Exploring the New Sungei Buloh

08 Apr, 2020 by Jake

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was expanded to subsume Kranji Nature Trail 5 years ago, and I have not visited it since the refurbishment. The old trail was rustic and I enjoyed it a lot, and I always wonder how the new one look like.

There was a portion of grassland where they actually mowed a trail through it. It was something that I actually suggested in a report previously! We can just walk inside and watch insect interactions close up. Cool. There is also a short secondary forest trail.

Weaver ants are an interesting species of ants that build their nests using leaves. This colony is in the process of doing so by pulling the leaves together and using silk from their larvae to join them together. On the right, a flowering Common Fishtail Palm attracted many worker bees to collect pollen.

I was always amazed at mangrove plants by their fascinating structural adaptations and ability to survive in salt water. On the left are Avicennia alba trees, while on the right are the prop roots of Rhizophora trees that enable them to support themselves on the soft mud.

At one of the bridges, there was a large crowd and some commotion, and we realised that it was a crocodile! We can only see its back though but from the size of that, the croc must be huge! On the right is a cicada which took me more than a minute to find even though it was singing blatantly loud in front of me. Only on close-up is it apparent but it is actually very well camouflaged on the tree trunk.

The iconic nest shelters are quite an architectural marvel. There are some openings which allow people to peep out to watch for wildlife discreetly.

At the old Sungei Buloh Visitor Centre, a bunch of fruit bats were perched at the roof and they attracted quite a bit of attention. They are truly adorable and fluffy, and do not deserve the bad rap as suspects of coronavirus carriers. Fruit bats are essential pollinators and seed dispersal for plants.

I initially wanted to visit the mangrove boardwalk too but I was getting uncomfortable with crowd that so far had pretty much ignored the safe distancing rules. So decided to head back home instead of squeezing with more people at the narrow boardwalk. In any case, NParks have responded appropriately by closing several parks with high traffic recently, including this. To see the traffic as well as what parks are open during this sensitive period, do visit their website here.