#112 - Langkawi, Malaysia - Saturday, 19 January 2019

I am behind a couple of days, but the past few days of been mostly holiday relaxation. Pool, beach, pool, walks into Oriental Village, pool, beach, pool. Thursday evening dinner en masse at the hotel’s Oriental Pearl restaurant, last night our entire group - which now numbers sixteen after another couple’s arrival yesterday - dinner again at the Beach Brassiere where we have breakfast.

This morning five of us, Mark and daughter Elli, his brother-in-law Alan and his daughter Emily, and one tattooed American naturalist are going up to the mangroves at the northwest of this island to look for Flying Foxes and one of my chief targets, the Mangrove Viper (Trimeresurus purpeomaculatus). We will be guided by Wendy Chin who we have spent time with over the past handful of years. Her operation is appropriately dubbed Langkawi Nature Guide and Alan, Emily and Mark’s sister Chris joined her two nights ago for some “owling”. They saw both types of Civet, giant red flying squirrels, nightjar and two species of owl among other things like Greater and Wreathed Hornbills. When I was here two years ago we took the longboat trip with Wendy into the mangroves and I was able to photograph one specimen of the purplish-brown Mangrove Viper. She messaged Mark yesterday afternoon after seeing them and we booked an outing for this morning.

Speaking of hornbills, there are three species here. The two that Alan & Co. saw the other night up the mountain (Gunung Raya) with Wendy are less often observed, whereas the Oriemtal Pied Hornbill is most abundant and often seen around our resort. It is the smallest of the three species, but is still one helluva large bird. Each evening just before dusk they often can be found near the hotel lobby and as I walked to dinner last night I saw a dozen or more.

Although the past two days have been pretty chill, I did have both a morning and then an after dinner walk on little jungle trail that is at the western edge of the resort. There I am looking for the Beautiful Viper (Trimeresurus venustus). Yesterday Alan and Mark and I also walked up to Seven Wells waterfall area, and found a handful of tarantula burrows but were unable to observe any and did not attempt to extract. I’ll go back at night so I might photograph without disturbing them.

Yesterday I was able to get good images of both species of monkey found on Langkawi — the Dusky or Spectacled Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus) and the Long-tailed or Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularius). I’ll try for the Oriental Pied Hornbill this evening — last night I just filmed with iPhone for Instagram story. I’m also hoping to see otters on the beach before long and who knows what we will see today?