Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dead fish on Pasir Ris shore

Ria posted on her blog about dead fish reported on Pasir Ris beach from The Straits Times. So we thought we should go take a look since we are worried that the heavy rains may also affect the shore as well.

And indeed they were lots of dead fish! This is piled up by the cleaner and there are many many more lying all over the shore during the low tide.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Intertidal sea stars of Singapore

Being a huge sea star fanatic, I felt compelled to blog about these lovely stars in this compilation of most, if not all the known intertidal sea stars that has been sighted in Singapore. It's been a great pleasure to know that so many species of sea stars can be found on our shores: and in this post there are about 20 odd of them!

I will not go into the details of their features and every behaviour but probably just some bits of interesting facts.

The first sea star according to alphabetical order of scientific name is the Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tanah Merah: Brightly led

Probably one of the rare chances to visit Tanah Merah in the bright afternoon, we had a good look of the surroundings.

Even the cityscape was visible. We were once again blessed with good weather that allowed us to explore the shore. This time, I brought my friends: Chun Fong, Lester, Bingquan and Yang Yuan for their first time here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

First time to Sembawang beach

It's my first time to Sembawang beach during low tide. I cannot recall when was the last time I came here, or did I ever came here before. Anyway, it was a relaxing trip with James, Wen Qing and Chun Fong.

Not only was it relaxing for us, the shore is a popular place for Singaporeans to de-stress. Many of them were fishing as well.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Slow and easy at Tanah Merah

During the last trip of this low tide series, we decided to go slow and easy and visit Tanah Merah.

We started off during sunset. With the cool weather and a tranquil environment, this definitely beats going to a crowded shopping centre on a weekend evening. There were lots of interesting creatures waiting for us to explore.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Escape from stonefish at Tanah Merah

Yesterday at Tanah Merah, I had a close shave from stepping on a Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida).

I was actually first wanting to look at the Dolphin shell snail (Angaria delphinus) circled in red. When I got closer to the snail and squatted down, I was shocked to see a face among the debris and that was the infamous stonefish. Can you find the stonefish in this photo?

First time to Ubin's other shores

Given that Chek Jawa is so popular for its marine habitats, I believe that other shores of Ubin do also can be as exciting. Therefore, a small team of us decided to join along to explore a new shore that I've visited before previously during high tide. This is also my first time to Ubin's other shores.

Pulau Ubin and Sekudu is famous and well known for its rock formations. We have a "frog formation" at Sekudu and here at Ubin there is a rock formation that looks like a creature, perhaps a sea turtle? haha. More about these magnificient rocks at Joseph Lai's webpage.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hornbills at Ubin

Was at Ubin for intertidal walk but before that, it was pleasant to spot many hornbills flying across from tree to tree.

Here's three of them on top of leaf blades. Later on, we saw another two on another tree.

Cyrene Reef with Teamseagrass

After an afternoon of rain, we were once again blessed with good weather at Cyrene! This time for the last Teamseagrass monitoring of the year.

We were shorthanded so each of us has to do a single transect by ourselves. Nevertheless, all of us got the monitoring done, which is great. Here's Jocelyne working hard on her transect. It's hers and Kah Ming's first time to Cyrene as well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Design, Darwin & Dilemma

From my blog's name "God's wonderful creation", you would have probably known that I believe that there is a creator, who is God, that made all the marvellous living creatures on earth.

Today I attended a seminar by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati on Design, Darwin & Dilemma. It was an eye-opener for me!

Oriental whip snake at Chek Jawa

Yesterday, I was at the Naked Hermit Crabs guided walk with the Yishun Student Care Services. Ivan was leading my group and he spotted something special in the mangrove boardwalk.

It is the Oriental whip snake (Ahaetulla prasina)! It's my second time seeing this snake here. During my first sighting, the snake was very shy but this one is very still. It made the day for many of the participants.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cyrene- Still as beautiful in the drizzle

And many many months of absence to Cyrene Reef, finally I was able to make it to yesterday's trip to this amazing patch reef stuck in the middle of the busy shipping lane. We were with Prof Paul who was there to have a look at the seagrass meadows of Cyrene. :)

Just as we set off, there were heavy rain, lightning and thunder! We were worried. But thank God, when we arrived, everything setttled for a drizzle and we could land.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to visit the shores of Singapore?

Blogs are great ways to spread the word about our splendid seashores and coral reefs in Singapore. And of course, it will attract the curiosity of people. Of course, some will be interested to see the beauty of our nature places with their own experience.

