Monday, December 13, 2004

Strange Nudibranch

Went down to the beach today hoping to have a look at how the fringing corals are doing. Unfortunately, the tide didn't go down as low as it was supposed to, so I spent most of my time near the shore where the water was clear. Lots of people at the beach today, probably all trying to make good use of the good low tides during the school holiday month - including a few groups doing surveys, the Park Watch group, and a couple of families with happy children playing around the shallows. Met a few interesting people.

The green filamentous algae (Bryopsis?) was everywhere. There was oodles of it. Oodles and oodles. And oodles. It covered the entire shore in a thick mat of green and made it difficult (as if the silt wasn't enough!) to see what was in the water. The other normally abundant seaweeds and sea grasses seemed to be in reduced numbers. There was a small patch of Enhalus which was flowering. There was also quite a large patch of Thalassia where the sea grasses can usually be found near the jetty.

A pair of juvenile Butterflyfishes were spotted today, along with many small crabs, and quite a few polychaete worms. The colonial zoanthids also seem to be back in great numbers. The highlight of the day was this amazing nudibranch.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Labrador Transect

It's been awhile, but I managed to visit the rocky beach again on Saturday when my ecology module had our marine ecology field practical there. We did transects along the beach and counted the invertebrates there. The data is being compiled right now, so keep looking here for updates!

The beach looks a lot greener. Seems like green filamentous algae are in season right now. The beach was covered with masses of it that had washed up.

Of course, with many sets of eyes and hands, we managed to find quite a few interesting things, including 3 pipefishes (which are a close relative of the seahorse)! We also saw two very nice big Red Egg Crabs and even a Decorator Crab.

My transect group - we had a lot of fun.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Advent of School

Dropped by Labrador for an hour before dashing to work on Sunday morning. My timetable this semester and the lousy tides are playing havoc with my attempts to keep this site updated. Just uploaded the few nice photos I managed to get (see the gallery).

Spent most of the day overturning rocks, ending up with a weird splinter in my finger. Spotted a few tiny crabs (mostly metopograpsus), but nothing new.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Crab Heaven!

Check out this sargassum strewn rock the next time you head down to Labrador beach. The crevices harbour at least 3 species of crabs, of varying sizes and colours. Spent the better part of 2 hours perched on a slippery rock trying to keep as still as possible waiting for them to venture out of their holes. Unfortunately, my adventures this morning included falling unceremoniously off a slippery rock into a tide pool and scaring away all the fishes, crabs and prawns. :( But in the process, I found a well-camouflaged hermit crab which moved a little thus allowing me to spot it, so it wasn't all bad. :)

A bunch of patriotic crabs...?

Friday, August 13, 2004

This site has shifted to Habitatnews!

This site has been shifted to its own location (with unlimited server space) at Habitatnews as of 12th August 2004.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Site Problems! :(

Been trying to add a few photos to the gallery and I think there's something wrong with the host site because it takes forever (both to upload and load on my screen) sometimes. Also noticed that occasionally ad banners appear on the top of the screen and mess up the layout of the whole thing. Sigh... well I guess that's what happens when I'm too broke to afford any long-term web-hosting. Have yet to find something both cheap and reliable in any case, so please do drop me a line if you know of any.

Meanwhile, refreshing the screen sometimes fixes the layout problems. And as for the slow downloads, please bear with it for the moment (you can leave the window open and do something else while waiting for it to load, right? ;). Am sourcing for other webhosting sources. Hope to fix the problems soon. Thanks for your patience.

In other news: We got a mention on Ria's blog! :)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Crab hunting

Went down to Labrador during the low tide this morning, after a few weeks of procrastination. My aunt came along, and we spent most of our time around the area under the jetty. I think it's lucky having her along because I managed to spot quite a few crabs today, including a fleeting glimpse of an olive green knobby 3cm long pincer with white markings before a random wave chased its owner back into its hole. Could have been metapograpsus. We also saw a pair of rather large slender red claws waving out of a crab hole for a moment. Really wonder what that crab was doing. It's a pity we didn't see more of it because it would have been a pretty large crab.

