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Malaysia: Fascinating (and cute) mammals, beautiful birds.


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TonyQ

It was interesting to compare to the White-thighed Leaf Monkey that we saw in Fraser's Hill. The baby that monkey was carrying was the same colour as the adult, and so well camouflaged, wheras this Dusky Leaf Monkey baby really contrasts with the adult, and is very visible.

1882665813_DuskyLeafMonkeya-4.jpg.981399c5a20d786e38af2095f44c8214.jpg

 

1535466559_DuskyLeafMonkeya-5.jpg.b38533eaf037fe64bee3c9cff28f70d8.jpg

 

1742101516_DuskyLeafMonkeya-6.jpg.04cfa2681a674ff24962725c0f829783.jpg

Holding tight

It was also fascinating to watch them explore and develop their skills

1500637681_DuskyLeafMonkeya-9.jpg.531b1b87ea3ecdfa07e6bf84c487e396.jpg

 

906938970_DuskyLeafMonkeya-10.jpg.5ea4135874d25ae64e5018b7dedeb73b.jpg

 

38261361_DuskyLeafMonkeya-11.jpg.0d50f1ec51b7bfa23f3cc6800ce5c117.jpg

 

So it was a real joy to see them - interesting to watch their behaviour but also just gorgeous.

 

 

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Malaysia: Fascinating (and cute) mammals, beautiful birds.   The prospect of fascinating mammals and colourful beautiful birds was very tempting. A cultural mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian

Thank you @monalisa I agree about the toupee!   Fraser's Hill is situated about 65 miles (100 km) from Kuala Lumpur. At its highest points, the altitude is around 1400m, making it much coole

We stopped at a local café for a cup of coffee and a snack, and as we then continued we gained height Peregrine   And stopped near a large lake. Barn Swallow

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Zim Girl

Those little orange babies are very, very cute indeed!

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pedro maia

It looks like Langkawi was much more rewarding than Taman Negara and those orange baby monkeys are definitely very cute, waht a treat!!

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The langur babies are adorable, and you got great views. We saw them in Thailand, but from really far away. 

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TonyQ

@Zim Girl @xelas @pedro maia @xyz99  thank you

 

Birding with Wendy

 

We had booked a bird guide for one of mornings on Langkawi. We consulted with @Kitsafari and decided to use the same guide that she had used – and it turned out to be a very good choice.

 

Wendy

https://www.wendynatureguide.com

wendynatureguide@gmail.com

 

Wendy picked us up from the hotel at 7.30 (so we had time for an excellent breakfast) and then took us out for a lovely morning. A number of the guides in Malaysia keep in touch with each other so she had already heard a little bit about us from Weng (our Fraser’s Hill Guide)

Wendy doesn’t use bait or playback to attract birds.

2127965397_GreatSlatyWoodpecer-1.jpg.a720ae6461931f0469be74ae2663c14a.jpg

Great Slaty Woodpecker - Just outside the hotel entrance – there were actually 5 of them on the tree.

 

242644298_Brown-wingedKingfisher-1.jpg.fc72e31c8b60365dae220b591d75d0fa.jpg

Brown-winged Kingfisher

 

This is a site that attracts a number of tourists for boat trips – but we were much earlier than those so it was very quiet. We were able to watch this beautiful bird for quite a while, and get a bit closer. The only other sounds were a beautiful female voice singing Islamic devotional songs (Actual or recorded I do not know!). Very peaceful, very enjoyable.

1345126077_Brown-wingedKingfisher-2.jpg.ad6ca3c006e3ee27a1755d5d2223e964.jpg

 

562543289_CommonSandpiper-1.jpg.3e0fa26672303d597ed57de3802b5ba5.jpg

Common Sandpiper

1109853682_BrahminyKite-2.jpg.ba5b21f476df7902ebbaefd32b2e1c9e.jpg

Brahminy Kite

1198511644_LittleEgret-1.jpg.5895e2b231c1175f79309b4e71e598e8.jpg

Little Egret

Edited by TonyQ
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TonyQ

We went to special site to see this bird – it is quite rare and difficult to see.