So the big question is "How to visit our seashores?". Here's how!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting high at Hantu

We are high at Hantu: both the tides and human beings. The tides this week haven't been that compliant so we were stuck at the lagoon tonight at Hantu. And it was high for us because there were many surprising finds!

Today's trip started off at 7pm, so it was near darkness all the while except for the petrochemical plants from Bukom just at a stone's throw away.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Under the rocks and among seaweed in Sentosa

I'm back to Sentosa! And this time we are off to explore a long stretch of this rocky shore which is definitely coupled with a good "foot reflexology course".

With the charming natural coastal cliff at the background, my attention yesterday evening was mainly focused on the underside of rocks and among the bloom of Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hot hot afternoon at Pasir Ris

It was a hot late afternoon where James and I first arrived at Pasir Ris shore to have a look after five months of absence. We were later joined by the others. As it was hot, most of the mobile animals were hiding away from the intense heat to prevent themselves from being fried.

Only the sessile or immobile creatures still remained exposed during the low tide. I think these blue branching sponges are very pretty together with the rock. I have no idea why some ends are white in colour though.

Semakau on a weekend

Weekends are meant to be a time of refreshment and recharge. And I always avoid going out especially to the ever crowded shopping mall. The best place to be will be our lovely shores!

And here I was at Semakau intertidal area yesterday afternoon helping out with Teamseagrass with the monitoring of seagrass as well as help Mei Lin locate the resident giant clam.

It was somehow also a busy day for Semakau with lots of actions going on!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finally Saron at Tanah Merah

Finally finally and finally, I managed to to see Saron shrimp (Family Hippolytidae) at Tanah Merah! Yes, James and I brought a group of friends to the shores yesterday. The tide wasn't that low but good enough to find lots of fascinating marine life.

This Saron shrimp was spotted among the rocks. It is just so gorgeous looking! The colours and patterns on this shrimp is amazingly cool. Probably the prettiest shrimp that I've ever seen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

St John's Island Guided walk

It's time to set off for a guided walk! It's been three months since I've guided on our shores during low tide. And our destination for the day is St John's Island.

On our way there, the ferry made a turn that was very near the man-made structure where Kias reef used to be before it was buried and reclaimed to be connected to Lazarus for developmental purposes. This is also the spot where we have seen marine turtles before.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Animals on a new Semakau shore

Other than the bountiful corals found on this new patch of shores that we explored for our first time, there are also lots of other living creatures!

One of the most surprising finds must be the high number of Magnificent sea anemones (Heteractis magnifica)! It's probably even more than those in Kusu, where we previously thought has the most number of these anemones on our intertidals.

Plentiful corals at Semakau

Today a small team of us went to a new shore at Semakau for Mei Lin's giant clam surveys. I first found out about this stretch from Ron's exploration earlier in July and his blog captivated my attention. He told me there's several Burrowing Giant Clam (Tridacna crocea) here so here we go on this reef on our very first evening tide after the morning lows.

During the lowest tide, I walked all the way to the reef crest and noticed lots of corals at the edge! It is truly amazing! At the background is Pulau Jong.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spectacular last morning low at Big Sister

Yes! For our very last morning low tide of 2009, we decided to visit the trip to Big Sister Island. And it proves to be spectacular!

We went to a stretch where it was my first time exploring. Ria wanted to show the giant clam there for Mei Lin to monitor. However, it was probably already covered with the huge extent of seaweed. Thus we couldn't find it.

Nevertheless while we proceeded on, we stumbled upon a stretch full of hard corals that are jam-packed together with soft corals, sponges, corallimorphs, zoanthids etc. It was truly spectacular to still find pristine stretches at Big Sister!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fish haven at Tanah Merah

One month break from low tide trips gave me the withdrawal symptons. And finally, on our last couple of morning lows of 2009, we were back at our favourite Tanah Merah shore (less the sandflies). I must say this is probably the best shore in Singapore to do some fish-sightings.

The biggest fish surprise of the day is this huge Spotted-tail frogfish (Lophiocharon trisignatus) that was spotted by James!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Long yet fulfilling day at Ubin

It has been ages since I've ever explored the terrestrial side of Ubin. The last trip was with Ron, July, Ivan and Justin more than 1.5 years ago.

Finally, I kicked myself out of the bed with sleepy heads to get to Ubin early in the morning before 9am. For what? It is to cycle with Pamela and Ben.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sharing about our shores at NIE Learning Festival

July invited me earlier on to give a talk about our shores in Singapore for NIE Learning Festival 2009. I readily agreed since I thought it's a good opportunity to share about our lovely as well as secret-filled shores to friends in NIE.

