Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nov 2013 school hols walks

Nature Guided-walk at Chek Jawa Nature Reserve, Pulau Ubin

Date: Monday 25 November 2013
Time: 8.30am to 12.30pm
Cost: $13 per pax (adult or kid). Free for kids age 5 yrs and below accompanying adult participants. Excludes the bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin at$2.50 per person one way, and the mini-bus ride to CJ at $4 per person return.
Venue: Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin
Duration: 3 hours minimum


Meeting Point:
We meet at 8.30am at basement of Changi Jetty (also known as Changi Point Ferry Terminal) at Lorong Berkukong, 5 mins walk away from Changi Village hawker centre.

Map: http://www.streetdirectory.com/sg/changi-point/51-lorong-bekukong-499172/26866_79719.html (if link doesn't work, pls copy & paste on your browser)


Walk ends at 12.30pm back at Ubin Jetty.

Please note:
This walk will only be on the boardwalk and dirt trails. We will not be going onto the seashore or mud-flats.
Bring poncho/raincoat/umbrella, hat, fully-filled refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent.
Wear long pants, otherwise wear thick repellent. Long-sleeved shirt, socks and covered shoes are recommended.
Ubin has shops selling drinks and snacks. There are restaurants open for lunch and dinner.

Brief:
In 2001, plans to destroy CJ were shelved and now it is a nature reserve. CJ is one of Singapore's most treasured and loved nature spots, with a diverse combination of scenic habitats and wildlife. Here exists rare coastal forest, rocky seashore, sea grass meadows, ancient coral reef rubble, mud-flats, mangrove and Attap Chee groves. The shallow sea here supports
incredible marine biodiversity, and is home to the rare and globally-endangered Dugong or Sea Cow. We go onto the extensive boardwalk to access the various habitats and to spot a diversity of unique wildlife such as mudskippers, fiddler and tree-climbing crabs, the Great-billed Heron and many others. At CJ, the lush coastal forest grows right down to meet the
Rocky Seashore where, if lucky, we may glimpse a flock of Red Jungle Fowl or a family of Wild Pigs beachcombing for seafood.
=========000==========

Nite Critter Watch at Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk


Date: Tuesday 26 November 2013
Time: 6.15pm to 8.30pm
Cost: $13 per pax (adult or kid). Free for kids age 5 yrs and below accompanying adult participants.
Venue: Pasir Ris Park Mangrove Boardwalk


Meeting Point:
We meet at 6.15pm outside the public toilet block at right side of Car Park C at end of Pasir Ris Green Road which is off Pasir Ris Drive 3 road.



Walk ends at 8.30pm back at starting point.

Please note:
Bring torchlight with batteries, poncho/raincoat/umbrella, fully-filled refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent.
Bring, poncho/raincoat/umbrella, water in your refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent. Have an early dinner before coming. Please wear long pants, tee-shirt, socks and covered shoes. Long-sleeved shirt is recommended.

Brief:
As dusk falls, we use a bat detector to locate bats. We explore deep into the mangrove forest via the extensive boardwalks to look for other nite critters such as the Dog-faced Watersnake and Black-crowned Night-heron.
Tree-climbing crabs can be seen perched high above on branches, as if they're birds. Several species of owls have been encountered here, plus the Large-tailed Nightjar, another nocturnal bird with a loud "chonk-chonk-chonk" call. Fireflies live in this forest. Though only seasonally numerous, we should meet some. This easy walk is on level pathways and wooden boardwalks. There will be a rest stop at the shelter over the scenic Tampines River.
======00===========

Nite Critter Walk at Singapore Botanic Gardens (Tanglin Gate)

Date: Wednesday 27 November 2013
Time: 6.15pm to 8.30pm
Cost: $13 per pax (adult or kid). Free for kids age 5 yrs and below accompanying adult participants.
Venue: Tanglin Gate visitor centre service counter, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Meeting Point:
We meet at 6.15pm at the service counter of the visitor centre at old Tanglin Gate entrance at Cluny Road facing Gleneagles Hospital (NOT the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre at Nassim Road).


Add: 1 Cluny Road (S)259569 (pls note address is the same for all parts of botanic gardens)

Walk ends at 8.30pm back at starting point.

Please note:
This easy walk is mostly on level, paved pathway with a few steps at certain parts. Have an early dinner before coming.
Bring torchlight with batteries, poncho/raincoat/umbrella, refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent.
Please wear long pants, tee-shirt, socks and covered shoes. Long-sleeved shirt is recommended.

