Monday, January 18, 2010

Virgin trip to a new stretch of Changi

This new stretch of Changi looks really out of reach from maps and we always wonder what's out there on the super long reclaimed shores. Thanks to Travis, he kindly brought us to this shore that I've been wanting to visit for the longest time.

The price to pay for all of is will be the 10km walk! I checked out and indeed we walk at least 10km, and that is just the direct distance that did not take into account the detours made.

Initially thought to be daunting, the distance turned out to be very managable (at least initially) with all the nice scenery along the way. Check out Ria's Wildshores blog for more about the march there and the fantastic coastal plants we came across.

What joy to finally hit the coast and we were greeted to a charming long stretch of golden brown sand.

And the place turned out to be a great place for photography. Just looking at the landscape around us is already so uplifting.

Travis shared with us his experience of the many rare snails he encountered.

Though our trip was not arranged on a low enough spring tide, we still could get an idea of how amazing this shore is from the collection of dead shells found on the higher shores. A wide range from cone shell, bonnet shell, conches, moon snails and fig snails.

I also came across this tiny little hermit crab that is very shy. It took me a while to wait for this fellow to come out. :)

And here's another land hermit crab that is slightly bigger. I wasn't too patient this time to wait for the crab to come out. Hehe.

When the tide went out to expose the mid shore, some of the living bivalves were sighted on the vast sand bar. Imagine how big the sand bar could be on a super low tide.

I later came across this rather huge sized Oval moon snail (Polinices mammatus). That's about the only living moon snail I saw during the trip. It's hot and not so low, so that probably explains the reason why we couldn't find many living snails.

Still, it was exciting to find these two conches that look like Strombus (Dolomena) marginatus sowerbyorum. Upon closer examination, Mei Lin thinks it may be another species. That's really cool if it is true.

We were fortunate to be able to still encounter large snails on a midshore level. Travis found this large Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis).

But the best find of the day will be this large living Tun snail (Family Tonnidae)! It is about 12cm wide, as shown from my ruler. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it at the mid-level shore because I have never seen it before. I first thought it was just a dead shell until I check its underside.

Here's the underside of the snail revealing the body of the charming snail with its eye stalks. Perhaps it was too hot or out of the water, so we couldn't get to wait till its body get relaxed out of the shell. We quickly returned it back to the waters and hope it will be happier there.

There were many dead shells of the Button snails (Umbonium vestiarum) on the high shore and I was determined (like yesterday at Chek Jawa) to find beds of living ones. And thankfully I managed to find large stretches of living ones when the tide recedes to the lowest of the day.

Also, there are many of these pretty and purplish-looking sand dollars which are probably the Cake sand dollars (Arachonoides placenta) on the sand bank.

Another surpise will be the test of the dead Laganum sand dollar (Laganum depressum) that was found on the high shore. That means the living ones are also somewhere here.

It's always a delight for me to find sea stars. On a brief look at this tide pool, I found three living Common sea stars (Archaster typicus).

And also my beloved Plain sand star (Astropecten indicus)! I came across only one and I'm sure there are more. I noticed that this particular individual was feeding on button snails that are very abundant here. It must have been a buffet man!

Urchin wise, I saw this rather big test of a dead sea urchin. I also found another dead one that is smaller but with purple spines.

There was a colony of Ball flowery soft corals that seems to be uprooted. And of course, I was on the lookout for commensals!

Indeed, I found this tiny porcelain crab.

And also this Commensal snapping shrimps among the soft coral.

Further out, we noticed there were many shore birds. They seem to be less shy as compared to those at Chek Jawa. I could get rather close to them.

On this shore, I had a good view of Johor.

Last but not least, the final stretch had a bit of a rocky substrate. We were all very tired by this time. Haha.

Flipping over some rocks, I noticed some bivalves and this is probably Barbatia fusca.

Also found are many of the top shell snails.

The trip has been really a great adventure for all of us, I must say. Ria found a rare mangrove tree as well. Though my legs are aching from this trip, this does not deter the return of another trip to this long shore on a much lower tide.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...