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  • journal entry: 5 may 01, morning, clear, high tide
    trees A pair of Black Naped Orioles Oriolus chinensis and a flock of Asian Glossy Starlings Aplonis panayensis with a juvenile among them also dropped by Each giving us their unique song Although the water level was very high there were almost no mudskippers sheltering among the roots as I ve seen in the past But Mud creeper snails Cerithidea obtusa festooned the trunks On the way to Platform 2 an eagle eyed member of the group spotted the nest of a pair of Copper Throated Sunbirds Nectarina calcostetha The neat ball of a nest was high up in a tree in the middle of a thicket of climbers And finally I managed to snap a decent shot of the male who was very agitated with our attention to his nest So we moved along quickly At Platform 2 a Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus was soaring above Pulau Buloh It circled several times before flying off On the way back we stopped again at Platform 1 and the tide was then rapidly going out The water was only about 20 cm deep How pleasantly surprised we were to see the beautiful and elegant Spot tailed Needlefish Strongylura strongylura a graceful

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010505.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • 19 may 01, morning, clear, medium tide
    surprise was a group of 3 bats which flew right over our heads to land next to the path nearby within easy range of our cameras Rolls of film were expended before we let them have their rest They look like Short nosed Fruit Bats Cynopterus spp also sometimes called Dog faced Fruit Bats These bats can make tents out of large leaves like banana or palm by biting the main ribs to make the leaves collapse into a convenient shelter They then roost underneath safe from predators and shielded from sun and rain These bats drink juices of fruits which they pulp in their mouths spitting out the fibres They may also eat smaller palm fruits and thus disperse seeds We almost missed a lovely specimen of the Golden Orb Web Spider nearby This was the batik patterned Nephila antipodiana and she was diligently spinning her web At Platform 1 we were struck by the unusual numbers of Flower Crabs actively moving at the waterline There were at least 3 large colourful blue males and just as many drab brown females The males were fighting each other Perhaps it was mating time Along the way we got lucky with

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010519.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • journal entry: 2 june 01, morning, clear, medium tide
    visitors a handsome Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus posed on a nearby tree Resplendent in his gorgeous plumage with wicked looking spurs on his legs he had every right to look as cocky as he did He was apparently brought to the Park from Pulau Ubin Today was one of the few occasions when we walked past Platform 2 We stopped by the freshwater pond serenely calm clothed in blooming waterlilies and water plants Insects were busy at the beautiful blue flowers of the Pondweed Monocharia sp The curious Water Banana Ludwigia adscendens was floating nearby Their strange roots DO look like tiny bunches of bananas We almost missed the fabulous Common Greenback frogs Rana erythraea Their stripes and gorgeous jade colours camouflaged them perfectly in plain sight among the stems of the Cattails Once we realised what they looked like we quickly spotted five of them These frogs are nocturnal and are sometimes brown On the way back we saw a large golden shimmering web Its creator was busily spinning additional reinforcements travelling back and forth overhead across the entire path Her patterned yellow abdomen identified her as a Batik Golden Orb Web Spider Nephila antipodiana A little Olive backed

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010602.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • journal entry: 5 june 01, morning, clear, medium tide
    go for another trip around the Park this time on the buggy what luxury First stop we revisited the strange orange yellow spider we saw on the morning trip It was large about 4cm almost cartoon like shiny and plasticy looking Indeed at first I thought it was a plastic toy until it moved When we first spotted it it was hanging in mid air just above our heads from a strand of silk under a tall Sea Hibiscus bush The next time we saw it it had moved under a Sea Hibiscus leaf where it had made a web of silk Later on it was confirmed as the rare and endangered Eight spotted Crab Spider Platythomisus octomaculatus A member of the Crab Spider family Thomisidae it was first recorded in Singapore in 1924 from 2 specimens and collected again only in 1990 One reason this beautiful spider is so rarely seen is that it prefers to live in the canopy How lucky we were to have seen it Our final destination was the colony of Baya Weavers Ploceus philippinus near the Freshwater Hide What a fascinating array of nests Some in a Great Morinda tree and others in a

