It was also my maiden attempt at using a SLR to shoot, all thanks to Samson. Although I now wonder if I'm a 朽木 at photography because most of my photos turned out grainy!! =( I like to think that with more practices, my photos will turn out better!
At the main bridge, a Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) was scampering up and down, and looked at my with curious eyes momentarily. This species of squirrel is probably the most commonly seen in Singapore, and definitely not difficult to spot at Sungei Buloh.
Commonly seen at Sungei Buloh during this time of the year (Sep - Mar), Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) are usually solitary and can be distinguished from the other Egrets by its black bill, legs and yellow/ green toes. Its diet consists mainly of fishes, crustaceans and molluscs.
This agile Plantain Squirrel was scampering up and down the tree, and in between the roots of the mangroves. It finally decided to stuck its head into what looks like a coconut husks, probably looking for food. Or perhaps like an ostrich, it thinks that we won't see it if it can't see us. =P
We took a long break at Platform 2 for our picnic of ginger bread (courtesy of LK) and junk food, at the same time indulging ourselves with the calls of birds and insects.
Just directly opposite the platform, 2 Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) were laughing heartily. You can't mistake their loud and harsh calls that sounds as if they were laughing. A common bird of our shores, it also feeds on crustaceans and insects, in addition to fishes.
A short distance away from the Kingfishes, a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) perched majestically on a branch on the opposite bank. Their features are fairly distinct - long necks, long bills, long legs. They prey on a huge range of animals from snakes to crabs to birds to molluscs. With a kink in their neck, they are able to stab quickly at the prey by extending their neck forward at fast speed.
The little rascal then slowly moved towards the Little Egrets, and send the 2 elegant birds scampering, before disappearing into the mangrove.
Nearer to us, the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) in his winter plummage was feasting at the mudflats. These waders have relatively long legs, large eyes and a stout bill.
Just as we were about to vacate the bird observation hide, Samson's sharp eyes spotted a Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) quite a distance away from us. This individual is unlikely to be a wild one though, but an escapee from the Bird Park. Unfortunately, the Milky Stork is a vulerable species due to rapid loss of habitat.
As it was getting nearer to noon, we were all beginning to feel the hunger pangs and decided to head back via the Mangrove Arboretum. Of course, one will never miss seeing the mudskippers, a faithful resident of the mangroves. This one is probably a Blue-spotted Mudskipper (Boleophthalmus boddart) which feeds on algae by grazing its teeth on the mud. Its huge bulging eyes are located at the top of its head to give it a periscope view of its environment. You can often see one by a tidal water as it needs to keep its skin wet (helps it breathe) and to replenish the water (that gives it oxygen) kept in its gills chambers.
A scene of serenity - would you have thought that this is Singapore which is more well-known as a concrete jungle?
A weekend trip to a place like Sungei buloh never fails to rejuvenate me for a fire-fighting work week ahead. You should try too!