11 February 2012

First Naked trip to Chek Jawa in 2012

The Naked Hermit Crabs had our first walk at Chek Jawa for 2012 and what a great crowd we had!
All of us gather for the traditional group photo at the top of Jejawi Tower on a gorgeous blue sky day! It's so much easier to get a nice group photo by hiding behind a child. I should do this more often.

Before we started the walk, I try to make up the traditional toy out of rubber seed capsules. It should twirl when we blow on it, but my fingers were too fat to allow it to rotate! Fortunately, mum has much more slender fingers and we had a whirl at it for a while.
Then it was off to explore Chek Jawa! On a clear gorgeous day like today, we can see a long distance from the Jejawi Tower. Here is Ley Kun pointing out Johor, Pulau Tekong and other important landmarks and features.
There weren't so many mossies along the infamous Mosquito Valley portion of the mangrove boardwalk. And we spotted all kinds of little crabs, fishes, dragonflies and of course mudskippers.
Here's one of my favourites, the Blue-spotted mudskipper!
Ley Kun shares more about the fascinating and important Nipah palms, that provide so many delicious and useful products from attap-chee to roofing.
We also talked about mangrove trees and was delighted to see that the Mangrove wax plant was blooming!
As we approached the seaward side of the boardwalk, there was a small group of young people observing the fiddler crabs there. They shared what they had seen.
Then it was time to head out to coastal boardwalk portion, past towering mangrove trees with great vistas of the coastal forest. Ley Kun spotted a Malayan water monitor lizard and we see more mudskippers and a big needlefish in the incoming tide. The tide is really high today!
It's the season for the Sea almond tree leaves to turn red. A gorgeous explosion of 'Autumn' colours against a blue blue sky!
We stop by to have a look at the nest boxes that NParks has put up for the hornbills. Unlike other birds that build nests out of sticks, hornbills usually nest inside a hole in a tree. The mother bird will seal herself up in the hole, with the help of the father bird, leaving only a narrow gap for her to stick out her huge bill. While papa feeds her, mama stays in the nest to lay eggs and raise her young. The seal is only broken when the babies are ready to fly.
Wow! The nest box is currently occupied! See how the hole is sealed up with mud. So we try to be quiet so as not to alarm the mama bird inside the box, or scare away the papa bird who has to feed her regularly.
A rustle in the forest and it's Mama wild boar and her piglets, who have grown a lot larger!
As we keep still, they walk calmly across the path as they forage for food. There is a lot of food in the forest and on the seashore for Mama and other wild boar on Pulau Ubin. It's good to see Mama feeding normally and that none of the visitors were feeding her.
There is no need for humans to feed the wild boar, or any of the wildlife that we may encounter on Pulau Ubin or anywhere else in Singapore. Feeding wildlife makes these wild animals associate humans with food. When these animals approach humans, some people may get frightened and complain about them. As a result, the authorities are forced to catch the animals and kill them. Feeding kills! Don't feed wildlife. More about the impact of feeding
All too soon, we reach the end of the walk. Then it's time for drawing fun, a hit with the kids! I'm always amazed by what kids recall and learn!
Everyone kindly spends some time to share their thoughts and wishes for Chek Jawa in the Naked Hermit Crab guestbook. Hopefully, these thoughts will help show that many people do care about preserving Chek Jawa.
After much hard work, a photo of the proud artist!
After the trip, we had a most excellent lunch in town with the visitors, great food and really great company. What a lovely surprise for them to treat Ley Kun and I to lunch! Thank you! Of course, I was too busy eating to take a photo of the lunch. On the way home, we noticed a HUGE wooden boat next to the jetty. Vincent explained its the boat that supplies diesel to Ubin to run the many generators that provide electricity on the island. Ubin has no piped water or energy! Life is really rustic here.
Before we started the walk, Ley Kun and I spent a little time taking a photo of Changi Point beach with Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa in the background. The gorgeous blue sky was just impossible to resist!
We also watched three gigantic barges piled with sand moving towards the sand stockpile on the mainland. We see this almost everytime we go to Ubin for the monthly Chek Jawa walk.
The FREE Chek Jawa boardwalk tours are held every second Saturday of the month. These walks are specially focused on families and kids, and I always look forward to doing them. Do join us if you can. Visit the Naked Hermit Crabs blog for updates!

2 comments:

  1. LOL, I was attracted by your blog title. :p I'm so glad that the hornbill nest box really works. Our forests are so short of large trees nowadays..

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  2. Yes, rather shameless of me to stoop so low for a title. Thanks for dropping by the blog! Indeed, always a delight to see the nest box in use. So exciting!

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