22 July 2016

Seagrass meadows next to the Changi Boardwalk, with otter

This morning, a solo survey of Changi starting with a stretch that I've not surveyed before. This stretch is special because it has both rocky shores and seagrassy and sandy areas.
Today, the seagrasses were lush, with lots of sea cucumbers of various kinds. But some signs of distress among some cnidarians. I also had a glimpse of an otter. It saw me and disappeared into the water.

I started from a stretch of shore that I've not surveyed before. It is small and further away from the shore we usually survey, and the tide is usually high by the time I get there in the past. So today, I started there. There are lots of seagrasses here. Mostly Spoon seagrass but also Needle seagrass at the low waterline. I didn't see any dugong feeding trails today.
I saw a good variety of sea cucumbers. In the seagrass meadows, the most abundant were Pink warty sea cucumbers, next most common were Thorny sea cucumbers. I also saw one Orange sea cucumbers, one Purple sea cucumber, one Beige sea cucumber and one Plasticky sea cucumber.
Some sea cucumbers were burrowing. I saw many many Ball sea cucumbers, one Smooth sea cucumber and one Garlic sea cucumber.
I didn't see many sea stars. A few medium sized Sand stars, and one large Biscuit star. There were also a few White sea urchins.
I saw a few large Noble volutes, but not many other kinds of snails.
The sea fans are still growing near the rocky shores in deeper water. Smaller colonies near the high ground and larger ones in deeper water. But these are only found in areas far from the boardwalk (and line fishing from the boardwalk). I saw much fewer sea fans compared to our last survey here in Jul 2015.
The most abundant sponge was Melted chocolate sponges all over the rocky shores. There were small patches of other kinds of sponges. But there was still many patches of Button zoanthids here. Not very different from what we saw during our last survey here in Jul 2015.
There are hard corals on this shore too. They are Zebra corals, encrusting on hard surfaces natural and artificial. I didn't see any that were bleaching.
Most of the cerianthids I saw looked rather ill. They had short of no tentacles. The little black Phoronid worms that live with them seemed alright.
More cerianthids with short or no tentacles.
I saw a few Flowery sea pens that also don't look quite right. Rather pale. I saw one large and one small Haddon's carpet anemones on the rocky shore and not in the seagrasses. Both were not bleaching.
Fishing goes on at every part of the boardwalk that overlooks the water at high tide. Below these spots, lots of tangled fishing lines. While I was there, a man was using a cast net in deeper water.
There was a thick layer of sediments on much of the rocky areas. That's my footprint. This shore that was affected by nearby dredging for the six months last year. It remains rather quiet.
I enjoyed a dry and glorious sunrise!
I hope this beautiful mainland shore stays well until we have a chance to survey it again.

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