Brief:
We will observe Short-nosed Fruit Bats at their daytime roost before they wake up and fly off at dusk. Then use our bat detector to locate insect-eating bats. As night falls, we go to investigate the nearby ponds for other nocturnal critters such as the Four-lined Treefrog with its bubble nest, and the tiny Painted Chorus Frog with its silvery tadpoles. We will then wander on the forest boardwalk to look for scorpions and other multi-legged critters of the night.
==============000=============

Kids Study Pondlife at Singapore Botanic Gardens


Date: Thursday 28 November 2013
Time: 9.00am to 11.30am
Cost: $15 per kid age 7 to 11 yrs. Participants' sibling age 6 yrs and below can come along free.

Venue: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Meeting Point:
We meet at 9.00am at the clock tower inside the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre (NOT at the Tanglin Gate entrance at Cluny Road facing Gleneagles Hospital).
Add: 1 Cluny Road (S)259569 (pls note address is the same for all parts of botanic gardens)

Walk ends at 11.30am back at starting point.

Please note:
Bring poncho/raincoat/umbrella, hat, fully-filled refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent, snacks.
Wear long pants, otherwise wear thick repellent. Long-sleeved shirt, socks and covered shoes are recommended.

Brief:
The ponds in the garden are alive with a diversity of freshwater-dependent critters. Here, kids can easily find, observe and study colourful dragonflies, pond-skaters and other aquatic bugs, and learn about their magical life cycles. Living among the water plants here are the Waterhen, Whistling Ducks, kingfishers, and reptiles such as the Water Monitor Lizard
and Red-eared Terrapins. Topics covered include adaptations of aquatic fauna and flora, life cycles, food chain, habitat, water, pollution and conservation issues. Participants must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
======000=======

A Long Nature Trek into Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve


Date: Friday 29 November 2013
Time: 8.30am to 11.30am
Cost: $13 per pax (adult or kid). Free for kids age 5 yrs and below accompanying adult participants. Does not include entry fee of $1 for adult and 50 cents for kids.
Venue: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve


Meeting Point:
We meet at 8.30am at the ticket counter inside the visitor centre of SBWR.


Please note:
Bring poncho/raincoat/umbrella, hat, fully-filled refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent, snacks.
Wear long pants, otherwise wear thick repellent. Long-sleeved shirt, socks and covered shoes are recommended.

Walk Brief:
This beautiful nature reserve is an important resting and feeding spot for migratory birds from the north. November and December are the best months to see thousands of them checking into the reserve. It is also home to a fantastic diversity of native fauna and flora, from rare otters to monitor lizards, woodpeckers and mudskippers! This is The place to spot an Archerfish. In the past, the area had several kampongs (villages) with the locals tending to vegetable and fruit tree plots. Many of these fruit trees and traditional herbs still survive and may be encountered along the trails. The villagers had also constructed fish and prawn ponds in the mangroves which are now used by wetland wildlife such as a family of rare Smooth Otters and two Saltwater Crocodiles. We will also go onto the lovely, long and winding mangrove arboretum boardwalk. The current reserve area may soon be closed to the public, once the connecting new Kranji adventure park is ready. So come see it all before you can't anymore!

Please note: For this trek, we will be taking the longer routes to get deep into the heart of the reserve, but it will be on level dirt trails and elevated boardwalks, suitable for use of strollers and wheelchairs. Participants who come must be ready and able to do quite a bit of walking.
==========000===========

Exploring Ubin's Kampong and Nature

Date: Saturday 30 November 2013
Time: 8.30am to 11.00am
Cost: $13 per pax (adult or kid). Excludes the bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin which is $2.50 per person one way. Free for kids age 5 yrs and below accompanying adult participants.
Venue: Pulau Ubin


Meeting Point:
We meet at 8.30am at basement of Changi Jetty (also known as Changi Point Ferry Terminal) at Lorong Berkukong, 5 mins walk away from Changi Village hawker centre.


Walk ends at 11.00am back at Ubin Jetty.

Please note:
Bring poncho/raincoat/umbrella, hat, fully-filled refillable water bottle, herbal mosquito repellent.
Wear long pants, otherwise wear thick repellent. Long-sleeved shirt, socks and covered shoes are recommended.
Ubin has shops selling drinks and snacks. There are restaurants open for lunch and dinner.

Walk Brief:
Our nature-guided stroll will bring us through a herb, spice and medicinal plant garden, coffee, coconut, durian and other fruit tree plantations, mangrove forest, grassland and woodlands. We will also bypass 'kampong' village houses with their backyard flower and food gardens. Along the way, we may encounter wild pigs, jungle chickens, monitor lizards and a diversity of birds and bugs living among the wayside wildflowers. This walk starts and ends in the main village which has remained almost unchanged since the 1960s. Come experience Ubin's culture before its all gone.

