Sunday, September 2, 2012

Holiday fun at Pasir Ris mangroves

We're back at Pasir Ris mangroves to share the marvels of the mangroves with about 30 enthusiastic mums, dads and kids!
As usual, the kids are great at spotting stuff!

We had fun even before we began our walk. A group of birdwatchers kindly shared photos of a large owl that they had seen inside the mangroves! What a treat for the kids to have a glimpse of it. Ivan later shared lots of interesting information about Singapore owls, and how they hunt in the mangroves.
Kok Sheng is not only guiding today, but is also introducing his students to nature guiding! This is part of his EXCEL programme at Dunman High School which hopes to expose students to real issues, and real efforts to address them by real people. Bravo!
Ivan guides another group of excited kids!
While Sankar leads this family who had come for another of our walks in March which was wiped out by heavy rain. I'm so impressed that they came back, and glad we had better weather today. With them is baby, who in March, was still inside mummy's tummy!
The wet weather earlier this week means a livelier mangrove! The kids had fun spotting lots of Tree-climbing crabs very early in the walk!
The crab got bigger and even more plentiful as we head into the forest on the boardwalk.
Dad is really good at spotting stuff too. We also see many Telescopium snails that look like ice-cream cones, and lots of large clams too.
And mum spotted a Malayan water monitor lizard!
Can you see the lizard in this photo? Mangrove animals often look like roots, branches, leaves or lumps of mud. So it takes patience and a keen eye to find them!
As we got deeper into the mangroves, we saw lots of Giant mudskippers. Alas, we couldn't find any live Dog faced water snakes. Although Kok Sheng did spot a recently dead one. So hopefully, there are some live ones still around.
It was heartening to see that the new leaves on most of the mangrove trees were fresh and green. Previously, the forest trees were affected by sooty mould which results in rather blackish leaves. Hopefully, this means that the mangroves are getting healthier.
All too soon we reach the end of our walk, at the jetty on Sungei Tampines. Here, there were more enthusiastic bird photographers. We saw herons, a hunting kingfisher, lots of  Halfbeaks and Archerfishes too!
At the jetty, the kids have fun sharing what they had seen and heard during our walk.
These young artists are talented!
Sharing great drawings of some of the highlights of Pasir Ris mangroves.
Here's a slide show of all the drawings kindly shared by the kids and grownups who joined our walk.
Thanks to the mums, dads and kids for coming. And special thanks to the volunteer guides for the day: Ivan, Sankar and Kok Sheng and his students Jinjing and Raphael.

The Naked Hermit Crabs hope to resume this free evening Pasir Ris boardwalk tours during the December school holidays. We will update the blog when we finalise the dates.

Our next event is the free boardwalk tour at Chek Jawa on 8 Sep (Sat).  Come join us there!

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