1/9/2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR): a tapestry of natural wonders

Ever since I encountered the booth set up by SBWR volunteers at Festival of Biodiversity, I have been dreaming of stepping into this wonderland of flora and fauna. Finally, I dragged my mom and friend Sarah to Kranji 这个鸟不生蛋的地方 (a place so remote in which birds do not even bother to lay eggs) 😉 You simply cannot find a more ironic description for this place, for birds of all shapes, sizes, and niche habitats all find comfort in this home that bridges the open ocean and freshwater (Malaysia and Singapore as well hehe).  Enjoy this virtual tour around the reserve in non-migratory season!

A water hen greeted us upon arrival ~

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There are two main routes in SBWR, the loop around Buloh Tidal ponds across the main bridge and a tortuous trail along the coast. The bridge gave an unlimited view of fishes, estuarine crocodiles and, most exciting of them all, herons!

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A short clip of grey herons and little egrets taking flight. There were lots of nature photographers ambushing along the main bridge, clicking away furiously at the shutter to capture their beauty.

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A well camouflaged estuarine crocodile spanning up to 2 m in length. CAN YOU SPOT IT IN THIS PICTURE?

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A school of spot-tailed needle fish. The tip of their needle-like mouth twinkles in the blazing 10am sun.

Wood pavilion hides and observation screens are scattered around the looped trail, inside or through which you can fully appreciate the beauty of these birds without disturbing them. We climbed to the top of the highest observation tower to experience the full view of the reserve on the west side. There is beauty in the crudeness of the marshes and the liveliness of the endless greenery, and the condominium buildings in the distance stopped obstructing the openness of the scenery for a moment.

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The pavilion also presented us with a dichotomy key identification guide for common bird species that reside in this reserve. A dichotomous key, with two dichotomous phenotypic traits at each stage of identification, provides an easy and clear way of pinpointing the type of bird that just flew by you. For example, the size of a bird directs you to a sub-category. An egret can be distinguished from a heron by its white plumage, while a sandpiper has a longer bill than a plover. 

So much for today! Please tune in for an introduction to the coastal trail later on!

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