Wednesday 12 December 2018

My Mudflat Story: A Giant Cockle and A Wedding Ring

Once upon a time, years ago, a lovely couple came and took me out on a kayaking excursion in the mangrove. To respect  this couple's privacy, I now name them as Mr & Mrs Romanian.

This post is dedicated to this lovely couple because without them I would not be out there kayaking and would not had such experience in the swamp that turned the impossible to the possible. 

Here's the story:
A journey by boat to our kayak put-in point was a bit bumpy with some swells. During our journey, we were rewarded with the incredible landscape of 490-370  million years old karstic limestone of Setul formation that formed the Eastern rim of Langkawi. 
Langkawi's uniqueness: The Karst and Mangroves

While I was occupied with spotting for Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus and the White Bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster, Mr Romanian was occupied with his camera clicking away.

Loads of trash welcomed us on a secluded beach as we prepared ourselves for the kayaking through a cave tunnel to get to a salt water lake. The tide was reasonably high enough for us to play around in between the Rhizophora trees with our kayaks. We saw a couple of mudskippers,  tree climbing crabs and lots of mullets. 

We headed out to the sea after that and kayaked along the coastline into the higher density of the mangroves. After some time exploring in there, we met up with our boatman at the edge of the swamp.

I instructed the couple to pull their kayak alongside with the boat so that they could stand up and climb over. My kayak was next to them to help stabilizing their kayak while Mrs Romanian climbed over onto the boat. Seconds after Mrs Romanian was on the boat, I saw something small and shiny passed me, knocked on the starboard side of my kayak and bounced off  ...pluurrrp.. into the water. It was too fast for me to catch it.

My first thought was, "A loose screw!".  I first looked around my kayak. Nope. My kayak ain't got screws. I looked around the boat and then at Mr Romanian. He was frantically searching for something. "Looking for something?" I asked. He replied, "My wedding ring..."

"Uh..oh" I said to myself. He asked me to check around my kayak. I dare not tell him that something went into the water and so I pretended to search around my kayak. Alas, I told him that I saw the ring went into the water and it was hard for him to believe my statement. He stared at me for awhile.

He had his large swimming goggles with him and went into the mangroves water to search for the ring. The water visibility was near zero and it was impossible for him to look for anything. The boatman and I told him to be careful on placing his footsteps because we didn't want him to step on the ring pushing it deeper into the mud. 

I was sitting on my kayak looking at him searching for his wedding ring and thinking to myself, "This is impossible". And then I decided to do the impossible by joining him into the swampy water. It was only waist deep and I could stretched my hands to the mud feeling for anything. I was worried by doing that could worsen the search. 

Mr Romanian was searching the area where I pointed the ring has dropped. I suggested that the current may had pushed the ring further away. But he was very convinced that the ring cannot be pushed much because it is heavy. I later learnt that the ring was made of platinum but I have no idea how heavy a platinum ring is.

After fifteen minutes in the water, Mr Romanian decided to call off the search and surrendered to the impossible. We climbed up to the boat and headed out to the sea. 

I watched how Mr Romanian who was smiling from ear to ear at the beginning of the excursion and now it was from jaw to jaw. While his wife was consoling him, the boatman and I were silently sympathising the couple.

Suddenly, the invisible light bulb above my head lit up! 

I knew the tide was going out that time and that area will be dry in the next three to four hours. I rechecked the tide table on the time of the lowest tide and quickly discussed with my boatman. So a plan was developed. I presented our plan to the couple and without hesitation, Mr Romanian liked it and he seemed very determined. There is still hope. Yes!

The lowest tide on that evening was a quarter to five. We set out at three in the afternoon and it was just three of us without Mrs Romanian. This time the sea got rougher and our ride was bumpier. 

As we got there, the boat could not go right into the spot where the ring has dropped because the tide had gone down a lot. With our double kayak, Mr Romanian and myself paddled on below knee deep water into the shallowest  stream-like channel. I told myself not to have any expectation and just enjoy the moment in the mud.

It was amazing to watch the mudflat. Blue-spotted mudskippers were everywhere! The crabs scattered away as we were approaching the spot. "Uh...urgh ... hmmm" as our feet sank into the soft soggy mud. Mr Romanian is a huge 6 footer and he sank in at thigh-deep mud. I am a much shorter Asian person and so, I sank into the mud up till my waist. We scanned the area very slowly by sweeping the top layer feeling for any hard metal object before taking another step. I had to crawl out of the mud in order to take another step. As I was doing so, I was apologising to the numbers of small tiny shrimps, crustaceans and other zooplankton that we stepped and crawled on. I felt ssooooo guilty.

During the search, it was also an opportunity for me to discover the mangrove fauna. Besides the shrimps, fiddler crabs and mudskippers, there were blood cockles too! The blood cockles here were almost the size of my palm!

Blood cockle or what we call them as "Kerang" in Malay is an edible marine bivalve mollusc. There are many ways to cook them. The simplest way is a quick cook in the hot water and can be eaten on its own or stir fry them with noodles. The small sized Kerang is a must ingredient for our delicious Malaysian hawker dish known as "Char Koay Teow" (Fried Flat Noodles)
Penang Char Koay Teow... Yum!
My boatman joined us into the mangroves by leaving his boat outside. But he was sitting on the Rhizophora tree roots watching us because he was wearing a white T-shirt.  He was giving us tips and suggestions on what else we can do as if he is our supervisor.

