Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cyrene Reef - Land of Sea Stars

I had my first step onto Cyrene reef today.
Cyrene is a submerged reef located in an industrial triangle consisting of Pasir Panjang container terminals on the mainland, petrochemical plants on Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom.
Image from WildSingapore
Pasir Panjang Container Terminal
Pulau Bukom
For submerged reef, there is no proper jetty or docking place for boats to stop. Luckily, we just have to transfer to a dinghy from the main boat to get to the reef.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Marine "Gardeners" of Chek Jawa

At 5am this morning, I left my house for a morning trip to Chek Jawa.
This is not my usual morning shore trip session.
A small team is heading there for manual work to help Siti with her seagrass experiment.

It is my first time travelling to Chek Jawa before sunrise.
Luckily, prior notice was given and the main gate to Chek Jawa was open when we arrived.
While making our way to the pontoon, the sky was starting to light up.
On our way to the pontoon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crabby-venture, anemones and snails at Sentosa

This stretch of shore I visited today is no foreign land to me.
Had been here twice but never once have I stopped to observe this shore.
Today I took a closer look at this marvelous part of Sentosa.

The hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.) greeted us when we reached the shore. It was everywhere.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chek Jawa Guided Walk with Wild Boars, Otters, Hornbills and Snake

It's the school holidays and the families are out to play. The Naked Hermit Crabs had their monthly guided walk at Chek Jawa today. We pushed the walk to the 3rd week for this month because of the school holiday season. Otherwise, our guided walks for Chek Jawa is on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

There were 5 guides for today's walk and we had 70 visitors with us for the walk (yes, I counted... from my photos). We took the group photo in 2 batches since the first group of visitors came early.
Visitors batch 1
Visitors batch 2
Ria and Kok Sheng handled the first batch of visitors separately while Ivan and I took care of the 2nd batch. Ley Kun waited for late comers but there were none.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hornbills, Wild boars, marine critters and OTTERS at Chek Jawa Shore

Having done guiding at Chek Jawa boardwalk since late 2009, I have never stepped onto the shore before.
Today I got the opportunity to do so thanks to Ley Kun, the Mama Crab of the Naked Hermit Crabs.

Many animals were out and active today at Chek Jawa.
The first animal we encountered were the Wild boars (Sus scrofa) right at the start of the boardwalk.
The piglets still have their watermelon strips on.
Wild boar
They were looking for food for quite sometime here.
Reason: Because of the Oriental pied-hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) that were feeding at a tree above.
Find the hornbill.
From the Jejawi tower, we can see the exposed shore of Chek Jawa.
Finally, after so many guided walks at Chek Jawa, I got to see the Oriental whip snake (Ahaetulla prasina) up close. It was hanging from some plant at the plant arch leading to the seagrass lagoon.
Oriental whip snake
There were traces of wild boar digging near the sonneratia tree.
On the shore, preparations have already been done to avoid visitors from trampling all over the place. There were various stations setup to show visitors the marine animals that can be seen on the shore.
There was a Cuthona nudibranch (Cuthona sibogae).
Blue dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina)
Many Garlic bread sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) were found to show visitors.
Garlic bread sea cucumber
The highlight of the day for me was not the shore walk but Otters!
A pair of otters were spotted on the shore to the right of the pathway leading to "Chek Jawa Rear" beacon. There have been sightings of otters at Chek Jawa and I finally got to see the wild otters at location. Ley Kun and I spent a good 10 minutes admiring them. Many visitors were also delighted to see the otters at that time.
Are they the Smooth coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)?

Soon it was time to go and at the hut, we met the wild boars again.
This time the piglets were having their milk break while the older siblings were having a lazy rest.
Milk time!
Lazing around
Back at the Changi Point Ferry Terminal, a very long queue was formed by visitors trying to make their way to Pulau Ubin. Look a the photo to see what I meant.
This is THE bumboat queue.
I wonder what is so special today? Or does this happen every Sunday?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Pasir Ris Site 6 Cleanup on World Oceans Day

8 June is World Oceans Day.
This year's theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.

To celebrate World Oceans Day, the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) organised beach cleanups at two beaches in the Northeast zone - Pasir Ris Site 6 (PR6) and Tanah Merah Site 7 (TM7).
On a drizzly Saturday morning, participants ranging from JC students, organisation and the general public came and did their part to remove as much trash as possible from the respective beaches.

Today I joined one of the locations for cleanup.
This whole stretch of shore is under PR6.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The most adventurous reef in Singapore

On one of the Eastern shores of Singapore, there is a very special place.
To get to this place, it is not as easy as you think.
For most of our shore trips, we just have to do one of the following:

  • walk to the shore, 
  • take a boat to a jetty, or 
  • take a quick dip after a boat ride.
However this special requires special skills to get to the reef - the skill of a climber crab.
I am referring to a coral garden off the sea wall at Tanah Merah.

The annual coral garden visit of this special place is usually done by Kok Sheng a.k.a. the Human Climbing Crab. This year, our Human Climbing Crab (HCC) is injured and a small team comprising of Ria, Mei Lin, Rene and Jocelyne replaced Kok Sheng to check out the beautiful garden.

I was not there trying out the skill of a Human Climbing Crab but I hope this post will bring my readers to know of their "crab-citing" adventure to the coral garden.

You can read about the posts from the following members:
Mei Lin - Psychedelic Nature
Ria Tan - Wild Shores of Singapore

From their posts and status, they sure did have a lot of fun at the coral garden.
Now I kinda regret not going for it. >.<

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Singapore's City Reef @ Kusu Island

The shore newbie is out again this morning, for the the fourth consecutive morning shore trip.
Today, I visited Kusu Island.

Kusu Island has amazing reef surrounding the island. Just by visiting the big lagoon, you will be amazed by the number of corals and many other animals growing there with the city's skyscrapers and the Singapore flyer in view in the distant.
You can see CDB in the far distant.
When we were walking towards the shore, Ria warned Jocelyn and I about the big stonefish commonly spotted in the reef. Furthermore, the water near the sea wall were still murky as the tide recedes. With the stonefish in my mind, I decided that I'll wait a while more before stepping into the unknown depth of murky water. Luckily Mr Stonefish decided to go on a holiday and we didn't get to meet him.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Beting Bronok on Venus Transit Day

Today is a special day in many ways.
In one way, it is the Transit of Venus where Earth, the Sun and Venus happened to align themselves in a straight line.
Image from Hong Kong Observatory
At 06:00, where the transit of Venus begins, a team of 12 members were already busy looking at critters at Beting Bronok.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Changi Beach comes to live!

Another mainland shore visit today.
I visited Changi Beach today and there were many things to see on this period of low spring tide.

There were many patched of seagrass but the animals there were more attractive to take pictures of. So some types of seagrass can be seen in some of the following images.

On the shore, there were plenty of white sea urchins (Salmacis sp.) and small hermit crabs running around. As usual, the sea urchin had various types of camouflage.
White sea urchin
Gathering of small hermit crabs
The white sea urchins were everywhere and Sankar was joking that they were trying to follow us along the shore. The many small hermit crabs make use of different types of shell and they move pretty fast.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Eggy, Crabby, Feathery Punggol

Today marks the start of another series of crazy wake up time to check out our shores in Singapore.
A small team visited Punggol Beach on a very early morning.

The Punggol beach I knew was a rocky beach with whiffs of funny smell coming from somewhere.
Never have I expected this stretch of beach to come alive during a low spring tide.
The team covered both sides of the shore from the jetty.

When I reached the shore, Ria was so excited to show this beaded nudibranch (Hoplodoris nodulosa).
Hoplodoris nodulosa


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