Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chek Jawa: Training Session 2

Today is the second training session for Chek Jawa nature guides from the NIE green club.
Every trip is a different setup.
So... for today's trip, I brought along my D200 with tamaron 90mm macro and SB800, and my LX3.
There are 2 other photographers along this trip too and they are brothers.

Upon reaching the gate to Chek Jawa, everyone started shoot already.
And near the visitor kiosk, there are 2 orb spiders resting on their huge web.

Golden Orb Spider

Orb Spider

For today's guide training, I followed Kok Sheng's group as an assistant.
Our group consisted of all ladies and one gentleman group of 7 and we started off from the coastal walk.

Our first station is the Hornbill's nest.

Hornbill's nest high up in the tree

The nest you see here doesn't look natural right?
Yup... this nest is placed up there by the NParks.
The objective is to encourage the hornbills living on Pulau Ubin to mate and reproduce.
The nesting box is fitted with camera to capture the activity of the female hornbill when she is nesting in it.

After much introduction to the hornbill's nest, we proceeded on to the coastal walk.
Kok Sheng shared with the participants about the Frog Island, Pulau Seduku.
Along the way, one of the participants spotted a juvenile water monitor lizard sunbathing on the rocky shore.

Following that, we took a look at the seashore nutmeg, which were flowering and bearing fruits at the entrance of the coastal broadwalk.
Our group had a lot of fun along the way, talking about mermaids and some thought that the island opposite was Batam!
Perhaps Kok Sheng's misleading question of "The place where every man will have to go." prompted Batam to be the answer.

Just as we were about to enter the Sea Grass meadow section, we noticed small red insects on a sea hibiscus tree.
On closer inspection, it is the juvenile cotton-stainer bugs!
This is my first time seeing the young and eventually, we found a mating adult pair.

Mating adult cotton-stainer bug.

Further inland, I noticed this pinkish moth resting on the sea hibiscus leaf.
In fact, I saw two moths on different leaves.

We walked through the magroves, looking at the different species of fiddler crabs waving, nipah plant (where your atap chee comes from), and then up the Jejawi Tower near the entrance of the magrove route.
I did not realise the height of the tower until I climbed it.
It was scary as I climbed higher.
The Jejawi Tower is a good place to observe the bird when they are feeding on a nearby fig tree.
Too bad, the tree was not figging today.
At the foot of the Jejawi Tower, I saw a beautiful red dragon fly, Neurothemis fluctuans.

It was a difficult task shooting the dragon fly without a tripod and it was rather far away from the broadwalk.
I had to lay stomach down on the broadwalk to get a closer shot.
With 3 fps, I shoot continuously to get a more focused shot of the dragonfly.

As usual, after every guided walk, the participants are brought to House 1 to pen their thought about the place.
Following that, the guiders went for a second round.
At the second round, I saw more things.
One of which is the common aquatic moths.

I did not know that these moths were so tiny until I saw them in groups under leaves and a quick check on the guide book.
They do not seem to be bordered by movements of the leaves and I managed to tilt a leaf outwards to get a good shot of it.
Next, a few of us saw a grasshopper.

The grasshopper got quite annoyed at the few of us who were shooting it and it kept moving.

At the seagrass meadow, while the rest were enjoying looking at the many mudskippers in the tidal area, I was busy trying to capture a fly.
And I did not notice this shoot until I got home.

Today's guiding session was fun and fruitful.
Before we knew it, the guard was cycling around to chase us out.
It was 6pm.

Took the bumboat back to mainland and had dinner with the gang.

Installed in the next trip, I might be guiding a group.
How will I fair?

Coast with beauty,

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