This weekend, for the Hari-Raya and National Day holidays, we decided to spend some time at Tanjung Sutera, a resort overlooking the South China Sea, on the eastern coast of Johor. Only 2 hours away from the busy city of Singapore , this magical place lies 40m above sea level with rock formations over 65 million years old. I had already been to Tanjung Sutera twice, but I was much younger and only remembered the experience vaguely. I wanted to go there again- so I could see the landscape once more and take some good photographs for the blog!!
We went through the Dinosaur Trail, which contained rocks and stone formations which was filled with marine life such as crabs and sea cucumbers. The intertidal rock pools were a totally new ecosystem for me to explore! We also visited the Sedili Wetlands where we walked through a freshwater mangrove forest, a critically endangered habitat. Look out for my upcoming posts about these interesting adventures!
This was morning sunrise view of the South China Sea from the resort:
We stayed in the Lakeside cottage made of bamboo, which overlooked a small pond, with beautiful water lilies.
There were so many different species of dragonflies that were buzzing around the pond that included:
The Common Parasol (Neurothemis fluctuans):
A Slender Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina):
A Pond Adjutant (Aethriamanta gracilis):
And a Variable Sentinel (Orchithemis pulcherrima):
The resort is home to many birds such as the Lesser Coucals, Peaceful doves, Large-tailed Nightjars and sea birds such as Brahminy Kites and Collared Kingfishers circling the rocks for fish.
There were even a few Black-headed Munias feeding in the open grassland near the cottages:
There were many bumble bees that were buzzing around the resort’s pool. I really admired its colorful wings!
My parents almost stepped on this toad! It was completely still and allowed me to get really close to it to see the intricate textures and patterns on it’s rough skin.
We decided to go bird-watching early in the morning in the kampong( village). Sadly, the gate was closed and we were not allowed out of the resort so early. Instead we went to a small pond within the resort which had the forest right behind it. My mother was very lucky to see an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) resting on one of the trees when I wasn’t there. We also spotted one the previous day in the oil palm plantations, but sadly we were not able to take a picture of either! They are such beautiful and majestic birds, and I was very happy to hear that the population is quite healthy in Singapore now due to the Hornbill Project. When we had visited Pulau Ubin in 2010, we saw a flock of hornbills in the resort that were feeding on some fruits. We were so lucky to even see the male and female exchange a fruit with each other as a special gift of love! Check out this video that my mother filmed of the hornbills in 2010!
This was the small pond near the forest:
We saw a stork-billed kingfisher fly past us so fast, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t capture one with my camera. I tried really hard to spot one again but couldn’t.
There was also a dove that was sitting on a coconut tree. I’m not sure of the species, but I think it is the Mountain Imperial Pigeon. I have never seen this before.
After that, we decided to go up a hill which lead to another panoramic view of the sea. On the way we saw a Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana javana) with slightly torn wings.
The view from the top of the hill were absolutely breathtaking. My family all took turns to jump, so we could take each other’s pictures while levitating!! We had such a fun time!
This is me and my sister doing a hi fi in mid-air captured by my mom.
Stay tuned for my next post at the Dinosaur trail- where I saw a lot of marine life and stunning rock formations!