Jul. 23rd, 2006

gemfyre: (doe a deer)
Note - this entry was written in retrospect, from a bunch of notes I wrote on the day.

Day 5 – Happy Bird Day To You

First activity for the day was a visit to KL Bird Park. On the way Saiboo executed a very fancy manoeuvre where he cut through the carpark underneath the postal building, thus ending us up on the other side of the city without having to battle peak hour traffic. It’s useful to have your own teksiman. :)

The bird park is the largest free flight aviary in the world. Pretty much it’s a lots of mesh slung over a chunk of forest so the birds have plenty of room to fly and go about their business. The meshed parts are in sections and there are smaller aviaries within housing birds that won’t play nice in the main area. Just as we were finishing the first section it began to sprinkle. Mum and Dad, knowing what was coming (the same had happened while they were at a bird park in Singapore) retreated to a shelter while I went the other way to the toilet. Of course while I was indisposed the rain started to bucket down. Lovely tropical rain. I watched two frogs go hopping along the path in the downpour as I stuffed anything non-waterproof in my bag and prepared to make a run for it. Lucky the rain let up slightly so I bolted, but carefully as to not slip on the path. Turns out there was a rather deep puddle at the top of a set of stairs, but I jumped the worst of it and made it back to Mum & Dad and by then the rain was letting up.


Great Hornbill Great Hornbill

One of the species in an aviary of it's own. Alas, I didn't see wild hornbills on this trip. Impressive birds.



We went through the parrot and exotic bird aviaries and the open air waterfall area quickly because we were running out of time. There was an area where they had a variety of birds that you could get your photo taken with. You can choose two birds so I chose the falcon and mum chose a hornbill (I think it may be a wrinkled hornbill) for me to hold as well. The guy handed me the falcon and I was like, “Don’t I have to wear a glove or something!?” It was kinda alarming being a handed a raptor like that. Turns out the claws are filed down so it didn’t shred my arm. I bought a souvenir mug and we got a quick lunch at the restaurant there before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the afternoon’s activities.

Kuala Selangor is at the coast about 1.5 hours from KL. Saiboo initially got lost in the town because new housing developments had gone up since his last visit but eventually we got to Fort Selangor on Bukit Melawati (Bukit means hill, Kuala means estuary), where we had our first encounter with Silver Leaf Monkeys (Silver Langurs). These are a lot gentler than the aggressive macaques, of which there were a few also. The newborn langurs are a bright orange colour and turn dark as they age. Saiboo showed us around the old fort and dad tried (and liked) ginger water (which was kinda like a ginger tea). Then it took a few laps around the one way circuit of Bukit Melawati before finding the turn off for Kuala Selangor Nature Park.


Silver Leaf Monkeys

Mother and newborn. Yes, I guarantee these are both the same species.
Silver Leaf Monkeys



I was in my element here. The staff at the visitors centre knew what they were talking about. Instead of just seeing all birds as “Burungs”, they could tell me what species to look out for and where. It was a bit like the BBO. The park consists of secondary rainforest, a few artificial briny pools, mangrove swamp and mudflats. As we entered the rainforest the mosquitoes descended, the worst mozzies of the entire trip, when I swatted them away I was bleeding. They didn’t like the repellent we quickly slathered ourselves with though.

We had a few hours here and it was later in the day, which made it ideal for birding, unlike everywhere else on the trip. I got about 24 new species here, including 2 woodpeckers! It was great to see mudskippers and fiddler crabs again and I also saw a Smooth Otter and Water Monitor, as well as another family of Silver Leaf Monkeys. I could have adventured around there for a few more hours but unfortunately we had time constraints.

Saiboo took us to a little café for a drink where I tried Chrysanthemum tea and found it to be way too sweet. He then took us to a roadside seafood restaurant. Now THIS was proper Malaysian fare. He had to translate for us and dad ended up with nasi goreng because he doesn’t like seafood. Mum and I shared a bowl of seafood noodle soup stuff (which we didn’t get anywhere near finishing) and a fish we had chosen earlier. It was grilled and served in slightly spicy, sweet sauce and was delicious.

Dinner also became rushed towards the end because we had to get to Kampung Kuantan for the firefly tour. We made it in time and got into our boat. It was getting towards a full moon, which apparently isn’t ideal for viewing fireflies, but it was still beautiful, like someone had strung Christmas lights through the trees.

By the time our last day in KL ended we were buggered. Lucky we had all of the next morning to pack before our flight to Kuching.

