Monday, May 16, 2016

Naked Hermit Crabs celebrate Pesta Ubin

Chek Jawa is a very special place in Pulau Ubin that is teeming with life. It's a place that we come back time after time, and every trip remains special and magical.

The Naked Hermit Crabs joined in the Pesta Ubin festivities on Day One with their Chek Jawa Boardwalk event. What a wonderful trip we had! A total of 46 visitors came for the free walk. The tide was around 0.7m high during the walk, and gave us perfect conditions to observe the marine animals in the inter-tidal zone. Just look at the amazing animals that we saw from the boardwalk!

The kids spotted lots of horseshoe crabs. These two horseshoe crabs are doing well.
Horseshoe crab
In fact this one is a juvenile. The shell is roughly the size of a doughnut, and the colour of the shell is a bit brighter. As it is a young horseshoe crab, it does not have barnacles on its shell yet. Such a beautiful animal!

Horseshoe crab (juvenile)
The kids were also excited to see a carpet anemone, and were fascinated to hear how the anemone traps little fishes and how it digests its food. Great for the kids to learn more about our marine animals.
Carpet anemone
 The seagrasses are looking great. It's a meadow of grasses!

Tape seagrasses

The visitors spent quite a long time on the coastal boardwalk enjoying the lovely vistas and looking down in the water to spot fishes. We saw several schools of small fishes, but alas, no jelly fishes. Luckily we managed to capture a photo of this pair of needlefishes.

 There were many large birds feeding on the shore. What birds are these? This is the view of the shore from Jejawi Tower.

When we got down to the coastal boardwalk, we could take a better look at the large birds. The larger birds furthest out are the Great-billed herons, while the Grey herons are closer to us. We also saw the small Striated heron hunting for fish. 

We saw lots of fiddler crabs in the mangroves. The visitors are an enthusiastic bunch!

The first 2 photos are of fiddler crabs found in the mangroves. These crabs were busy working on their burrows. We love the bright red colour of the claw, and the beady eyes that are at the end of 'stalks'.

In the outer mangroves area, the fiddler crabs are numerous in numbers. These are the porcelain fiddler crabs that have beautiful black markings on their shells.

These fiddler crabs look different. Just look at that pincer!

No visit to Chek Jawa without looking at the cute mudskippers in the mangroves as well as at the water edge.

It's quite easy to find the Giant mudskippers by first looking for their burrows and mud pools. This fish was sitting there ever so quietly. Some of the kids could not see it at first, but with help of moms and dads pointing at the fish, the kids managed to spot it at last!

There was this pair of mudskippers standing guard at the opening of their burrow. They have such cute beady eyes on top of their heads!

Giant mudskipper
The Oriental Pied Hornbills (OPH) were really noisy when we were at Chek Jawa. When we were at the top of Jejawi Tower, we could see this pair of hornbills perched on a tall tree. Visitors always love it when they see the hornbills. Joy!

We ended the walk at House Number One where we stopped to make some drawings. Here's a wonderful drawing made by a young visitor, Adrienne. We are so proud of these young visitors because they are keen observers of nature, and are so good at reproducing drawings of the animals that they saw.

Visitors and guides sharing stories of their sightings at the final point - House Number One. 

Thanks go out to the guides for the day - Dayna, Ian and LeyKun. Xiang Tian tagged along and helped us take these lovely photos.
That's Dayna with her group

The month-long Pesta Ubin celebration has only just started, and will go on till 12 June, 2016. Check out the Pesta Ubin 2016 website for a complete list of events.

The next event for Pesta Ubin at Chek Jawa will be held on 5 June (Sunday) - "Balik Chek Jawa" with the Chek Jawa community. It is a free event with no registration required.

This Chek Jawa Open House is brought to you by the Chek Jawa community of volunteers. They include volunteers who worked on Chek Jawa before reclamation was deferred, and current volunteers with Ubin NParks, the Naked Hermit Crabs, the Toddycats/Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum as well as Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative and TeamSeaGrass.

No comments:

Post a Comment