From September to March, migratory shorebirds fly thousands of miles to our shores to escape the harsh winter back in their home countries.
On our tiny island, it is only at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Yishun Dam that nature enthusiasts and citizen researchers can view and document this annual migration spectacle.
While Sungei Buloh has proper viewing hides and designated footpaths, Yishun Dam does not. This results in humans intruding upon the feeding areas of these birds, some of which can be very rare.
I have seen flocks of birds flying in to feed when the tide recedes, only to turn back upon seeing fishing enthusiasts casting nets and digging for bait worms at the mudflats and sandbanks.
The stretch of beach at Yishun Dam is long enough to accommodate both birds and fishermen. Perhaps the National Parks Board could put up advisories during this period for fishing enthusiasts to confine their activities at the mangrove mudflat to the extreme right side of the beach, away from the birds' feeding grounds in the middle of the beach.
Low tide occurs usually only once during daylight, and if we unknowingly deprive these birds of their natural feeding grounds, we stand to lose them altogether as has occurred with many species.
Let's try and keep what we have in this City in Nature.
Art Toh Keng Jeow