Purpose of NatureScouter

This blog will address mainly two issues - Nature and Scouting.

The purpose of Nature blogs is to educate and promote the awareness of Singapore’s and global environmental and conservation issues to the public and the Scouting community. The Scouting-related blogs serve the similar purpose by promoting the World’s largest youth movement and its activities to the public.

This blog was created thanks to the persistent demands of all my dear friends to blog, and on my 25th birthday, this blog was born.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

CNY Day 3 at Kusu Island

This is it! The last of the CNY series! Kusu Island!

This series have been blessed with good weather and today was no exception. My last visit here was when I was young, along with my family. So long ago that I remembered nuts about it... perhaps except the tortoises, terrapins etc.

The view of the northern lagoon was amazing, and it's quite huge. Marcus was telling me the great stuff was right at the lagoon's mouth. Couldn't wait to get there then. However something was wrong, the tide doesn't seem to go out as much as we expected it to. Guess it's one of those days where the tide table doesn't work as expected. Last incident was during Team Seagrass on one of its Sentosa transect. Oh well, since we were there, we made full use of it.

Apparently, I was a little lazy today... Didn't really bothered to walk everywhere to check out everything. Usually I'm a little hyper... Haha... Emo perhaps. Lol... So I think I missed out on an anemone shrimp and a phyllid (Damn it!). Budak should have the photos.

So not really alot today, but still quite interesting and here goes!

Hard corals - Faviidae (left) and possibly Pocillopora sp..

Gigantic carpet anemone (Stychodactyla gigantea). There were alot of such anemones, especially in the smaller lagoon.

Found quite a few snapping shrimps (Family Alpheidae) on the shore too.

This is another snapping shrimp. Different species as indicated by the body markings.

Found this fellow again (found it on P. Hantu the previous night). It was buried underneath the sand, looking like a buried sand dollar (which I thought so). No clue as to why it was buried... maybe due to sediment deposition by the tide/waves.

Upon seeing that there is no chance the tide is going any lower, we decided to explore other parts. We went to the small area beside the jetty.

And the whole shore is covered with tons of beautiful zooanthids! And I seriously mean tons... I had to tip-toed my way through, stepping only on rocks and small patches of unoccupied sand.

We found a couple of traps which is set by the islanders. One of them sadly had two dead red egg crabs, and the other had a copper-banded butterfly fish inside, alive! After some 'chit-chat' with a guy living there, we finally released the fish to its freedom. Then after we decided to visit the smaller lagoon.

Along the way, we bypassed the temple on the island.

And of course, the iconic tortoises.

Just within minutes of exploring the smaller lagoon, Marcus suddenly shouted stingray! I hurried over, but realised it was a dead one. There was a swimming crab already scavenging on the carcass.

Managed to get a shot of the acorn worm. Erm okay... the rear end of the worm. See the yellow butt?

There were plenty of gobies (Gobiidae) around as usual. Can't miss them.

And I found a fish that I recognised - a Crescent Perch (Terapon jarbua).

Unknown crab. One of those few that stops and let me snap them.

Ghost crab (Ocypode sp.). Usually they are found on the sandy beach (large holes on beaches are usually made by them), but I found this far out on the mudflat. It was probably stunned by my headlamp and allowed me to snap it at macro.

Gong gong (Strombus canarium), an edible molluscs. Note the operculum. It uses it to shut the slit of the shell, preventing any intrusion. It also uses it to flip itself over and perhaps sometimes 'pole-vault' around.

Found this bunch of shells. Mass orgy? Oops... And I think there's a drill trying to look for a 'quick' meal.

Quite a fair bit of onchs (Onchidiidae) around also. Love these cute little slugs!

Can you spot the octupus? You can see the head in the small crevice. This was a juvenile octopus. It slipped right away into the hole when I saw it. See the bivalve? I think it just had a nice meal before I interrupted it.

Was walking along the shore back to the jetty with Ria when we started spotting the fanworms (Sabellidae). This was one of them and I missed out on another white one.

I also spotted this peacock anemone (Cerianthus sp.). This one was a little different from most that I've seen. Instead of being brightly coloured, this was almost translucent. I was simply lucky enough to spot it.

That's it! And of course, we went to Lau Pat Sat for satay! Haha... It has been amazing for the all the three trips! Thank you Ria for organizing the trips (and a special thanks for giving me a reason to be kidnapped for CNY! KIV for next CNY!). Also thanks a lot to Andy for giving me lifts on some occasions.

Cheers everyone and happy CNY!!


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