Friday, September 28, 2012

Spidey Snail

It was on that evening on the road by the edge of a rainforest, I was trying my luck to look for the Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) to photograph. Somehow, something caught my attention. It was just a small whitish leaf-like about two centimeters suspending in the air and it was moving a little. Oh well... just a leaf, probably. Or maybe it could be a spider??? Let's check it out.

As I got closer, I was very amazed to see this.

Click on for a closer look.

This is not the best shot... but can you see the strand of mucus?

What I was seeing for my first time was this snail climbing downwards by using its own mucus which looks like a thread made by a spider. As I was attempting to take a closer shot of this delicate creature, it somehow landed on my camera lens. And the strand of mucus stopped at about less than 1 meter above the ground. Gee... I think I "did" it again...sorry snail for ruining your journey. Anyway, I gave it a free ride down by placing it on the ground. I hope it is happy on that spot.

Hey JK of SiputKuning Journal, this post is specially for you! Also require your expertise to tell us more about this wonderful snail. Cheers, mate!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Where's My "Real Rain"?

We are now in the month of September. And yes, it is still the raining season. Supposedly. And yet, where is the real rain??? 

What is the "real rain" to me? A "real rain" in Langkawi to me means a minimum of three days of non-stop rain. It will start with a heavy downpour and then slow down to drizzle for awhile and then heavy downpour again. This cycle will go on till night and then the next day and the next day... and another day till the rain stops completely. With such rainfall for such duration, there will be flash floods on some areas. This is normal for the island every year.

Looking back a year ago, especially towards the end of August 2011, Langkawi has five days of continuous rain. Yes, it was non-stop! The glorious rain also turned Temurun into glorious waterfall. I was there last year during the five days rain and check out these pictures below.

A year later and twelve days after 25th August 2011, I was at Temurun Waterfall. Click below for more...

Such mild rain was not enough to create a full blast for this waterfall

August this year was hot and humid. There was a big rain with strong wind on August 24th 2012 and it lasted for one day only. And then the weather turned hot again the next day until August 27th afternoon when the heavy rain came. But it was only for that evening. The next day, the rain came in the morning until late afternoon. And then hot hot hot!! I recorded a temperature of 34deg Celsius on September 3rd 2012.

While out at sea on the boat, a sudden change from a calm cloudy morning to rainy afternoon on September 5th and 6th 2012!! I took the opportunity to capture the moments of stunning storm clouds.

It was kind of non-stop and it was a bit generous by giving short breaks in between. Two days of rain... and only two days!! Two days of mild rain and the rain clouds disappeared rapidly. And so it was back to normal clear blue skies with some white clouds today... boring..

Here I am pondering if the global climate change has anything to do such weather patterns. I am anticipating for the "real rain" for a normal rainy season. 

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Aaarrrrgggghhhh!

A rather late and quiet morning on a secluded road which lies in the heart of the island's lowland rainforest. I know I was a bit late because the surrounding of the forest was so still and silent. It was hot and sunny as well. 

My aim is to catch a glimpse of any migratory flycatchers.

Started to show himself was a cute little Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) hovering over the flowers of Senduduk plant (Melastoma malabathricum).

As if the Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker was the appetizer for this hour of birdwatching, the second appetizer dish came in was a flock of Pin-Striped Tit Babblers (Macronus gularis)  babbling away. They were very generous this time to allow me to observe their streaks on their lower throats and breasts.

A few meters ahead, a long black body descended smoothly on some branches of a tree. A handsome Black Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor) was trying hard to hide itself but I spotted it first. A few steps after, a male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja). The late and quiet morning seems to get a bit more exciting.

On the middle of the road, something familiar was walking with its bum swaying left and right. When it stops, the tail goes up and down. A   Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)! It has been aeon since I last saw this wagging birdie. It seems to be leading me. And then it joined two other Forest Wagtails ahead. Indeed is a pleasure to be greeted by a Forest Wagtail.

Reaching the dead end and turning around was the Greater Racquet-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) waiting for me. Red-Eyed Bulbuls (Pycnonotus brunneus) joined in the fun as well. 

A familiar soft tune came in. Aha! A Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae) .. I only saw the female. Though my aim was to look for migratory flycatchers but this local one is satisfying too.

To finish off with the dessert...please click below
Suddenly, a high pitch whistling call pierced through the rainforest and I definitely recognised that call. I mimic that call and waited. Less than a minute later, I saw something dashed very quickly like the speed of a lightning into a clump of leaves. I waited for any signs of movement. One minute, two minutes and up to five minutes past. Still no signs of any movement. I mimic the call again. Seconds later, he came out and perched on a liana!! Yeahh!

The moment I have been waiting for!

And then I remembered having to decide which camera to take with me before I left home. Darn! Why didn't I take my Canon Powershot SX1IS?  Having no other choices, I have to use my Canon Powershot S100 with only 5x optical zoom to capture this bird. He perched there for a good ten minutes. Just when I thought I have learned my previous lesson of not bringing my camera, here's another Aaarrrrgggghhhh!   psst.. to TC, now I recall your advise and should have listened to my instinct... Aaarrrrgggghhhh!

Here is this elusive bird:

I was attempting to take the picture of this kingfisher through my pair of binoculars but it was so difficult to keep my hands steady. By then I was lying on the middle of the road while attempting to do so. My attention got diverted by some noise and I saw a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) gliding above me. And something dashed very quickly and when I looked at the liana, the Banded Kingfisher has flown away.

A very good ten minutes and I was all alone by myself indulging this moment. Oh! I couldn't ask for more. Although I didn't catch any glimpse of a migratory flycatcher but seeing a Banded Kingfisher certainly made my day!

For that one hour on that stretch of road, I have my nine-course meal for brunch:
1. Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma)
2. Pin-Striped Tit Babblers (Macronus gularis)
3. Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)
4. Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)
5. Greater Racquet-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
6. Red-Eyed Bulbuls (Pycnonotus brunneus)
7. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)
8. Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella)
9. Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

Heading towards my car, that same call came from within the forest and as if it was saying "See you again" ...

Yes Banded, we shall meet again real soon ... "Burp!"

1. A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia by Craig Robson

About Senduduk plant

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