1248916735_Black-cappedKingfisher-1.jpg.5384d39f82c6b0e0025df759c946bc0f.jpg

Black-capped Kingfisher

114215241_Black-cappedKingfisher-2.jpg.116acbb98eb5bbbe66718d04206d7200.jpg

 

1500183095_White-belliedSeaEagle-1.jpg.d1e923a3ae134c7bbb8907f07784f69a.jpg

White-bellied Sea Eagle

592374025_White-belliedSeaEagle-2.jpg.8dc356ecf4f383d4ac2fb1496dd6e356.jpg

 

 

1720557752_AshyDrongo-1.jpg.20b7f1d5eddb2cbb46620cb4038866bd.jpg

Ashy Drongo

428423306_Red-wattledLapwing-1.jpg.d2a6a9567cb62f03d9e9ec37680bad62.jpg

Red-wattled Lapwing

1781411093_PaddyfieldPipit-1.jpg.75ed52ae27110226d24890d9daf43fd1.jpg

Paddyfield Pipit – Pipits are often very difficult to distinguish but this is the only type on Langkawi!

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TonyQ

We went higher into the mountains to see some different species

988485748_CrestedGoshawk-1.jpg.740d5eecf9339887388d239435110d97.jpg

Crested Goshawk

1531836799_Chestnut-headedBee-eater-1.jpg.e446c15192e9e1c4835c3688c2003558.jpg

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

1582973228_GreatHornbill-1.jpg.c3914b6fbc7b3871b0fa5b33b34b9145.jpg

Great Hornbill

1980740640_Orange-belliedFlowerpecker-2.jpg.fe6129e1270611313440002677ef88e5.jpg

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

 

And then down to lower levels as we returned towards the hotel

1368653489_Brown-backedNeedletail-1.jpg.ff3862ae4b832c0b8af2e14310b24aa7.jpg

Brown-backed Needletail

1805320480_Brown-backedNeedletail-2.jpg.f71e51fcd8ebf9006265b28dd397c8de.jpg

Brown-backed Needletail

1718906104_OrientalDollarbird-1.jpg.9e4fc510840faeb56fc22ede23def9f6.jpg

Oriental Dollarbird

 

We had a really good morning with Wendy. She knows the island well and is an excellent bird guid. She is also good fun to be with. I recommend her if you are looking for a guide on Langkawi.

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TonyQ

Back to the hotel for a nice lunch overlooking the sea, and another interesting mammal in the grounds of the hotel

1984059921_MTRSundaSquirrel-2.jpg.21912fa4d73070b752fffe870c45f1e9.jpg

 

Sunda (Slender) Squirrel (Sundasciurus tenuis)

 

"The slender squirrel (Sundasciurus tenuis) is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is arboreal and found in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The body is brown on the upper parts and light grey on the underparts. The body measures about 13–16 cm, with a slightly shorter slender tail. It feeds on soft bark, fruits and insects"

 

166320065_MTRSundaSquirrel-1.jpg.c9a1abd6f5649c2e94cbb309dba826a4.jpg

 

2138878525_MTRSundaSquirrel-3.jpg.c1d704e19844203c8bd388cd16a9fd67.jpg

 

And a Monitor Lizard crossing a path

12661426_MTRMonitor-2.jpg.d4ef4ce820554cf2a59e77b59e685610.jpg

 

Edited by TonyQ
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offshorebirder

Some striking birds in your latest installment - thanks @TonyQ.

 

The Red-wattled Lapwing particularly captivated me.  

 

Very charming photos of the Dusky Leaf Monkeys.  

 

And the Oriental Pied Hornbill and Black Giant Squirrel are choice!

 

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Kitsafari

you have awesome shots of the adorable dusky leaf monkeys and their gorgeous babies!

and birding from your balcony - wow,  it looks like staying in a rainforest view room is better for birding than a seaview one. 

 

Really jealous you got to see the slaty woodpeckers and the two kingfishers which eluded us. 

 

But I'm waiting (impatiently!) to see your brilliant shots of the resort's most famous residents. :D

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TonyQ

@offshorebirder thank you

@Kitsafari thank you - we really enjoyed having a Rainforest Room. We thought there were good sea views from a number of public parts of the hotes so didn't miss them!. Any way onto the famous residents......

