Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sembawang Beach, 17 Dec 2009

17 Dec marks the first time I set foot on Sembawang beach. Thanks to an invitation by Kok Sheng to check out the beach with him and his friends, I got the chance to explore Sembawang beach for the first time, with company of the same interest! That afternoon, only James managed to make it for the trip. It is always nice to meet new people and I got to know James and Wen Qi (hope I got her name right).

When we reached the beach, the sky was clear and we had an awesome view of our neighbour, Johor, Malaysia. Sembawang beach is a natural sandy beach left in Singapore. Changi beach is also a natural sandy beach, and you can find one in Chek Jawa as well.

To an onlooker, the beach must look barren and void of life. However, one just needs to take a stroll along the beach and look carefully, and plenty of wildlife can be found.

Dead carcasses of fish greeted us first. Later on, I saw plenty of empty crab moults as well.

Notably, anemones were pretty abundant. For the first time in my life, I saw a mangrove anemone! According to James, there are 2 known species of mangrove anemones. I love it cos' it looks rugged :D Ria has got some nice pictures of a similar looking mangrove anemone in her flickr album as well.

There were many banded bead anemones around, and they are so well camouflaged I was always surprised because they were often just within centimetres from me!

Whilst making our way back to land, I found this interesting black coloured anemone! This is the first time I saw a black coloured one. It could likely be another one of those banded bead anemones.

Thanks to Wen Qi, I now know the common name of this creature:

It is called an onch slug, and belongs to the family Onchidiidae. Seems like the one I saw was a big pimply onch slug.

Worms could be found as well. Many tube worms could be seen. They are basically worms that create tubes using a mixture of sand, debris, even leaves, and they live inside it. These tubes provide such conducive environment to live in that other organisms may be found living inside as well! More on these amazing worms can be found here.

James also pointed out a ribbon worm, which is another organism that I saw for the first time as well.

It seems we can almost always find egg cases of the Melongena snail on our shores. The egg cases are extremely intriguing and beautiful if you were to take a closer look at it. Alas, my digital camera couldn't take a closer shot at it.

The most exciting find of the day are the 2 sand star (Astropecten indicus) individuals! Simply because they are my favourite marine animals :D Though I missed out on the massive population of these charming creatures which the others found at the other end of the beach, the two that I found were more than enough to make my day, though the 2nd one seemed pretty much dead :(

If you are interested, this is where you can learn more about sea stars (more commonly known as starfishes) and sand stars that can be found on our shores!

It had been a truly fun trip and it was great that I gained new knowledge, met new people and saw new stuff :D


  1. Great to see your new blog Phong.Not a bad start at all, good work! I look forward to more posts in the future.It's interesting to visit your shores from the comfort of my desk, thank you!

  2. Hi Russell, thanks for the encouragement! I'm looking forward to sharing more on what we have here in Singapore too. :D