Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pasir Ris mangroves briefly with Naked Hermit Crabs

In mid-December, I was out with the Naked Hermit Crabs and my two student councillors, Clarabelle and Kai Sing, from Dunman High School to guide at Pasir Ris Mangrove boardwalk.

It's always amazing to show participants what one can find in close proximity to the housing estate at Pasir Ris. The mangroves here are alive! Here is Alyce sharing some of the nature facts and stories with the rest.

Cyrene Reef with Teamseagrass

Our last Teamseagrass monitoring of the year was held on the first week of December at Cyrene Reef! Our December trips are more tricky because of the rainy season.

Nevertheless, the scary rainclouds and not-so-positive weather forecast did not deter the intrepid seagrass troopers from launching out to the reef through amphibious landing.

A change of Punggol shore?

It's been a while since I last checked out the tiny shores of Punggol. My last visit was at the start of the year. How is the shore doing now?

It was an evening tide where Ron, Marcus and I had a look at what lies out there as the tide recedes. The sunset glow was gorgeous against the jetty.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Seahorse fiesta at Changi

Ron and I had a great trip at Changi shore with lots of seahorse sightings during early November this year! 

Here's a pair of seahorse that was spotted on this trip. Yes, seahorses can be found on our Singapore shores during low tide on seagrass beds and reefy areas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chek Jawa Boardwalk with NHC (Nov 2013)

November marked that start of the school holidays and on the first Saturday morning, I was back at Chek Jawa Boardwalk with student councillors on the free guided tour conducted by Naked Hermit Crabs.

The turnout was great and it was awesome to have many groups of families with us on that day!

Sharing the beauty of Changi shore

I'm back from the long hiatus posting the trips from October to December 2013! In fact, I have more backlogs from earlier this year. Shall endeavor to finish all of them before the end of the year. :)

During early October, I was out with Hui Fang and her daughter, Ying Xuan to share with them the beauty of our marine intertidal habitat on a mainland shore.

It was their first time exploring Singapore's shore on a low spring tide and we are excited to see what lies out there beyond the murky waters of Changi. It was a lovely evening with a glowing setting sun!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunny Sunday at Southern Semakau

Though it was a Sunny Sunday out at Southern Semakau (4S's), there was still quite a number of marine critters that we came across on this trip!

Semakau is one of the special shores in Singapore where we find different habitats close to each other, ranging from mangroves, seagrass lagoon, sandy shores, coral rubble and of course the reef!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fun with friends with good visibility at Big Sister's Island

After several requests from friends who have seen my photos of marine life or blog posts of my island adventures, I decided to plan for an afternooon out to Big Sister's Island on the now-evening tides since the timing would be more earthly as compared to predawn low tides.

The weather was superb and we arrived the island with fishermen already out in action! Apparently, they were staying overnight at the jetty.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Two months of Chek Jawa adventures with dugong sighting!

I'm back on the monthly guided walks of Naked Hermit Crabs at Chek Jawa as a nature guide. Accompanying me on the trips for September and October are my student councillors who were present as part of the council's Excel leadership exposure programme.

It has been awesome hosting groups of fun loving new-found friends on the boardwalk of Chek Jawa, sharing with them some of the insights and interesting facts of this nature hideout.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reefy splendor of Northern Semakau

Five years on and I'm back to survey the reefs of Northern Semakau with the intrepid team on this last predawn intertidal survey of the year. The last time I had a good look at this stretch of shore was in May 2008.

Situated opposite Terumbu Raya (also known as the Great Reef), this stretch of reef at Northern Semakau is full of life with lots of corals, anemones, fish, sponges etc etc. It looks like an underwater garden from this shot through my underwater camera.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A glimpse of the glorious beacon area at Chek Jawa

We are back at Chek Jawa on a predawn survey and focused on the coral rubble near the Chek Jawa front beacon. We were here last month but the tide was not low enough to document what lies out there.

The tide went out extensively and we were able to survey the coral rubble beyond the beacon itself. So how is this fragile but also richest stretch of Chek Jawa shore doing?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Surprises from Sekudu in not-so-low tide

Though the tide was not so low, we still stumbled upon several surprises on our final predawn survey to Pulau Sekudu this year! It was worth waking up for this 3am morning trip.

One of the surprises would be to find the source of the stray lone Common sea stars that we sometimes see on Sekudu. There was many of them found in a particular area and many of them are mating! This is a good sign. :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

National Day field trip at Pulau Semakau

We celebrated Singapore's 48th birthday at Pulau Semakau on National Day! And it was an awesome field trip because of the many spectacular finds.

