the reserves are deteriorating in condition, & thus prone to invasion by opportunistic species.

    Channelled Apple Snail is a voracious herbivore, & regarded as an agricultural pest in several parts of the world. Here in S’pore, it also competes with native freshwater snails for food & living space. In fact, it has been implicated in the decline & increasing rarity of the similar-looking native snail called Pila scutata (Shield Apple Snail). The egg-clutches of the latter are whitish in colour, smaller is cluster size, deposited on muddy banks, & often hidden amongst vegetation.

    If you are keen to know more, check out the following:

    * Pomacea canaliculata (AppleSnail.net)
    * Pomacea canaliculata (Global Invasive Species Database)
    * Observation of Land Snails feeding on the eggs of Pomacea canaliculata (Nature in S’pore — 04 May 2011)
    * Pila scutata (AppleSnail.net)
    * Pila scutata & Pomacea canaliculata (S’pore Biodiversity: An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment — edited by Peter Ng, et al., 2011 )

    1. Thank you so much for the information on the Channeled Apple snail.. The sites were really interesting and informative! Thanks for sharing, and reading my blog! 🙂

  2. Absolutely great work again.
    You will excel at the things that make you happy.
    Perhaps your next adventure might be here in Florida?
    We also have a vast array of beautiful birds~

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