Just as I started my little stroll on the boardwalk, right beneath me I noticed this small Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator) next to a tiny hole in the mud.
Pasir Ris mangroves is small, but has a lovely boardwalk running through it. There are lots of very informative signs that encourage us to look, listen and learn. It was raining when I arrived but the weather soon cleared.
mud lobster activity, indicated by a fresh grey 'lava' flow from volcano shaped mounds. These mounds and the mud is riddled with holes.
Tree climbing crabs (Episesarma sp.). These crabs are much larger and more abundant at Pasir Ris than I usually see elsewhere! These sure look crunchy and delicious, for a monitor lizard.
Giant mudskippers (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) . The fish might also be a yummy meal for a monitor lizard. As usual, the mudskippers are often near their 'swimming pools' that they excavate. But in Pasir Ris, I see that sometimes, a Tree climbing crab or two seem to share the mudskipper's pool. So if the monitor lizard is lucky it might get both a crab and a fish in a burrow?!
Bird Ecology Study Group blog which also explains that "“The Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) is the only resident pitta species in Singapore. It is listed as critically endangered nationally and considered globally near-threatened. An elusive bird, it is normally confined to the offshore islands of Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. This species is very rarely sighted on main land Singapore."
In the incoming tide, large schools of what seem to be Mullets were hanging in the water. Probably waiting to go into the mangroves with the tide. There's probably lots of nice things for the fishes to eat there.
Tilapia?), busy browsing on the mangrove tree roots with the incoming tide.
Archerfishes (Family Toxotidae)! Unlike the Archerfishes that we often see at Sungei Buloh just swimming about doing nothing else much under the Main Bridge, those at Pasir Ris seem to hunt among the trees. I thought I actually saw one spit to knock down a low hanging titbit from the branches! But I didn't manage to get a photo of it.
Dog-faced water snakes (Cerberus rynchops) started to emerge! Even so, they are hard to spot! These superbly camouflaged animals are quite common but are nocturnal. So Pasir Ris boardwalk is probably among the few places where you can comfortably observe them.
Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora). NParks has also planted lots of Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris) with pretty pink flowers that only bloom at night. The trees there have grown very tall! Other planted rarities include Gedabu (Sonneratia ovata), and Tumu berau (Bruguiera sexangula.
Otters have been spotted at Pasir Ris in the past: in 2009, in 2010 and in Sep 2011 in this awesome clip shared by Nikita Hengbok - a family of four otters!
Even though I didn't see any otters or crocodiles today, in just a short one-hour walk, I saw quite a lot of interesting mangrove life! I didn't even do the whole boardwalk and missed checking out the tower there. If I stayed on after sunset, who knows what else I might have spotted. Owls? Bats? More snakes? How exciting!
The boardwalk is a short stroll from Pasir Ris MRT station. I think it makes a great destination for an evening walk, to view interesting wild life that we can't easily see anywhere else!
We Love Pasir Ris website by the The Ripple Bay: New Seaside Condo Launch @ Pasir Ris Beach.
More about how to get to Pasir Ris Park on wildsingapore and the NParks website. There are lots of regular walks and activities at the Park to join. Find out more on the wildsingapore happenings blog.
DIY Pasir Ris Trail Guide which includes the mangrove boardwalk.
More links about Pasir Ris mangroves
- Pasir Ris mangroves on the Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore
Some of my past trips to Pasir Ris mangroves