Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Evening out at Pasir Ris Mangroves

Last Saturday evening, I was out with the Naked Hermit Crabs and my student councillors from Dunman High School to guide at Pasir Ris Mangrove boardwalk.

Here's a lovely photo of Alison and Bryan who joined me with their parents on this trip to explore the wonders of nature right at our backyard. They are holding the masterpieces showing what they have seen during the walk.

It's always a delight to get a glimpse of the children's perspective of nature through what they draw. So what are some of the creatures that we saw on that day?

Pasir Ris mangroves is a fantastic place to spot lots and lots of tree climbing crabs. They are usually found near their burrows and will dart right in when they sense danger.

This brightly coloured crab is likely to be a Face-banded crab (Perisesarma sp.).

Ivan spotted a moult of the horseshoe crab later during the trip. We didn't manage to spot living ones as they are usually very well camouflaged.

A special sighting on the trip will be this plantain squirrel which has been spotted to be peeling the surface of barks off the trees.

A lazy water monitor was found lizard on the trunk and it looks like it is taking a good break from foraging for food.

We didn't get to spot living snakes though one dead individual was sighted. This is likely to be a dead dog-faced water snake.

The newer leaves of mangrove plants seem to be doing well as compared to the sooty mold seen in the older leaves.

These leaves with spiny edges belong to the sea holly plant and they are able to secrete salt out on their surface. The flowers usually come in a cluster at the branch tip.

The lookout point at Sungei Tampines is a fantastic place for bird watching. There were many bird watchers with their gigantic cameras stationed at this location. Here are two of my students Raphael and Jinjing looking at the birds.

Not to be missed, these grey herons are very active in the evening near their nests.

Here's another photos showing these tall birds resting among the branches and nest.

On the other side of the river bank, we saw this white breasted water hen looking for food tenaciously.

Among the tree branches, one can sometimes spot birds resting by the riverside. Here's a brightly coloured stork-billed kingfisher.

When it landed on the branch, I managed to catch a peep of the bird with both wings up in the air.

Plenty of fish in the river is a good source for these shore birds! And we were treated to a diving stork-billed kingfisher in an act to catch a fish for meal.

Here's the skilful bird with its catch!

Not as brightly coloured, this is another kingfisher- the white collared kingfisher.

Ria pointed to us the archerfishes with bands swimming below the lookout point. They are well known to shoot a jet of water to catch insects.

Here's yet another water monitor swimming across towards the other side of the river.

While everyone has left, Ria, Ivan and myself walked through the boardwalk again and we spotted this pretty dragonfly.

Ivan pointed out to this pair of mating butterflies that looked like ordinary leaves from afar.

I shall end off this post with my most favourite shot- a cute giant mudskippers who unfortunately is plaqued by several mossies.

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