Tag Archives: Sungei Tampines

Smooth-coated Otters Part 3

Sometimes, just when you think you can regularly encounter something, Mother Nature has other plans. Since my last encounter with the otters back in September, I had made many trips to Sungei Buloh to try to observe them again. No luck whatsoever. Perhaps they have found a new home at a more inaccessible place away from the prying eyes of human beings. Or maybe they were all eaten up by water monitors and crocodiles. Who knows?

Last Sunday morning, instead of going to my usual place, I decided to have a short stroll in Pasir Ris Park. Somewhere nearby. My goal was to find the Red Junglefowl which I had photographed previously next to Sungei Tampines, which runs through the park. By the way, the Red Junglefowls are believed to be the ancestors of the domestic chickens.

Within minutes of walking along park, I heard the distinctive “cock-a-doodle-doos” of the male junglefowl. In fact I heard two different calls at two locations. They sounded like they were having a dueling competition of some sort. I managed to catch a glimpse of the closer male bird near the mangrove swamp, but I really wasn’t that motivated to trail it through. I thought, maybe I will see them again later.

I proceeded to one of the observation point that overlook Sungei Tampines. Back in July, I encountered Grey Herons that were starting to build their nests there. It has been some time and I heard that it is now a thriving heronry, with chicks growing up nicely. True enough, when I arrived, there were heron nests with adults and chicks at various stages of development.

What caught my eyes though was a figure quite far away that was bobbing in the waters of the river. It was either a monitor lizard or an otter. I took some shots and zoomed in on my camera LCD panel. It was an otter!

I monitored it as it came closer. I beckoned to some photographers there who were engrossed with the herons about the presence of the otters. Everyone switched focus. And the otter seemingly obliged by swimming to the river bank just opposite to our observation point. I took a few quick snaps.

It later moved on to another spot and I gave chase. By the time I arrived though, it decided it wanted to move to another place. Oh well, I suppose I will leave it alone, as I was pleased and pleasantly surprised to have encountered yet another otter at a different location!

Photos below. Nothing spectacular. No eating, no playing. Just a single otter.

1.
Smooth-coated Otters - IMG_4795

2.
Smooth-coated Otters - IMG_4804

3.
Smooth-coated Otters - IMG_4806

4.
Smooth-coated Otters - IMG_4808