Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Jelly Good Time with the Naked Hermit Crabs!

The March holidays are here, and we are glad to have a group of 44 visitors join us for our monthly Chek Jawa Walk!
Say Cheese!
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
After a quick briefing, we split into four groups and set off to explore! Each group was led by one of our four guides, Ria, Dayna, Sumita, and Ian.

Some of our sharp-eyed visitors managed to spot these little fiddler crabs scurrying in and out of their burrows. The male fiddler crabs have a distinctive large claw, which they wave around to attract females. Check out this great picture taken by visitor Lim Yi He!
A male fiddler crab
Photo by Lim Yi He.
She also managed to snap an amazing photo of a great billed heron, who was hunting for food at low tide. These birds eat fish and crabs, and roost in mangrove trees during high tide.
What's for breakfast?
Photo by Lim Yi He.
We managed to spot a bloom of Mangrove Jellyfishes at the coastal boardwalk as the tide came in- They inspired some lovely drawings from our visitors! These jellyfish are an important food source for sea turtles. Unfortunately, sea turtles may sometimes mistake plastic bags for these jellyfish and end up choking on them.
Some amazing drawings!
At the mangrove boardwalk, we found many tiny balls of sand arranged in a circular pattern. These balls are made by sand bubbler crabs, who are very shy! We had to stay still for a few moments before they came out of their burrows.
If you squint, you can see the crab!
Some of our visitors were curious about the mud lobster mound, which is a sort of ‘condominium’ in the mangrove for many insects and animals to live in. These mounds can be found all over the mangrove, and are made as mud lobsters burrow into the ground and shift the mud upwards.
District 10
It was a hot day in the mangrove, definitely the perfect weather to have some ice kachang. And what better way to enjoy ice kachang than with some attap chee from the nipah palm? The kids were quite curious about the bright red fruit!
It's big, red and round!
We might have been sweating from the heat, but we found a monitor lizard enjoying the warmth as it sunned itself. The lizard was quite a hit with the visitors too, and remained still as everyone took photos!
A lizard celebrity!
We also managed to find a very interesting plant- the mangrove ant house plant! This plant has hollow leaves which act as a ‘house’ for ants! In return, the ants provide the plant with nutrients from their leftovers. One of our visitors even drew an amazing picture of it!
Our first drawing of an ant house plant!
We ended our walk at the English Cottage. It was a great way to cool off and relax after our adventure. The kids had fun drawing what they saw, and produced some incredible drawings, while the parents took some time to rest. Well done, everyone!
Drawing time!

An artist and his drawing
We do, too!

Which fiddler crab will get the girl?

Climb those steps and get an incredible view!
A big thank you to our volunteer guides Ria, Dayna, Sumita and Ian, whom this walk would not have been possible without! We also have Mohammad Juhari to thank for his beautiful photos of the walk, especially the group picture! More wonderful photos of this walk can be found on his Facebook page, so please do check it out. Many thanks as well to Lim Yee He for the photos used in this post. Last but not least, thank you to all the visitors who signed up for this walk! It was a pleasure to have you come along with us to explore the beauty of Chek Jawa, and we hope to see you again!
Ria with visitors
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.

Dayna and her group
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
Sumita with visitors
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
Ian with his group
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
Come and see Mohammad Juhari’s Facebook here!:

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