Saturday, April 6, 2013

Monkeying around at Chek Jawa!

Another great day out with families at the Chek Jawa boardwalk for the FREE monthly tour by the Naked Hermit Crabs!
Photo by Heng Pei Yan
Among the highlights of the day was an encounter with a Crab-eating monkey actually eating a 'crab'!

Although it was drizzling when we started, this didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the families who came for the walk!
There's a great panoramic view from the Jejawi Tower, of Pulau Tekong, the mountains in Johor and even the Changi Airport Tower! It's also a nice spot for a group photo.
When we got back on the boardwalk, we had lots of fun looking at the creatures in the back mangroves. As usual, the kids are the best at spotting all the good stuff!
Photo by Heng Pei Yan
Pei Yan took this great photo of my favourite mudskipper, the cheeky Blue-spotted mudskipper with googly eyes and a long flag-like fin at the top of its body!
Photo by Heng Pei Yan
There were lots of colourful tree-climbing crabs too!
Ivan finds all kinds of great stuff just along the boardwalk.
Like this spider that looks like an ant!
Hmm, some of the kids takes a bit of convincing before they agree with Ivan that it is not actually an ant.
It was a very humid day and baby was getting a little cranky from the heat. Fortunately, some of the older kids came prepared with hand-held fans and they fanned baby for a while until she cheered up.
One of the dads spotted a Long-tailed macaque, the monkey we commonly see in our forests as well as mangroves. It settled down near the boardwalk and by keeping quiet we managed to observe it for some time.
It is also called the Crab-eating macaque. And this one was holding onto what seems to be a horseshoe crab moult.
It gave the moult a little nibble. Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs, but this is the first time I've seen a macaque handling a crab-like animal from the seashore!
The tide was low enough for us to enjoy lots of fiddler crabs. Also several different kinds of mudskippers including a pair of 'dancing' mudskippers. We also saw a flock of Whimbrels flying in to feed on the mudflats in the outgoing tide.
Out on the Coastal Boardwalk, the kids Pei Yan was guiding got creative and looked through the boardwalk slats to see the fishes in the water. Because the railings were too high for the kids to peer over.
Photo by Heng Pei Yan
After having a quick look a the Hornbill's artificial nestbox (not occupied), we headed back to House No. 1 for everyone's favourite activity. The kids had lots of fun drawing what they saw during our walk.
Here's some of the proud and talented artists with their work.
Here's a slide show of the wonderful drawings shared by everyone! These drawings will hopefully show that Chek Jawa is appreciated and treasured by families in Singapore!
Today, we were joined by four of Pei Yan's students from CHIJ Katong Convent. This is their first experience at being a nature guide. They are tagging along with the Naked Hermit Crab guides to learn how to conduct nature guiding. They picked up many interesting information and hopefully, they will start guiding slowly in the next session.
Left to right: Sharina, Sarah Hyder, Sheyenne and Alexandra
Photo by Heng Pei Yan
On the way home, we managed to get a glimpse of one of the tamer wild boar that usually hangs around Chek Jawa. Alas, we didn't see Mama wild boar and her piglets on this trip. I hope they are ok.
Today, Ivan, Pei Yan and I sure had lots of fun sharing Chek Jawa with enthusiastic kids and families.

Come join the Naked Hermit Crabs at these upcoming walks! Our walks are FREE and we love kids and families.

20 Apr (Sat): 5pm - FREE guided evening walk at the Pasir Ris mangrove boardwalk more details and online registration.

4 May (Sat): 9.30am - FREE guided morning walk at the Chek Jawa boardwalk more details and online registration.

Check out Pei Yan's blog for more about what happened on this walk.


  1. Thank you for spending the lovely morning with us. We had a fabulous time! :)

    1. Thank YOU for coming, and to all the mums and dads who brought their kids for our walk. We are always touched by your enthusiasm and the kids make these walks special for us!