#10 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Yay!! It’s my 10th trip to a park or nature reserve since starting this blog! I wanted this post to be special, filled with  interesting experiences of wildlife and nature. Sungei Buloh, the wetland reserve was the perfect place! We managed to spot so much wildlife, starting from the entrance!

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First, we saw a Changeable  lizard (Calotes versicolor) on a tree:

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And second, water monitor lizards  (Varanus salvator) One was swimming  in the pond and the other was sunbathing in the hot sun!

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There was also a White-breasted water hen in the pond. After buying some refreshing drinks for the trip, we started the boardwalk into Sungei Buloh. Near the bridge there was also another monitor lizard walking to the bushes.

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There were many warning signs around the park for crocodiles. We kept our eyes open for these majestic reptiles but failed to see them. We are planning to go another time early morning to catch more birds and maybe even see a crocodile! The species in Singapore is the Estuarine Crocodile.

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Estuarine Crocodile
Source:http://www.ecologyasia.com/

Throughout the park we saw many schools of fish  jumping in and out of the water After researching I found out these fish are called mullet and they jump out of the water to avoid predators and to fill their breathing organs with air to remain active in low oxygen concentration water. ( Source- http://australianmuseum.net.au/Why-do-mullet-leap/)

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In the trail, we saw a nest made of mud with holes. What do you think it belongs to? Termites or ants?

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There were many hideouts around the park which allowed us to see some exhilarating views. From one tower, we saw a beautiful kingfisher fly to and from the trees on top of the river. Sadly I could not catch it on camera! The tall lookout point allowed us to see many Little Herons and more mullets jumping!

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There was also a little pond on the trail where we saw many dragonflies buzzing around.

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We continued the path to the mangroves. From the boardwalk, we spotted several crabs- including the tree climbing crabs!

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We also spotted a black and yellow garden spider (below) with a huge web extending from one tree to another on either sides of the boardwalk.

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The  beautiful mudskipper of Sungei Buloh:
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We thought our adventure was over as we finished the Mangrove boardwalk and made our way to the entrance when my father heard a sudden rustle in the bushes and shouted to us as we were behind. We ran to see a long snake hiss and slither quickly into the bushes! It was my first time seeing a snake in the wild and up so close! Again, I wasn’t fast enough to catch it on camera but after researching we found out the species was the sunbeam snake. This is how it looks:

Sunbeam Snake
Souce:http://www.ecologyasia.com/

With that we ended our trip to Sungei Buloh. While waiting on the main road for a bus, we spotted a Green Crested Lizard. It was beautiful with its lime green colors and red eyes which moved around curiously.

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Sungei Buloh is one of the best nature reserves in Singapore. It shows us the little nature and wildlife Singapore has managed to protect. It is full of migratory birds, rare animals and reptiles such as the crocodile. It is also rich in flora and the mangroves are also an endangered species. Together, let us protect Sungei Buloh for future generations and for flora and fauna to thrive.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing and compiling it! This being my 10th post, I’d like to say I’ve had a new experience all together writing this blog, and I hope to continue exploring Singapore’s parks and nature reserves. Thank you so much for reading!

Lavanya Prakash

https://mynatureexperiences.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/MyNatureExp

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4 thoughts on “#10 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

  1. From post: “We also spotted a black and yellow garden spider (below) with a huge web extending from one tree to another on either sides of the boardwalk. “

    Your photo shows a mature female Argiope mangal (Mangrove St. Andrew’s Cross Spider) repairing its web after “wrapping up” a captured prey.

    Interestingly, this spider had creatively incorporated a strand of the sterile fronds of Pyrrosia piloselloides (Dragon’s Scale Fern, synonym: Drymoglossum piloselloides) across the diameter of of its web — perhaps to trick insects into thinking that they are flying towards a plant.

    First scientifically described in 1991, Argiope mangal is apparently endemic to S’pore, & not known to occur anywhere else in the world. In other words, if its habitat is destroyed & it becomes extinct, this spider species will vanish forever from planet Earth.

    Currently, Argiope mangal appears to be confined to the trees & large shrubs of mangrove swamps, back mangroves & intertidal zones. When at rest, the spider streamlines its legs to form an X (cross) shape, thus its common name. When threatened, this particular spider species is also sometimes observed to adopt a scorpion-like defensive posture — the spider raises its body on its legs while simultaneously lifting the rear end of its abdomen.

    The web of Argiope mangal typically spans around 40-50 cm across, & usually (though not always) has 2 white zigzag bands (called stabilimentum) extending longitudinally above & below the web’s hub.

    But there is considerable variation in the stabilimentum pattern. In some webs (like the one shown in your photo), the upper band is less distinct than the lower band. In other webs, only the lower band is present. For webs spun by immature females, there may be no zigzag band at all. And in a minority of webs, 4 zigzag bands might be present.

    For some probable functions of the stabilimentum & more info about Argiope mangal (Mangrove St. Andrew’s Cross Spider), check out the below references:

    * Mangrove & Wetland Wildlife at Sungei Buloh (Naturia SG)
    * Guide to the Mangroves of S’pore (NUS)
    * Sample photos of mature female Argiope mangal: Photo1, Photo2

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I did not realize that I had seen such a beautiful spider endemic to Singapore. Thanks so much again for commenting, reading and sharing this information. I’ve really been learning a lot!

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