The title is "Secret shores of Singapore", as adapted from Ria's original talk. I also made use of many of her slides for the talk as well as I can't resist not using her colourful slides.

Tuas: Journey to the west

Tuas is home to an array of beautiful gardens at differents parts of the shore. It is also the only shore in the west that I've ever visited. Considering almost all of our western coastline have been urbanised or reclaimed, it makes me all the more think that Tuas is a very special shore.

At Merawang beacon off Tuas, we spent a short 20 minutes exploring marine life around there because the tide was already quickly coming back.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lovely marine garden at Tuas

Schering Plough is very fortunate to have a lovely marine garden at their very own backyard. With their dedicated volunteers who monitors the seagrassers at this garden, a team of us joined along to take a look at this fascinating shore that escaped reclamation.

The furthest and also the nicest part of the garden is marked by the green beacon on the rocky outcrop. In order to get there, one has to cross the deeper waters that is usually below knee deep if we know when the tide timings are.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Charming Chek Jawa

Chek Jawa is very charming to me. After working many times on it from 2007 to 2008 for the Chek Jawa mortality and recruitment project, this shore has earned a special place in my heart.

In what way is it special and charming? It is both the ecosystems as well as the spectacular landscapes you get when you are there. Seldom you get places in Singapore where one can escape from sights of civilisation or urbanisation. It's just peaceful to immense myself in the serenity and tranquility of Chek Jawa.

Yesterday I was back at CJ to do a followup on my check of the shore and I caught this special sunrise scene where the sky seems to be divided clearly into half! I did not doctor this photograph to get this effect.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to Little Sisters after two years

After two years of absence, I'm finally back to Little Sisters with a bunch of friends. I still remember the totally black frogfish found back then.

After three consecutive trips with no sunrise to look at, today's trip was splendid for its sunrise and good weather.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More living corals at Tanah Merah

After getting distracted by the new stretch of sandy shore, we finally set foot to where the living corals can be found. As previously blogged, Tanah Merah is probably the best shore to find corals in mainland Singapore.

And we are amazed at the number of corals and their growth size found on this shore! At the beginning, there were quite a number of different types of the Pore corals (Porites sp.). They can come in boulder shape and branching forms.

New sandy stretch at Tanah Merah

This morning James, Yan Xiang and I braved ourselves in a totally new shore territory to check out what kind of marine life exist in this stretch. We originally wanted to check out the corals off the sea wall but there was a tiny stretch of sandy shore that kept us distracted for one hour!

Like the sandy shore of East Coast, there are Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) and tiny bits of living Sea fans (Order Gorgonacea) over here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New East Coast shore = New surprises

Continuing from yesterday's long march at East Coast, today we covered another new stretch of Singapore's longest shore. And this rocky shore is home to many new surprises!

The best surprise must be this Batik tailed slug (Philinopsis sp.)! I've not seen it before on our shores though the others had. Never did I expect to find it at East Coast. Of course, this slug was found by our slug lady, Chay Hoon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Living walls of East Coast

East Coast Park is well known for its reclaimed sandy shores and previously there were visits to this shore during low tide to look at marine life among the sand.

Not only does East Coast have sandy shore that is alive, the rocks near or on the seawall are also full of life. Just like this Sally-lightfoot crab (Grapsus albolineatus) that was found today in the seawall crevice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sinking mud at Pasir Ris Part II

Muddy it may be, Pasir Ris is an oasis of colourful and interesting marine creatures. Especially for creatures that prefer this kind of soft sediment and muddy substrate.

One of which must be the peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia). They look like flowers on the mud when they are still submerged in the water.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sinking mud at Pasir Ris Part I

A last minute change of plan led the four of us to Pasir Ris! And this location has proved to be a very soft and muddy where we could, at any time, sink up to our waist! But it was all worth it, because there's lots of life on this treacherous shore.

When I first stepped onto the shore, this female Orange fiddler crab (Uca vocans) greeted me on the high shores. I wondered why it didn't try to escape from me like their peers. Maybe it was just too sleepy? But the crab sure looks funny.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back to Tanah Merah

We are back again at Tanah Merah. It's such a huge shore with different habitats at different areas. Therefore during this low tide season, the team is commited to cover as much grounds as possible.

Yes, there are certain stretches along the shore that is rather rocky with good growths of seaweeds among the rocks.

Melissa's article on intertidal wetlands is out!

Remember my first time guiding at St John's Island in May this year?

I had the pleasure to get to know Melissa (second from left) who is former marine biologist. She is very friendly and enthusiastic during the session, making the trip very enjoyable.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can't imagine it's Tanah Merah

It's August and another series of low spring tide has arrived! This time, we are out to another stretch of Tanah Merah and it is my first time visiting this portion of the shore. And to my amazement, the marine life here just simply rocks!