==========000===========
 
Registration:
Email Celine Low at contact@cicadatree.org.sg
giving participants' names, ages & a mobile no.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


"Love MacRitchie"




FREE public guided nature walks to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve at Venus Drive (MacRitchie)

Dates: Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Time: 9 to 11 am

The MacRitchie Forest Trail at Venus Drive meanders along the banks of a crystal-clear forest stream that is full of freshwater life. Here live dragons and damsels, freshwater crabs and prawns, the Puff-faced Watersnake, Pygmy Halfbeak and Saddle Barb.
Look out, too, for the Green Crested Lizard, Red-bellied Squirrel, Long-tailed Macaque, Blue-rumped Parrot and Colugo. Walk in the cool shade of old trees. Feel the peace that only a rainforest can give.
Come with us, and learn more about this rainforest. Feel our natural heritage at risk.
The trail here is a dirt path which is relatively level and suitable for children, the elderly and the physically-challenged. Be prepared for some mud.
This walk is open to the public but registration is required as spaces are limited.
 
To register, please email Celine Low at contact@cicadatree.org.sg
giving participants' names, ages & a mobile no.

What to wear and bring: wear lightweight cotton long pants, cotton shirt or tee-shirt, closed walking shoes with socks. Bring water in your refillable water bottle. Herbal insect repellent will keep the mozzies away. A cap or hat to protect you from the sun, and a light poncho or umbrella in case of rain.



For more information on MAD lessons for wildlife, please visit our website: www.cicadatree.org.sg

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August/September Events

Hi everyone! 

We've got an action-packed schedule in August and September 2013, including a FREE Macritchie walk 
and two free talks. 

Check out our website here and the sidebar on your right.

Or simply email us for more info!





Register online (5 sep talk): http://tinyurl.com/livingforest-5sep





If you can't make it on 5 Sep, you can come for our other talk on 12 Sep:

12 Sep 2013: FREE public talk
“Forget Not Our Living Forest”

jointly organised by: 
cicada tree eco-place & ecosystem
guest speaker: joseph lai, botanist
date: thur 12 sep 2013
time: 7-9 pm
venue: ecosystem, 3 jln kledek, s199259
Register online:  http://bit.ly/16W08m2

Save Macritchie forest: http://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com



----------------------------------------------------------------

SOME OF OUR UPCOMING WORKSHOPS!



Kids Enjoy Our Living Forest at MacRitchie


Text by Lynette Lim (volunteer with Cicada Tree Eco-Place)
Photos by Lynette Lim and Vilma D'Rozario


SIGN PETITION TO SAVE MACRITCHIE FOREST: http://tinyurl.com/lta-crl

A bunch of 10 year olds gathered at the car park at Venus Drive and participated in an educational nature walk that spanned about 200m into the forest. Nature educators Andrew, Vilma and Susanna guided them through the fruitful 2–hour journey.



They were urged to use senses—listen, observe, smell and touch (selectively) as they walked through the unfamiliar terrain. 

We started at the stream just right at the entrance and saw giant pond skaters as the children learnt about the importance of the forest in the maintenance of clear water that flow through the streams that eventually forms part of our water supply.




Along the trail, Andrew pointed out interesting flora like the Zanzibar Yam that has leaves shaped like bats. He also poured a little water to demonstrate the extreme water proof characteristic of the Wild Yam plant. Everybody got to feel the softness of “toilet paper” leaves and coarseness of skeleton leaves. The children were enthusiastic and curious about everything, constantly firing questions to Andrew.


Long-tailed macaques


In addition, a variety of native animals were spotted. We saw groups of long tailed macaques having fun, a sun skink- a charming lizard basking under the sun, a green crested lizard hugging the column of the fence, various species of dragonflies hovering around leaves and a flatworm (a surprising find, spotted by a sharp-eyed kid).


Green crested lizard


Flatworm


Orb web spider


But these are only a small fraction of what’s out there. That said, even if we can’t find the animals, our ears tell us plenty-- We heard the calls of the Rachet-tailed Drongo, White breasted Waterhen and Tailor birds in addition to the chirpings of crickets and cicadas.


