Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My favourites on East Coast's reclaimed shores

Despite most people's perception that there's not much marine life in Singapore, we do have lots of shores to explore during low tide. And I'm back here checking out two stretches of East Coast after two years since 2014. How are they doing?

Once again, we ended our survey of 2 shores with a beautiful glow from sunrise. Prior to this, we spent some time checking two different stretches.

We first went to the jetty legs of Bedok jetty and they are still home to various types of marine life such as sponges, sea fans, ascidians, hydroids and soft corals.

Here's a collage showing the different types of organisms found on the jetty legs. On the whole, there were less encrustation and no large sea fans on the jetty legs.

This looks like the purple version of the Knobbly soft coral (Carijoa sp.). First time seeing it! 

There are also Sea fans or Gorgonians (Order Gorgonacea) on another wall, albeit lesser than two years ago. They come in various colours, shapes and sizes and only are exposed at super low tides. 

There was one Tree sea fan (Family Melithaeidae) which looks stunning in bright orange!

I took a closer look to examine the sea fan and found commensals such as hermit crabs and also barnacles.

And here's a collage of even more types of sea fans! I can't stop posting them as they are one of my favourites!

The small team went on to another location to realise that beside the shore there's some construction works going on.

One of the surprises which happen to be my favourites would be to find sea stars. It's our first sighting of the Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) on this reclaimed shore!

Here's a closer look at the Common sea star that is no longer common on mainland shores due to coastal modification during the past decades.

Another lovely surprise would be to find two juvenile Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus)! The baby Knobblies seem to be found at various locations recently. The last we saw them on a mainland shore was at Tanah Merah, for the first time too.

This is the second baby Knobbly that I came across during this survey. It looks more greenish, somewhat transiting from the completely green body to getting more brownish.

There were also tiny Tiny red sea cucumbers (Family Cucumariidae) that we don't see often on other shores.

It's my first time seeing the Milk-spotted pufferfish (Chelonodon patoca)! And there were a few swimming in the shallow waters.

To my dismay, the rocky areas closer to the site of construction seem to be not doing well at all. Couldn't find the usual animals. Only consolation would be to flip rocks and find some snails.

This shore has evolved over the years since 2007, the year I first visited. It was wiped out once before making a comeback over the past few years. Let's hope the shore will continue to stay alright.

More photos of the trip can be found here:

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