More pictures from day 5 can be found here - http://pics.livejournal.com/gemfyre/gallery/0000wfbg
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
Note - this entry was written in retrospect, from a bunch of notes I wrote on the day.

Day 5 – Happy Bird Day To You

First activity for the day was a visit to KL Bird Park. On the way Saiboo executed a very fancy manoeuvre where he cut through the carpark underneath the postal building, thus ending us up on the other side of the city without having to battle peak hour traffic. It’s useful to have your own teksiman. :)

The bird park is the largest free flight aviary in the world. Pretty much it’s a lots of mesh slung over a chunk of forest so the birds have plenty of room to fly and go about their business. The meshed parts are in sections and there are smaller aviaries within housing birds that won’t play nice in the main area. Just as we were finishing the first section it began to sprinkle. Mum and Dad, knowing what was coming (the same had happened while they were at a bird park in Singapore) retreated to a shelter while I went the other way to the toilet. Of course while I was indisposed the rain started to bucket down. Lovely tropical rain. I watched two frogs go hopping along the path in the downpour as I stuffed anything non-waterproof in my bag and prepared to make a run for it. Lucky the rain let up slightly so I bolted, but carefully as to not slip on the path. Turns out there was a rather deep puddle at the top of a set of stairs, but I jumped the worst of it and made it back to Mum & Dad and by then the rain was letting up.


Great Hornbill Great Hornbill

One of the species in an aviary of it's own. Alas, I didn't see wild hornbills on this trip. Impressive birds.



We went through the parrot and exotic bird aviaries and the open air waterfall area quickly because we were running out of time. There was an area where they had a variety of birds that you could get your photo taken with. You can choose two birds so I chose the falcon and mum chose a hornbill (I think it may be a wrinkled hornbill) for me to hold as well. The guy handed me the falcon and I was like, “Don’t I have to wear a glove or something!?” It was kinda alarming being a handed a raptor like that. Turns out the claws are filed down so it didn’t shred my arm. I bought a souvenir mug and we got a quick lunch at the restaurant there before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the afternoon’s activities.

Kuala Selangor is at the coast about 1.5 hours from KL. Saiboo initially got lost in the town because new housing developments had gone up since his last visit but eventually we got to Fort Selangor on Bukit Melawati (Bukit means hill, Kuala means estuary), where we had our first encounter with Silver Leaf Monkeys (Silver Langurs). These are a lot gentler than the aggressive macaques, of which there were a few also. The newborn langurs are a bright orange colour and turn dark as they age. Saiboo showed us around the old fort and dad tried (and liked) ginger water (which was kinda like a ginger tea). Then it took a few laps around the one way circuit of Bukit Melawati before finding the turn off for Kuala Selangor Nature Park.


Silver Leaf Monkeys

Mother and newborn. Yes, I guarantee these are both the same species.
Silver Leaf Monkeys



I was in my element here. The staff at the visitors centre knew what they were talking about. Instead of just seeing all birds as “Burungs”, they could tell me what species to look out for and where. It was a bit like the BBO. The park consists of secondary rainforest, a few artificial briny pools, mangrove swamp and mudflats. As we entered the rainforest the mosquitoes descended, the worst mozzies of the entire trip, when I swatted them away I was bleeding. They didn’t like the repellent we quickly slathered ourselves with though.

We had a few hours here and it was later in the day, which made it ideal for birding, unlike everywhere else on the trip. I got about 24 new species here, including 2 woodpeckers! It was great to see mudskippers and fiddler crabs again and I also saw a Smooth Otter and Water Monitor, as well as another family of Silver Leaf Monkeys. I could have adventured around there for a few more hours but unfortunately we had time constraints.

Saiboo took us to a little café for a drink where I tried Chrysanthemum tea and found it to be way too sweet. He then took us to a roadside seafood restaurant. Now THIS was proper Malaysian fare. He had to translate for us and dad ended up with nasi goreng because he doesn’t like seafood. Mum and I shared a bowl of seafood noodle soup stuff (which we didn’t get anywhere near finishing) and a fish we had chosen earlier. It was grilled and served in slightly spicy, sweet sauce and was delicious.

Dinner also became rushed towards the end because we had to get to Kampung Kuantan for the firefly tour. We made it in time and got into our boat. It was getting towards a full moon, which apparently isn’t ideal for viewing fireflies, but it was still beautiful, like someone had strung Christmas lights through the trees.

By the time our last day in KL ended we were buggered. Lucky we had all of the next morning to pack before our flight to Kuching.

More pictures from day 5 can be found here - http://pics.livejournal.com/gemfyre/gallery/0000wfbg

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