Saturday, April 23, 2016

Predawn at Berlayer Creek

I visited Berlayer Creek during predawn for the first time (as my previous 2 trips were during evening tides). The tide on this trip was lower and I was looking forward to see what lies at the lower water mark.

It was a lovely morning when I did a solo trip to this mainland shore that seems to be improving over time. This shore is just right next to Labrador Park.

True enough, I came across more hard and soft corals on this trip as the tide was lower as compared to my previous trips here! Unfortunately, the sargassum bloom is still around and thus many more corals were not visible as the seaweed covered them as the tide went out.

Among the seaweed was this large Reef octopus that would be very well camouflaged if not for its suckers.

I also came across this pretty Blue-lined flatworm (Pseudoceros sp.)! It was actually quite large.

On top of the assortment of corals, there is also quite a devent variety of sponges. However, the nudibranchs that eat them were not sighted.

This juvenile Kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus) was swimming near the Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni). This preference of the kite butterflyfish sticking close to the anemone has been observed before.

Can you spot what I saw here? I was only able to see it because it was moving! This is the Peacock sole (Pardachirus pavoninus).

Also found on other mainland sandy shores, the Weasel olive snails (Oliva mustelina) can be found plowing underneath sand in search of prey.

The Thick-edged sand dollars (Jacksonaster depressum) are not commonly found on our shores and I'm glad to find to them on Berlayer. 

Nothing makes me more excited than finding sea stars! Unfortunately, this Knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) has two missing arms.

Later on, I found yet another Knobbly sea star- this time an intact fellow! :)

Somehow after sunrise, the Remarkable sea cucumbers (Holothuria notabilis) start to be more visible. Though still found burrowed within the sand, these cucumbers were just beneath the surface and can be seen through the breaks on the surface.

I went to check out the rocky areas to see if the Cryptic sea stars (Cryptasterina sp.) are still there. And they are still doing ok!

And before leaving, I took a quick look at the mangroves. The mangroves of Berlayer Creek is one of the last fews hugging along the southern coastline of Singapore.

More photos of the trip here:

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