11 June 2011

Kids out at Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs!

It's the school holidays and we're delighted to have nearly 70 kids and mums and dads with us on Chek Jawa this muggy morning.
Here's the enthusiastic and lively group that I had the pleasure of guiding this morning. It was also a nice surprise to meet an old friend, Audrey and her family too, after all these years!

We are greeted by the cutest little wild boar piglets at the Information Kiosk, even before we begin our walk!
Here's the delighted families who came with me, enthralled by another appearance of Mama wild boar and her piglets as we start the tour!
Among the intriguing sights at Chek Jawa are signs of the old kampung that used to be here. Like the well! I notice there is a new cover over the well with a lock. We also had a look at some of the fruit trees planted by the villagers.
As usual, we start with a literal overview of Chek Jawa from the Jejawi Tower. Mum decides to stay down below, but we say hi to her from way up there.
Along the Mangrove Boardwalk, it is the little ones who spot all the good stuff! They were the ones who point and shout "There!", while the adults go "Where?!". We see all kinds of little and large mudskippers, and all manner of crabs. Also butterflies, dragonflies and scary ants.
One of the interesting animals spotted by the kids was a Mud crab! This is the crab that we eat as Chilli Crab!
Our best spotter of the day finds a lovely Sea hibiscus flower!
In the mangrove area, we spot little spiders, grasshoppers, cotton stainer bugs!
More sharp-eyed spotting by the kids on the Coastal Boardwalk.
The tide was low enough to have a look at the amazing 'dancing mudskippers'. Kok Sheng managed to find time to get a video clip of them dancing! There were also lots of fiddler crabs, and other kinds of mudskippers playing in the soft mud.
The big dead tree on Chek Jawa reminds the kids of the scary tree in the Harry Porter movie! There's a heron sitting in the tree.
It was a cloudy if very humid day, and we enjoyed a breezy walk and spot some jellyfish with fat sausage-like arms. We had a short stop to look at the fascinating nesting boxes put up by NParks for the hornbills. Just as we were finishing the tour, it started to rain.
We also spot Water monitor lizards! If we don't get too close, they won't run away.
At House No. 1, the kids share their favourite sightings. We are always amazed by what they recall! Here's some of the awesome drawings shared by earlier visitors, on the Naked Hermit Crabs blog.
Fortunately, most of the groups made it back to House No. 1 before it really started to pour! As we waited out the lightning and rain, we noticed a group of herons hunting on the shore! It's not easy catching fish even if you have long legs and a long beak.
And before we left, another appearance by Mama wild boar and her piglets! Oops, sneaky camera settings got messed up so I didn't get a good shot of them.
Kok Sheng shares many more photos and stories of interesting encounters on our walk. I really enjoy doing the Chek Jawa walks because of the enthusiastic families that join us. It's great to know that there are mums and dads who take the time and trouble to introduce their kids to nature around us. Bravo!

Once again, we end the tour with another delicious lunch at Ubin Town. Thanks to Ley Kun for the lunch treat!

Check out the Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crab blog for updates on the next monthly free guided tour of the Chek Jawa boardwalk!

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