Caught a couple of smaller crabs, after holding my breath and waiting around the rocks for ages. Saw 3 grey birds hunting around the rocks at the water's edge, and startled a large flower crab while trying to get a closer shot of them. It promptly scuttled into a hole. I'm going to have to hone my camera skills if I'm going to catch any credible shots of these things. However, I'm currently well satisfied with the excitement of merely being able to catch a glimpse, however fleeting, of these amazing creatures for myself.

Poised for the kill.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Hornbills over Labrador Park!

Lee Eng Lock photographed a pair of Oriental Pied-Hornbills over Labrador!

See: "Hornbills over Labrador Park," by N. Sivasothi. Habitatnews, 15 Jul 2004 - link

Habitatnews 2004

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Catching the Spring Tide...

Went down to the beach for the second time today. The water level was perfect, though we plan to visit again during high tide soon to see what we can find during that time.

The objective today was crabs, which are way more tricky than algae, seaweed and plankton. Most of the time I flipped over rocks to catch fleeting glimpses of things scuttling off into holes. Perhaps my search image isn't good enough yet.

I found a lot of hairy crabs all over the beach and a couple of smaller crabs at the rocks near the end of the beach, but those remained elusive to my attempts at catching them. The hairy crabs are the best because they don't scuttle off somewhere to hide when I walk by.

Also managed to get better photos of things we found the last trip out. Think I'm finally getting more familiar with this camera. It was also easier because the intertidal region was wider this time round so there were more things to choose from.

A rainbow over Labrador after a brief shower in the morning.

Friday, June 25, 2004

New photos soon, and a couple of things to note

Just a few short thoughts on my side. Our first field trip went alright, got a general idea of the stuff around on the beach, collected photographs of the stationary life on the beach (our main task) and a few opportunistic shots of some fauna (mostly thanks to our experienced guide Huaqin, who caught most of it). Also learned some things about camera work. Have finished sorting photos, though this identification business is excruciatingly slow-going. Will have them up soon, with some help from Siva.

To bring on next trip:
Stick, container, tripod

The tide levels at the beach, 22/6/2004. We started work at lowtide, which was around 7:30am. And stopped when the tide came in around 10am.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Back from the rocky shore...

Ok...we spent the morning at the rocky shore this morning (along with Hua Qin, a guy doing some work with RMBR as well). Took LOADS of photos but quite a few turned out to be quite blurred when we viewed them on the computer screen. Wai also did a rough sketch to show the distribution of habitats and types of flora and sessile fauna along the rocky beach.

Large areas of seaweeds, seagrass and sargassum could be observed, and there is also a large region where a variety of colonial anemones can be found. Did learn how to spot quite a number of species. Should help us in our next trip down.

After going through the photos with Siva (and discarding a number), realised that our photography skills need some brushing up... Well, it's all trial-and-error, and learning from our mistakes!

After the tide came in, we went up the forest trail and took in the view of the sea. Some of the southern islands can be easily seen in the horizon (Pulau Bukom, Pulau Semakau, and Pulau Jong)! Even the monorail on Sentosa can been seen on the left. There were also some bunkers and a battery hidden away, along the nature trail.

The next step for us would be to organise the (more or less decent) photos into a photo gallery to be put up on our website. Look out for this! ^^

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Planned Recce of Rocky Beach

Tentatively setting 21 June (Mon), 7 am to be a recce of the rocky beach, as well as a walk through Labrador Park itself after consulting both the Sembawang and Tanjong Pagar tide tables. Hope the weather holds up. Probably have to check the weather forecast 3 days before hand.

My turn next...

Slight updates on the blog. A very rough skeleton of contents to be included can be seen on the sidebar. Wai and I would be going down to Labrador Park sometime soon, so that we can get better idea of information can be put up.

Still need to get the hang of Guess we still have quite a lot to learn. ^^
Now, how are we going to organise the introduction? Hopefully some form of an introduction to Labrador Park can be up sometime today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


Met with Siva today, and got roped in to help him set up a webpage on the rocky shores of Labrador Park, a relatively unstudied pocket of nature (up till now) in Singapore.

Went over a number of photographs he took on his first trip down yesterday. Starting to get a better idea of what we'll be doing. For now, a brief study on tide tables and some background information on Labrador Park.

Also in the works are a few photography lessons and a fieldtrip during the next spring tide.