Forest gecko


All in all, the walk had been a positive experience as everybody got to take a break from fast-paced urban Singapore and discover something about nature that would hopefully be the start of a life-long relationship.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reasons to Love MacRitchie

Reasons to Love MacRitchie: Second Free Public Guided Walk on 30 Jun 2013



Help Save Our MacRitchie Forest! Sign online petition now:



A light Sunday morning drizzle did not deter families from enjoying “Love MacRitchie”, a free public guided nature walk to Central Catchment Nature Reserve (MacRitchie) at Venus Drive, conducted by Cicada Tree Eco-Place.


Entering the forest trail quietly to better spot shy wildlife and simply loving the green peace.


Two groups of walkers were led by volunteer guides from Cicada Tree Eco-Place: Leong Tzi Ming, Andrew Tay, Vilma D´Rozario and Teresa Teo Guttensohn. Experienced freelance nature guide Chuah Ai Lin came by to lend assistance.


 
Loving the excitement of not knowing what fishes, reptiles and amphibians one might spot in a crystal clear forest stream.




Kids love outdoor classrooms: learning about forest fruits that birds, squirrels, treeshrews and monkeys feed upon in the forest, and why we should not feed wild animals human food.



The walk took children and adults along banks of a crystal clear forest stream full of local freshwater life. They saw many interesting native flora and fauna, and experienced a kind of natural peace, awe, wonder and respite in the rainforest.



 
L: We love Singapore´s rainforest for its amazing wildlife. Clouded Monitor Lizards are surprisingly adept at climbing up rainforest trees, searching for prey.
R: Families of Long-tailed Macaque depend on forest fare such as figs, fruits and berries. A young individual looks down warily from the safety of vines and trees where it was feeding.


Wildlife spotted along the short walk included a rare Emerald Dove, Black-bearded Flying Dragon, Treeshrews scampering across branches on bank of a stream where Harlequin Rasbora and Forest Snakehead were swimming, families of Long-tailed Macaques, songs of Racquet-tailed Drongos and other forest birds, beautiful Branded Imperial Butterflies and diggings of Banded Wild Pigs.



What´s not to love about a colourful and perky Crimson Sunbird and other forest birds out for a morning song?


It was fun to spot unusual insects, bugs and spiders such Tree Hugger Dragonflies, White Handed Fly, Hover Fly, “Wedding Gown Bug”, and a fast moving Ant Mimicking Spider.



 Nature guide Andrew Tay and participants love the fun factor of searching for interesting bugs and insects on plants, and if lucky, perhaps an elusive snake or two in the bushes!





We loved the way this pretty Hover Fly hovers – it was just like a tiny, cool flight machine!




L: Volunteer guide Teresa Teo Guttensohn showing a live specimen of an Ant Mimicking Spider, which was quickly released after close study of the fast moving, tiny animal.
R: Kids and adults were fascinated by the deceptive Ant Mimicking Spider, which cleverly imitates the look and movement of ants.



Various plants and trees that were home and food for our forest fauna were spotlighted. These included huge Terentang trees, fig trees, tall bamboo groves that housed small bats, attractive Bracket Fungus, amusing “toilet paper leaf” tree, amazing Strangler Fig tree that “strangles”, and exotic Tree Ferns.





Rainforest recyclers: Bracket Fungus helps in decomposition of fallen trees, returning nutrients to the earth.




Lovely homes: small insectivorous bats find homes in cracks in bamboo. These bats help to control insect populations.



 Volunteer guide Leong Tzi Ming told a captivated audience the life cycle of Strangler Fig Tree that starts off as a single small seed dropped by a bird or animal on top of another host tree.


The nature guides shared about rainforest habitats, and impact of any disturbance, pollution and fragmentation on our fragile natural heritage. Although it was just a short hike, everyone found many reasons to love our MacRitichie forest. Afterall, the wild rainforest is an open science museum and a living house of biodiversity.


 Nature guide Leong Tzi Ming pointed out a tree that was an important home for unique Tree Hugger Dragonflies.
 

 Checking out diggings of Banded Wild Pig, our native wild pigs at MacRitchie forest; rooting and foraging for food are part of natural behavior of wild pigs.



To show their love for MacRitchie forest and its wildlife, participants signed a petition appealing to LTA (Land Transport Authority) to re-route proposed Cross Island MRT Line that was intended to run under Central Catchment Nature Reserve, potentially and irreversibly damaging our country´s precious last remaining natural heritage.



 We love discovering nature´s gifts in our own rainforest, and experiencing a kind of natural peace, awe and wonder.
 



Help Save Our MacRitchie Forest.

Sign online petition now:

http://tinyurl.com/LTA-CRL




Text by Teresa Teo Guttensohn

Photos by Andrew Tay and Teresa Teo Guttensohn