16 July 2015

Checking out Changi

We checked out a Changi shore that was affected by nearby dredging for the last six months. This shore is special because it has both a rocky shore and seagrassy and sandy areas.
There are still good growths of seagrasses, only Spoon seagrass. Dotted with Thorny sea cucumbers, Pink warty sea cucumbers and many Flowery sea pens. But the rocky shore is far less vibrant than before.

I started at the rocky area where I was glad to see a lot of sea fans of various kinds in deeper water. Kok Sheng visited this same shore a few weeks ago and shared nice photos of the sea fans on his blog. I didn't see the feather stars that he did.
The only two sea fans I saw in shallower waters were mostly dead.
Sadly, there was one fresh fish trap dumped right in the middle of the seafan area.
At the low water mark, the western rocky area was peppered with patches of Zebra coral. Also a few patches of Neat hexa corals. The most abundant sponge was Melted chocolate sponge. With only one or two patches of other kinds of sponges. I did not see any Branching purple sponges or even Yellow clustered bead ascidians that are usually common on this shore. There was still many patches of Button zoanthids here. The shore is less lively than on our last visit in May 2014. In fact during visits over the last few years, we noticed the sponge situation worsening: Jul 2013; Jan 2013 and Jul 2012.
The only slug I saw was this tiny Black gymnodoris nudibranch with yellow spots. It is quite commonly seen on our silty seagrassy northern shores. We did not see any other kind of slugs or flatworms.
I saw one Babylonia snail emerging from the sand as the tide started to turn.
I saw various swimming crabs near the rocky areas, with small Flower crabs in the seagrass areas.
I saw a few tiny to small Biscuit sea stars, one Painted sea star and one Plain sea star. I didn't come across any other kinds of sea stars.
The most abundant sea cucumber were Ball sea cucumbers. There were some small Garlic bread sea cucumbers, a few Orange sea cucumbers, one Purple sea cucumber and one Beige sea cucumber.
Among the seagrasses, there seems to be an explosion of tiny Seagrass anemones! These translucent creatures are beautiful and resemble blown glass.
I saw a few small Tiger anemones. Chay Hoon also spotted some Peachia anemones.
There were a few Haddon's carpet anemones, from tiny ones to small ones in the seagrass areas, and larger ones in deeper waters.
There remains many Cerianthids on this shore, many of them with Phoronid worms.
I saw one Sea pencil and many Flowery sea pens of various colours.
Probably due to the massive dredging for the last six months, the area has lots of fine (clay?) sediments. Parts of the shore are super soft. The centre of the lagoon is mostly bare with seagrasses mostly on the eastern side. The eastern rocky area was completely bare of encrustations. We did not encounter octopus and some of the creatures that were abundant on our last visit her in May 2014. We again failed to encounter any seahorses. Let's hope the shore recovers soon from the impact of the dredging.


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