Monday, August 10, 2009

Tanah Merah in One Hour

Last Sunday, I had less than an hour at Tanah Merah. In fact, I was actually considering if I should go there in the first place, since I could not find anyone to go with me. Thought it was kind of dangerous to go alone as I would need to do quite a bit of climbing on the very slippery sea wall to find what I wanted to look for.

Well, It's National Day morning. I did not want to trouble my friends who lived too far away, and most of the others had other appointments, or didn't want to wake up so early. In the end, I decided to go in daylight, which left me with about an hour of low tide, but at least I don't have to hold a torch while climbing around alone.

Had really crossed my fingers and hoped nothing bad happened. Fortunately, while I had a close encounter with a yellow-lipped sea krait, nothing else went wrong. That sea krait suddenly appeared just next to my hand when I was flipping over some rocks! Can't imagine the consequences if I got bitten, especially when I was alone! Touch wood, touch wood...

And despite all these, I still did not managed to find what I wanted to find. And this was already my third attempt! Sigh...

Still, as I was heading back to the high shore with the rising tide, I still managed to see a few interesting stuff.

Sand-sifting Sea Stars (Archaster typicus)
What really caught my eye were the numerous Sand-sifting Sea Stars (Archaster typicus). There must be thousands of them!

Sand-sifting Sea Star (Archaster typicus)
Apart from the ones with the usual 5 arms, I found a number with only 4 arms too.

Sand-sifting Sea Star (Archaster typicus)
And also, one with six arms.

Saw quite a number of these huge murex (Family Muricidae). Each was about 10cm long. Will probably check with our mollusc expert back in office for the ID. Update: This is a Chicoreus torrefactus. Thanks to SK for the ID :)

Black Long-spined Sea Urchin (Diadema setosum)
There was this lonely Black Long-spined Sea Urchin (Diadema setosum) among the rocks.

Sea cucumber
As I was climbing over the rocks, I spotted this beige sea cucumber. It was about 40cm long. Not sure what sea cucumber this is though.

Bulb Tentacle Sea Anemone (Entamacea quadricolor)
There was also a Bulb Tentacle Sea Anemone (Entamacea quadricolor). Could not spare time to check whether it had any anemone fish though.

Sand Dollars (Arachnoides placenta)
At the sandy shore, there were quite a lot of Sand Dollars (Arachnoides placenta).

Pear-shaped Moon Snail (Polinices mammilla)
Like our other sandy shores, there were many Pear-shaped Moon Snails (Polinices mammilla). In some places, these snails were collected in large quantity for food.

I also saw a few plovers. Seems like these migratory birds were a little early this year.

Fan worm
As I headed straight back to the high shore, I could also see a number of fan worms swaying with the incoming tides.

Dead squid
There was also a dead squid. Would assume that there should be live ones swimming in the tidal pools, but the deeper part was already waist deep, and I was definitely not going to wade around looking for them.

Haddon's Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
There were quite a few Haddon's Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni).

Spotted Moon Crab (Matuta lunaris)
Initially I did not really bother to take photos of the many swimming crabs and moon crabs, but this Spotted Moon Crab (Ashtoret lunaris) kept banging onto my feet, and eventually I decided to take a photo of it.

Morning Glory
Eventually, I got out of the shore area, and came across a patch of pretty morning glory.

Well, I may have failed my mission again, but it's still a nice trip and a good morning walk. Haha.

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