Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chek Jawa Boardwalk with the Crabs in May

We had a fantastic outing at Chek Jawa Boardwalk with the Crabs on 4th May! There were more than 60 visitors (out of 90 who said they would come), including a small troop of students from Meridian JC.

Here's the Big Group Photo before we set off on the little adventure with the Crabs!

And a photo of students and teachers from Meridian JC who came to explore Chek Jawa with us.

There were lots of sightings of the cutest little fiddler crabs in the back mangrove area in Chek Jawa. Look at those colours! And if you look really closely, you can see the little red stalk eyes too. Most of these fiddler crabs are no larger than 1.5 cm long.

The male fiddler has one large pincer and one smaller one, hence the common name "fiddler crab".

In the back mangroves, it is also easy to spot the larger species of tree-climbing crabs. These crabs live in the mud mounds. They have a rather squarish shell and flat legs that end in sharp tips. Many of these crabs are great burrowers.

If you have sharp eyes like the kids at our trips, you should be able to spot lots of interesting insects at Chek Jawa.

Here's a beautiful macro photo of a praying mantis taken by one of our visitors.

and grasshoppers ...

Moving along towards the coastal boardwalk, we stopped to look at the fiddler crabs on the mud flats. These are of a different species from the ones we saw in the back mangroves. On a low tide day, you will be able to see thousands of these fiddler crabs on the muddy areas. They would be feeding, doing their courtship dances, and defending their turf from other crabs. It's easy to get mesmerized by the antics of these fascinating little animals.

Sometimes we don't see the animal, but we see the footprints that it leaves behind. Here is a trail of footprints left by a heron. So, yes, do train your eyes to look out for such things. It will make your outing to a mudflat so much more interesting. Read our old posts about footprints.

Talking about herons, here is a lovely photo of a Grey Heron with a catch in its beak. When the tide is low, the herons could be seen walking in the shallow waters of the sand bar, patiently waiting for a fish to swim by. You can hang out on the coastal boardwalk, and if you have a good pair of binoculars, you should be able to observe the birds.

Some of the students from Meridian JC also saw an octopus swimming in the shallow waters below the coastal boardwalk. The octopus sensed danger, then very quickly it froze in its path, and after that it became very difficult for us to see it again. It looked like a rock among several other real rocks. Fascinating. The octopus was about 30 cm long.

A big thank you to all our visitors who came with us on 4th May. It's a long journey to get to Chek Jawa, and bravo to you for making their arduous trip! A big shout-out to all our guides too for giving their time to this cause. Thanks go out to Pei Yan (who wrote about this trip in her blog), Daniel, Ria (read her blog post too of the same trip), Ivan and Leykun.

I must not forget to give credit to our visitor, Chen Ting Ting, for contributing the lovely photos (all except the group photos). She came with her son, and said she would visit again. Lovely to hear that!

Enjoy the rest of this post. These are the drawings done by our visitors in our guestbook.

We run these free nature walks every month. Do check our 2013 calendar for the remaining dates of this year.

See you on the shores soon!


  1. yes..lovely natures
    My son and parents went again last Sunday. halfday in foot and managed to spot 20 over small and big wild boars.

    1. You took your son and parents to Chek Jawa again? How lovely!

      And you spotted over 20 wild boars!

      Maybe you might be interested to read what Ivan wrote about the wild boars in Chek Jawa, "Of Boar and Men"