Friday, March 19, 2010

A walk on Chek Jawa Boardwalk in February

Sorry for the late post! No, the Crabs have not been hiding in our shells. We have been busy busy Crabs. During the February Chek Jawa walk, a few of us went out exploring with 3 visitors (many signed up but did not show up. Sigh.)

The residents of Chek Jawa Wetlands did not disappointed us. We were absolutely delighted to spot the male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) a few times during the 2 hours that we were there. He was feeding on the fig tree, resting on the palm trees and flew over our heads several times. Here are pictures of this magnificent bird.


We also spotted several beautiful birds that morning. The White-rumped Sharma (Copyychus malabaricus) was found under a clump of trees. PY managed to get an excellent shot of it.

Further down the trail, we also spotted the male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) among the bushes. It is a tireless little bird that flies from tree to tree, so we were lucky to catch it resting on the branch giving us an excellent view of its lovely red crown and back.

We know many of our visitors love to see the Atlas Moth (Atlas attacus) in the wild. There were no adult moth about that day, but we saw a chrysalis. As you can tell by the size of the chrysalis of about 9 cm, the Atlas Moth has an impressive wingspan, in fact one of the largest in the world.

At the inner mangrove area, we saw an unfamiliar fern with a furry 'tail' sticking out. Later that day, we found out from our NParks friends that this is the Oak-leaf Fern (Drynaria quercifolia) and the furry animal-like 'tail' is the growing rhizome of the fern. The Oak-leaf Fern has 2 types of leaves. The brown leaves form a protective armour over the young green leaves. We will try to get pictures of the Oak-leaf Fern when the green leaves have emerged from the brown 'armour'.

Enjoy the rest of the photos from our trip.

 An unidentified crab found in the inner mangroves.

 Cotton stainer bugs (Dysdercus decussatus) gathering in large numbers. They only feed on the seeds of the Sea Hibiscus Tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus)

Ivan pointing out the nests of the Weaver Red Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina). 

 And here is a close-up of the pouch of leaves formed by the Weaver Ants. Scientist are fascinated by the ability of such ants to co-ordinate on complex tasks of weaving the nests. Read more about nest building at this website.

A group photo for keepsake.

Parting words from our visitors:

"Never expected Chek Jawa to support so much life... I hope that there is enough awareness to conserve it even more...!"

"Chek Jawa should be conserved for the future generations of Singapore. For the first time in my life, I've seen the attap fruit, real mangrove plants and trees, mud crabs, mudskippers and a lot more nature."


Thanks to Ivan, LK and PY (NIE Green Club) for guiding. Photo credits go to Christel, PY and LK. And a shout-out to our 3 valiant visitors - Philip, Eddie and Winston. Hope to see you guys again at other nature spots.

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