 

Firstly a few more birds around the hotel

 

A pre-breakfast walk along the beach produced

1329948817_PacificReefHeron-2.jpg.b6d2cb88b925403dde831eb16b986516.jpg

Pacific Reef Heron

661987433_PacificReefHeron-1.jpg.9a69c6a9c2d5f7b6eacdfd638717b1f4.jpg

Also having breakfast

  90816232_MTRMonitor-3.jpg.10d72d14d43f2bf3214f01595cac6125.jpg

Another Monitor Lizard

1213192402_GreaterRaquet-tailedDrongo-2.jpg.cd10f494a4c031a24409e96beed57256.jpg

Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo

311697414_GermainsSwiftlet-1.jpg.1d831248b7c38b58afc09ffd72ad3e7f.jpg

Germain's Swiftlet

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TonyQ

One of the main reasons we came to stay at The Andaman was to try to see Colugo.

@Whyone?and @Kitsafari had excellent views of these creatures – so we were very optimistic.

 

We didn’t see any on our first afternoon – so started to worry a bit. However, the staff at the hotel were really helpful. The first person we asked was at reception. Rather than just telling us where we might see one, she took us quite a distance to a place quite close to our room. She was very surprised that there was no sign of one on “its usual tree”. Cologu rest in trees during the day.

 

Later we asked a naturalist that was working at a pool where the hotel was establishing a coral nursery. Again, rather than telling us, she walked along with us to show one on a tree alongside a path. The staff were really pleased that we were interested and seemed genuinely keen for us to enjoy our stay.

Colugo-1.jpg.3483ffa866207f25a3e2c08bdefde532.jpg

Showing the claws used to hang onto the trees

1225314423_MTRColugoO-1.jpg.efb605736fcd85c0d066a1879c4c93d4.jpg

These are not much above eye level- they ignore people wandering past

 

 Sunda colugo, aka Malayan colugo (Galeopterus variegatus). Sometimes they are called Flying Lemurs – but they are not Lemurs. Latest research suggest they are closely related to primates

https://www.livescience.com/55720-gliding-mammals-are-primate-sisters.html

 

All of their research pointed to the same conclusion: that colugos were a sister group to primates.

 

Later we went back to the place the first member of staff showed us

Colugo-4.jpg.1fd2b08b33c5f3e532940e52175fbe83.jpg

Ferns growing from the side of a tree - we checked this a few time and did find....Colugo-3.jpg.8172b5a0cb70eae48f17833cccf7649a.jpg

Just visible

Colugo-5.jpg.97b91d8981bb85d695a5b3887e5d4d80.jpg

Showing a little pink ear!

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TonyQ

One evening we went on a night walk with a guide-and it was really interesting.

Bat-1.jpg.4d75f4b991751c1e4fd2bf1683a16d96.jpg

A bat

 

We got to see some Colugo by torchlight

Colugo-11.jpg.9ed651b1101afe70315c8adab62d6f59.jpg

and also  excitingly to see them fly (actually glide)

They climb up tree trunks and then launch themselves towards another tree. After one attempt I gave up trying to photograph them and just concentrated on watching them. There were a lot of them about near the Japanese Restaurant.

 

Here is a video from Youtube which shows them flying (not from me!)

 

Video of flying - you can see the skin going between the front and back legs, and also to the tail

 

Edited by TonyQ
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TonyQ

Near a parking area at the entrance of the hotel we saw another Colugo.

Colugo-6.jpg.64aa787358a8630d9cf4d830bee3e34e.jpg

 

We started taking some photos when the man who helps with parking came over and told us to come to another position to see that there was also a baby (actually if you look at the left side of the above picture you can just see a little nose sticking out - but we didn't notice at the time)

Colugo-8.jpg.7788bad1f012d4606ca94c5f1c502346.jpg

 

Colugo-7.jpg.90d8b25d57f494358f8f4ababa6e311d.jpg

I think a baby Colugo is very cute indeed!

Colugo-9.jpg.f25bb4d26c9bd9d0c052c7a544a9eba0.jpg

 

Colugo-10.jpg.64cdd132b540a8dd33fc7f700f81886f.jpg

The baby has worked its way up a bit and is now poking its head out at the top

 

So we really enjoyed our stay on Langkawi. Some good birding and some great sightings of mammals. It is hard to imagine a better place to view Colugo.

