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!
A lizard lunch for this Paradise Tree Snake
Almost halfway done….
Spot the lizard in the snake’s belly!
Headed up the tree for a post-lunch siesta
The Sleepy Hornbill
After much looking, we managed to spot an Oriental Pied Hornbill hidden in the foliage
Here it is, dozing off….
Seems like a full blown nap now! 😉
Water Monitor Lizards everywhere!
Here’s one basking high up on a tree…
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)
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.
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
Notice the keyhole-shaped pupils of the Oriental Whip Snake, which enables snakes of this genus to have binocular vision
A Yellow-lipped Water Snake in search of newly moulted crabs
One of the most vocal residents of Pasir Ris Park, the Red Junglefowl, the wild ancestor of the domesticated chicken.
A Black-crowned Night Heron out and about during low tide
A Little Egret walks around the dry channel of Sungei Tampines
It’s yoga time for this Grey Heron!
A Sandpiper by Sungei Tampines
A Striated Heron waits patiently for a catch, in the mangroves by Sungei Tampines
The skittish Ashy Tailorbird was by far the hardest to photograph
A male Flameback Woodpecker in the woods around the mangroves
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.
A Blue-tailed Bee-eater takes a break
An Oriental Magpie-Robin foraging on the ground
A female Common Iora, with pollen stuck on her beak after feeding on nectar
A pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls pose perfectly for this pic!
A male (with pink neck) and female Pink-necked Green Pigeon, scan their surroundings
A White-throated Kingfisher enjoys the surroundings from its prominent perch
A Collared Kingfisher awaits its meal by Sungei Tampines…
A Scaly-breasted Munia rests for a brief second
A Mud Crab steps out of its burrow in the mangroves
A Red-eared Slider (also known as Red-eared Terrapin) in the waters of Sungei Tampines
A Giant Mudskipper in the mangroves of Pasir Ris Park
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
Singapore Botanic Gardens