11 August 2012

National Day at Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs

The Naked Hermit Crabs celebrate National Day with some sporting families who have gathered for the monthly free guided walk on the Chek Jawa boardwalk!
What a great bunch of people! We saw a stick insect, lots of crabs and mudskippers, kingfishers, monitor lizard and more!

I was lucky to get to guide these and other enthusiastic kids and their mums and dads!
Ivan takes more photos of individual families with the flag at the top of Jejawi Tower, where today we enjoyed panoramic views of Johor and Pulau Tekong. On the way down, one of the kids spot a large spider which had created a nice web on the tower.
It's great to have photographers in the group as they spot great stuff and help to take photos to show to those who can't quite see well camouflaged animals. Like the Giant mudskipper.
We see many tiny colourful fiddler crabs, all kinds of crabs and mudskippers along the back mangroves, and find out what mud lobsters are.
Pei Yan (smiling in the background) found a stick insect on the boardwalk!
Mum shows the kids how to gently allow the insect to walk on our hands and arms.
To transfer the insect, we simply put our hand in front of it and it will walk on to it.
There's something totally fascinating about an animated stick!
Today, the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) team is also at Chek Jawa to do a recce for the upcoming annual Cleanup in September. Marcus takes the time to tell us a little bit more about ICCS and the work they do.
On the boardwalk, the tide is still low and we have a look at countless fiddler crabs and lots of busy mudskippers. We also saw several kingfishers hunting on the mudflats.
It's easy to use our shadow to point out animals on the mudflats! Haha!
Pei Yan found some cute Cotton stainer bugs to show the kids.
Ley Kun tells us more about the seagrasses and other marine life that is found underwater at this part of the boardwalk.
Oh, a Malayan water monitor is spotted basking on the hot sand near the coastal forest. Fortunately Uncle Ben is there with his long lens to take a good photo of it.
The kids can then have a look at this fascinating animal.
Ivan shares more about the Oriental pied hornbill and NParks' highly successful efforts to provide artificial nest boxes for them.
All too soon, we reach the end of the walk. We catch up with Sankar and Chay Hoon at the Visitor Centre and it's time for some cold drinks from the vending machine, and to have fun drawing what we saw today.
We have some talented artists with us today!
At the end of the tour when we were leaving, there were lots and LOTS of people arriving at Chek Jawa on their bicycles!
When we first arrived earlier in the morning, there was hardly anyone at the entrance. So we were lucky to have a look at the wild boar and babies, now mostly losing their watermelon stripes. We didn't see Grandma wild boar, but her two older daughters were there and now we think the babies belong to her daughters and not to Grandma. Hopefully, Grandma is ok, perhaps off looking after new babies? Everyone had a great time taking photos of and with the wild boar! It is possible for people to have safe and enriching interaction with wild boar!
The guides end for lunch at Ubin Town, where we learn sad news that Blackie the dog had passed away earlier this month. RIP Blackie.
We had a great lunch and were delightfully surprised that Mr and Mrs Weber treated us to it. Thank you! On the way home, Ivan noticed that a jaw bone of a wild boar had been tied to a coconut tree nearby. No doubt we will soon learn about this on his Monday Morgue resources.
Come join the Naked Hermit Crabs for our next monthly free guided walk on the Chek Jawa boardwalk! More details.

Posts by others on this trip
  • Pei Yan shares more about what happened on this trip.
  • Ivan with a sneak peek at Changi, and many many more photos of the day, close ups of animals, and the happy visitors who joined us today.
  • On the Naked Hermit Crab blog, lots more about what we saw and did.

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