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010605.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • journal entry: 16 june 01, morning, clear, low tide
    the fabulous male Brown Throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis His common name doesn t really do justice to the beautiful metallic colours of his mantle These birds tend to steal the nectar from large flowers by piercing the base thus avoiding the payment of pollinating the plant But insects make up a large proportion of their diet The tide was completely out at the Mangrove Boardwalk On the mudflats below we were treated to a colourful parade of crabs The Tree Climbing Crabs Episesarma spp were busily scurrying around on the ground Squabbling with each other or nibbling on titbits The most delightful crabs were the tiny but amazingly colourful Fiddler Crabs Uca spp The ones with the flourescent orange large claws and irridescent blue backs were busy annoying each other The camera flash however made them scuttle quickly into their burrows Only the males have the single large claw thus reducing them to feeding with their remaining normal sized claw The females are more sensibly armed On the Boardwalk we admired the bright red blooms of a Tumu tree Bruguiera gymnorhiza A Rhizophora apiculata had sprouting seedlings all over its branches Off the Boardwalk as we walked along to the

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010616.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • journal entry: 30 june 01, morning, clear, low tide
    spot a Dog faced Watersnake Cerebus rynchops It was actively hunting in the mud and at 10 30 in the morning at that We actually saw it catch a little mudskipper The snake hung onto the titbit for a while probably waiting for its mild venom to take effect before promptly swallowing it whole We could see the bulge that was the unfortunate mudskipper moving down the length of the snake The snake then slid off to look for more lunch As we left the Boardwalk we checked the Sea Poison trees and yes there were still a few Atlas Moth Attacus atlas cocoons on the tree One was already clearly empty another looked occupied still After a spot of lunch at the lovely new cafetaria we took a short walk to Platform 2 and back On the main bridge we spotted an unusual Mangrove St Andrew s Cross Spider Argiope mangal with a full set of four white stabilimentum on its web I guess it didn t know that their kind was only supposed to make two And they were very nicely made stabilimentum too But the very special treat of the day was only spotted on the way

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010630.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • journal entry: 28 jul 01, afternoon, wet, high tide
    titbits on the mudflats At high tide however they are confined to the trees that they judiciously climb up to avoid the large predators that come in with the tide During the day they don t climb up very far from the water line Because in daylight there are other predators in the trees to avoid However at night they climb further up as high as 6m The crabs are

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/journal/010728.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • mangrove trees in general: info fact sheet, photos
    function of aerial roots are to absorb air or and to provide structural support in the soft mud Roots for absorbing nutrients are tiny and emerge near the muddy surface Aerial roots can take on different forms Avicennia develop shallow cable roots which spread out from the trunk Along these cable roots emerge short pencil like roots left called pneumatophores meaning air carrier in Greek A 3 metre tall Avicennia can have 10 000 pneumatophores Sonneratia also produce pneumatophores but these are cone shaped instead Bruguiera sends out knee roots that emerge from the ground then loop back in Rhizophora send out roots from their trunk and branches which arch down to the ground right for extra support and air absorption Most mangrove trees lack a heartwood and instead have narrow vessels that are densely and evenly distributed throughout the wood Thus they are able to withstand damage to the bark and outer trunk Tough toddlers If it s hard for adult trees to cope with their environment it s even harder for tender seedlings which are usually dispersed by seawater Thus many mangrove trees have special adaptations to give their offspring the best chance in their harsh habitat Many provide their seedlings with a good store of food and floatation devices In some the fruit does not fall away when it ripens Instead the seed within the fruit starts to germinate while it is still on the mother tree and the mother tree channels nutrients to the growing seedling vivipary In some plants the growing seed does not break through the fruit wall while the seed is on the mother plant but only after the fruit falls off cryptovivipary This is the case with Avicennia right and the seed coat of its fruits drops away more quickly in water of the right warmth and salinity usually in a spot best suited for an Avicennia seedling In others the growing seedling breaks through the fruit wall to form a stem called a hypocotyl sometimes even roots Rhizophora Bruguiera The whole seedling is then called a propagule potential plant In some trees the seedlings only fall at high tide Aegiceras When the propagule finally falls at first it floats horizontally and drifts with the tide It can survive for long periods at sea The tip is water absorbent while the top end is water repellent After some weeks the tip gradually absorbs water and the seedling floats vertically and starts to sprout its first leaf from the top and roots from the bottom When it hits land it hauls itself upright by growing more roots then sprouts more leaves The long stem is a short cut to sunlight and oxygen as seedlings are often completely submerged at high tide Amazingly young seedlings can survive being completely underwater until they are big enough to grow aerial roots at about 1 2 years Meanwhile they depend on stores of air in air spaces aerenchyma in their stems Water water everywhere not a drop

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/mangrove_trees.htm (2016-02-16)
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