24 May 2014

Sunny day at Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs

A mammoth turnout for the free Naked Hermit Crab guided walk at Chek Jawa this morning! Everyone enthusiastically poses for the group photo, including the lady running in the background.
We had lots of fun as usual, spotting interesting wildlife and enjoying the outdoors on a hot sunny day!

Just as we arrived, we saw a bird fly by: a flash of white wings with blue and brown. It settled some distance on the forest floor and Ley Kun said "Pitta!" And indeed, feeble Sneaky Cam got a shot of a Pitta-like blob on the forest floor (circled in yellow in the photo below).
This is a proper photo of a Mangrove pitta by Choy Wai Mun on the excellent Arkive website.
Pei Yan found two small fallen durians which amused the visitors before our walk started. We later saw lots more fallen durians and fallen rambutans too.We are all anticipating a bumper crop of these delicious local favourites in the months ahead!
It was so nice to meet up with Jo-Tsze after an absence of many years. And also to meet his lovely family. Jo-Tsze used to join us on our wildfilms trips many years ago!
A Lyssa zampa moth is spotted in a tree! We are in the middle of a population explosion of these giant moths and there is an effort to collect sightings of these moths.
Before we head off for our walks, Ley Kun shares more about the Naked Hermit Crabs.
I had a great team of kids and mums and dads. All our special finds were spotted by them. Like this baby Water monitor lizard!
One of the sharp eyed kids spotted this tiny crab dragging a fallen caterpillar along the mud! I've never seen this before!
Thanks to Dad for taking a better shot of it with his proper camera!
We also saw a lot of fiddler crabs!
Oh! A little praying mantis is on the boardwalk!
Here's what it looks like. None of us handle it because we have all applied insect repellent on our hands and arms and this would hurt the harmless insect.
There were also lots of mudskippers. Including this pair of 'Dancing' mudskippers. The male of this mudskipper is sometimes seen jumping up and down to stand up on his tail. But today, none of them were 'dancing'. Perhaps it's because they have already found girlfriends?
Thanks to Joseph Lai, who alerted me earlier by email, I recognised the beautifully blooming yellow tree next to the boardwalk.
It is the Endangered Malva nut (Scaphium macropodum). More about it on Uncle Tony's Flora Singapura website.
The beautiful Delek air trees were also blooming with bright blue flowers!
Today was the first time in 8 months that I managed to climb up and down the Jejawi Tower at Chek Jawa since I broke my foot! It is a really big achievement for me!
The visitors all had a great time sharing what they saw. Here's Chay Hoon's group. The guestbook entries are precious and will help us prove that many people love and appreciate Chek Jawa.
I love this awesome drawing of the Tower. It is so rare that kids draw the Tower, so it must have been as special to this young lady as it was to me!
I also love this beautiful rendition of the colourful rocks we saw at Chek Jawa!
The best group must be this very enthusiastic yoga group led by Pei Yan. Others guiding today include Ley Kun and Kai.
I saw this man kayaking next to the boardwalk and I reminded him that the Chek Jawa and Pulau Sekudu area is restricted and permission is required to enter the area. He said it was ok to go there so long as he doesn't land, I pointed out that this was incorrect and urged him to check the formal Maritime and Port Authority Notice which announces the official designation of Chek Jawa Wetlands as an area off limits to boaters, water recreational activities including fishing and swimming. Chek Jawa is for our dugongs, otters and other wildlife. And in fact, a dugong was sighted at Chek Jawa during the Naked Hermit Crab walk in October last year!
We saw some adult wild boar on the way out of Chek Jawa, but only one very thin young wild boar. We also saw the wild macaques swishing around in the trees.

There's lots of reasons to visit Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa. Come and join the Naked Hermit Crabs for the next free monthly guided tour and find out more about Pulau Ubin and explore it on your own.


  1. The monitor lizard you found is a clouded monitor, which is more fully terrestrial and usually found further from water than the water monitor. It would be interesting to find out how the 2 species interact and share the same spaces in areas where their distribution overlaps.

  2. Wow, thanks Ivan! That's awesome to know.



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