24 July 2010

Chek Jawa boardwalk with the Naked Hermit Crabs

We are out today on a dry sunny day with an enthusiastic bunch of visitors at the Naked Hermit Crabs' free Chek Jawa boardwalk tour!
When we headed out for Chek Jawa earlier in the morning it was gloomy and threatening to rain -- a flooding kind of rain. Will any of the visitors brave the weather to meet us at Chek Jawa?

We are delighted that lots of our visitors did turn up for the walk! We had a large group of cheerful girls from RGS who went with Ley Kun and Pei Yan, and a great bunch of friends led by El who went with Chay Hoon and me.
Also with us were the fabulous four from RJC who had attended the Guides of Singapore shores workshops: Shaun, Sing Yee, Wei Xuan and Elizabeth. Here they are getting a little introduction to rubber tapping by Chay Hoon when we just arrived at Chek Jawa. The Four are great at spotting stuff and taking awesome photos of them.
Just as we walked towards the shore, we spot a Red junglefowl running across the path. And then, a group of Wild boar! Shaun has some great shots of the wild boar.
Just another few steps in we saw lots of Oriental pied-hornbills too! Shaun has a wonderful shot of the Maybelline eyelashes on the hornbill. No wonder the animals are out and about. The fruit trees in this former kampung area are fruiting! Starfruit, mangosteen, jambu bol and lots and lots of rambutan.
We had a quick look from the Jejawi Tower. The Jejawi fig next to the tower is bearing tiny but still unripe figs. Once these ripen the tree will be a party for birds, monkeys, squirrels and all kinds of other creatures! From the tower, Stuart asked about Nipah palms. With a closer look from the boardwalk, Chay Hoon explain all about this fascinating plant that produces yummy stuff like atap-chee and toddy!
Wow, thanks to the RJC Foursome we spot lots of critters such as tree climbing crabs, fiddler crabs and mudskipper large and small! Sing Yee also saw an awesome caterpillar!
Today we saw lots of small Malayan water monitor lizards. The first one we saw was obviously rather well fed and was sunning itself. These cold-blooded creatures need to warm up in order to properly digest their food.
There was another really tiny one hardly bigger than a large gecko. Did a batch of eggs just hatch?
And another one at the end of the Mangrove boardwalk. We also saw an enormous one on the rocky shore off the Coastal boardwalk.
The day became cool, cloudy and breezy. Perfect for a leisurely stroll on the coastal boardwalk enjoying a closer look at some rare coastal forest plants such as the Pink-eyed pong pong tree.
The tide was incoming and high, and usually we see a lot of Gold spotted mudskippers on the waters' edge at this time. Today, we had a hard time finding some until a sharp-eyed visitor spots these on a rock.
Oh dear, one of the mudskippers seems to be injured. We also saw some Garfish aka Needlefish in the water.
Everyone enjoys the stories about Tongkat Ali! We also have a look at the hornbill's nesting box programme on the way back to the Visitor Centre. If you want to find out more about what goes on inside the sealed tree hole where mama hornbill and her babies shelter, come for the talk on "Hornbill Nesting - The 'Intelligent' Nest" on 31 Jul (Sat).
We take a closer look at a fallen Sea hibiscus flower. The bright yellow flower turns orange as it gets old.
We headed back to the Visitor Centre where we met up with the team from RGS that Ley Kun and Pei Yan looked after. They saw a giant jellyfish!
After the visitors left, we had a look at the stick insect that Ley Kun's group saw.
I had a quick look at the plants nearby and this tree with large leaves was fruiting. I have no idea what it is.
Of course we stop for by for lunch at Ubin. AND since it's durian season, must try Ubin durian!
Burp! The aftermath of the meal.
How nice to bump into the legendary Grant Pereira who as usual has some thought-provoking words for the young ones.
On the way back at Changi Jetty, we spent lots of time checking out the variety of fishes that could be seen there: Archerfish, halfbeaks, mullets and a whole school of something which might be perchlets.

We had a great time with everyone, and the weather today turned out to be perfect.

More about the Naked Hermit Crabs and their walks.

In a few hours' time, another predawn trip to Pulau Hantu to check out the coral bleaching there. Hope the weather remains kind to us!

Other posts about this trip
  • Shaun on facebook - awesome critter shots and lots of photos of people having fun.
  • Sing Yee on facebook - more awesome shots!


  1. Wow wee! You really make me happy reading this post. You know, I saw the same type of stick-insect at Chek Jawa in year 2000 : ) You just confirmed for me that they are still around. Thanks so much.

  2. Looks like it was a wonderful morning! I'm sad that I missed it... hope to make it for next month!

  3. Yes, please do join us Shao Wei for the next trip!



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