Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another fabulous day out on the Chek Jawa boardwalk

It was a sunny but breezy day and the Naked Hermit Crabs were delighted to share it with some 30 new friends! Even before we began, Ivan saw several wild boars near the trails!
It's a bit of a climb up the wobbly Jejawi Tower but we are rewarded with a great view of the surrounding mangroves and forest. And on the blue horizon, Pulau Tekong. We could barely make out the hills of Johor through the hazy day.

Below us, I think it's July leading his group, past the Betel Nut palms and other interesting plants growing next to the Boardwalk. We can't all go up the Tower at the same time so my team heads back down to have a closer look at the mangroves. The melodious song of the Straw-headed bulbul greets us from the forest.
Though the back mangroves have a few mozzies, we scarcely pay attention to them as we look at the Buta-buta or Blind-Your-Eye tree, and the many Nipah palms some of which were flowering, as well as the many mud lobster mounds. But the greater attraction were the many mudskippers and fiddler crabs found here.
They are rather tiny and well camouflaged but still my team found lots of them. Like this pretty Blue-spotted mudskipper!
Here's a closer look at one of the intriguing fiddler crabs. It has red eyes. Only the male has one enlarged pincer which is too big to use for feeding. It has one small pincer to feed with.
Females have two small feeding pincers. We had fun figuring out why this is so.
Here's another male-female pair. These look like Porcelain fiddler crabs.
All too soon we were out on the sea front.
The tide is high but we still saw sand bubbler crabs, and busy digger wasps excavating burrows on the sand. And on the water line, MORE mudskippers. This time the very personable and sociable Gold spotted mudskippers. Every now and then, one would raise the colourful fin on its back.
We stop the Koh brothers to help take a group photo of us. They are professional photographers so we had to stand just so, in order to take a nice photo.
The Coastal portion was a pleasant stroll in the breeze, with sunlight on the water. We talked about the coastal forest and the Chek Jawa beacon system. And talked about the legend of the frog, the pig and the elephant who had a wager about which of them could cross the Straits. And how thus Pulau Sekudu and Pulau Ubin came about. And we saw a White bellied sea eagle!

Towards the end of the walk, the team decided to pose for a photo on the rock which I refused to get out on. Having fallen down too many rocks before. They sure make a brave and cheerful photo!
After a last look at the mysterious Tongkat Ali, we gather back at House No. 1 to share our thoughts and wishes for Chek Jawa.

July's kids were already hard at work.
Here's Kok Sheng's visitors penning their thoughts.

And this is the Kok Sheng's group photo when they were at the top of Jejawi tower.

My Pearson team had to cajole the kids to let them have the right coloured pens to do their contribution. The kids were quite fierce!
Kok Sheng has kindly scanned in all the gorgeous drawings and thoughtful words shared by our guests. It's in the next post.

At the end of it all, it was time for a nice group photo. What a great bunch of guests!
Thanks to all the guests who were really fun to bring around. I had a fabulous time with the Pearson group. They were very kind to laugh at my lame jokes and they sure could find lots of interesting things! And thanks also to Daniel who tagged along and helped out with the guiding.

We missed Mama Crab LK today, who is overseas, but nevertheless still managed all the sign ups for us. So all we had to do was turn up and do the fun part. Ivan, Kok Sheng and July guided. July also invited some friends from NIE: Pei Yan, Daniel and Candy, whom we hope will continue to guide with us at Chek Jawa. And it was nice to have James and Richard join us too.

Our next public walk is on the last Saturday of October. Do drop by the blog for more details!

More about Chek Jawa and Pulau Ubin, as well as our other wild places on the wildsingapore website.

More blog posts about this trip

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