Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jellyfishy at Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs

The Naked Hermit Crabs volunteers had another great guided walk session at Chek Jawa today despite the hot and humid weather, and the threatening approaching storm in the late morning. We had about 40 visitors today with us.
Group photo of the visitors
Before we started the walk, Ley Kun explained to the student councillors from the Duman High School about the rubber tree. These students are on the Senior High Student Council EXCEL Exposure program on Environmental Life. Read more about the reflections done by the students here.
Today the students are helping the crabs with guiding.
Examining the rubber tree
On the nearby map of Pulau Ubin, a notice on monkeys is being put up by NParks to educate visitors.
Keeping Monkeys at Bay
At the visitor's information kiosk, this first-aid box cover brings back memories of the Festival of Biodiversity. What a good way to recycle the posters.
Recycling posters
While waiting for more visitors to make their way to the information kiosk, I spotted two fresh set of weaver ants' nest nearby. Ria quickly gathered those around to take a look while I explained more about the ants' nest.
Nests of weaver ants
Busy ants working on the nest
I had the pleasure of guiding a group of 11 students from Temasek Polytechnique Eco-Tourism course. They came with learning objectives printed out, which I think is part of their assignment. I looked at their learning objectives and tried my very best to address the objectives.

I must say that this group of students are quite good in identifying things or giving examples, but with much questioning techniques involved. One of them could tell me attap house as one of the uses for the nipah palm.

At the Jejawi tower, looks like directional cards have been stuck onto the edges to orientate visitors. I'm not sure whether this is a temporary or permanent installation.
Directional cards
Along the walk, we spotted many animals. We managed to see a few medium sized tree-climbing crabs today.
Tree-climbing crab
As usual, this mudskipper found behind the shelter in the mangrove is still outside its hole.
Fiddler crab at the mangrove area
Shore fiddler crabs
One of my sharp-eyed visitor spotted a malayan water monitor lizard lying on a patch of washed up seaweed. Looks like it is trying to warm up its body.
Malayan water monitor lizard
On the coastal boardwalk, we saw a huge school of fish and many jellyfish swimming around.
Huge school of fish
My visitors pointing at the jellyfish.
From the Northern Shore Expedition, which ended recently, I learnt that there are actually crabs or fish that lives along or inside the jellyfish. However it was difficult to spot for them so high up on the boardwalk.

The floating pontoon has been completely dismantled for repair works by NParks. New pontoons will be put in place so that visitors joining the intertidal trips can access the shore easily.
Pontoon, gone.
Back at House No. 1, my group found a nice location under the cooling weather to pen their contribution for the guestbook.
Writing away
It was a nice location to take a group photo of my visitors.
Group photo with their drawings
The students from DHS took photos with this cute little boy.

And they found a huge weaver ants' nest nearby. Look at how the ants hold the leaves in place.
The huge nest
Interior view of the nest
Ants working hard to hole the leaves in place
Soon the light rain tells us it is time to get back to Ubin town for lunch. We made it to our favourite restaurant before the downpour came.

The next Chek Jawa guided walk will be on 8th December 2012.
If you are interested to join in our guided walk, read more about the guided walks by the Naked Hermit Crabs here.

Great job by the guides today: Ria, Ley Kun, Daniel, Kok Sheng, Pei Yan, 4 DHS Students.

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