 

The Andaman is a very good hotel. They even serve draught Tiger Beer – which was very good. Excellent breakfast and very good other meals. We ate at their Malaysian restaurant (Tepian Laut). Very helpful staff, well run. We had a really good three days.

 

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Atdahl

Great stuff Tony!  Isn't the colugo fascinating to watch glide?  Seeing them closeup in the daytime is really special and you got a baby to boot.  Very nice.

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Kitsafari

Wow TonyQ such awesome shots of the colugo - well worth waiting for! Ours were so poor. I totally agree with you - colugo babies are very cute with their huge eyes. Love that 3rd shot in post 75 with the baby's eyes so clear and reflective. 

 

and Herman and I were very very jealous of your sighting of the black pacific reef heron, and it looked like it was quite accommodating as well. sigh, your photos make us very homesick for Andaman and Langkawi. 

 

 

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I've never heard of colugos...they are so cute, and the baby adorable. Thanks for sharing these amazing experiences and photos. Maybe, hopefully, some day we'll get to that part of the world...

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Zim Girl

Lovely pictures of the Colugo and baby - what a great sighting!

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michael-ibk

Very enjoyable Tony!  Awesome Colugo pics, and of course I love the bird pictures. But the baby Monkey is the most special, one of the cutest sequences I've ever seen on ST.

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TonyQ

@Atdahl @Kitsafari @xyz99 @Zim Girl thank you

@michael-ibk thank you - praise indeed on the cute factor!

 

Penang

 

Penang (4 nights)

From Langkawi it is a short flight to Penang. The state of Penang consists of an island (connected by bridges to) and an area of the mainland. We were staying on the island in an area called Georgetown. Much of the island is very modern and built up, but there are some interesting old buildings still remaining. We stayed at

 

https://www.eohotels.com/

 

It has a Heritage Wing (more expensive) and the Victory Annex which is more modern, and this is where we stayed. We had a really nice room with a balcony overlooking the sea. It was a very good hotel.

 

 

One of the reasons we wanted to visit Penang was because of the fine range of different foods that is available there, and the hotel was well positioned to take advantage of this.

 

We hired a guide for a birding morning.

Choy Wai Mun

 

https://penangbirder.blogspot.com/p/birding-around.html

 

 

He picked us up from the hotel after an early breakfast and drove us to the mainland. Some of the sites we visited were in Mainland Penang, and some were in in Mainland Kedah states, but I don’t know when we crossed from one to the other! It was interesting driving through some of the towns and villages to reach the sites.

 

Our first stop was a site where Choy Wai Mun thought we would see the Mangrove Pitta

(he did put out some mealworms at this site)

 

909114806_MangroveBlueFlycatcher-2.jpg.3f5243f80ee38dfb436724414356af84.jpg

Mangrove Blue Flycatcher

1961645970_MangrovePitta-1.jpg.12422da0d58a0d04ee899da8ecd027d8.jpg

Mangrove Pitta

710011691_MangrovePitta-3.jpg.dc72759aa4325e3d005e64c224710723.jpg

The first time we have seen a Pitta I think - so an exciting sighting for us

1449112356_ForestWagtail-1.jpg.9f148960f3adaf9bd3e61d9d3992e629.jpg

Forest Wagtail interesting bird, never sits still!

1697482482_AbbotsBabbler-2.jpg.7fd74fa2e70a55ae133dd1ebb3c12019.jpg

Abbot's Babbler

1160844961_White-breastedWaterhen-1.jpg.be302b1a09dd281af01dafca87ef7d56.jpg

White-breasted Waterhen

1879849142_White-breastedWaterhen-2.jpg.24d772f0df7b02259d968d22db2f2f00.jpg

 

 

 

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TonyQ

We moved on to agricultural land near to and in between villages

1849273705_OrientalDollarbird-2.jpg.9c3d83014782ad861b928cb5780a2ed0.jpg

Oriental Dollarbird

1741157414_BandedWoodpecker-1.jpg.e742a7c851fba0e996fb48ad46f40758.jpg

Banded Woodpecker

629941884_IntermediateEgret-1.jpg.c475ef5f6821f69028aee9d0592f1c33.jpg

Intermediate Egret

1292126233_White-throatedKingfisher-1.jpg.6fea6dd13dd305b5d13fe778cdeeb360.jpg

White-throated Kingfisher

490056584_ChinesePondHeron-2.jpg.5d418b8c49a8ce353c5e245edc16838c.jpg

Chinese Pond Heron -there are 3 types of Pond Heron (which our guide says are indistinguishable at this time of year). This is the most likely!

