Author Archives: natq2000

Ubin Day 2019 – bringing focus to marine biodiversity and the threat of marine trash!


Sat 29 June 2019 – Crowds flowed into Pulau Ubin for Ubin Day as volunteers and staff tirelessly put up booths to showcase the brilliant diversity of nature and heritage found on Pulau Ubin. Toddycats put up our booth on marine biodiversity, highlighting the key issue of marine debris affecting them.

This year Otterman intern Natalie Quah coordinated our lovely ICCS Otters, site captains Elizabeth Lim, Tan Chia Wu, Chong Siew Men, Olivia Lee and Elsa Lillford valiantly stepped up to volunteer at our booth, together with Toddycats volunteer Delia Quek. Special thanks also to Tina Liow who helped with transporting all the specimens to Ubin, which saw a traumatic break of our old dugong specimen jar (all fixed, no fear)!

Guests for Ubin Day this year included many families, visitors, participants of Pedal Ubin and of course our regular visitor and chair of the Friends of Ubin Network, Minister Desmond Lee.

Volunteers say the shark specimen was the conversation starter about marine life which still persists in our waters. That we have turtles surprises people, especially that they are still beaching on our shores to lay eggs. Then they are concerned. to learn about about the dangers of marine trash in our waters.

It was a great day of community fun and learning and we were happy to be there! Until next year!

Our shift 1 volunteers! Still smiling after setting up in the wee hours of the morning on Ubin! From left: Chong Siew Men, Elizabeth Lim, Tan Chia Wu
Minister Desmond Lee playing our iconic game to match each marine animal to its habitat!
Chia Wu was great with kids that day, bringing specimens around the assembly area to attract them to our booth! Hurrah!
Finally, it was time to tear down. From left: Elsa Lillford, Natalie Quah, Delia Quek, Olivia Lim

Sat 29 Jun 2019: Join us on the Grand Finale of Pesta Ubin – Ubin Day!

Our Toddycats booth at Pesta Ubin (aka Ubin Day) will be back on 29 June 2019, 9am to 4pm! Come and join us to learn about Marine Life, Marine Trash and explore all the other booths and activities around!

Ubin Day is the grand finale of Pesta Ubin, organised by the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN), a festival running from 18 May to 30 June 2019 with various fun and exciting activities such as cycling, kayaking and exploring to take part in. Look forward to activities and booths set up by many community and ground up initiatives to celebrate the wonders in Ubin!

Do come join us! See you there!

Our booth at Ubin Day 2015!

Pedal Ubin Recce – Zendogs revisit Pulau Ubin (Sun 9th June 2019)

Sun 9th June 2019 – before the actual event on Sat 29 Jun 2018, is the all-important recce! Airani, Joelle, Kevin and Otterman (all also from the cycling group Zendogs) dragged themselves away from their weekend recovery of lying comatose in bed to revisit Pulau Ubin. They had fun and are all ready for the big day now!

Off to Ubin!
All geared up!
Doggy! Doggy! Don’t crash!!!
Stopping by the temple for good luck
Beautiful paintings at the new mangrove arboretum
Finally! A drink!

See the rest of our photos here.  

18 Mar 2019 – behind the darkness of night: Night walk at Old Upper Thomson Road with snakes, birds, mammals and more!

18 Mar 2019 – On this series of monthly nature explorations to increase Toddycats’ experience for nature guiding , we decided to have a change in scenery – a night walk! After a sumptuous dinner of prata, Joys, Weiting and Tze Kwan led a group of 20 Toddycats for a night time walk along Old Upper Thomson Road. They were greeted by many of the little critters that were active when the sun goes down.

Night walk gang!
The beautiful patterns of the reticulated python.
Dried Leaf Cockroach!
Wagler’s Pit Viper, waiting in ambush
Colugo with its big eyes!
Hairy Tarantula!
A stick insect

Here’s the night’s tally done by Toddycat Spencer!

  • Large-tailed Nightjar
  • Brown Hawk-Owl
  • Wild Boars
  • Lesser Mousedeers
  • Common Palm Civets
  • Colugos
  • Bats
  • Calls of Horsfield Gliding Squirrel
  • Calls of the Raffles Banded Langur
  • Wagler Pit Viper (Female)
  • Reticulated Python
  • Dried Leaf Cockroach
  • Adult Stick Insect
  • Katydid
  • Praying Mantis
  • Planthopper

Who knew what rich biodiversity we had at night!

Photos by Spencer and Weiting

HOWL 24 with Resident Blue Stephen Beng (Fri 22 Mar 2019)

Hosted by, Theresa Su, Lesley Chng, Cherry Goh and Otterman.

Hi everyone! This is Natalie Quah, Otterman’s intern from Jan to Jun 2019. One of the perks is I get to attend Toddycats HOWL, which I did for the first time last Friday!

It was with a mixture of excitement and nervousness as I was waiting to meet various members of the Toddycats, many for the first time. But before long, my nerves were put to rest, because it was dinner time and there’s nothing food can’t fix! It was a delight to reconnect with many familiar faces in the nature community and to make new friends over yummy slices of pizza.

Toddycats’ HOWL always begins with icebreakers to warm us up, with a VERY late Chinese New Year theme, haha! Just as we were done, Weiting arrived late after her Changi practical, having kept everyone waiting (geddit? XD), and wrestled through her task as everyone watched. She rose to the occasion and amused all of us!

Is Weiting a rabbit…
or is she wriggling like a snake??

Various Toddycats then brought us through news and various upcoming events.

Joleen Chan on recent roadshows on marine life and marine trash at event by NUS SAVE, NUS PEACE, IYOR, with ADEX akan datang.
Otterman talked about the Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk last Feb. Two decades of this has stimulated other walks – LSM2252 Biodiversity’s Kent Ridge Walk, RVRC’s Ridge Walk for Rice, the NUS Ridgewalks for wellness.
Theresa Su and Xu Weiting brought us through the training lead up to field trips and workshops for the Festival of Biodiversity in May.
Chloe Tan explained the rationale behind the Love MacRitchie movement and about the Love MacRitchie walks by Toddycats, now in their sixth year!
Our happy HOWL audience!

The final part of HOWL was a long-awaited fireside chat! It was an honour to interact with Stephen Beng, chair of NSS’s Marine Conservation Group and Friends of Marine Park. The Resident Blue, as he calls himself, recalled his ocean experience from the time he was a kid to present day engagements,

Stephen Beng shares his ocean experiences with what we realised to be a pretty terrestrial bunch of Toddycats.
A heartfelt reminder to remain Captivated, Compelled and Connected!
The dialogue: answering questions, hearing opinions and sharing thoughts.

Stephen’s strong affinity with the ocean and his passion for resolving issues through Friends of Marine Park came through clearly during this session and I was personally inspired to work harder for our local biodiversity!

So my impression of my first HOWL? We had a mix of both sillyness and solemness, leaving everyone feeling full, just like the moon!

A big, round moon in the background, with the HOWL organisers.