12 October 2010

Changi still alive!

This stretch of Changi was hit by the May oil spill. It's my first time back on this shore since June. Wow, the shore is still full of life. It was reassuring to see a good variety of creatures like sea cucumbers, in particular, the burrowing kind.
I saw all the usual kinds including several Pink warty sea cucumbers (Cercodemas anceps), lots of Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis), one Orange sea cucumber, one small 'Garlic bread' sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra), many Smooth sea cucumbers and many ball sea cucumbers (Phyllophorus sp.).

Mei Lin spots a buried sea cucumber and it turns out to be the See-through sea cucumber (Paracaudina australis)! It's so transparent you can see its guts!
Russel and Sam also saw the Polka-dotted sea cucumber (Holothuria ocellata).

Changi is a great place for echinoderms. The seagrass meadows were dotted with lots of large White sea urchins (Salmacis sp.). If you look on the underside of one, you are quite likely to see a banded worm around its mouth. Eew! But I didn't see any Black sea urchins (Temnopleurus sp.).
I saw lots of Biscuit sea stars (Goniodiscaster scaber), from tiny ones to medium sized ones. I also saw one . I didn't see any other kinds of sea stars.
Other echinoderms included some Thorny sea urchins (Prionocidaris sp.) and some Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta). Sam saw one Pink sand dollar (Peronella lesueuri).
I saw a Hammer oyster (Malleus sp.)! My first time seeing one on our Northern shores. I see this more often at Cyrene Reef. Mei Lin spotted one at Changi too in June.
It's my first time seeing the Oval moon snail (Polinices mammatus) on Changi! Perhaps I just wasn't paying close enough attention in the past.
More commonly seen on our Northern shores are the Ball moon snails (Polinices didyma). I also saw one tiny Pink moon snail.
I saw one Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) and one Olive snail (Family Olividae). There were also some Gong gong conch snails (Strombus canarium).Washed up on the shore were many empty shells of these small bivalves, and I saw one that was still alive. Very common on this shore are large Window pane shells (Placuna sp.). These clams have very thin flat shells which are often covered with other plants and animals. I saw one with lots of circular blobs. Eggs?.
Empty shells of the Fan clams (Family Pinnidae) create a perfect hiding place for crabs and other small animals. Elsewhere, I have encountered fish laying their eggs and guarding them in the empty shell.
Sadly, we didn't see any cuttlefishes or octopus. Although there were lots of empty shells on the shore, I couldn't find any living Button snails (Umbonium vestiarum).

I saw a few Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) and one tiny anemone stuck on the shell of a living whelk! Strangely, I didn't see any swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) even though we saw an explosion of them at Chek Jawa a few days ago.
There were many Sea pencils, a kind of sea pen, and a few Common peacock anemones.

I didn't see many fishes. There was one Whiting (Family Sillaginidae), Trumpeter perch (Pelates quadrilineatus) and a Longspined scorpionfishes (Paracentropogon longispinis). Mei Lin spotted an Estuarine seahorse (Hippocampus kuda)!
I also saw many Striped hermit crabs (Clibanarius sp.), though the Tidal hermit crabs (Diogenes sp.) seemed less numerous than usual.

This shore has lots of fresh green Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis), and the Fern seagrasses (Halophila spinulosa) and Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.) were also lush.

We enjoyed a lovely sunset on a humid evening.
There was a family out on the shore with big bags and sticks. They systematically combed the shore until it got dark. I heard they were collecting Fan shells though I didn't approach them to actually see what they were collecting.
I came earlier while there was daylight and noticed an area boarded up about 50m from the shore. Within the hoarding is an excavator.
And work on what seems to be a big hole in the ground.
Further away also along the coast, more heavy machinery.
The "Water is Life" signage on the hoarding suggests that this is a PUB project.
Indeed, I hunt around and find this information board.
With these details.
A check on the PUB website and I find that this contract has been awarded:

Contract No. 46: Sewer Extension in Marina Reservoir Catchment and Changi Coast Areas - Contract 2 to Tactic Engineering Pte Ltd on 15 Dec 09 costing $4,783,000.00

I couldn't find any further information on the project or what 'sewer extension' will mean for the Changi shore.

Other posts about this trip
  • Sam on facebook with pink sand dollar and more!

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