Sunday, June 3, 2012

Evening at Pasir Ris mangroves

Another another great walk with families and kids at the Pasir Ris mangrove boardwalk yesterday.
As usual, crabs are a great attraction for the kids. And there are LOTS of them at Pasir Ris mangroves!

Ley Kun, our Mama Hermit Crab leads off the first group of visitors. We are so glad to have about 40 mums, dads and kids on this evening stroll.
As we began our walk, how delightful to see that one of the many native orchids planted by NParks on the trees has bloomed. This looks like a Cymbidium, perhaps the rare Cymbidium bicolor that was first rediscovered at Sungei Buloh more than 100 years after it was thought to be extinct in Singapore. Joseph Lai shared more about this special orchid in this article.
Wow, we saw several Atlas moths! I didn't realise there were more than one of them until someone else pointed it out. It looks like there's a pair of them here, probably mating? These are among the largest moths in the world, and they don't live very long as winged adults. So they must mate and lay eggs quickly before they die.
Rick was also with us and very happily shared more about his favourite mangrove plants. Rick and the Mangrove Action Squad will be conducting more walks at Pasir Ris in June. More details here!
The kids have very sharp eyes and noticed 'flies' around the Giant mudskippers. They are actually mosquitoes and they are biting the fish! Ouch!
As usual, we can rely on the kids to highlight some of our special finds and what they hoped to see.
Naked Hermit Crabs Guestbook (Pasir Ris 2 Jun 2012)
A tiger! I heard someone exclaim. Indeed, there was a tiny plastic tiger toy on the mud. Oh dear. Trash is a problem in our mangroves and shores.
Our favourite part of the walk is the Jetty. A great spot to easily see all kinds of fishes, birds and other wildlife.
Here, we catch up with Sankar who led another group and is pointing out the many awesome herons nesting in the trees nearby. We also saw a kingfisher and a woodpecker.
This little Striated heron is intently hunting for fishes as it clings onto the roots of mangrove trees along the stream.
Ley Kun's group was fortunate to watch this Malayan water monitor swim up to the dead tree, then climb and settle there. We have seen this on almost all our walks. This seems to be a favourite perch for the lizards.
As usual, the kids have fun sharing what they saw during the drawing session at the end of the walk.
Anne drew us a lovely mudskipper even before the walk began!
Another young artist with his colourful drawing!
Here's all the marvelous drawings shared by the visitors during our walk
6 year old Soh Zhi Bing is a wonderful artist and also loves snakes. He drew some of the water snakes that can be found on our shores such as the Gerards' water snake, Cantoria water snake and of course the Dog-faced water snake.
On the other side, he had an awesome drawing of another of his favourite snakes.
In fact, we had a lot of young ones who were very determined to see snakes! Bringing along their favourite snake book and guidesheets!
Sadly, we didn't see a single Dog-faced water snake, even after sunset. This is quite alarming. Did something happen to them? Something similar to what caused the mass fish deaths on this same stream in March? Oh dear.

Hopefully, we will see the snakes on our upcoming walks at Pasir Ris. Join us if you can!

Rick and the Mangrove Action Squad will be conducting walks here on 9 Jun (Sat) and 23 Jun (Sat), while the Naked Hermit Crabs will be conducting another walk on 30 Jun (Sat).

Want to make a difference for Pasir Ris? On 9 Jun (Sat) 8.30am join the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore effort to clean up this shore in celebration of World Ocean Day!

Thanks to Ley Kun, Sankar and Rick for guiding at the walk, and the many mums, dads and kids for joining us.

Special note to participants of this walk: Ley Kun is missing her binoculars after this trip. If it is with any of you could you please email us at Thank you!

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