Wildlife spotting at Kranji Marshes

Entrance of Kranji Marshes

To attend the watercolour painting session organised by National Parks, I found myself at Kranji Marshes one Sunday morning. This post will take you through what you expect to see in this relatively newly opened nature attraction.

The featured picture of this post shows the entrance of the Kranji Marshes. Ordinarily, if you were to drive in or take provisioned transport in, you would not stop there. Instead, you will see the visitor centre.

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The view from the visitor centre

From there it’s just a straight path along Neo Tiew Woods to get to your next point of interest, Marsh station- And what a walk it is.

Not just a pile of sticks

Along Neo Tiew Woods, you will see very deliberately placed “wooden sculptures” like the ones in the picture below. Can you guess what they are placed there for?

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How much wood can a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker would peck wood?

In fact, these are called “wildlife piles” and it is made to provide a habitat for various small organisms. These piles simulate accumulated broken branches from storms or strong winds.

It is in one such pile that I greeted one of my first critters.

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Hello, Mr. lizard

It was fortunate that I read the blurb on the wildlife piles before for I would have very easily missed this little guy otherwise.

Shelters

That’s not to say there weren’t any shelters throughout the walk along Neo Tiew Woods. There were in fact two of these. The first one you’ll meet is Beaver Shelter followed by another in the form of Woodpecker Shelter.

There in the shelters, you can find educational boards about topics like “wildlife piles” to Nest boxes. Also in the shelters are recycled logs to rest your feet. Once you are rested, the road plods on for a bit, until at last it reaches Marsh Station.

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Along Neo Tiew Road

Marsh station

There are 4 different structures to explore at Marsh Station.

  1. Kingfisher burrow
  2. Moorhen blind
  3. Swamphen hide
  4. Raptor Tower

Kingfisher burrow

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Kingfisher Burrow from above

With an outdoor sitting area made of recycled tree trunks and a sheltered space with educational boards about marshes and bird with a blackboard to boot, National Parks has primed the Kingfisher Burrow as a place for lessons about nature and conservation.

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Recycled logs as seats at Kingfisher Burrow

You can also take a walk up the slope to the top of the Kingfisher Burrow to get an elevated view of the surrounding area.

Raptor Tower

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Another point of interest is the Raptor tower.With a roof designed to emulate a bird in flight spreading its wings, the wooden tower offers a panoramic view of the surrounding marshes and Kranji Reservoir. Educational boards are placed all around to aid birding enthusiasts in identifying and spotting birds.

At the very top , not only will you get a good view, you can also identify structures in the distance ala Tokyo Tower.

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Panoramic Views from Raptor Tower
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View of marshes from Raptor Tower

Hide and Blind

The Swarmhen hide and Moorhen blind are areas from which you can look out and observe wildlife from. It is recommended that would-be visitors come in the early morning for a higher chance of observing these birds. Come mid-morning, the birds retreat to a shady area to escape the blistering sun.

Unfortunately for me, I was there at noon. Still, at least I caught (what I think to be) a pretty  good close-up of a dragonfly.

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Lime dragonfly

Restricted access

For the public at large, that’s all the areas that is accessible. However for some guided tours and events like the water painting class I attended, National Parks opens the restricted area for small groups to visit as well.

Restricted Area
Restricted Area

The really cool thing about being there is that you are one of the few people who have set foot in the area. You also can find the very long and instagram-worthy floating bridge in this area. If you are into this then sign up for the grand old tour of Kranji Marshes with National Parks here.

The lowdown

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The Kranji Countryside Express

To get to Kranji Marshes, you can drive or take the Kranji Countryside Express from Kranji MRT. You will see a sign just outside the entrance. The van takes you through various places including Sungei Buloh Visitor Centre and Bollywood veggies. You may find the schedule here.

Trips are priced at 3SGD for both ways, although there is nothing to stop you from visiting multiple locations in a day.

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