Marcus Ng visited Singapore’s Pulau Semakau recently and sent in this piece:
“During low tide hours on Pulau Semakau, when the retreating sea turns the shore into a vast stretch of tidal pools and seagrass patches, egrets and herons descend to feed on the trapped creatures. Apart from the resident Great-billed Herons (Ardea sumatrana), a number of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) stalk the flats. Pacific Reef Egrets (Egretta sacra) also arrive in loose flocks (above). These egrets hunt actively, running around to strike at small prey. While fishing, their wings are often raised slightly. This might be to reduce glare on the water’s surface for better visibility.
“Both dark (above) and white morphs (top) occur on Semakau, with the former seemingly more abundant, but this could be due to the fact that the white morphs are more easily spotted from afar. The dark morphs are nearly invisible against the mudflat when not in flight. Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) sometimes swoop in to disturb the feeding egrets, probably either to steal a catch or grab a fish from the same pool (below).”
The background of the Semakau Landfill, created in 1999 and opened for nature-related activities in 2005, can be viewed HERE.
All images by Marcus Ng.