18 December 2010

Otter at Woodlands Park!

A magical moment: the otter looks at me, as I look at the otter!
I was quietly looking for snails in the small patch of mangroves at Woodlands Park when I heard splashing.

Staying very still among the bushy undergrowth, I looked carefully. Could be just a Malayan water monitor you know...
Ooo, a brown furry back!
The otter was vigorously swimming in the water (the tide was rather high). It then stopped and looked at me, from among the roots.
It continued to swim around, then stopped to look at me again.
It really took a good look. Wow, what big teeth it has!
Then it decided to leave. Alas.
Although I was being very quiet, the camera shutter is really loud. What a shame. I wonder why the otter was alone.

Smooth otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) are regularly spotted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve which is just a little way off (as an otter swims). And otters are also seen on our other shores such as Pulau Ubin even Changi and more. 

I finally did find some mangrove snails! There were plenty of Pythia snails (Pythia sp.) clinging onto a large tree trunk that was sadly draped in abandoned fishing lines.
And also one Mangrove helmet snail (Cassidula aurisfelis). There aren't as many snails or onch slugs in this mangrove as in some of our other mangroves.
There was also a fat little 'inch-worm' frantically climbing UP the tree trunk away from the water. It's not really a worm. It is probably the larvae of some kind of moth or butterfly.
I felt that the bigger trees had more animals on their trunks. And this mangrove does indeed have some magnificent large trees and special plants. More about these in the next post.


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