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


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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.






Holding tight

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







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



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Those little orange babies are very, very cute indeed!

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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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@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 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.


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



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.




Common Sandpiper


Brahminy Kite


Little Egret

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


Black-capped Kingfisher




White-bellied Sea Eagle





Ashy Drongo


Red-wattled Lapwing


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

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We went higher into the mountains to see some different species


Crested Goshawk


Chestnut-headed Bee-eater


Great Hornbill


Orange-bellied Flowerpecker


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


Brown-backed Needletail


Brown-backed Needletail


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



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"






And a Monitor Lizard crossing a path



Edited by TonyQ
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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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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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@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


Pacific Reef Heron


Also having breakfast


Another Monitor Lizard


Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo


Germain's Swiftlet

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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.


Showing the claws used to hang onto the trees


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



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


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

Just visible


Showing a little pink ear!

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


A bat


We got to see some Colugo by torchlight


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



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)




I think a baby Colugo is very cute indeed!




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

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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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@Atdahl @Kitsafari @xyz99 @Zim Girl thank you

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




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




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





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)



Mangrove Blue Flycatcher


Mangrove Pitta


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


Forest Wagtail interesting bird, never sits still!


Abbot's Babbler


White-breasted Waterhen





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


Oriental Dollarbird


Banded Woodpecker


Intermediate Egret


White-throated Kingfisher


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!


Olive--winged Bulbul


Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus)

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Collared Kingfisher




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


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


Blue-tailed Bee-eater


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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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.


Pink-necked Green Pigeon


Brown Shrike


Crested Myna


Common Iora




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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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.








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


Chestnut-headed Bee-eater



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