Wednesday, January 16, 2019

26 Jan (Sat): FREE Guided Pasir Ris Mangrove Walk

Our first walk of 2019 aims to celebrate the beauty and importance of our global wetland ecosystems. We'll be exploring the mangroves of Pasir Ris in lieu of World Wetlands Day, 2nd February 2019. This year's theme is "We are not powerless against climate change". Join us to find out how you can help our wetlands.

Sign up now on Eventbrite! Don't miss the opportunity to see some wildlife in action! Pasir Ris Mangroves is conveniently located 10 minutes away from Pasir Ris MRT station. We only do Pasir Ris Mangroves two to three times a year, so don't miss this opportunity!



How do wetlands protect us from climate change?


Credit: World Wetlands Day website

Credit: World Wetlands Day website

Credit: World Wetlands Day website

To learn more, join the Naked Hermit Crabs at Pasir Ris Mangroves on 26 January, Saturday. This is a FREE nature walk on the mangrove boardwalk at Pasir Ris Park.


There are many creatures look out for in the mangroves, such as mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs, snails, herons and monitor lizards. The best part of the nature walk is at the end when we get to the small jetty over the river. There is a lot of animal activity in the evenings. We have seen young monitor lizards crawling into their nests as they settle in before nightfall. Sometimes, you may even spot kingfishers, jellyfishes and water snakes! It really is quite exciting for the children to be able to see these animals in the wild.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 Schedule for our FREE Guided Walks

As we turn 12 this year, we hope to continue growing with the help of your support! We will continue to offer FREE nature walks at Chek Jawa Boardwalk and Pasir Ris Mangroves. We have two special walks in March at Berlayar Creek, Labrador Park, to celebrate the closing of the International Year of the Reef. 

These walks will help us to reach out to more people on the marine life our shores are home to and in return, we hope that this will safeguard our threatened natural shores such as Chek Jawa.


Here is our schedule for 2019. All walks are held at Chek Jawa Boardwalk (Pulau Ubin) unless stated otherwise.

26 Jan (Saturday) - Pasir Ris Mangroves
23 Feb (Saturday) - Chek Jawa
9 Mar (Saturday) - Guide training and Walk at Berlayar Creek
16 Mar (Saturday) - Station Guiding at IYOR closing at Berlayar creek
14 Apr (Sunday) - Chek Jawa
25 May (Saturday) - Pasir Ris Mangroves
1 Jun (Saturday) - Guided Training and Walk at Chek Jawa

2 Jun (Sunday) - Balik Chek Jawa. No registration required.
13 July (Saturday) - Chek Jawa
17 Aug (Sunday) - Chek Jawa
7 Sep (Saturday) - school holidays - Pasir Ris Mangroves
20 Oct (Sunday) - Chek Jawa
23 Nov (Saturday) - Pasir Ris Mangroves
15 Dec (Sunday) - school holidays - Chek Jawa


It gives us much joy to share what we know about the plants and animals that live in the fragile coastal ecosystems of Chek Jawa and Pasir Ris Mangroves. Sign up for our walks and get to know Singapore's own biodiversity from volunteers who care about such things.

Registration for our walks are done online through Eventbrite. We open registration 10 days before each walk.

Click here to access our Facebook page and Eventbrite for updates on our trips.









If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at nakedhermitcrabs@gmail.com.

Happy nature exploring!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

That's a wrap!

Instead of the usual run-of-the-mill post on the flora and fauna we saw, we’ll share about why Naked Hermit Crabs’ walks are so rewarding for guides. As volunteer guides, we enjoy what we do when we see adults whose faces light up with the same curiosity and excitement as our younger participants.


Our guide, Sumita, sharing about who we are and
why we do walks at endangered shores such as Chek Jawa
Photo by: Liz Lim


Photo by: Ria Tan
One of our guides, Chen Xi, shared with us that "I enjoy guiding with NHC because I get a chance to introduce people to the plants and animals they may not know about. It's also a good way to have a nice walk outdoors and relax."

The sight that always takes our breath away
Photo by: Liz Lim


Excitement!
Photo by: Ria Tan

Photo by: Ria Tan


We’ve been guiding at Chek Jawa for almost a decade and no two walks are ever the same. On most occasions, you’ll catch our guides being surprised about things we don’t expect to see. Another of the Naked Hermit Crabs, Xiang Tian says, "I enjoy guiding because the places we guide at are great to visit and we never know what we're going to see on our walks! The places we guide at are also at risk, so it's meaningful to show people what is there before it is gone.".


Sometimes we just enjoy the things
Ubin has to offer, such as organic Ubin jackfruit!

Photo by: Ria Tan


Looking forward, we hope to continue raising awareness about our vulnerable shores and to lend our voice to safeguarding our beautiful shores. We have a lot of exciting things coming up in 2019. Watch this space and our Facebook for our 2019 walk dates!



Over 60 participants and 7 guides joined us
at our last walk for 2018 at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin!


We-fie by one of our participants, Jimmy Ng

Saturday, December 1, 2018

16 Dec (Sun) - Free guided walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk


Join us our regular Chek Jawa Boardwalk outing on 16 December, Sunday. Come explore this very special and beautiful corner of Singapore mangroves with us. Just gather your family and friends, and have someone do the signup on behalf of the group. Best of all, this nature walk is free! Register on Eventbrite here.

Chek Jawa is rich in biodiversity, and with the help of our volunteer guides, you should be able to see lots of interesting plants and wildlife. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boar, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

Date: 16 December 2018 (Sunday)
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk, Pulau Ubin
Meeting time: 9:30 am
Duration of walk: 2 hours
Fees: No charge for now, but small donations are accepted
Sign up here.