We were also blessed with good weather despite of the unfavorable weather forecast. The sunrise landscape is simply gorgeous!

Cyrene Reef with Teamseagrass

On 10 Aug 2013, I followed the Teamseagrass members to survey the seagrasses of Cyrene Reef on a morning trip! It was a good weather for us to do our transect for seagrass monitoring. We saw several interesting marine life along the way including rare anemone, blue dragon nudibranch, one pentaceraster sea star and of course lots of Knobbly sea stars!

Friday, August 9, 2013

First living sighting of the deadly cone snail at Cyrene

The title for this blog post is a play of the two contrasting words: living and deadly. It was quite an adventure for us at Cyrene Reef yesterday because we first landed on a stormy and windy weather. Thank God the rain didn't really get to us though our geared-up ponchos were flapping incessantly with the strong wind.

What made the real action happened was when Russel found our first sighting of a living Cone snail (probably Conus magnus) at the coral rubble. He was not aware how deadly it could be!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Seahorse at East Coast Park!

As the tide was low and long, the long march from exploring shores of Tanah Merah was continued with documenting a stretch of East Coast Park.

The top find of the day would be this seahorse found clinging tenaciously on the red skinny sea fan! It is our first sighting of this lovely animal on East Coast!

Seagrass surprises at Tanah Merah

The entire stretch of Tanah Merah is rich in marine life despite the fact that it is part of reclaimed land! It's amazing how life creeps back with time when no one disturbs the area. Two weeks ago, Ron and I decide to have a look at probably the last stretch of Tanah Merah that we have not visited before and were surprised to see lots of seagrasses!

One of the pleasant surprises on this shore would be to find many of these small Tiny red sea cucumbers! This particular one was perched on the blade of the spoon seagrass.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sekudu survey in the predawn

We are finally back at Pulau Sekudu, a tiny island near Ubin that is within the Chek Jawa Wetlands area. With special permission from Nparks, we were able to document this shore with rich marine biodiversity. My previous trip here was way back in Oct 2011.

As there is no jetty on this uninhabited island, amphibious landing is needed. This time we have the both Mr Chua and the son of Mr Chua (also Mr Chua) who provided the transport and assistance so that our landing can be firm and safe.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chek Jawa coral rubble survey after 4 years

It has been a long 4 years since I have last surveyed the coral rubble of Chek Jawa. Thanks to NParks for permission and support for us to carry out low spring tide surveys of Chek Jawa, we were able to document the shore on this 1 am trip last Sunday morning.

The coral rubble area is the most delicate and also richest part of the intertidal shores of Chek Jawa. The most prominent landmark on the coral rubble would be the Chek Jawa front beacon that directs ships plying the Johor Straits between Ubin and mainland Singapore.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

First visit to Terumbu Hantu

It's the last of the long week of super low tides and since the haze situation has improved and stabilised, we decided to resume the boat trip designated for Terumbu Hantu. It's my first time visiting this submerged reef!

This reef patch is situated right beside Pulau Hantu (where trees are in this photo) and right behind is the petrochemical facilities of Pulau Bukom.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back at colourful shores of East Coast

I'm back at the shores of East Coast Park to check out other stretches of this long reclaimed beach!

And I'm glad to see that many of these colourful sea fans are still doing well outside this seawall. They sure are crowded! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Birthday Bash at shores of East Coast

It's my birthday and it also coincides with the lowest possible tide of the year! And I was greeted with many of my all-time favourite marine organisms partying on today's trip, which far exceeded everyone's expectation.

We first checked out the legs of Bedok Jetty and were surprised to find good growth of marine life including this large pink sea fan with THREE basket stars!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lots of masked burrowing crabs at Changi

We were back at another part of Changi shore this morning to see what's out there during a super low spring tide.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this elusive Masked burrowing crab (Gomeza sp.) that we hardly find on our trips. This is only my third time seeing it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Changi Rocky shore is alive!

The shores of Changi are alive! The haze situation has caused us to abandon boat trips for mainland shores and it is great to check out some of our regular shores at super low tides.

At the minimum low tide, an underwater garden is exposed with crowded marine life on the shore ranging from sponges, ascidians, fan worms, corals and crabs.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Corals galore on reclaimed shores of Tanah Merah

I'm finally back on this stretch of Tanah Merah to survey the corals during super low spring tide on a predawn trip with Ron. This stretch is probably the best coral reef one could ever find on mainland Singapore and the most surprising part is that this is a reclaimed shore!

