The Otter Cycling Trail is a biannual event where we take participants to beat-up natural areas along the northeastern Park Connector Network (PCN) to promote both cycling and nature guiding.
Amanda (Chicken/RedJungleFowl Girl) and I (Ottergirl) are out again to bring a whole new and improved version of the Otter Cycling Trail (OCT) !
After a challenging recce conducted a week before, the new guides were all fired up and prepared for this ride. With support from the veteran guides, we were well stocked with a total of 7 nature and 7 safety guides!
Siva, at his first OCT, started off the ride by introducing the ride and a safety briefing…
After the crucial bike checks, we headed off to our first pit stop – Pasir Ris Park!
The faunal action that started with the resident Grey Herons certainly did not stop there. Shortly after, we encountered a waiting Andy Dinesh below several trees. A Spotted-wood Owl was in our midst! Participants and guides took great care to be quiet so we wouldn’t disturb it!
As we rode along Pasir Ris Farmway 3 towards Lorong Halus, we were greeted by even more wildlife!
The most exciting part of the ride had to be when we were graced with the presence of some special visitors! Just as I led my group into pitstop #2 (Serangoon Reservoir), I picked up the all-too-familiar squeaks amidst the loud, excited chatter of a wedding entourage that were taking pictures along the Lorong Halus bridge. Adrenaline shot right up me as I jerked my head towards the direction of the squeaks and saw round bobbing heads in a distance… “OTTERS!!!”, I exclaimed. A good 10 of them!
After orientating my group members to the direction to look, I ran to gather the other groups and did nothing to contain my child-like excitement. Back at the bridge, the large group of otters were noticeably closer and could be seen going up a nearby bank to groom and defecate. Foraging in the nearby waters followed as the participants watched in awe and let out exclamations of excitement.
“First time seeing otters in the wild!”
“I’ve never seen otters before”
“They’re sooo cute!!”
“They’re catching fish!”
“I didn’t know they were so big!”
It’s always wonderful to share the joy of watching animals like the otter in the wild, especially one that is not easily seen and is so charismatic to boot.
To have chanced upon them swimming up the reservoir at the right place at the most opportune time was certainly pure luck! For the virgin otter-spotters, this was certainly a treat and a story to tell!
Participants rode to Sengkang Riverside Park to have lunch at Mushroom Cafe.
Last stop of the day involved a story-telling session by Siva about the history of the Punggol/Sengkang area…
This video was made by Nature Guide Ng Wen Qing highlighting two of our lucky sightings during Otter Cycling Trail v2.0.
What a ride! Interested yet? Keep checking this space for the next Otter Cycling Trail v3.0!