A small team of 7 shore explorers visit Cyrene Reef this morning.
This is my second time to Cyrene, but it is my first time landing in the dark.
Furthermore the tide was still high (but receding) when we reached Cyrene.
Sun rise at Cyrene reef is always spectacular.
|Sunrise at Cyrene reef|
Today I decided to start from the southern part of the reef, walking eastwards, north then westward, forming the shape of a horseshoe.
It was difficult to shoot when the tide is high but soon after the tide went down and the team was out searching for critters.
My first find was a reef bristleworm (Eurythoe complanata).
Near to the worm, a shy snapping shrimp was hanging out at its entrance only revealing its pincers.
|Red ribbon worm|
|Snail shell stuck onto other materials|
There were many different types of snails found on the reef. There are many snail shells that moved quickly on the sandy reef. These shells are occupied by tiny hermit crabs. The shells with real snails inside moved very slowly or hardly move at all. There will be some suction tension when you try to lift them from the surface.
Let's look at the snails I saw today.
Round periwinkle snail (Echinolittorina vidua)?
|Moon snail opening its operculum|
|Two oval moon snail side by side|
Grey bonnet snail (Phalium glaucum)
In a shallow pool with hole, there were 4 gobies resting outside the hole.
|By the side of the hole|
|Out of the hole for me to take picture.|
|One of the tentacles of the octopus|
|Banded fan worm|
|Silhouette of buildings|
|Sun rise in Cyrene reef|
As usual, I found a number of suspicious moving coral fragments with the unknown crab carrying it. One of the coral fragment was overturned and I stood there looking at the crab out of its "home". After some wait time, the crab came down its "home" and flipped it over. Then it went under the coral fragment to carry it. Such an amazing observation.
|The crab waiting on its overturned "home" to ensure that it is safe to turn it over.|
But I took a shot before my attempt to catch it. I am not sure what fish this is.
|Unknown resting fish|
There were some knobbly sea stars broken arms and new arms are growing. They were the first few knobbly sea stars I encounter today.
|One damaged arm.|
|3 damaged arms.|
In one of the knobbly sea stars which I turned over, its stomach was exposed. Realising that it is being turned over, it quickly retract its stomach back in. It looks it it was in the process of enjoying its meal when I happened to disturb it. Opps.
|Retracting its stomach. The right part is its food?|
|The "food" sinking into the stomach.|
|Medium size knobbly sea star|
|To the right|
|Greenish body with yellow bums|
|Red body with yellow bum|
|3 sea stars|
|Blue dragon nudibranch|
|Brown sea cucumber|
Soon it was time to leave.
As we head back to the landing point, I spotted a big fish swimming in the lagoon and I shouted "Shark!". A black-tipped reef shark swam by and it got everyone excited. Russel commented that he saw 4 sharks while he was exploring the lagoon area.
The weather was really hot today and it depleted my energy very quickly. Many of images shot after sun rise was done rather haphazardly. Looking forward to my next trip to Cyrene!