08 January 2011

Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs

It's the first of the FREE guided walks at the Chek Jawa boardwalk with the Naked Hermit Crabs for 2011!
And here's the wonderful awesome group of families that I had the pleasure of sharing Chek Jawa with today! The kids were a great delight. So energetic, attentive, with great eyes for spotting all the special stuff!

The well at Chek Jawa seems to fascinate all the kids. There is I suppose something mysterious and magical about a well. It is now festooned with moss and ferns on the inside. There's water of course in it too.
The kids are great at reading the map as we work out our route. It's also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the layout and some of the special ecosystems found at Chek Jawa.
There's a half-eaten dead fish on the top of Jejawi Tower. Hmm... I wonder how it got there? Was it dropped by a White-bellied sea eagle? We had a close up look of two of these majestic birds swooping over the Tower.
As usual, the mangrove boardwalk never fails to enthrall with close up encounters. Crabs of all sizes and colours, mudskippers, dragonflies and more!
Even the littlest ones are fascinated. The Giant mudskippers (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) were particularly active today.
Lots of plants at Chek Jawa were blooming today. The Endangered Sepuleh (Fagraea racemosa) which is quite abundant near Chek Jawa is blooming! It is also called Kopi hutan or the False coffee plant as it resembles the true coffee plant. But this doesn't make much sense to those who don't know what a real coffee plant looks like.
The native Jarum-jarum (Ixora congesta) is also in bloom, giving bright orange splashes to the gloomy forest.
The Nipah palms (Nypa fruticans) were also blooming!
My favourite flower sighting for the day were clusters of these beautiful white flowers of possibly the Wax plant Hoya diversifolia which is listed as 'Critically Endangered'.
As we got to the coastal area, the young keen eyes spotted a little wasp digging a hole in the sand. I believe these wasps dig holes to lay their eggs, possibly stowing a paralysed caterpillar or other juicy morsel for their larvae to feed on.
Alas, just as we got to the Coastal boardwalk, it started to rain! But not after we had a quick look at the rocky shore covered in all kinds of snails and clams, and spotted large fishes in the incoming tides and glimpsed the coastal forest. Back at House No. 1, the kids have fun sharing their thoughts of what they saw in delightful drawings for the Naked Guest Book.
I attempted a video clip of our trip, which didn't really do justice to the great visitors and the wonderful trip at Chek Jawa.
 Just before we went home, we had some MORE weird nature sightings. Ivan spotted a tree frog tucked up in a corner near the roof.
Marcus spotted a beautiful LOOOONG Oriental whip snake! It's a very elegant snake.
Here's a not very good video clip of the snake.
And Marcus saw this golden dusted weevil just before we left on the bumboat.
And at Changi Jetty, Ivan points out the mullets to me. OK, now I know what mullets look like.
There's a new kitten at Changi Jetty! She is really cute. All white with a banded tail and a patch on her face. Here she is biting Marcus' camera strap.
Spot Cat, the regular fat cat at Changi Jetty is none too pleased about the new comer getting all the attention.
We had a great day out at Chek Jawa despite the rain. The only blot on the day was we missed Mama Hermit Crab Ley Kun who hurt her foot and couldn't join us. But still, she drove all the way to pass us the drawing stuff. Get well soon Ley Kun!

More about Chek Jawa and about the Naked Hermit Crabs.


  1. We're indeed so honoured to be guided by you Ria...what an awesome & informative boardwalk!

    Once again Thank You so much for guiding us.

    Cheers ~ Sue

  2. Yay! Great crowd to start the new year.

  3. Thank you Sue for arranging for your friends to visit Chek Jawa. They were a delight, especially the kids! Bravo to the parents for introducing them to Chek Jawa.

  4. Thank you for your time to guide us at Chek Jawa , Ria. Family and I had a great time. I'll definitely plan another trip there with my friends. Some of them have shown interest to go when I showed them our photos.

    Take care,

    Siti (the lady in red OCBC cycle 2009 tshirt)

  5. Thank you Siti for bringing your family to Chek Jawa! The kids were great! Would be great to see you and your friends again at Chek Jawa!

  6. You are true nature educationist, Ria. I am inspired!



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