In a country that is so obsessed with shopping and the trappings of a city life, it is heartening to see so many of the visitors to our outings at Chek Jawa express their love for nature and wild places. And they bring their families along - the young and the young-at-heart - to enjoy a morning amongst the mangroves and coastal areas.
It is the school holidays, and we had a total of 50 visitors and 7 guides (including Alan from NParks who helped us too).
As the roving photographer today, I was able to take many photos of the groups along the trail.
Here's one of PY and her group as they set off from the meeting place.
CH, one of our regular guides, is seen here explaining how the mud lobsters create their amazing network of burrows in the mangrove. These networks of tunnels and mounds are like a 'condo' to numerous species of animals such as snakes, spiders and crabs which share the burrows with the mud lobsters. It is indeed a rich ecosystem.
This is Alan and his group hunting for insects such as the cotton-stainer bugs that are often seen in the sea hibiscus trees.
Daniel and his group are seen here observing the fiddler crabs at the water edge. In Chek Jawa at low tide, you will be able to observe countless number of fiddler crabs scuttling on the inter-tidal area.
And this is the spot where we usually stop to observe the red weaver ants as they build their nests. That's Ivan sharing his amazing knowledge of the ants.
A view of the coastal boardwalk that stretches several hundred metres over the water.
When we ended our walk at House #1, also known as the English Cottage, we usually encourage visitors to sign our guestbook as a memento of the visit. Here are 2 young lads with drawings of what they saw during their walk.
At the English Cottage, the visitors and guides were swopping stories of their sightings. I overheard Ria saying that some of the kids in her group were really enthusiastic in seeking out the animals and fishes. They saw a juvenile Malayan Water Monitor Lizard in the mangrove area. Chay Hoon's group had a lucky sighting of a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills in the inner mangrove area. The best sighting of the day belongs to Ivan's group who saw a pair of otters swimming in the sea near the dead Perepat tree. That's fantastic! Chek Jawa is still very much alive!
Thanks go out to all our volunteer guides (PY, Chay Hoon, Ria, Daniel, Ivan, Alan and LK) for giving a precious weekend morning to share the beauty of Chek Jawa with members of the public. Thanks also go out to our visitors for being such wonderful listeners. As many of you said to us, we certainly hope Chek Jawa is preserved for many more generations of Singaporeans to enjoy.
Our next Chek Jawa Boardwalk trip is on 8th January, 2011 (Saturday). I will post an announcement of the 2011 walks shortly.
- Read Ria's post of the trip in the wildshores blog.
- Read Siango's post on his blog Trek Through Paradise.