Sand flies were everywhere biting us and we were scratching crazily on our arms and thighs. Those huge biting flies were around too and had started to annoy Mr Romanian. He was wearing only his swimming trunk and I had my long sleeved rash guard and shorts. Almost forty five minutes later and no sign of his wedding ring except for those huge gigantic blood cockles. Those irritating flies were too much for Mr Romanian that he decided to call off the operation.  But I felt it was quite a waste to give up now when we had came all the way in and the tide was still low. Luckily, my boatman supported my thoughts and he encouraged us to keep looking. 

Photograph time while we took a five minute break. While Mr Romanian was resting, I crawled a few meters searching at the tiny mud drain where the water was running out. And suddenly, something shiny and white was staring at me. It was just sitting next to the mud drain. I went over to touch it and it was hard. Metal! I picked it up and asked Mr Romanian if this metal belongs to him. He took it from me to check and then he said calmly, "All of us should go out for dinner to celebrate". Found it!!! The ring drifted at least five meters away from where it dived into the water. 

I was leaping in joy and of course I couldn't leap up because my legs were stuck in the mud. My boatman was clapping and I was shouting in joy. I don't know but it seemed that I was more in the ecstasy of  joy than Mr Romanian. Maybe he has yet to recover from his shock.

As we paddled our kayak out to the sea with our hands on very shallow water, I was still feeling guilty about those sacrificed shrimps and small juvenile crabs. Oh well, there will be thousands to millions more of those but only one platinum wedding ring... just a thought to console myself.

Mr Romanian was back to smiling from ear to ear and our mission accomplished. Am I starting to believe that miracles do exist? Now back to my blood cockle... hee..hee... my precious.

Ever since this incident, I have to remind myself to remind my guests to temporarily remove their wedding rings before kayaking. It is very rare to be as lucky as Mr Romanian.

More than eight years have passed and this experience will remain as my best moment being a nature guide. I am still alive to tell this story and now I am sharing this with you. It is a long post, I know and thank you for reading this.

Friday 30 November 2018


Have you ever experienced this? Just when you decided not to take your camera out for the day, something elusive like this one here appeared right in front of your eyes.
This poor quality picture of a male Banded Kingfisher was taken in October 2010 with my Canon Powershot camera, not today..
My aim for this morning was to focus on my walk up the 4,287 steps on Gunung Raya and in wanting to reach the top on time, I decided not to take my camera along. And at the same time I was hoping that nothing special would come along...but that didn't help... Aaarrrrgggghhhh......

On my first 5-minute of the walk, the first birdie greeted me in the morning with a sweet whistling call of a female Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae. This small flycatcher does not usually perch for long but she did, for 5 minutes. I could have.... Aaarrrrgggghhhh!

"Whoooppp...whoooppp... whooooppp..." the loud helicopter-like sound made by the flapping wings of hornbills. A flock of Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus!! Both males and females! It was alright that I didn't have my camera. They were flying above the trees canopy and I saw them though the gaps with my binoculars. One of them perched on a leafless branch for a short while. Then I heard a call of a Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela and saw a quick glance of that raptor. It seemed to be annoying those hornbills.

While ascending up that steep stairs, I heard the call of another elusive bird, Orange Breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios. I imitated its call... but it flew further away...

Not along after, a whitish butterfly with some yellow patches near its abdomen was fluttering in front of me. I was watching it till it landed on a vine. Then it started to open its wings slowly, then closing it slowly, opened again very slowly and repeated the actions many times for five minutes. As if it was saying this to me, "See my beautiful wings... and you don't have your camera with you... neh, neh, neh, neh, neh..." Aaarrrrgggghhhh!

After a good 2-hour workout, Phew!!! up on the top of the hill. I thought I heard a Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis nearby. And I was right, I startled that hornbill with my presence and it flew above me showing its bright yellow bars under its wings. 

It was hot and sunny when I got up there. After I had a quick snack, the mist came in quickly. It cooled the area down and I was reluctant to descend. Such a nice temperature on a hot dry season in Langkawi now. I sat on a rock and savoured a 20 minute power nap amidst the cool mist. Not far away on the trees behind me was a group of Long Tailed Macaques Macaca fascicularis feeding.

Time was up and I had to descend. After twenty minutes on those steps again, shower came!! Yeeehoooo!! It was strange to have rain in this time of the year. 

About midway down, there was a bit of disturbance at the canopy layer and a bird shrieked. I caught a glimpse of it and followed it. Then it perched. It has a longish tail and I quickly took out my binoculars from my day pack. OMG!! Orange Breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios. Yeah! Got it finally! It perched for less than 5 minutes and I could have ... Aaarrrrgggghhhh! And then it flew away.

