18 April 2012

Mangroves next to the AYE!

Next to the roaring traffic on the major Ayer Rajah Expressway is a tranquil Sungei lined with mangroves!
Today I had a quick look at the mangroves of Sungei Bajau Kanan which flows out of Jurong Lake. There were healthy mangrove trees there including one young tree that I think might be the rare Api-api jambu (Avicennia marina)!

As usual, there are well-trodden paths that lead to these urban mangroves as they are often quite well visited by anglers! I saw traces of railway tracks and only later realised the railway did cross the Sungei!
There is a huge sluice gate that creates the freshwater lake upstream: Jurong Lake.
The fringe of mangrove trees is very narrow. Often with a bare area between the mangroves and the other vegetation that cannot withstand innundation by seawater. I also saw some signs of active mudlobster mounds.
There were several large and healthy Api-api ludat (Avicennia officinalis) trees here. They were all flowering today!
I saw this scrawny little tree with suspiciously long pencil roots.
It has rather squarish stems. But no other signs that allows me to confirm that it's the Critically Endangered Api-api Jambu (Avicennia marina).
There was one large and several small trees with tiny leaves and white fluffy flowers growing just above the high water mark. I'm not sure what it is.
It has small round leaves in pairs.
Here's a closer look at the fluffy flowers.
Oh, a 'Mickey Mouse' plant. I remember Siyang telling me he is interested to see how this plant is doing in the wild. More in his paper about this and other exotic plants have escaped into the wild.
I saw a pair of mating butterflies!
I came across this shelter built among the vegetation. The trails and these signs show that the area is probably popular with anglers.
A newly built drain that leads to the Sungei.
A wide area has recently been cleared behind this industrial site. I couldn't find the trail after this stretch and headed back to do the other side of the Sungei.
On the other side, a well trodden path through shady vegetation. With palms and the usual coastal trees and plants.
An assortment of mangrove plants growing quite well, although in a narrow strip.
Bakau putih (Bruguiera cylindrica) is as usual, the most common tree. Producing lots of seedlings.
Overlooking the mangroves, under some trees, plastic bags protect blankets and cushions. It is a scenic spot!
I came across a strange set up with what seems to be a makeshift barbeque grill, a plank for seating and the area was strewn with colourful plastic strips.
A closer look at the plastic strips, they look like plastic stripped off wires.
A short distance away, a huge tree had fallen over recently, and around it was draped stripped and unstripped wires. A mystery!
I also saw a Nyireh bunga (Xylocarpus granatum) with typical peeling bark.
A heron keeps a look out from a pillar. The Sungei is edged with industrial estates and areas with stacks and stacks of containers.
Just outside the 'fences' of the industrial areas that are adjacent to the Sungei, all kinds of trash is dumped. Here's the remains of a refrigerator. But the situation is not as bad as at Kranji, at least for the short stretch that I walked today.
The shore is firm and sandy, probably because the mud is flushed away when the sluice gates are opened? In the distance is the other bridge over the Sungei, at Jalan Buroh.
Here's a look at the Jalan Buroh bridge.
The area I explored today is in the yellow circle. There seems to be a lot more mangroves further down the Sungei, but I didn't think it was safe to be traipsing too far alone. There are also mangroves at the mouth of the Pandan Reservoir, in the blue circle. I've visited those a few times.
Click on image for larger view.
There are plans to develop Jurong Lake as a destination park. How nice if mangroves could be a part of this!

Mangroves were even considered in the plans for Westgate - Gateway to the Jurong Lake District: "Westgate reflects a juxtaposition of Jurong’s original landscape and rural texture against aspirations for its future... A high-rise modern retail and commercial zone is separated by a calm, semi-outdoor landscaped village green that alludes to rivers and mangroves that once made up the landscape of Jurong. This village green will provide a space for the community to meet and socialise."

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