Sunday, January 20, 2008

First Weekend Walk of the Year at Chek Jawa

Have not blogged on this blog for quite a while, so when Adelle asked me to help out, I gladly took it up :)

I've already put up an entry on my other blog actually, so will just highlight some of the special finds and also those that I did not talk about in my other blog.

One of the first few plants that caught my attention was the fruiting rattan above. Came a few weeks ago and it was flowering like nobody's business. So, this is how the fruits look like!

Yet another plant that caught my eye was this sea almond tree. Seems like it's getting ready to shed its leaves, as all of them had turned orange or red. Well, you don't need to go to the temperature countries to see colourful leaves, you know?

There were plenty of sand dollars on the sand bar, and the visitors were delighted to make personal contacts with nature.

The hairy sea hares were in season too! We saw lots of them as well almost exactly about one year ago. Could this mean that they follow a yearly reproduction cycle?

And yes! We do have seahorses in Singapore! They are usually very well-camouflaged though, and it takes really sharp eyes sometimes to spot them.

And here's a juvenile cake sea star...

...and its underside. The mouth is in the middle, and it has lots of little tube feet in the five grooves radiating out from the centre.

We also found a flower crab covered with algae and several goose barnacles. The two back legs of the flower crab are paddle-shaped, which allow it to swim around.

Lunar New Year is coming, and coincidentally we also saw one of the "New Year fish" - the rabbitfish. Called 'peh toh' in Hokkien, the rabbitfish breeds around this time, and the Chinese simply love its roe.

There were a few brittle stars too. This one tried to burrow into the sand, but fortunately, we managed to take a good look of it before it disappeared totally.

After the intertidal walk, we went to the rescue tank at House No. 1 to take a look at some of the fishes they rescued recently from one of the restaurants. The 3 in the middle are kite butterflyfish, and if you look carefully, you will find a copperbanded butterflyfish at the top-right corner.

They even have 2 blue ring angelfish!

Soon, it's time to go, but even at the entrance to Chek Jawa Wetlands, we had the privilege to spot a flying dragon! Also called the gilding lizard, it can spread out folds of skin attached its ribs and uses them like "wings" to glide from one tree to another.

All in all, it's been a good trip. Hopefully all the visitors enjoyed the trip as much as the guides do! :)


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