MacRitchie Reservoir Park

MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a humming hive of activity on weekends, so we too had to join the hip hikers and pound the bustling boardwalks.

Before embarking on the MacRitchie trails, the fitness corner is a great place for a warm-up.

It is always gratifying to see pigeons roam around where they belong – along the edge of the reservoir instead of the edge of our air-con ledge.

On a typical weekend morning, hordes of hikers can be seen taking to the trails like ducks to water.

A popular trail to start with is the Prunus Trail, a boardwalk that snakes along the water’s edge.

Whenever we need to take a breather, we could stop for a while and look like we’re busy reading the sign boards…

…or busy appreciating the millions of droplets that make up the clear blue waters of the reservoir.

From Prunus Trail, the boardwalk continues onto Petai Trail.

At the end of the boardwalk, the trail transforms into a muddy dirt track…

…that stretches endlessly…

…where we might run into the occasional joggers…

…and possibly spy on spidey and his intricate web of doom…

…or perhaps drop in unannounced on the Plantain Squirrels and see what they are up to.

After the 3-km walk along the eastern lobe of the reservoir forest, we could swing over to the western lobe and tackle the Lornie Trail and its associated boardwalks.

Keep a lookout for the Chocolate Pansy (Junonia hedonia ida), a common butterfly in our parks and forests.

While walking along the Chemperai boardwalk, we will be accompanied by the numerous dragonflies and damselflies skittering on the water surface, such as the Common Flangetail (Ictinogomphus decoratus)

…or the Variegated Green Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina)

…or the Common Redbolt (Rhodothemis rufa)

…or the Blue Sprite (Pseudagrion microcephalum), whose blue bodies can be seen sparkling on the water as they flit by.

As we were sauntering along Chemperai boardwalk one morning, we were honoured to be greeted by a family of Smooth-coated Otters

…who graciously escorted us the entire way during our boardwalk hike.

When we reached the end of the Chemperai Boardwalk, we bid our otter friends goodbye as they continued on their reservoir escapade, while we headed back along Lornie Trail.

As the prominent bandstand loomed ahead, this signaled that our walk was coming to an end.

Back at the reservoir dam, kayakers were busy practising and getting ready for their race.

As our prize for the completion of our hike, we were granted an audience with the highly sought-after Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), who has been (unofficially) crowned Singapore’s National Bird…

…most likely because he resembles a tiny red dot, as Singapore is so often affectionately referred to. There couldn’t be a more fitting ambassador, representing everything that we are or hope to be: tiny but full of vigour and always reaching out for more.

Other common resident birds in the area include the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

…the Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis)

…and the Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis).

Boy were we thirsty after that 9-km reservoir hike. The monkeys happened to be having a drinking party, so we headed out to join them for a drink.