Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Walk at Ubin on 29 August 2009

Today, we went for a walk at Pulau Ubin with a few HSBC Green Volunteers. This trip wasn't meant to be a training trip though, but was more of a leisure trip. Wonder how many of them find it to be a leisure trip though, as we certainly walked for quite a while.

Broad Leaf Fig (Ficus auriculata)
Near Pekan Quarry, there were a few Broad Leaf Fig (Ficus auriculata) trees, and one of them was figging! This fig is edible, and is widely cultivated in the region.

Not too far away, we saw 2 kittens among the grasses.

Common Red Stem Fig (Ficus variegata)
While heading towards Noordin area, we saw several Common Red Stem Fig (Ficus variegata) trees along the road, and many of them were figging too!

We saw quite a few butterflies, but I only managed to take a photo of this skipper. Looks like a Pale Palm Dart (Telicota colon stinga), but frankly speaking, they all look quite alike to me, so can't really say for sure.

Praying Mantis
This praying mantis (Order Mantodea) was rather cooperative and stayed still for quite a while for us to take photos of it.

Antidesma velutinosum
This plant with grape-like fruits is Antidesma velutinosum. It is very common on Pulau Ubin.

Hoya verticillata
Along the way, we saw quite a few hoya, including this one, which is probably a Hoya verticillata.

Mata Ayam (Ardisia elliptica)
Several of the Mata Ayam (Ardisia elliptica) trees were fruiting too. "Mata" means "eye", while "ayam" means "chicken", refering to the ripe fruits that are about the size of a chicken eye.

Spider Wasp (Family Pompilidae)
After seeing it so many times, I finally managed to get a few decent shots of a Spider Wasp (Family Pompilidae)!

Spider Wasp (Family Pompilidae)
Apparently, it had caught and paralyzed a spider. In time, it would lay an egg on the spider.

Spider Wasp (Family Pompilidae)
This is probably a species that will seal the spider with its egg in a burrow, as we also saw the it attempting to dig a burrow. However, it seemed like the ground is too hard, and it gave up after a while and started flying around.

Gymnanthera oblonga
Just next to the spot where the wasp was trying to burrow, I saw a Gymnanthera oblonga. This plant was rather uncommon in Singapore as a whole, but was rather common on Ubin itself. I have also seen this climber on Semakau. Apparently, the leaves have two forms, and one of which is the long and thin form above.

Gymnanthera oblonga
The climber above is also a Gymnanthera oblonga, but exhibiting more rounded and fatter leaves.

Star Gooseberry (Sauropus androgynus)
We also came across this Star Gooseberry (Sauropus androgynus). This is commonly known as "mani cai" locally, and I used to have a rather big patch of them in my backyard during my kampong days. My mum used to stir-fry the leaves with eggs, and it was really tasty! Read online that there's some kind of toxin in this plant though, and so one shouldn't eat too much.

Rotan Tikus (Flagellaria indica)
The Rotan Tikus (Flagellaria indica) is a very common back mangrove plant at Pulau Ubin, and I managed to get a shot of the flowers with the fruits!

While heading towards Sungei Mamam, I saw a few leaves being folded up and it looked like there's something inside. Indeed, there's a huge spider inside! Have no idea what spider this is though.

And it had lots of spiderlings with it too!

RH spotted this jellyfish in Sungei Mamam.

Api-api Bulu (Avicennia rumphiana)
Along the river, there were many Api-api Bulu (Avicennia rumphiana) fruiting. "Api" means "fire", refering to the fact that this plant attract fireflies at night. Unfortunately, while I have seen this phenomenon in other countries, I have not seen it happening in Singapore so far...

Bakau mata buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
While we were heading back, I did a quick detour to take a look at the Bakau Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii) at Noordin. This is an internationally critically endangered mangrove tree!

Changeable Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus)
While waiting for Mr Chu to pick us up with his van, we saw this Changeable Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus).

We headed back to my favourite coffee shop for lunch (deep fried sotong, kampong chicken, kangkong etc. yum yum... :P)

Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)
Finally after a really good lunch, we took a boat back to mainland Singapore. Along the way to the bus stop, I went to check out the Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) which was figging the last time I saw it, and indeed, the figs were still there!

It was all bright and sunny then, compared to the cloudy morning we had, lucky for us, I guess :)

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