Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chek Jawa Boardwalk - 5th August 07

This is my first visit to Chek Jawa Wetlands since the opening of the boardwalk. We arrived at the front gate about 8.25am and found out that the gate was locked. While we are still guessing if the boardwalk is closed, the friendly security guard came with the key to open the gate at 8.30am sharp!
We start with the mangroves boardwalk and climb straight to the top of Jejawi Tower.
From the top of the tower, we are able to see the mangroves, seagrass lagoon, sandbar, part of the coastal boardwalk & the floating pontoon. This group of people are here earlier than us, and must be Kok Sheng & Dr Dan.

This is the first spider that we spotted on the column of the Jejawi Tower.

Some of the insects that we saw on the mangroves boardwalk. The white moths above looks like jet fighters on the deck of the carrier?

One of my favorites dessert - attap chee

Visitors on the boardwalk are able to observe mudskippers at close distance.

Lots of green mussel on the side of the floating pontoon.

This king fisher are found beside the coastal boardwalk too.
Paparazzi ( Ed) with his new toy in actions.
We meet lots of people at CJ on last Sunday all because of the same reason - the love and interest of the nature! The group on top are from the Naked Hermit Crabs
At the end of the coastal boardwalk was this charming Visitor Centre for Check Jawa Wetlands.
Stunning tropical view in front of the Visitor Centre.
The view of beautiful Visitor Centre from the Viewing Jetty.
On the way back to jetty, we were attracted to this superb view!!! I used to see this only on NG or Discovery Channel. Can you count how many nests are there? There are 6 trees side by side and are all packed with more than 2 hundred nests. Isn't this amazing?
Another beautiful insect while we are watching the herons.
We saw this Broad-leaved fig tree near the HSBC Hse.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Crabs, Crabs.....

I'm having a walk at the newly opened CJ Boardwalk on Sunday morning. This is my first trip there since the opening. I'll put up more about it later.

During the boardwalk, noticed 2 strange but interesting behaviour about crabs.
There are lots of vinegar crab (Episesarma) and is known to be 'vegetarian' as they usually eat leaves and some times scavenging.
This crab that we was observing, show us his tadpole catching skill. He actually catch the live tadpole for food instead of go scavenging or eat leaves! What a big surprise.
All the while I always believe that the enlarged pincer or claw of male fiddler crab can not use for feeding. That's the reason the male crabs feed twice slower than female crab. This believes of mine was challenged when we saw this fiddler crab actually using his BIG, BIG pincer to feed!!! After observe for a while, found out that this male crab has lost his left pincer. So he is using the only left behind enlarge pincer for feeding.
Is it because this crab is forced to learn to use the big pincer for feeding or just happen that he got a deformed pincer? If you look carefully, you will notice that the big pincer is sightly bend outward.
Mmmhh... crabs change their diet habits like humans too... (high protein diet?) ha ha

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Semakau Tidal Walk - 8 August 07

We have another tidal walk at Semakau this morning. Team SeaGrass is also having a transect over at Semakau. Is a good sign to see so many people showing interests wanted to know more about our nature shore.
As usual, after a short trekking through the forest, we reach the shore of Semakau. Semakau has a natural shore that made up of different ecosystems like mangroves, sandy shore, rocky shores, seagrass lagoon & coral reefs. Each ecosystem supports a different variety of plants and animals. Most of the Singapore shores have been altered by reclaimation. Semakau is one of the last few natural shores left in Singapore.
I'm not sure the id of this crab. However, I like the very unique 'tatoo' on the back.
Look at this oversized claw of the male fiddler crabs (Uca annulipes). Unfortunately, this enlarged claw can’t be used for feeding. Females on the other hands have 2 equal-sized small ones. So, they can feed twice as fast as males! The larger clawof the male crabs is used mainly for courtship, warning and fighting.
We spotted this Swimming crab (Thalamita crenata) hiding under a piece of rock. These crabs are so named because their last pair of legs have been flattened into paddle-like structures
One of our young grup member have a pair of sharp eyes. Did you find anything on the photo above? Is a Hairy crab! Wow! what a great camouflage. These crabs feed on seaweed and also toxic zoanthids (colonial anemones) which make them mildly poisonous.
A sea star with six arm! This common sea star (Archaster typicus) usually have five arms, four and six-armed individuals are frequently encountered too.
Hey, whos there? Why peeping at me? Looks like a alien with just 2 big eyes on the head.
Ooohhh....! Is a very shy Laevistrombus conch or the common name Gong-Gong.
The noble volute is laying eggs! The beautiful Cat Eye is the trap-door or operculum of Turban Snail.
This beautiful Moon Snail prey on other shells and can burrow into the sediment in just few seconds. Not far from the moon snail we saw this shrimp trying to burrow in one of the tidal pool.
Another beautiful shells of Wandering Cowries. These family of reef snails are now getting very rare due to over collection. Well, Semakau is one of the place to see this giant clam without having to know diving.
This fish looks like a Fringe-eyed Flathead (Cymbacephalus nematophthalmus )
Another iconic sea star of Semakau - Knobbly Sea Star. Must thanks R & KS to help searching for this big sea star (today short handed, not enough hunter seeker)
Group photo with Knobbly Sea Star.
We also saw few udibranchs today. A green Ceratosoma sinuate nudibranch
A Phyllid nudibranch
Colourful fan worms
Sea grapes
This is the Mushroom Coral although it looks like a anemones.
The walk ended with the landfill tour and presentation from NEA. Is really a nice tidal walk today without the rain and burning sun. :-)