Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sekudu- A frog's eye view

Today several of my friends accompanyed me to visit this Frog island, Pulau Sekudu in the early wee 0400 hour. Glad they were so on to wake up early and many did not even sleep the night before. This trip has been made possible by Ria though she couldn't be there. It was supposed to be a beachfleas trip but unfortunately Evelyn couldn't make it.

Thanks Chay Hoon for preparing the bumboat transport beforehand. And here is Mr Chua making sure Khairul gets a firm landing on Sekudu after we left Changi.

First thing that caught my eye was this ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus sp.). They prefer to be buried in the sand.

Brittlestars like to be sheltered in sponges because distasteful and prickly sponges help them ward against predators.

What a crabby place. From left to right, top to bottom: Flower crab, Red swimming crab, thunder crab? and another red swimming crab.

This goby is pretty big and strong ("tested"and proven-just a slight touch)

Yay, found a sand star (Astropecten sp.) which tend to be buried under sand during the day.

Today I saw 2 of these geographic sea hare (Syphonota geographica) and they look juicy, opps too hungry!

A shrimp burrowing into the sand after noticing our presence.

This is a hermit crab that has its soft buttock protected in the shell. Perhaps you can next time try to cajole it out, which I think is super rare. Who wants to expose their weakest link?

These small salmacis sea urchin are pretty common.

How can we forget the carpet anemones that carpet Sekudu with colors? They usually eat fine particles that are trapped in their bodies but if larger animals get stuck in the tentacles, it can swallow it up.

Nice to be reminded of presence of Enhalus tape seagrass in Sekudu.

The sponges are coming back. Hopefully the nudibranchs too, quickly.

These smaller anemones add beauty to the shore, just like flowers in a park.

My first time to see filefish. These fishes are quite flat and this one apparently is trapped in low tide. It can change color according to its surrounding. It's skin is rough so sometimes is called leatherjacket.

Graceful cardinalfishes swimming in a pool of water.

This sea pen is really cute, its small. This is not one animal but a colony.

I think the find of the day should be this cake sea star (Anthenea aspera). This one found is around 20-25cm in size, according to the scale I've used to photograph it.

According to online guide to CJ, These large sea stars are sometimes numerous in the coral rubble area. At other times, they are less often encountered. They come in a wide variety of colours, from brown, red to even green. They were previously only seen from samples dredged from the channel between Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. Little is known about them.

Though the rest might be at Semakau taking the traditional group shot of knobbly sea star (which unfortunately still is not found in CJ and Sekudu after mass death till now), we also had our proud version with the cake sea star! Cheese!
What a huge jellyfish that got stranded in the intertidal zone. It was still pretty firm, not flaccid.

While the sun is still not out, here's another group photo with a rock.

The sun rises progressively and soon I found this black sea cucumber. Tried to agitate it a bit but it didnt spit white threads. This one is more well tempered. Haha.

Help needed to id this beautiful shore bird. Thanks to Siyang, he suggested its a grey heron.

How can we forget to look at these colorful peacock anemones?

What a glorious glow, a wonderful start to a blessed day.

And definitely we can't leave Sekudu without the iconic froggie group photo. Here's a quick recap of the legend which says once a pig, elephant and frog wants to swim to Johor. They did not made it eventually and gets turned to Ketam, Ubin and Sekudu.

Sekudu has one of the nicest coastal rock formation in Singapore!

A last view as we leave with Mr Chua's bumboat.

And a view of the majestic Pulai (Alstonia angustiloba) tree of Ubin which is believed to be more than 100 years old!

Thanks Ria and Chay Hoon again for making the trip possible.

Thanks to my wonderful group of friends for being so sporting to see the beautiful creations on Sekudu. I'm sure they enjoyed. Thanks, Gun Kiat and Khairul for driving, and also Shuying, Gerald and Liyuan for coming.

Thank God for the good weather despite weather forecast of rain in morning. Indeed there was rain in morning and that is after I reached home! Wow. And it is still raining now.


Ria Tan said...

What a fabulous day at Sekudu!

And what an amazing range of creatures sighted. Looks like things are getting back to normal on the Ubin shores.

Thanks for sharing the trip.

Ron Yeo said...

Wow! Cake Seastar!!!

It was a fantastic morning at Semakau too... until we kenna the rain. It was still a fun trip though, and we managed to have a traditional shot with the knobbly seastar before the rain hit us :P

TS said...

That look like a grey heron? Yeaa rainnnn at Semakau! haha...

Unknown said...

Hope the knobbly seastar return to CJ and sekudu soon.

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