Monday 15 August 2016

Excursion Report: A Packed Week of Birdwatching and Kayaking

Tour bookings have picked up for me after a very slow period of May, June and July. Even though my pocket was not happy, I must say that I am  quite thankful for that very slow period which has allowed me to have more time to explore, solo birdwatching, take moment of shots, work on my blogs and and plenty of time with my furkid for long walks. I finally got my business cards designed and printed! Woohoo! The designing part took me awhile as I had so many of my photos to pick!
Birds of Langkawi kayaking langkawi langkawi birds
In the first ten days of August, there have been kayaking in the mangrove for me, birdwatching tours and of course, fantastic moments with my guests and my camera lens! I have kayaked close to a total distance of 20km in the mangroves for that entire week and the joy of going against the current! And yet, my two-pack is still not close to transforming into a six-pack! HaHaHa...

Many thanks to the kind recommendation of Dr Louisa Ponnapalam and Vivian Kuit of Marecet for referring their contacts to me as my kayaking guests. 

It is an honour having two biologists on a different day doing the mangrove tour with me on a very low impact to its surrounding. We didn't use any boats at all. They preferred my recommendation of an early start to avoid the busy time in the mangroves. The only challenge they must face is the kayaking back to the jetty against the strong current. As the first week was in a spring tide, they have been advised on the strong current and they accepted the challenge. Most of the mangrove boat tours start from 10am onwards. 

Aniko and David were my first guests doing the kayaking and that day was on the new moon! 

Aniko giving hope to our mangrove by giving some hope to this propagule
"Treasures" collected from the mangroves with some help from Aniko/David. This is my way of paying rent for using the mangroves.
While Moon and Hwa came three days later and they were lucky that the current was more kind to us. And so was the kind weather! 
We were racing with the mighty rain cloud and nature wins, of course!
We pushed off with the kayaks as early as the tide can bring us in. The temperature was cool and the mud flat was exposed allowing us to admire the mudflat creatures. We had to kayak for about 1.5 hours before entering the narrow tributaries. By the time we got to the section of the narrow bits, we had enough water to explore further. 

The challenging part was after the fun exploring in the narrow tributaries, that was when Aniko/David and Moon/Hwa have no choice but to paddle back to the jetty against the current. The hot sun was with Aniko/David throughout the journey while Moon/Hwa were fortunate to receive showers of blessing on our way back. This was lucky for Moon/Hwa as the final lap of kayaking was not so tiring due to the cool and wet weather. I love it!
Risking my camera getting wet by snapping this "action" moment in the showers of blessing
The others were more of relaxing nature tours. Birdwatching, a boat cruise and relaxing kayaking. 

Welcoming  Sophie and Carole back to Langkawi! 
Both of them looking clean and fresh before the swamp tour!
Both of them had me for two days. Sophie and Carole are my return guests and a year ago, they did two days of nature tours with me. Both of them are birdwatchers, photographers and nature enthusiasts. For that week, I planned for them a one full day of birdwatching combined with a mangrove boat cruise and another day of kayaking to the salt water lake and mangroves.
Sophie and I with the mangrove background
A candid shot by Sophie. Geezz...why did I look so serious there? Birding is a serious business.

Sophie can't seem to stop smiling...I wonder why?

...and Sophie was still smiling after twenty minutes! OMG! 
Completely awesome and exciting to have these two ladies back on the island to explore more!
This was Carole's secret wishlist ... Buffaloes in the wallow. This is why I so love Langkawi's scene, her lay back "kampung-style"
To sum up my packed week, these are my nature kodak-moments for the first two weeks of August:

Magical mangroves of Langkawi
Brown-Winged Kingfisher
What a poser! Thank you :)
Brown-Winged Kingfisher
A happy Brown-Winged Kingfisher with its breakfast

This crab seems to be waving..."buzz off flies!"
A large fiddler crab Uca genus
A fiddler crab closing its hole to the burrow at rising tide. We were fortunate to capture this moment (with Moon/Hwa) as we had more time on our kayaks next to the mudflat. I managed to video the closing of the fiddler's hole and I need more time to do the editing. 
An exhausting week and yet a very satisfying one indeed! Thank you all :)

Additional note of appreciation: Sophie Wellstood has kindly given me a review. Sophie's review can be viewed here