We started off surveying a stretch that I have not looked at since 2009 and we were excited to see hard corals jammed packed with one another at many parts of the shore.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Long stretch of Changi shore with lots of life

This morning on a 4am trip, I was out with Ron to have a look at Changi shore on a good low tide.

We wanted to cover a wide stretch of the shore and we ended up walking even more than expected! It ended on a Superb note with Special finds, coupled with a spectacular SUNrise on a SUNday. :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Terumbu Semakau with the Southern Expedition team

The first official intertidal survey of the Southern Expedition as part of Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey took place this morning at Terumbu Semakau.

Being the first trip of the low tide series, this simply means that we have to set off at 3am and the trip ended with first light from the sunrise. Though it was totally "zombifying" to survey the reefs at such an unearthly hour, we all would agree that it was all worthwhile as we found quite a number of fantastic finds.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lovely morning at Tanah Merah

This is an outdated post of the morning low tide trip to Tanah Merah back in end March. Decided to visit the reclaimed shores of Tanah Merah with Ron to see how it is doing since the oil spill in 2010.

We were greeted with a warm sunset over the horizon as we explored the sandy and rocky parts of the shore. It was a long low tide that allowed us to properly look at this long shore.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Coral galore at Hantu

On 11 May 2013, a team of us visited Pulau Hantu and we saw lots of beautiful and thick growths of hard corals. The reefscape was spectacular! Special finds include the Cauliflower nudibranch (Dendrodoris tuberculosa), a Cushion star which we seldom see on the intertidal shore of Hantu and a slug / bivalve that was found on seaweed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Exploring the reefs and sandy shore of Sentosa

On 1 May 2013, Ron, Agnes and I visited the natural shores of Tanjong Rimau and we saw several interesting critters such as flatworms, crabs, a chiton, pygmy squid and also hard and soft corals. We also crossed over to the reclaimed shores off Siloso Beach and came across marine life encrusted by the side of the pontoon as well as common sea stars on the sandy shore.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tomato Clownfish of Terumbu Semakau

On 28 April 2013, we did a predawn survey of Terumbu Semakau, a submerged reef off Semakau Landfill. One of the pretty sights of this reef would be the Tomato Clownfish living in the sea anemone. The reef edge is lovely to look at when there is no bloom of sargassum seaweed. Lots of uncommon critters to be found on this reef. We ended the trip when it started to pour.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rich reefs of Terumbu Pempang Tengah

On 27 April 2013, we did a predawn trip to Terumbu Pempang Tengah, one of the submerged reefs near Hantu. There are certain stretches of the reef edge that are very rich in corals. Managed to take several above water and underwater shots of the splendor.

Friday, April 5, 2013

First morning trip at Pasir Ris shore

It's back to the other half of the year where we resume low spring tide trips in the morning!

This time, I visited Pasir Ris shore with a friend, Marcus who has not seen our intertidal marine life before. My last trip here was more than 2 years ago on November 2010. How is the shore doing now?

Somehow I prefer to visit the mainland shores in the predawn or morning hours as there is lesser human traffic.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

CNY Day 3: Tanah Merah

For the last of the three CNY field trips, Ria and I visited Tanah Merah shore.

It has been a while since I last had a look at this shore which was once badly hit by the oil spill. How is it doing now?

CNY Day 2: St John's Island

Day two's trip on the Lunar New Year was a miracle! The "water snake" or rain storm that swept the north east of Singapore did not come down to the southern at St John's Island.

On top of having a rain free trip, we were blessed with a spectacular sunset over the horizon with the two Sister's Islands at the background.

Monday, February 11, 2013

CNY Day 1: Big Sisters Island

It's the festive season of the year which we celebrate Chinese New Year and this period will definitely coincide with low spring tide as CNY follows the lunar calendar. And just like last year (and also dating back to 6 years ago), we visited Big Sister's Island to check out the marine life on the shore.

What a great way to start the lunar new year by finding a new flatworm sighting on the intertidal shores! I've never seen this pretty brown flatworm with bright purplish edge before. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sea fan garden and evidence of dugong at Changi

There are lots of sea fans exposed on the rocky shores of Changi even on a supposedly not-so-low tide!

Usually most of the sea fans only will be exposed when the tide is very low and that often happens during the morning tides.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Colourful sponge garden at Punggol

It's 2013 and we visited the tiny stretch of Punggol shore for our first intertidal trip of the year on a not-so-low tide.

Nevertheless, there were lots of colourful encrustation of sponges on boulders and smaller rocks along the edge of the shore.

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