Thursday, August 2, 2007

Anemone finale at Sungei Buloh


Today is the last day of our sea anemone "expeditions" and guess what, we are at the mangroves over at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve.


Siva leads us to his territory via the accessible boardwalk system. And at first sight, I saw a few giant mudskipper wading across the wetland and pools of water.

Not too soon, we navigated ourselves down to the mud and dirt where the real work starts!


It is a very nice place after all, in this photo with a stream leading out to Johor Straits.


Ria did not get down at first and was happily taking photos of us dredging across the mud. Of course, Siva also took a photo of her up there before she joins us.


Huaqin found this delicate anemone with its tentacles opened along the side of a stream. Mangrove anemones are pretty either.


We were looking more for those anemones that burrow deeper into the substrate and this is how it looks like out of the mud. It has a orangey or brown column with white stripes running parallel to the it. The tentacles, when out of water, are retracted into its body.


The team works hard to get these anemones where no one bothers about them in the past. We are so glad that Dr Daphne is here to help us know more about these anemone guys, as we can better appreciate and document the rich biodiversity Singapore has.


Trixie is one of the very garang anemone team member and together with Ivy, they assist Dr Daphne with collection and identification. Who says girls can't do such stuffs?


Throughout the search, we found many of these blobs, mostly stuck on hard surfaces.


Dr Daphne told us that these are actually Anthopleura handi. And these anemones are actually named after her professor, called Professor Hand. They are tough guys and live well in the anoxic mangrove conditions.

Swee Hee found another type of anemone which I have forgotten the id. It has white lines radiating from the centre.

And to Ria's curosity, she found out surprisingly that the whole place is full of these rare Halophila Beccari! So far I only knew they can be found in Chek Jawa. And to think that we were all stomping them all over. Haha.

We brought a bit of specimen back to Siti, the expert of seagrass, who will take a good good look at these rosey tiger seagrass.

Today we had a well assorted gang of team members...


working hard and also learning valuable information from Dr Daphne.

Very soon, earlier than expected, we managed to complete our work and reached the objectives. We were pleasant that the park has prepared pools of water with sponges so that we can have a proper washup after getting ourselves down and dirty in the mud. It was a fruitful and enriching experience getting to learn so much from Dr Daphne.

After almost everyone left, Andy, Ron, Alvin, Robert and I stayed behind. We spotted this white-breasted waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) near the edge of the pond.

I thought this was a pretty shot of a red-ear slider "looking" at the edge of the pond of small fishes.

We also stopped by the main bridge and with the assistance of Ron and Alvin, I get to see this beautiful Stork-billed Kingfisher resting on the branch, and it stayed there for really some time, even after we left.


We were talking about otters and tried to sight for one. I saw something moving from afar and I can't recognise what is it. Thus, I took out my camera and make a zoom. To my dismay, from what I saw from my camera, it is only a monitor lizard. Well, better than nothing. We know these otters are still there before Robert saw it some time ago.


That marks the end of the day, thanks to the anemone team for the trip and also Andy for the interesting drives which few people now appreciate the rustic charm of these winding roads.

2 comments:

Siyang said...

Wow...this stretch of intertidal trips must be the most enriching from the looks of it. So many new knowledge gain in anemones! even in sungei buloh!

koksheng said...

Dr Daphne is a wonderful and patient teacher, who shares a lot with us. We learnt a lot from her and really appreciate her coming to Singapore to help us better respect our anemones!

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