29 April 2012

Kids have fun at Pasir Ris mangroves

We missed seeing the otters! But the kids still saw lots of wildlife on the Pasir Ris mangrove boardwalk with the Naked Hermit Crabs!
Monitor lizards, mudskippers and crabs, crabs, crabs!

Even before we began our trip, there's lots to see. Ley Kun has found a pod of the kapok tree! This tree produces fluffy 'wings' to disperse its seeds. The fluff was used in the past to stuff our pillows!
What a surprise to see the sunbird nest back at the same spot at the public toilet. We first saw it on our March trip, but when we came back last week it was missing. Pei Yan solved the mysterious case of how the nest came back.
The mangrove forest was ringing with the song of male cicadas calling out to the lady cicadas. It's easier to find them if you close your eyes and use your ears to find them! Could this be Purana usnani, the newly recorded cicada first found at Pasir Ris mangroves?!
I learnt some new guiding stories from Brandon on our trip. Also, see how he uses his camera to show the kids animals which are hard to spot. Once everyone gets a 'search image' they have no trouble spotting more on their own.
Brandon explains to the kids why it's important not to pluck leaves in the mangroves. Not only because this harms the trees, but it can also harm us! He shows how the Buta-buta tree, also known as Blind-your-eye, produces a white sap that can indeed blind your eyes!
The kids spot a dead Malayan water monitor lizard! It's covered with flies which are busy laying eggs in the carcass. Soon the baby flies (maggots!) will eat up the lizard. Other animals may eat the maggots and flies, and thus nature recycles everything and nothing goes to waste.
We also saw several living water monitors. Some were foraging in the mangrove forest. And one was hiding in a tree hole!
Hurray, Pei Yan found the Dog faced water snake! There's lots of interesting animals in the mud, and the kids are great at spotting them.
There are all kinds of clams and snails on the mud. The ones that look like ice-cream cones are Telescopium snails.
Pei Yan points out all the interesting birds that can be seen from the jetty at Sungei Tampines. It's our favourite place! In the water, there were lots of Halfbeaks and even some small Archerfishes! Sadly, this is where I also saw lots of dead fishes last month. Today, however, the Sungei looks ok.
Brandon sets up an impromptu scope so the kids can have a real close look at the herons nesting at the trees along the Sungei. A queue forms up so everyone can have a peek.
We spot a mama White-breasted water hen with a fluffy black chick! The black colour does indeed help to camouflage the chick, so much so that I have to circle it in this photo.
As usual, there's a monitor lizard resting on the dead tree across Sungei Tampines. On the horizon is the busy street near Downtown East. Yet, this tranquil little patch of mangroves is full of amazing wildlife, within easy reach of anyone at any time and any tide!
The kids are melting in the heat and humidity! But this doesn't stop them from sharing some wonderful drawings of what they saw!
It's wonderful to know that we see ourselves in the amazing marine life that live at Pasir Ris mangroves!
Naked Hermit Crabs Guestbook (Pasir Ris 28 Apr 2012)
Dad does an awesome sketch of the herons nesting by the Sungei.
Safiya is only 3 years old and has come up with a gorgeous drawing! With a little help from mum.
More photos and drawings on the Naked Hermit Crab blog. Thanks to Ley Kun, Pei Yan and Brandon for guiding at this walk.

After the visitors left, we had a chat with Mr Anwar who told us he saw four otters swimming in the Sungei before we arrived. He also told us about some of the other birds we missed.

Wow! This only means that we need to come back again to Pasir Ris!

The Naked Hermit Crabs hope to resume this free evening Pasir Ris boardwalk tours during the June school holidays. Check out their blog for finalised dates.

The Crab's next event is the free boardwalk tour at Chek Jawa on 12 May (Sat).  Come join them there!

You can also catch up with the Crabs and their nature friends at the awesome Festival of Biodiversity on 26-27 May (Sat-Sun), jam packed with talks, film screening, games, exhibitions. They will be at the marine exhibit with lots of special activities for kids!

Posts by others on this trip

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