On 15 February 2014, seven Toddycats took some 25 participants on a Love MacRitchie Walk at Venus Loop. This was the first of a series of fortnightly free guided walks for the public planned for 2014. Through our second guiding workshop earlier this year, we have more than doubled our crew of trained guides to 40! This ensures a high guide to participant ratio for future walks.
This walk, like previous ones in 2013, was anchored around five major stations along the trail, giving participants a holistic learning experience of the importance of forest reserves, forest ecology and human impacts. The walk was also peppered with fun facts about plants and animals encountered along the way.
Among other stories of forest critters, participants on this walk would probably best remember the foraging habits of the Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) and other birds. The drongo is known as “burung hamba kera” in Malay, meaning “slave bird of the Long-tailed Macaque (kera kera)”. We watched in wonder as the story behind their common names played out, with drongos following behind a troop of macaques, picking on the insects stirred up as they moved through the forest canopy. Then, calling the participants to a brief moment of silence, we listened to a medley of bird calls, which we believed to be a bird wave! A bird wave is composed of various species flocking in to pick up prey rustled by other foraging birds. Drongos are also capable of initiating bird waves with their ability to mimic the calls of other species.
View more photos from this walk at http://www.flickr.com/photos/habitatnews/sets/72157641073077383/
Love Our MacRitchie Forest will celebrate World Wildlife Day with our next walk at Prunus-Petai Trail on 1 Mar 2014 (fully subscribed!).