11 July 2017

Surveying East Coast shores after the rain

Our survey of this seagrassy-sandy shore was cut short by a huge rain storm.
Seagrass meadows at East Coast Park
But glimpses showed the seagrasses are still there. Although the sand bar had lots of Button snails, we could not find any special snails today.

Just before we started the survey, we saw a huge weather front heading towards us. So we hunkered down to wait out the rain and lightning and only came out when it was safe. The Meteorological Service of Singapore website is a life-saver! Showing 10minute updates of radar info for Singapore and up to 240km around us. So the weather won't catch us by the surprise.
Among the seagrasses, I saw one acorn worm and one small Fan shell clam. I didn't see any Haddon's carpet anemone. Because of the rain, the water was too murky to explore the parts of the seagrasses that were not exposed.
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) and Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.)
I got a glimpse of some of the seagrasses here, mostly Needle seagrass (with broad and narrow leaf blades) and Spoon seagrass with large leaf blades. They now appear to cover most of the sandy area next to the canal, even up to the low water mark in some places. I did not see the small patch of Noodle seagrass that I saw in in Aug 2012. Washed up on the shore, I saw some Tape seagrass and what looks like Serrated ribbon seagrass.
The sand bar appears to have changed in shape, to become shorter and broader, compared to our last survey in Feb 2016.
Sand bar at East Coast Park
There seemed to be a lot of live Button snails, infesting almost all the sand bar near the high shore. Much like what I saw on our last survey in Feb 2016. But I didn't see any of the snails that eat these Button snails, such as moon snails or Olive snails. Although I did see some Spiral melongena.  There were shells of various snails, occupied by Orange-striped hermit crabs. I only saw some tiny to small Cake sand dollars. Perhaps this is why we did not see any special snails today such as the Grey bonnet snail and Fig snail? Or maybe it was due to the heavy rain. Burrowing marine life generally don't like freshwater and will burrow deeper.
The artificial seawall has some life with patches of sponges and other encrusting animals. There were some crab traps laid off the bridge at the canal, but I didn't see any other traps or nets on the s hore.
Thanks to Abel and Lena for joining the survey. It was a pity the weather was not kinder to us.
Surveying East Coast Park

Photos by others on this trip

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