Wildlife in an urban jungle – Pasir Ris Park, Singapore

Don’t let Singapore’s glitzy urban appearance fool you. The city is teeming with incredible wildlife, if one knows where to look. With over 300 parks and 4 nature reserves, there are several places where Singapore’s native wildlife thrives.

This weekend, hubby and I decided to check out the Pasir Ris Park, in the northeastern part of Singapore. In addition to many family friendly facilities, this beach park also includes a 15-acre mangrove forest. A short boardwalk enables visitors to explore the various sections of this mangrove forest.

Just as we were entering the park via the Pasir Ris Park Connector, a family of noisy otters jumped into the waters of the adjacent Sungei Tampines – right before our eyes! Such a pity I didn’t have my camera ready but it was definitely a sign of things to come.

We spent the entire morning at Pasir Ris Park, enthralled by the rich biodiversity of the place. Here are some of the creatures I did manage to photograph….

(Please click on the image to see an enlarged version.)

Lunch time at Pasir Ris Park!

dscn5088

A lizard lunch for this Paradise Tree Snake

dscn5104

Almost halfway done….

dscn5119

Spot the lizard in the snake’s belly!

dscn5123

Headed up the tree for a post-lunch siesta

The Sleepy Hornbill

dscn5190

After much looking, we managed to spot an Oriental Pied Hornbill hidden in the foliage

dscn5219

Here it is, dozing off….

dscn5203

Seems like a full blown nap now! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Monitor Lizards everywhere!

dscn5153

Here’s one basking high up on a tree…

dscn5278

Another monitor lizard enjoys its afternoon swim. Notice how the limbs of the monitor are drawn close to its body while swimming. It navigates the waters using its tail.

Other residents of Pasir Ris Park

(includes pictures from subsequent visits)

dscn6280

The striking Black Baza is a small sized bird of prey and is known to perch for long durations on the bare branches of tall trees.

dscn6321

After much debate by experts about the exact species of this bird, the verdict is that it is a Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, meaning it is a cuckoo that resembles a drongo

dscn6798

Notice the keyhole-shaped pupils of the Oriental Whip Snake, which enables snakes of this genus to have binocular vision

dscn5406

A Yellow-lipped Water Snake in search of newly moulted crabs

dscn5645

One of the most vocal residents of Pasir Ris Park, the Red Junglefowl, the wild ancestor of the domesticated chicken.

dscn5377

A Black-crowned Night Heron out and about during low tide

dscn5464

A Little Egret walks around the dry channel of Sungei Tampines

dscn5628

It’s yoga time for this Grey Heron!

dscn5281

A Sandpiper by Sungei Tampines

dscn5264

A Striated Heron waits patiently for a catch, in the mangroves by Sungei Tampines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn5415

The skittish Ashy Tailorbird was by far the hardest to photograph

dscn5319

A male Flameback Woodpecker in the woods around the mangroves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn5679

The gender of a Laced Woodpecker can be identified by the colour of its crown – the female has a black crown while the male has a red one.

dscn5720

A Blue-tailed Bee-eater takes a break

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn5667

An Oriental Magpie-Robin foraging on the ground

dscn5689

A female Common Iora, with pollen stuck on her beak after feeding on nectar

dscn5692

A pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls pose perfectly for this pic!

dscn5736

A male (with pink neck) and female Pink-necked Green Pigeon, scan their surroundings

dscn5733

A White-throated Kingfisher enjoys the surroundings from its prominent perch

dscn5260

A Collared Kingfisher awaits its meal by Sungei Tampines…

dscn5739

A Scaly-breasted Munia rests for a brief second

dscn5409

A Mud Crab steps out of its burrow in the mangroves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn5286

A Red-eared Slider (also known as Red-eared Terrapin) in the waters of Sungei Tampines

dscn5236

A Giant Mudskipper in the mangroves of Pasir Ris Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn5251

Who knew there were jellyfish in the waters of Sungei Tampines???!!!

There are many creatures that I haven’t yet managed to photograph – the otters of course, the Stork billed Kingfisher, the Common Kingfisher, the raptors that fly overhead, the many skittish birds hidden in the foliage. These call for yet another visit to Pasir Ris Park.

I leave you with this Pasir Ris Park Guide I found online. Happy visiting! And don’t forget to let me know what you spotted!

Lastly, I cannot emphasise this enough – when visiting any nature reserve/park, please be extremely respectful of the environment. Loud chatting or music will disturb creatures and ruin any chance of spotting them. Going off-trail to get a picture damages the ecosystem that nurtures these species. As the old saying goes…

Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.

*********************************************************************

For my article on Pasir Ris Park in the Mar-Apr’17 issue of PASSAGE, the bimonthly magazine of the Friends of the Museums Singapore, please click here.

You can read more about the wildlife/natural history of Singapore in the following posts:

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Birds of Singapore

The Wallace Trail

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Asia, Singapore

8 responses to “Wildlife in an urban jungle – Pasir Ris Park, Singapore

  1. Helen

    Thank you for this fabulous article. Our apartment overlooks Pasir Ris Park and we visit it every day. We can also see sea eagles and hornbills from our balcony. The otters are often lazing at the beach at around 8am if you want a great photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice writeup n pix. Do have a look at my birdng blog of Singapore n everywhere i travel to…. http://www.thenaturaltraveller.net

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s