Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Naked Hermit Crabs celebrates Singapore National Day at Chek Jawa

It was a great long weekend, from Thursday till Sunday for all government schools (that includes the teachers). Why?
It is Singapore's 47th Birthday on Thursday, 9 August.
On this National Day weekend, the guided from the Naked Hermit Crabs are delighted to celebrate Singapore's birthday with visitors, local and foreign, the wonders of Chek Jawa through the free monthly public guided walk.

Of course, we have a group photo of the visitors with the national flag of Singapore.
Even the information kiosk for visitors at Chek Jawa has the flag hanging up proudly.
Flag at the information kiosk
Once we alighted at the entrance of Chek Jawa, we were attracted to the rubber tree with a container full of harden latex. Looks like someone has drop by in the early morning to tap this tree.
An example to show rubber tapping at the entrance to Chek Jawa
Soon after the group of wild boars came out from Chek Jawa's entrance. It seems that they went for some mud bath as the lower half of their body is wet and rather muddy.
Wet markings on the lower half of the body
It is interesting to see how well coordinated they were with out speech. Ria as just asking where the piglets are and then, poof, one piglet walked out some distance after we saw the first pig. Then more piglets streamed out of the forested area on the left of the gate. It was quite funny. 

We have about 30 visitors (adult and children) today with 6 guides. I had the opportunity of guiding a group of 5 but shortly after the Jejawi Tower, I only had 2 visitors left. Luckily we had a group at the top of the Jejawi Tower.
My group and I.
It was a nice guiding session and I shared my knowledge with the couple from Switzerland. I found out from them that they have been residing in Singapore since March due to work commitments and they find that there are lots of things to do in Singapore. Hope they continue to explore more natural parts of Singapore.

Along the boardwalk, we had great help from the children in spotting animals in the mangrove habitat. They are always excited about any animals they can find despite the numerous times they have seen them.
Children are the best spotters.
Then I came across a stick insect on the boardwalk. It had probably fallen off from one of the plants nearby. They children got very excited about the stick insect. I would consider this as the special finding for today.
The stick insect on the boardwalk.
The children are so eager to have a feel of the stick insect.
On the mangrove, I spotted a small male mangrove dwarf dragonfly (Raphismia bispina). This dragonfly is classified as uncommon and I have not been seeing them for a very long time. During the last guided walk, Chay Hoon found a female species for me. So I am very heartened to see that they are back in Chek Jawa. (My camera is unable to zoom in close to the dragonfly.)
Male mangrove dwarf
As we reach the coastal side of the boardwalk, we met Marcus and his team conducting the site recee for the upcoming International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS). Ria took the opportunity to get Marcus to explain to our visitors what the ICCS is about while the guides take a short break.
Marcus sharing about ICCS to our visitors
On the coastal boardwalk, the sun cast shadows on the sand.
My swiss visitors on the right.
Over at the hornbill station, Ivan shared about the oriental pied hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) to our visitors and how the nesting boxes helped to encourage reproduction, providing useful information for researchers.
Ivan talking about the hornbills
As usual all visitors are invited to create a guestbook page for us at House No. 1. I was too tired from the heat to take pictures.

While leaving Chek Jawa, we noticed that there is a hugh number of cyclists today. The bicycle parking lots could not accomodate all the bicycles and visitors have improvised and placed their bicycles against trees.
Makeshift bicycle parking lots.
After a great lunch, Ivan spotted a lower jaw belonging to a wild boar tied up on a tree trunk. Great documentation for his Monday Morgue page.

It was a great day at this month's Chek Jawa guided walk though it was rather humid on the National Day Weekend.

Next weekend is the last series of morning low tide sessions. Then in September comes the ICCS on one of the Saturdays. In late October would be the expedition for the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey.

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