Sunday, February 03, 2008

Wild Wild West

Singapore's west side is teeming with wildlife at this time of year. Last week, when I was on a cycling trip from Buona Vista to Jurong Bird Park and back, I encountered lots of wild creatures right in the HDB heartlands. Three different times, I saw monitor lizards over 2 feet long (two of the three were well over a meter in length). The slow, awkward-looking animals were lazing around near the canals that run alongside the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, enjoying the newly completed cycling paths nearly as much as I was.

Besides the big monitor lizards, which are always in the area, there were lots of fowl friends flying about. We spotted herons, egrets, cranes, and many other types of birds that are wintering here in Singapore's pleasant climate. They sat along the either side of our path throughout most of the day. Right now is a good time for bird lovers in Singapore, because the southward migration of birds has made many breeds visible that may not normally be seen here.

The birds will be moving northward again in the next few months, so if you are the sort who enjoys seeing wildlife moving about in urban landscapes, this is a really good time to head over to the western parts of the island and enjoy the guests who are residing amongst us at the moment.

Read Colin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time and join us for the book club discussion in mid-February

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