Day 1 - afternoon and evening trips on the river

Trip Start Oct 03, 2009
Trip End Feb 28, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Sunday, December 6, 2009

Once  we had settled down and had afternoon tea we were taken in boats on the Kianbatangan river. Aas we followed the river peering at the banks for widllife us tourists could see nothing. the guides would suddenly turn towards the shore and put the nose of the boat on the muddy bank and point out monkeys in the trees above.These creatures didn't seem to mind us being there too much but after a few minutes they tended to move off. There were long tailed macaques, and probiscis monkeys in the main. The guides were very good in that waited until everyone had all the photos they wanted before moving off. We stopped under one of the trees and there directly above was an black and yellow snake in the branches. It would be here for about a week or 10 days until it had shed its skin.  

There were several birds indcluding pied and black hornbills, and fish eagles. after a couple hours with dusk falling faast we headed back to the camp in time for dinner. We were always given lots of choice and plenty of it. After dinner we were back in the boats for a night trip. Each boat had a guide in the front with a powerful light which he shone in the trees and on the water.Re eye reflections meant snake or crocodile and green, white and so on meant other animals.
His technique was to move the light from here and there quite quicky and if he spotted something he didn't point the light at it but not far away but onluy once in a while to check that the creature was still there. I was surprised to see the numbers of different kingfishers that he spotted. These were on branches and didn't move even when we were in the boat directly beneath them.These had bright red beaks and red chests and blue and green wings. Some were small and others bigger than blackbirds. 

As we headed up river we saw some eyes in the trees but high up. this was a catlike creature which ate fruit and it was amazing to see it climb quickly to get out of rangeof the lights. I think it was called a civet

At one point he suddenly shone the torch in the tree and there was a baby python curled up on a branch. Normally they hunt at night and this one obviously eaten at some point. We pulled up at another tree where there were some monkeys and allof a sudden there was an awful commotion. Monkeys were scampering here and there. One jumped to a dead tree some distance away which broke and both tree and money fell in the water.the are good swimmers so it scampered to safety. We heard some othere fall in the water as well perhaps blinded by the lights. The boats quickly moved away in order not to cause any further distress. 

Afterwards the guide told us that this was probably a group that was not used to people and on our arrival the male gave the alarm call which meant that everyone was to move. That was why they were going in all directions. By the end of all this it was dark and the full moon was rising and se we headed back to the camp. I was in the front of one of the boats just behind the guide who was shining the light ahead. We were travelling very fast and I could not work out how the guy in the back could see where he was going. I was very relieved to see the camp lights.

An early call tomorrow.     

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