Sunday, February 7, 2016

Western Ubin with OBS

A team of us visited the Western part of Pulau Ubin near Outward Bound School. Many thanks to the kind invitation of Alex from OBS, many of us visited this intertidal shore for the first time.

We enjoyed the late afternoon with clear weather and blue skies. This stretch of Ubin is almost untouched and we were looking forward to surveying the shore, which Ria would call it as the mini-version of Chek Jawa.

Upon arrival, my first encounter would be this family of wild boars scavenging on the intertidal flat for food. They ran off as we approached to the shore.

I was puzzled to not find any seagrass that Ria and others used to see. Most parts are quite soft and there was a stretch of sand flat with several Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).

We came across two of the Spiral babylonia snails (Babylonia spirata).

Jonathan found a pretty Blue striped hermit crab (Clibanarius longitarsus). This small hermit crab is seen near mangroves, on sandy shores and among seagrasses. Elsewhere, it is found around rivers and mangroves on mud or sand.

This sea anemone with neat patterns on its tentacles actually was found attached on a dead shell.

Nicholas found a special anemone! It's Bill the anemone or also known as Pimple mangrove anemone. The regular rows of large pale protruding bumps on its body column makes the anemone look really handsome.

The Plain sand stars (Astropecten indicus) are present on this shore but not many emerged as it was hot and dry.

The team found a cluster of cuttlefish eggs! The capsules are black but become transparent just before the babies emerge as miniatures of the adults.

I went over to take a quick look at the rocky habitats.

And beneath rocks are several of these Crown sea stars (Asterina coronata). They are very well-camouflaged!

There were also several  Thunder crabs (Myomenippe hardwickii) among the rocks! These crabs are pretty common on our northern shores.

We formed small groups to share the marine organisms and knowledge of the habitats with the OBS instructors. Was great to introduce some of our favourite creatures with them.

We ended off the trip with a debrief accompanied by a glowing sunset. Not too sure when we will get to revisit this shore, but hope the seagrasses will come back soon.

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