For more information on what to expect at our Chek Jawa Boardwalk outings, and when preparing for your visit, please make sure you read our post specially written for you.





More photos in the next section.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Park that Never Ceases to Amaze Us: Pasir Ris Park

Despite a rainy start to the walk, we had over 40 participants turn up for our special walk at Pasir Ris Park. Even though we only do walks to this park two to three times a year, it's never a boring walk as there's a wide variety of biodiversity.

As the jetty and our usual route through the boardwalks was closed, we headed to find the family of spotted wood owls who are resident to the park. We spot them by looking for their puke pellets and listening to their soft 'hoots'. Some years, we see the adult male and female owl with their offspring. This time, we saw two of them nestled in a rain tree.

We took a leisurely stroll to the shore and saw a large group of roosting herons. During the mating season, you can hear the calls of the grey herons as they compete for mates. We ended off the walk by the shore where the kids in our group found many crab moults of flower crabs.

Ria explains to her participants that the best way
to find owls is to look out for their puke pellets
that usually contains undigested matter,
such as bones, feathers or plant matter
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.
This puke pellet contains a shrew's skeleton
(a type of rodent)
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.

One of the spotted wood owls
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.

They aren't always easy to spot so guides usually point
them out. With a bit of patience and sharp eyesight,
the visitor finally spots the owls.
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.

Kapok! The kapok tree produces pods that burst
to expose a cottony interior.
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.

A grey heron heading back to the roost sight.
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.
Taking in the sights and sounds at the shore
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.
Everyone was intrigued by the crab moults
Photo by Nicholas Yeo.

We can't wait for our walks in 2019 at Pasir Ris Park and we hope to see you there! A huge thank you to our guides, Ley Kun, Ria, Xiang Tian and Sumita. And to Nicholas Yeo for taking the awesome photos of our walk.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

10 November (Sat) - Free guided walk at Pasir Ris Mangroves

This March, the Naked Hermit Crabs are specially organising a very special nature walk at Pasir Ris Mangroves on 10 November, Saturday. This is a FREE nature walk on the mangrove boardwalk at Pasir Ris Park.

Sign up now on Eventbrite! Don't miss the opportunity to see some wildlife in action! Pasir Ris Mangroves is conveniently located 10 minutes away from Pasir Ris MRT station. We only do Pasir Ris Mangroves two to three times a year, so don't miss this opportunity!


There are many creatures look out for in the mangroves, such as mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs, snails, herons and monitor lizards. The best part of the nature walk is at the end when we get to the small jetty over the river. There is a lot of animal activity in the evenings. We have seen young monitor lizards crawling into their nests as they settle in before nightfall. Sometimes, you may even spot kingfishers, jellyfishes and water snakes! It really is quite exciting for the children to be able to see these animals in the wild.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Rainy romp around Chek Jawa!

We were glad to be joined by 45 enthusiastic participants for our Chek Jawa walk on 14 October, who came for the walk despite the rainy weather! We were also pleased to be joined by the Channel 8 crew, who came along to film our walk for their ‘Frontline’ segment.

Rain or shine, the walk will go on!
Photo by Ley Kun Wong
A participant being interviewed by Channel 8
Photo by Ho Xiang Tian
You can check out the segment we're featured on Toggle! We're featured from 16:50 onwards.


Even in the rain, there’s still plenty to see at Chek Jawa, such as the mud lobster mounds and the animals living inside!
A large mud lobster mound.

Look out for holes in these mounds! It may just be the home of the tree-climbing crab, which climb up tree trunks during high tide.
A tree-climbing crab near its burrow.
Photo by Chen Xi
One of our eagle-eyed participants spotted a dusky-gilled mudskipper, which you can recognize from its small size and reddish fins.
A dusky-gilled mudskipper on a branch.
Photo by Chen Xi

From the top of Jejawi tower, we could see many different kinds of birds flying above and around the mangrove canopy. One of the birds we saw was the oriental pied hornbill, which was resting in a tree.
The hornbill sure has a large beak!
Photo by Ria Tan

Another bird we spotted was the great billed heron, which was flying across the mangrove shore. These large birds wade around in the water with their long legs to find fish to eat.

The great-billed heron in flight.
Photo by Ley Kun Wong
There were also many different mangrove plants we could see along the boardwalk. These plants are adapted to growing in the salty, waterlogged mangroves and have special features such as breathing roots to take in oxygen from the air.
Mangrove trees growing near the shelter.
Photo by Sabrina Zhou
Along the edges of the coastal boardwalk, we could see little balls of sand arranged outside holes in the ground. These sand balls were made by the shy sand bubbler crabs, which hid in their holes as we came close. If you stay still enough, you might just see them come out!
A shy little crab.
Photo by Chen Xi
We also managed to find some halfbeaks swimming around near the boardwalk. It’s easy to mistake them for leaves floating in the water.
Leaves or fish?
Photo by Chen Xi
One of our guides, Evan, was able to spot a common sandpiper along the shore. You’ll need a good eye to find it.
Spot the sandpiper! (Answer is at the end of the blog post)
Photo by Chen Xi

When we ended our walk at House Number 1, it was still drizzling, but we were all glad that we could still have so much fun despite the rain.
 
Big thanks to all the participants who came for the walk with us as well as the Channel 8 crew! Thanks also to the guides Ria, Ley Kun, Sumita, Xiang Tian, Evan and Chen Xi for making the walk possible; as well as Ria, Ley Kun, Xiang Tian, Chen Xi and Sabrina for the photos!

Please look out for our next walk in November! Registration will open next week so look out for updates on our Facebook page.

P.S. Did you find the sandpiper? It’s right in the middle of the photo, on the brown rocks!
Over here!


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