647527880_Olive--wingedBulbul-1.jpg.1ef5839cc108b83d8778fbad248c0687.jpg

Olive--winged Bulbul

768612211_MTRPlantainSquirrel-3.jpg.0edd444da9e823b26ca6f13280c42857.jpg

Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus)

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TonyQ

761525569_CollaredKingfisher-2.jpg.52f5ab6d9fa45266eb7128349b6778c0.jpg

Collared Kingfisher

894162345_CollaredKingfisher-3.jpg.8f6f7bc8a2b589f0407e290b6ffef4ff.jpg

 

1004636286_BlackKite-1.jpg.2abee064dc55ba305e8fc57e8e92963f.jpg

Black Kite (there were 15-20 of these in the trees)

1401340458_SpottedWoodOwl-1.jpg.f310fe45ba5644d84ef74e9a2a445288.jpg

Spotted Wood Owl - always nice to see an Owl of any sort - and this was a very handsome one

556551089_Blue-tailedBee-eater-3.jpg.9b681d4c6f9773c3dcdc4362f401c982.jpg

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

2061750165_AsianOpenbill-1.jpg.65976e18a873489e78c28bcaaa1fa88a.jpg

Asian Openbill these are relatively recent arrivals in Malaysia, though common in other parts of Asia.

 

 

Choy Wai Mun was an excellent guide and we really enjoyed our time with him. We recommend him.

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TonyQ

Botanical Gardens

One morning we visited the Botanical Gardens. Birding wasn’t quite as good as we hoped, but it was a very interesting visit. Lots of local people were taking exercise, including many in large outdoor group classes.

1641810223_Pink-neckedGreenPigeon-3.jpg.070cc76ae87893eff67e95e577a99f65.jpg

Pink-necked Green Pigeon

326607899_BrownShrike-3.jpg.a2433acaeed33e62ec2cf86b3b3705ab.jpg

Brown Shrike

771953845_CrestedMyna-1.jpg.079831d107baff56f485b08cb3ebf4f9.jpg

Crested Myna

127451597_CommonIora-2.jpg.bae4209f6e52675d3645d02071a50a7d.jpg

Common Iora

754023202_CommonIora-3.jpg.bb2f32d4b8f121a4c5cf4dda2a747a4a.jpg

 

 

I mentioned earlier that the variety of food in Penang was an attraction for us. The breakfast at the E&O was excellent with a good variety of Malaysian, Indian and western dishes available.

 

For other meals we ate out in Georgetown, and the food included Chinese, South Indian Thali, other Indian food, Armenian Food, Nyona Food (a mixture of Malay and Chinese flavours) and of course Malay food. Almost all of it was excellent.

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TonyQ

Kek Lok Si Temple

One morning we visited the Kek Lok Si Temple on a hill on the outskirts of Georgetown. This is a fascinating Chinese Buddhist Temple, easily reached by a Grab Taxi.

It has beautiful Prayer Halls, statues and gardens.

Temple-1.jpg.30865056e8a36a647e0d4eaa36cbd8c3.jpg

Temple-2.jpg.98f796df94b5b091128b185d518bbe54.jpg

 

1171248710_Templea-1.jpg.094c654a4a088d6cc1c686e01b1533da.jpg

 

1005790667_Templea-2.jpg.a1ab4b9d9e965b69734f0a888db7b281.jpg

 

There were also some beautiful birds that were quite comfortable around people.

633540699_Chestnut-headedBee-eater-2.jpg.de81bb0876b64d09f8ec0e811a485ef0.jpg

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

1011959166_Chestnut-headedBee-eater-3.jpg.ad252fa0b2f7cc57d4420d8795a5c6b1.jpg

 

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