14 April 2012

Piglets and blooms at Chek Jawa

Seven piglets certainly improved the day! Mama wild boar and her brood were quietly hanging around Chek Jawa as usual.
I had a rather distressing encounter watching NEA officers spray chemicals on the back mangroves and rocky shores of Chek Jawa. But otherwise, had a great day out with the Naked Hermit Crabs on our monthly free guided walk on the boardwalk.

After following the NEA officers at their work, by the time I got back to the Naked Hermit Crabs, the walk had already started! Here's Daniel sharing more about the seagrass meadows that lie next to the rocky shore.
Below us were the 'dancing' mudskippers. The very long wormy Bearded mudskipper (Scartelaos histophorus) flips up to stand on his tail in order to attract females!
I notice he also seems to show off his fins and tail to the ladies too.
We saw signs of a Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator)! The large pairs of footprints next to a line made by its long dragging tail is typical of this animal.
There were lots of birds out and about today. Many long-legged herons and egrets were hunting on the seagrass meadows. And Ivan spotted the Stork-billed kingfisher (left) and the Collared kingfisher sitting on the boardwalk railings. A handy perch for stalking prey on the shore.
The shore is also thick with fiddler crabs!
The area right next to the boardwalk is rich with all kinds of wildlife. Like mudskippers living in their burrows. These burrows are painstakingly built by the fish, using only its mouth! Mudskippers may also lay their eggs and raise their young in the burrows. If the water is contaminated, these will affect these fish and their offspring.
There are also lots of tiny crabs and fiddler crabs that are only found in the back mangroves and not on the main shore.
Today the otherwise drab Endangered Dugun (Heritiera littoralis) is blooming! With pretty velvety pink bell-shaped flowers!
Today I saw flowers of the Critically Endangered Tumu Berau (Bruguiera sexangula), the Endangered Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora) was also blooming, as well as the more common Api-api putih (Avicennia alba).
The Nipah palms (Nypa fruticans) were also blooming!
I heard a lot of squawking around the nest box, and crept up to have a look. It seems Papa hornbill is approaching it. Unlike other birds that build nests out of sticks, the Oriental pied-hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) 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.
Papa hornbill then seemed to regurgigate and poked his bill into the hole. It seems mum and babies might still be in the nest? Although apparently this nesting has been going on for longer than usual.
Earlier, I got a glimpse of Friendly Mama wild boar and her piglets and older offspring before their rushed into the undergrowth. As visitors along the path rushed behind in hot pursuit.
The visitors as usual, shared such beautiful drawings and thoughts of their visit.
We had a last look at the wild boar just before the boarded our van. Visitors don't feed the wild boar at Chek Jawa, so the pigs don't bother visitors and all is good!
It's always a delight to share Chek Jawa. Visit the Naked Hermit Crabs blog to find out more about the free monthly guided walks at the Chek Jawa boardwalk.

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't get a decent picture of the piglets. they move so quickly. but witnessing the little ones running around just make my heart melt. so CUTE!

    I noticed pairs Bearded mudskippers coming together in opposite direction (just like the 4th image) and then they wiggle at each other. Then one of it will swim back to its hole to bring more mud out.

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  2. Cool observations Pei Yan, thanks for sharing!

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