During the last Pedal Ubin ride on 9 April 2006 (Sunday), a heavy storm that lasted throughout the night made for an enticing morning to sleep in yet our amazing participants and guides actually got up in the wee hours of the rainy morning and came down to Changi Point Ferry Terminal in full force.
Prepared for a muddy ride, my group headed off with a family with 2 adorable boys and their Norwegian friends along with 2 other couples including a professional photographer Julian that probably knows more about Ubin than I do!
Our first surprise of the day started early as we were standing at the basketball court (Meeting Point 1), a huge silhouette appeared in the horizon. It was one of the hornbills! That was not to be the only time we see the hornbills that day. Later at the Thai temple we were treated to almost a half hour of watching two hornbills (one male and one female) feasting on the Bodhi Tree outside the temple. They were very close and absolutely unafraid. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera on me as I was thinking a rainy day on Ubin probably would not be condusive for photo taking. Well I was wrong! This is a lesson to all that after the rain, the animals come out to play!
Photo of Hornbill by Pedal Ubin Guide Andy Dinesh, 9 April 2006
Unfortunately it also brought out the ants! With the ants' nest flooded, all the ants were out to "play" too!
At Jelutong Bridge, we saw a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) or what the malay know as the Raja Udang. (Did you know there is a road in Singapore off Balestier Road called Jalan Raja Udang and it was named after this bird!) It was the first time I saw this bird on the island as the Common Kingfisher is actually relatively uncommon in Singapore.
Throughout the trip, from Puaka Hill all the way up till the Thai temple, I continuously heard the strangled call of the Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) but nobody else in my group heard it. It was not until I demonstrated the call that everybody started noticing it too. Unfortunately we never got to see any that day!
Finally, on our way back to the jetty, we were graced by the presence of a monitor lizard sunning itself by the road side just outside the MCC Ubin Resort!
Photo of a sunning monitor lizard at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserves. The one we spotted at Ubin was doing the very same thing after a cold rainy morning! Photo by November, 4 Dec 2005
Despite my lack of camera, I'm glad that we had Julian with us. More photos from Julian to come!