While I didn't get to see the otters, I was treated to the greetings of the migratory birds! Although the season just started, some early birds (literally) had already arrived at their pit stop. These birds have flown thousands of kilometres from their winter countries. Like us who appreciates a transit in between a long flight, these migratory birds uses Singapore's mangroves between Sep & Mar as a stopover to rest and feed.
Seconds after I settled down at the main hide, a big brown bird flew past and landed on a tree directly opposite me.
After observing it through my bino, and frantic flipping of whatever books I had with me (and subsequently surfing of the internet), I concluded its the juvenile Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) that I saw !
With a sharp bill and long necks, Herons are hunters of the mudflats. They are able to attack the prey in the water/ mudflat very quickly due to the special kink in the neck. The adult Purple heron's coat is purple-grey but the juvenile's coat is brown.
Of course, the Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) are back too! Love their elegance. They can be distinguished by their black bill and legs, with yellow toes.
While the Little Egret is usually solitary, we can find them in small groups at times, just like the quartets in their formation below - I wonder what they were looking at...
A super blurred picture of a common migrant - the Common Redshank (tringa totanus). Its high time I get a new camera *cross fingers for good VB next yr!*! This bird is easier to recognise due to its long and distinct orange/red legs. They feed on worms, crabs or molluscs found on the mudflats.
I am very fond of the Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and have always been amazed by their very long downcurved bill. Thus, this bird is not too difficult to identify too! On this trip, I saw several small flocks of them feeding, probably on crabs, molluscs and worms.
While its a really short trip (and I ended up being late for read with me), it was an enjoyable walk in the tranquil reserve. Surely, I'll be back to birdwatch soon!