26 September 2009

Chek Jawa at high tide

I had a great time guiding a fantastic team from Pearson this afternoon at the Chek Jawa Boardwalk with the Naked Hermit Crabs.
The tide was very high! But after the guided walk, the guides went for another round of the boardwalk! Who says there's nothing to see here?!

So far, I've only managed to see the Blue spotted mudskipper (Boleophthalmus boddarti) at Chek Jawa, and then again, not at every trip. During the walk, one of the sharp-eyed visitors spotted it! And I couldn't find it again when we went for our second round.
Ivan spotted this well camouflaged mudskipper. We're not really sure what it might be.
Then there is this one that was really skinny. I'm not to sure what it is either.
During the walk, one of the visitors also spotted a Giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) but I didn't take a photo of it. I did manage to stalk these rambunctious Gold-spotted mudskippers (Periophthalmus chrysospilos) playing in a group at the water line. It was only a matter of time before one of these boisterous fishes got irritated enough to give the rest 'the fin', i.e., the raised dorsal fin.
The fiddler crabs were also a big hit among the guides and visitors. Today I noticed the Porcelain fiddlers (Uca annulipes) were further into the back mangroves than before.
And again, we see these fiddlers with stout pincers whose ID I've yet to find out.
And more of these mysterious but very colourful fiddlers with red eyes on red stalks.
Today, I finally get to confirm the suspicious tree near the boardwalk as the Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora). The tree is quite a distance from the boardwalk, so it's difficult to make out the slender flowers. But finally, I see some! This tree is listed as Endangered in our Red List.
Also blooming in profusion today were the Seashore nutmeg (Knema globularia). It was only with all this flowering that I realised there were SO MANY of these plants on Chek Jawa! That's great as it is listed as Critically Endangered on our Red List.
As we walked in, the gloomy forest was lit up by bursts of orange blossoms of the Jarum-jarum (Ixora congesta). This native plant is found in our forests and blooms seasonally. Its malay name means 'needle-like' probably referring to the long narrow pointed flower buds before they burst into violently orange blooms. The fruits are round.
And looking closely, I found that the Ant-house plant (Dischidia sp.) near the boardwalk was blooming. OK, it was just a flower bud. But I finally get a nice photo of it.
Alas, a tree has been cut down in the mangrove forest. Possibly it was sick.
I also noticed that some of the boardwalk slats are starting to disintegrate.
Not everyone notices that these are not made of wood. They are made of concrete and thus can shatter. Which is the reason why we should not cycle on the Chek Jawa boardwalk. Well, I'm sure these will be replaced eventually.

Even before we could finish half the boardwalk, it was closing time. And we headed back for a nice leisurely dinner. It was great catching up with the old guides and meeting new ones!

Other blog posts about this trip

2 comments:

  1. Well done Ria, that tree growing in deep shade and beside the boardwalk is indeed Bruguiera parviflora!!! It is the only Bruguiera parviflora tree for the entire Chek Jawa area.

    cheers
    John (In-camp training till 10 Oct)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Dr John for taking the time to confirm that.

    Wow, the ONLY B. parviflora for the Chek Jawa area! I always learn so much from you. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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