Friday, June 6, 2008

1-June-08 What our Bukit Batok guests say about Chek Jawa

Our visitors never fail to amaze us with their keen sense of observation as well as drawing skills. Just look at Md. Asyraf's drawing of the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) that he observed at Chek Jawa on 1-June-2008. Compare that to my photograph taken one week earlier. He has captured the poise of the bird so poignantly. If this is the first time he has seen this bird in the wild and is able to produce such an elegant picture, do we have a budding naturalist in him?

We have on many occasions seen the caterpillars of the atlas moth (Attacus atlas) but the adult moth itself has been rather elusive until this time. In fact, we saw five of them on a tree close to the CJ Information Kiosk. We suspect that they have just emerged from their chrysalis and are waiting for their wings to strengthen before flying off. Can someone explain this properly for us?

In any case, compare the drawing with the photograph. Another observant naturalist!

The atlas moth is so named because the patterns on their wings resemble maps. They also have the largest wing surface (not length) of all moths. All I know is that they are pretty spectacular. I'm glad to see them thriving in Chek Jawa.

Other drawings from our young friends from Batok Batok community include:

1) Emran is impressed with the large schools of fishes observed from the boardwalk above the coral rubble area. Is that the Chek Jawa lone Perepat tree (Sonneratia alba) in the background? Wow! He is an observant chap!

2) Another student drew an idyllic picture of Pulau Sekudu (Frog Island), rocky shore and a tree with little hearts!

3) The students in my group were lucky to spot the banded krait (Bungarus sp.). The last time we saw the krait was on 7-Jul-07 during the official opening of the Chek Jawa Boardwalk.

Here is a photo record of the banded krait taken on 1-June-2008, Chek Jawa mangroves.

Although the banded krait is venomous, it is a shy animal and thus, is rarely seen. It has a distinctive black and white banded body and a triangular body cross section.

We are pleased that the banded krait is still living happily in the mangroves. He is a beauty!

4) To end, here are two students expressing in words how they have enjoyed visiting Chek Jawa and hoping that they could come back again.

Look out for our nature walks at Chek Jawa Boardwalk again. Till then, Happy Nature Watching!

The Crabs

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