Saturday, 5 June 2010

Ghostly encounters and a little fisher

First off....

Am starting to feel that I'm getting too old to be doing intertidals for a stretch of 5 consecutive days and heading to work immediately after.... And it sure doesn't help that the sun has been utterly relentless for most of the mornings this week! So here's a couple of highlights from my week of mornings spent in the sun~
[20100602] IMG_7695 St John's Island

(1) Horned-eyed ghost crabs (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)
Generally more often seen at night/dusk/dawn but the ones at St John's Island were rather active during the day! The first few ones that we came across were half buried and very well camouflage, and we literally stumbled upon them as we were walking around. Here's one "winking" at/for the camera even!
IMG_7732 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) IMG_7738Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)IMG_7744 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)

The ones higher up on the shore were busy digging out their little burrows, popping out every once in a while to throw out a messy pile of sand. The little black dots scattered around the burrows are actually little Casuarina fruits.
IMG_7770 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)
IMG_7772 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)
IMG_7773 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)

And a closer view of these little ghostly critters. Guess it's a good thing that we saw quite a few adult individuals scurrying around, as well as a number of smaller holes with the same messy "thrown sand", even though there's regular beach cleaning around the area?
IMG_7775 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) IMG_7776 Horned-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)

For more information about these crabs:

(2) Collared kingfisher (Halcyon chloris)
There were also at least 2 collared kingfishers out and about with us on almost all the days. Feel so lucky that I managed a quick shot of one of them perched on the pipe, and the next shot on the right even shows a small fish that it caught! Usually only manage to catch them while they're perched up on one of the trees on the island.
IMG_7800cropped_CollaredKingfisher(Halcyon chloris) IMG_7801cropped_CollaredKingfisher(Halcyon chloris)

For more on this commonly seen kingfisher:

Do click on the photos if you would like a look at the larger sized images.
Click for the rambling...