Are my eyes deceiving me, or are there three of these adorable little ones?
Yes, today I guided a family with triplets! We were at the free Chek Jawa boardwalk tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs.
Besides the triplets, we were also joined by Rosanna, a travel writer (left) all the way from the UK.
And Ms Earth Singapore (right) and her fellow contestants! These are the same lovely ladies who joined the International Coastal Cleanup at Lim Chu Kang earlier in the year. It's quite heartening to see such interest in Chek Jawa, also thanks to Ivan for arranging for them to come.
It was a humid, hazy day at Ubin Jetty. The tall Pulai tree that grows along the road to Chek Jawa at the eastern tip of Pulau Ubin is hardly visible.
As soon as we arrived at the Chek Jawa, we saw a group of wild boar! The three lovely Ms Earth ladies are smitten by the beast.
And my first introduction to the triplets too!
Together with the another family of very enthusiastic kids, we head out for the Jejawi Tower. Everyone made it to the top, hurray!
As usual, the kids have really sharp eyes and spot all kinds of marvellous crabs, mudskippers and other critters in the mangroves.
Chanel's sharp eyes spot a tiny Malayan water monitor! Can you see it?
How about now? The lizard is hardly bigger than a Nipah palm leaflet. A mangrove is a great place for young monitor lizards to safely find food and grow up.
More fiddler crabs and other little critters as we stop for a short break. The kids are fascinated despite the severe humidity.
The tide is high and incoming which is even more fun! There are lots of Gold-spotted mudskippers on the water's edge, a big needlefish is foraging in the shallows, we see lots of silvery mullets and in deeper water we saw a large something ("Monster!" scream the kids). It seemed to be herding jumping fishes into tight schools.
"Three?" Uncle Chu asks in disbelief. He has come all the way to the boardwalk to check up on the family as it has started to rain. So they head off with him, while I continue with the remaining family. Alas, the rain gets heavier and we have to turn back too.
At the Visitor Centre, we all gather to do our traditional drawings and share our thoughts for the Guest Book. I'm very impressed by the drawing skills of some of the visitors.
These young ladies in pink with lovely butterfly hats also produce a wonderful drawing.
We then take photos together with our drawings.
The young ladies with the Ms Earth contestants looking on. Aww...
As I was waiting for the rest to come back, I bumped into Mr Wong KS with his group of visitors. He shows me his very well travelled copy of the Chek Jawa guidebook. Wow, that's really very well used.
Although I missed the hornbills which the others saw on the way back, I got to see the Long tailed macaques as we headed back to the van. There was a whole troop of them gathered at the bicycles. With many young ones and females.
Some of them walked quite close by us!
I had a great lunch at Ubin Town, chatting with Rosanna about her interest in Pulau Semakau, as well as of course Chek Jawa and our wonderful marine life and efforts for them. How nice to know that others are interested to write about our marine biodiversity.
Alas, today I noticed the big mangrove tree at Changi near the Jetty has fallen over. I never actually figured out what it was, and now I'll never know. The last time I had a closer look at it was in Sep 09.
Ah well, it was really on the verge of death for a long while. But really sad to lose another tree. Perhaps it can be replaced with another mangrove tree?
Tomorrow, I'm heading back again to Chek Jawa with Siti for seagrasses!
More about Chek Jawa, how to get there and what to see and do.
Join the Naked Hermit Crabs for a free guided tour of the boardwalk every month!