Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pulau Ubin (12 Feb 11)

It's our first 'overseas' trip!

Another team of enthusiastic volunteers head out early this morning to check out a mudflat on Pulau Ubin.
Here we are at Pulau Ubin, ready for some muddy action!
A short stroll through the scenic rural countryside of Pulau Ubin, and we soon reach our site: an old prawn pond.
Dr Tan Koh Siang from the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) gives us a briefing on what to expect on the mudflats. While Jonathan gives the safety briefing.
Then it was time to get to work. Dr Tan is already in the mud, setting up the transect line. The TMSI people are mudskippers!
Today, because the mud is very VERY soft here, we have an extra introduction to the methods.
As well as encouraging advice on how to survive and work on soft mud. "If you get stuck, get down on your knees, crawl a bit, and you should be fine" about sums it up. Throughout the morning, we are regaled by the melodious song of the globally endangered Straw-headed bulbul, which resounds throughout the clip!
The team then gamely gets right down to it! The most comfortable way to work is simply to sit on the mud.
Dr Tan is well embedded in the mud at the end of the transect line.
The mud gets well past the knees! After a while, it's like standing in concrete.
Everyone hard at work!
Its lots of hard work sieving and washing and picking, in the hot sun! Among the creatures found were lots of little hermit crabs, as well as lots of snails.
An octopus has been found! A mantis shrimp was seen! As well as lots of pretty goby with bright blue spots, shrimps and snapping shrimps. But much fewer worms and clams. This mudflat is certainly very different from the others we have done! Antonius shares lots of better photos of the creatures we found on facebook.
Dr Tan once again shares more about our findings.
And everyone declares that they had fun in the mud! What a great team of volunteers!
Another scenic walk back to civilisation.
While some of us try to clean up in the ponds nearby.
We are REALLY muddy!
Our mud-covered state literally stops other visitors in their tracks!
Then it was time for a good scrub at the washing area, and a very well deserved lunch at Changi!
The video clips were taken with the awesome FLIP video camera kindly supplied by Shaun Quek of Cisco through the introduction of fellow volunteer Sam Yeo.

More photos thanks to these team members:

There's more work to be done after the field session, to process, sort and identify all these fascinating creatures. Look out for more news on how you can help out in this as well.

The next trips will be announced soon on the mailing list for registered volunteers.

To join us, register your interest in this form and you'll be invited to join the mailing list to receive updates on the Survey and sign up for Survey activities.

Also check out our FAQs for more about the Survey.

To find out more about our common mangrove wildlife, check out the online Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore and the wildsingapore wild fact sheets.

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