Thanks for the correction, CHLee. Looks like name "Black-headed" is not always appropriate either. It was a big, lovely Boiga. Do you see many in Penang?
Here is the final installment of my report.
Elsewhere, I was asked about why the Asian butterflies usually land with closed rather than open wings. It does seem that the Asian butterflies tend to keep their wings closed for much of the time. Early morning is the best time to catch them with open wings although some species will do this at other times of the day. Ted took the photo of the Fluffy Tit with open wings in the early afternoon on a grey day. I've seen Fluffy Tits many times but always like the first photo below. When Ted first showed me the pic, I thought at first that he must have found something rare since it looked so different to anything that I knew. I suppose that these tropical butterflies don't need to sun much because it is always hot and humid.
Fluffy Tit (Zeltus etolus)
Here are habitat shots from the Kuala Selangor area. We visited this site for two days and spent most of the time in Taman Alam Reserve. This reserve is a wetland area that also protects mangroves so is home to a whole host of birds/herps that we did not see elsewhere. The reserve has a number of man-made ponds and borders on a mangrove-lined river and coastline. I last visited this area in the late 1998 and was amazed at how much woody growth had invaded the swamp. It now was hard to see many of the waterbirds that were formerly easy to find like Water Cocks, Cinnamon Bitterns, Yellow Bitterns and others. While at Kuala Selangor, we also headed up the coast one afternoon to look for waders and also to visit the rice fields near Sekichan, another good area for birds.
Here are a few habitat shots of Taman Alam.
There was a levy around the ponds and this was good for birding. Unfortunately, the gate at the reserve was locked at night so we could not get in for a night walk. There must have been some herps here around the flooded areas.
1. White-throated Kingfisher are beautiful and common kingfishers. They seem to be at home in the forest as well as near water. This one was hunting in the rice fields.
2. Oriental Pied Hornbill. Hornbills are always one of the avian highlights in Malaysia. This small species is one of the frequently seen. We found this one and its mate around a few trees in the middle of a rice plantation.
Grey Herons were common birds at Taman Alam. These are the equivalent of Great Blue Herons in North America.
Ted and I went night driving on roads through the rice fields. We saw a huge number of frogs but only this since DOR water snake. I am not certain but think that it may be a Puff-faced Water Snake (Homalopsis buccata). I think that I can see faint broad bands on the body. Any ideas?
Water Monitors (Varanus salvator) were abundant at Kuala Selangor. I often saw them swimming in the canals or walking along the levy.
Kuala Selangor has quite a long walkway through the mangroves. In the old days, this was built from wood but the termites enjoyed this and the walkway never lasted long. Now, a concrete walkway has been built. It is a great way to see the mangrove specialists and we found Greater Goldenbacks, Common Goldenbacks, Sunda Woodpeckers, Great Tits, Mangrove Whistlers, Mangrove Blue Flycatchers, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Trillers, Ashy Minivets and others.
The boardwalk was also a good place for Olive Tree Skinks (Dasia olivacea). These were sometimes seen running along the rails of the boardwalk. It turned out that we were not the only ones to notice this ... something else was also watching.
This Mangrove Pit Viper (Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus) had taken up an ambush position just above the rail. Ted spotted it after the other two guys of our group had walked right by the snake. The snake did not move. Ted took photos and found me a couple of hours later just before closing time (7pm). I ran back to the boardwalk and soon found the snake still in the ambush position.
This must be the skink's worst nightmare:
More shots of the viper. It was completely docile until I moved it slightly for better photos. After that, it was agitated and would strike at me often.
I quite like the red eyes of this arboreal viper.
The boardwalk was a good place to see these strange fish that spend much of the time feeding on the muck out of the water.
There are three species of Fiddler Crabs in the reserve according to a sign that we read. One of the species was incredibly coloured. I've never seen a bright blue crab before. They were really colourful.
Long-tailed Macaques were abundant in the reserve. Here are a few shots.
I saw a funny interaction with a group of Silver Leaf Monkeys. They wanted to cross the bridge by travelling along the rail. Unfortunately, there was a problem Long-tailed Macaque also on the rail and it would not move. The Solution was to walk up and then leap over the macaque. Soon, they had all passed it and continued on their way.
Silver Leaf Monkeys were common in the reserve. Their babies have bright orange fur.
1. Jacinthe Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina jacintha)
2, Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei). female.
1. Tawny Coasters (Acraea violae) were common in grassy areas.
2. Tawny Coasters (Acraea violae)
3. Tawny Coasters (Acraea violae)
4. Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina)
1. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
2. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
3. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
4. Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)
5. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
We also visited a mudflat on the coast north of Kuala Selangor. No herps here but it was good for the palearctic waders.
Well, that is all of my photos from this trip. We certainly had a great time and saw so many interesting animals. My friends and I spotted about 300 species of birds and I found nearly 300 of the 1200 species of butterflies. We were all happy with the outcome and enjoyed the trip. Hopefully, I will return again in a year or two.