Reptiles Day

It is bird migratory season here in Singapore and the various bird photo groups on FB have lighted up with chatter about some rare shorebirds at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. So I went down to kapo a bit but was disappointed when there was not a single bird to be seen at the main pond. The water level was too high! Had to walk to walk the entire round before spotting them at the other pond but they were too far away for any decent individual photos.

But the trip was not wasted though. To make up for the lack of birds, there was reptiles aplenty. I have never had on any single trip to any local or for that matter local reserve or parks spotted so many different species of reptiles – from the biggest predator, the Estuarine Crocodile to the small little gecko.

First was the by now fairly common resident croc of SBWR at the main pond under the main bridge. CRU_3634

Further inland, M spotted what was a first for every one of us – a Shore Pit Viper!CRU_3668

Then there was a series of reptiles both big and small including 1 more crocodile and all sort of lizards.

A very common invasive species the Changeable LizardCRU_3723

In contrast, the not very common Bearded Dragon lizard which can glide from trees to trees. In fact we did see a few of them “flying” all over.CRU_3679

There was the shy skinkCRU_3771

And a gecko on the ceiling of one of the hideCRU_3683

And of course many monitor lizard including this little one trying to look for prey inside the tree trunkCRU_3764

On the way out we spotted a juvenile crocodile sunning itselfCRU_3871

But it was at the new SBWR that we saw 3 more Oriental Whip Snakes. The sound of thunder and the approaching rain cloud forced us to beat a hasty retreat without taking a photo of the 4th snake.

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Photo take by Alicia

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Photo taken by Alicia

So the trip wasn’t wasted and turned out to be one of the most fruitful ever visit to the place!

 

Tree Top Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

I goes to MacRitchie Reservoir so often sometimes I forget that there is more than the running trails there. Like the tree top walk which I have been up only once. So when the Princess wanted to go there over the weekend, we gladly went. To get to the treetop walk, the nearest carpark is at Venus Drive (the road leading to SICC) instead of the main park at MR. From there it is a short 2 km trek through the trails to reach the tree top walk.

Our objective was to spot birds but sadly there was none to be seen although we heard plenty. The walk across the 200 metres long suspension bridge was over pretty soon as we were forced to keep moving so as not to block other people from crossing the narrow bridge.

The view from the tree top walk. We can see the forest canopy and the reservoir beyond that and on a clear day, the housing estate in the horizon.
On the way down, we spotted this beautiful plant. I think it is an orchid. But I am not too sure though. Any expert out there who can enlighten me?

But we hit paydirt on this trip when we came across a rare sighting. Snakes! According to the Princess, this is a Twin barred tree snake. Don’t ask me why it is not on a tree but on the ground. In fact, it was on one of the wooden boardwalk when M spotted it. And it didn’t move and just let us snap away.

The other snake was a venomous juvenile Wrangler Pit Viper. This one also didn’t move at all and modelled for us!

We also saw the usual monkeys, a tree “dragon” which is actually a type of lizard and some butterflies. All in, a very productive 3 hours there.