Who will imagine to find the Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma sp.) on a reclaimed shore? Thanks to Chay Hoon's eagle eyes, we had the pleasure of seeing this handsome nudi.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Diving at Lembeh Straits Part 2

Here's the part two of my diving adventure at Lembeh Straits sharing with you more about its coral reef.

Yes, Lembeh is not just pure muck diving with volcanic sand as substrate but there's also spectacular coral reefs!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Diving at Lembeh Straits Part 1

Here's the highly delayed post of my diving adventures during end June at Lembeh Straits, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Lembeh is know for being the top muck-diving site in the world. And though the visibility is not so clear and the substrate looks plain and boring there's lots of life!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to Buloh for nem hunt

Finally, I get to join the Anemone army with Dr Daphne Fautin, world expert in sea anemones! Sadly, it's also the last trip of the series but it's better than never.

Two years ago, our finale hunt was Sungei Buloh and this time also. And Dr Daphne is looking for a special mangrove anemone that she chanced upon the previous trip. And here we go, working hard to find the nems.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tanah Merah: life behind the seawall

Just before I spent most of the time checking out the corals beyond the seawall, I was exploring the sandflat that lies just behind the seawall. Despite being a reclaimed shore, there were still lots of animals to sight!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coral garden at Tanah Merah

I missed the previous Tanah Merah trip due to a serious bout of stomach flu. But this time, I am thankful for the good weather and the low tide.

With good weather and the super low spring tide, a small team of us managed to get to this part of the shore to explore the coral garden off Tanah Merah. At the background is the ferry terminal.

From my previous trip, I speculated that this is, so far, the best mainland coral reef in Singapore.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lively East Coast Shore

During my previous post, I shared about the rich sea fan gardens that can be found at the seawalls. As East Coast is a reclaimed shore, seawalls were constructed to prevent erosion of the reclaimed sand along the shore. Bays are thus formed between walls and over time, marine life have colonized the sandy shore.

The special find of the day on the sandy shore by Agnes must be this Spiny sea star (Gymnanthenea laevis).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

East Coast is packed with sea fans!

Finally I'm out at the shores again! This time back to East Coast Park. I explored several sites just last month. But since it's the longest reclaimed shore, there are still lots of stretches that are unexplored. I'm glad to have Agnes to join me for this 4am trip. Henrietta and friends, who are camping at East Coast, also joined for a while.

My focus today is to look at the sea fans at the outer edge of the breakwaters or seawalls.

And indeed, I was totally overwhelmed by the large number of
skinny sea fans found attached onto the seawall!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Exploring a new part of St John's shore

After checking out the natural reefs of St John's Island with a special focus on anemones, we had to hide in the shelter for a while due to the bad weather. Good thing was that the rain became a drizzle and I spent the remaining time of the low tide period exploring a new part of St John's shore.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Natural reefs of St John's Island

St John's Island is one of the few southern islands with natural coastlines that the public can still access.

During a low spring tide, the pink outcrops and cliffs extends all the way to the sea as a rocky shore. And among the rocks are marine life that peeks out of water during the short few hours of low tide. These include the large boulder-like corals.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nems of St John's Island

For the past week of low tides, I wasn't able to explore the shores as I have already started full-time work. This has made me appreciate more of the Saturday low tides and I was glad to be able to go to St John's Island yesterday after a long absence from field trips.

In view of Dr Daphne Fautin's arrival later this month, anemones have become an important component of the lookout list for every field trip, including this one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beyond the murky waters of Changi

This is a super delayed part two posting of a field trip on 24th June at Changi. I fell ill for a long time and therefore updates have been bare minimum.

If you can recall, I last talked about the proliferation of gorgeous sea fans at Changi. During that day, it was one of the three days of the year where the tide went to the lowest possible, also as known as the lowest water level mark for the intertidal zone. Beyond which is the subtidal zone that will never get exposed theoretically unless there are changes in barometric pressure during the super low tide or that there is a ..... tsunami kind of natural event.

Changi waters are known to be rather murky. Justin had took a brave act before to dive off Changi and the visibility is just bad. But the bad visibility doesn't mean that Changi is lifeless. Changi as we know is home to lots of unimaginable diversity of marine life. And we took the lowest ever possible tide to catch a glimpse of what lies beyond the murky waters of Changi.

Here's what one can find at Changi at a rare low tide.

At the rocky side of the shore, there are many of the Melted chocolate ascidians on top of the colourful sea fans which I talked about earlier in another post.

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