Monday, May 22, 2017

Adventures with new friends!

Balik Chek Jawa (a FREE Chek Jawa open House) is coming up soon, and we are happy to have a group of 27 amazing volunteers join us for our Chek Jawa familiarisation tour to be nature guides for the event!
A whole bunch of new friends!
Photo by Ria Tan

Just as we arrived, we were greeted by a wild boar, and a large group of long-tailed macaques. All of us were excited to get a sneak peek of the wildlife we would see during our walks, but still remembered to keep a respectful distance from the animals.
The first sighting of the day
 Remember not to feed or disturb the animals!

We were also fortunate enough to run into Mr. Yeo, a true-blue Ubin islander, who used to live on Chek Jawa and was kind enough to share some stories about what Chek Jawa used to be like.
Mr. Yeo (in pink), describing Ubin's past
After bidding goodbye to Mr Yeo, we made our way to House No. 1. There, we did a quick round of introductions, and split ourselves into groups to begin the walk.
Let's introduce ourselves!
Photo by Ley Kun Wong
For Balik Chek Jawa day, many stations will be set up along the Chek Jawa boardwalk. Our volunteer guides were enthusiastic and quickly learned about each station!
Ley Kun (in black hat) giving an introduction about Chek Jawa
Dayna (in blue) sharing with volunteers about the Kampung Chek Jawa station
Ria (with white bandanna) sharing about Jejawi Tower station and the Jejawi Tree

Everyone was interested in the large, red balls growing along the boardwalk. These balls are the fruit of the Nipah palm, from which you can get attap chee for your ice kachang! We also managed to find some pretty Nipah flowers growing as well. Find out more at the Nipah Palm station!
The Attap Fruit
Nipah Flowers
Photo by Ria Tan

Our sharp-eyed volunteers also managed to spot not just one, but two dog-faced water snakes! These snakes are able to swim, and prey on small animals such as fish.
Dog-faced Water Snake

Luckily for us, they weren't very sssneaky

We also learnt a lot about the mangrove trees growing around the boardwalk, and the unique way that they reproduce!
Mangrove Propagules

The tide was just coming in as we made our way to the coastal boardwalk. We managed to spot multiple herons feeding, and enjoy the sight of the seagrass swaying in the clear waters, among other interesting sights.
Looking out for shorebirds
A coastal horseshoe crab in the seagrass meadow 

At the end of the coastal boardwalk, the last station before we returned to House No. 1, there is a special tree known as the seashore nutmeg. The volunteers were interested in learning about this tree, which is extremely rare and critically endangered.
Fruits of the seashore nutmeg

With the walk over, we made our way back to Ubin Jetty with a group of new nature guides. Come see them in action at the Chek Jawa open house on 3 June (Sat)! The event is FREE, no need to register. Just come to Chek Jawa!
See you at Balik Chek Jawa!
A big thank you to all the volunteers who signed up for the tour, we really appreciate your passion for nature! Thanks also to our Naked Hermit Crab guides Ley Kun, Ria and Dayna for leading the tour!

More information about Balik Chek Jawa:

Photos by Liz Lim on facebook.

Photos by Wong Ley Kun on facebook.

Photos by Ria Tan on facebook.

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