Saturday, May 4, 2013

Another great day at Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs

It is the first Saturday of the month again. The Naked Hermit Crab had another great guided walk with our visitors at Chek Jawa this morning. Despite the hot and humid weather our visitors sure had fun and enjoyed themselves looking the critters of Chek Jawa. We had a great turnout of about 80 visitors, with some joining the walk on the spot.

As usual, a group photo of our visitors before the walk.

Before the walk began, I checked out the areas near the information kiosk and found some interesting critters.

Was looking out for weaver ants' nest when I chanced upon a few leaves with the weavers ants on the underside. Not exactly sure what the ants were doing but when I was processing the photos, I noticed that the tiny black specks were insects of various shapes and sizes. Not sure what the ants were doing with them.

Then a cheerful singing of a bird caught my attention and it is a male White-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus). In fact, I saw another shama flew from a nearby tree and landed on the gravel path for a brief moment. 
White-rumped shama
At the same spot where I hear the shama, I also heard loud sounds of knocking on tree. I figured a woodpecker could be nearby but I did not have the time to search further as the walk was about to begin.

My sharp-eyed adult visitors spotted this pretty dragonfly at the base of the Jejawi tower. I think it is a Spine-tufted skimmer (Orthetrum chrysis). I have not shot and identify dragonflies for a long time. Getting rusty on matching my image to identified images.
Spine-tufted skimmer
The usual critters of Chek Jawa mangrove were seen: tree-climbing crabs, fiddler crabs, mudskippers, giant mudskipper. The resident mudskipper at the first rest hut is, as usual, out today.
My visitors sure had a great time. They love to watch the fiddler crabs on the shore.

Along the coastal boardwalk, the tide was outgoing and the visitors got a chance to see the seagrass lagoon of Chek Jawa. We saw a few swimming crabs and one carpet anemone. Ley Kun's group saw an octopus! Great!!!

With the outgoing tide, the grills on the boardwalk became very useful in allowing visitors to see under the boardwalk.
Looking through the grills to see beneath the boardwalk.
At the end of the walk, we had a spider hitchhiker. It is a Green crab spider (Dieta virens). My first time seeing such a pretty spider.
Dorsal view
Green crab spider
Ria noticed this flower of the seashore nutmeg. She is not sure if it is the male flower. It was very tricky to photo this flower as the petals gets overexposed very easily.
Male flower? of seashore nutmeg
Nearby, Ivan found a moult of a cicada.
Cicada moult
Our children visitors had great fun too. Ria commented that they were great spotters for critters. Some of our visitors were actually repeated visitors these two children below. They and their parents joined us for the Pasir Ris Park mangrove boardwalk guided walk before and today they joined us in the Chek Jawa walk. 

It is heartening when families sign up for our guided walks again or they share their experience of the guided walk with their friends and encourage them to sign up for it.

While waiting for the van to arrive, I checked out the rotational image information cubes at Punai Hut. The photos are actually related to the hut's name - Punai birds.
Different species of Punai birds
No crabs for lunch today as the two sisters' restaurant was packed with customers. Instead, we had yummy ayam penyet at Changi Village Hawker Centre.

You can also read about the critters Ria's group saw today on her blog - Naked at Chek Jawa Again!

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