As the tide was low during the time of our visit, there was lots of wildlife activity in the inter-tidal area. From the Jejawi Tower, we saw 2 Great-billed herons out on the mudflats. These tall birds are regular visitors. If you time your visit to Chek Jawa at a low tide, you may be able to see these relatively rare birds in their natural habitat.
|Photo taken from Jejawi Tower|
[Note: This Chek Jawa walk is funded from the kind contribution by Raffles Institution, channeled through wildsingapore.com for a talk that Ria conducted in the school. On behalf of the visitors and guides, I would like to say "Thanks" to the folks in RI!]
The mangroves were alive with a buzz of activity. We found lots of cotton-stainer bugs under the leaves of the sea hibiscus trees. The kids were excited to see them. Thankfully, most of the kids were not squeamish. Instead they asked lots of questions about the bugs. Why are they called "Cotton stainers"? Are these adults? Why are they hiding under the leaves? Can they fly?
We often see this beautiful butterfly during our walks. Finally got a photo of it. It's the male Horsfield's Baron. I love the pale blue colour juxtaposed against the velvety black of the upper wings. There is no lack of examples if you're looking for inspiring colour combinations in nature.
The monitor lizards are usually there when we take our groups out on the mangrove. This young lizard was basking in the warm sunshine and did not scuttle away immediately. We were able to watch it for a short while.
|Malayan water monitor lizard|
This little fiddler crab is spied in the inner mangrove area. We are spotting these crabs more frequently now than before. Look at the colours! If you look carefully, you should be able to see the stalk eyes! I believe this is the Rosy Fiddler Crab.
Near the water line of the outer mangroves in the silty areas, you can see other species of fiddler crabs. They are hard to miss because there are so many of them. The female crabs, however, are more difficult to spot. They do not have the enlarged pincer. But if you stare a little longer, you should be able to spot the female crabs. They have small equal-sized pincers. This species of crabs are commonly known as the porcelain fiddler crabs.
|Porcelain fiddler crabs|
The tide was low, the inter-tidal area of the seagrass lagoon exposed, and we could see so many shore birds and herons feeding away. It really is a very special feeling to stand there on the boardwalk and be able to view the animals in their natural habitats.
|Gray herons flying in|
This is a horseshoe crab that we saw from the boardwalk. It is quite a large one, measuring around 20 am across the hard shell. We could not see its tail which is covered by the tape seagrass.
Views of the sand bar and seagrass lagoon.
|Sand bar exposed at low tide|
|180 degree panorama of the seagrass lagoon and sand bar at low tide|
Hurray for our 50 enthusiastic visitors! Here's a photo of the visitors who arrived early.
And the groups that came slightly later.
Thanks go out to all our volunteer guides: Ria, Sumita, Min Lin (introducing the new intern for Wildsingapore!), Sankar, Sean, Ivan, Ian, CH and LK. Thanks for waking up early on a Saturday morning, and getting out to Chek Jawa to help introduce Singapore's coastal biodiversity to the visitors. Bravo!
Ria has written a post about this walk too. Click here for the link.
If you are interested to come for our nature walks, our next walk is on 11 April, 2015 (Saturday). The signup form can be found here.