"Thonk, thonk..." The call of a Dusky Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus obscurus above the last 550 steps of the stairs. I looked up attempting to spot them. Suddenly a bird flew in front of me and perched on a liana about five meters away. Through my naked eyes, I saw a longish bill and I didn't want to believe what I saw. Again, I quickly took out my binoculars to confirm my curiosity, yes indeed that this bird was a male Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella ! This kingfisher is  elusive and it is uncommon bird to sight. This male kingfisher looked up at the monkeys crossing from tree to tree and he didn't seem to be bothered at all. I was drooling over him through my binoculars and at some point, I caught him closing his eyes and he dozed off. He was there for fifteen minutes. And then I thought, "A good fifteen minutes and just five meters away, I could have...." Aaarrrrgggghhhh! 

And so, this was one of those days when you asked, "Where is my camera when I needed it?" Aaarrrrgggghhhh!

About 100 steps to the recreational park, two Greater Racket-Tailed Drongos Dicrurus paradiseus came along to say, "Bye bye" by swaying their elongated tails.

Oh well, I must admit that I had a fantastic day out there and the elusive creatures that revealed themselves were the greatest treat for the day. I was also smiling from ear to ear along with my Aaarrrrgggghhhh!

Anyone here have similar  Aaarrrrgggghhhh!  experience? 

Note: This is one of my old stories back in 2011, I like to share again :)

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Langkawi Birdwatching with Kit Boey and Herman

From our neighbouring country, Kit Boey and her husband, Herman did two sessions of birdwatching tours with me back in the late May 2018. It was a pleasant surprise to know that Kit Boey also enjoys writing trip report or blogs about her field trips. Her wonderfully written report on those two sessions brings back exciting memories of the Great Hornbills roosting, how we were chased out of the mountain by the torrential rain, being eaten alive by those vicious mosquitoes while tracking the Blue-Winged Pitta and finding that elusive Mangrove Pitta for them while we were sheltering in the car from the rain.

Kit Boey has given me the green light to share her trip report and as well as her Blue-Winged Pitta image. My Blue-Winged Pitta shots were terrible!

Click below for Kit Boey's stories on her Langkawi trip with her superb bird photos:

Kit Boey's video on the dramatic display of our Great Hornbills
Kit Boey and Herman still smiling in the humidity of this scrub with the vicious mosquitoes
A curious Blue-Winged Pitta  Photo credit: Kit Boey
Towards the end of the second session, their Ms Brown-Winged Kingfisher remained out of sight. I felt the tours were incomplete without our Ms Brown-Winged. Nevertheless, Kit Boey and Herman kindly presented me their Asean Waterbirds Field Guide before we bid goodbye. Thank you so much for this little gift. Let's hope that Ms Brown-Winged will magically appear on your next return.  

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Hooded Pitta Visited Langkawi

Being an island detached from the Peninsula, Langkawi currently have two species of Pitta belonging to Pittidae and can be seen especially on their breeding season. These two species are the Blue-Winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis and Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha. The first one can be both a migrant breeder and resident. While the latter is the island's resident bird.  Click here for my story on Blue-Winged Pitta's newly fledged.

There is another species of Pitta that have yet to be properly recorded or photographed which is the Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida. I have yet to come across any documentation of its confirmed sighting on Langkawi. There were a couple of sources that I have received claiming on the sighting and hearing the call of Hooded Pitta but these have not been confirmed or properly recorded. Hooded Pitta is like the Blue-Winged Pitta, which is both resident and migrant breeder.

Earlier this year, an occupant of a residence at Kedawang area, Ms Neoh send me this image taken from a hard copy photograph found in a file. 
Langkawi birdwatching bird guide
Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida - I want this pitta!!
Upon receiving this image, I thought it was a joke and at the same time, I was stupefied especially when this source came from a non-birder. After Ms Neoh explained how this bird was photographed then only I am convinced with the visitation of this pitta. Though Ms Neoh is not a birder, she was interested to know the species of bird and she got a bird book too! A general nature lover, Ms Neoh often videoed and photographed some of the spiders around the property and shared them with me. 

This pitta caught the attention of the owner of this property back in 2011 while they were having a drink at sundown. Madeleine managed to photograph before this pitta took off. Pittas are usually skittish especially if they have not been tamed through feeding. Some areas on the mainland, the Blue-winged Pittas are often baited for the bird photography tours. From the look of this picture, this pitta looks lost and unfazed with the presence of the people nearby. Could it have flown in and hit the glass window without causing much damage to the bird? According to Ms Neoh, it flew away after that. Meaning, it must have survived. 

As at now, this sighting is considered as confirmed and vagrant as per my record. I will be keeping a lookout for this pitta and will be my lifer soon.

I sincerely thank Ms Neoh for being interested and sharing this image with me for Langkawi's record.

1. Yeap, CA (2005), Report on Birds of Langkawi Archipelago. Malayan Nature Journal 2005, 57(1), 124
2. Robson, C (2011), A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. UK: New Holland

Monday 24 September 2018

Disposable Plastic Ponchos

Disposable plastic ponchos are great! They seem weightless, compact, easy to slip into the pocket of a bag and most of all, they are so cheap! It is the most ideal rain protection item to travel with. If you have forgotten to bring them with you from your home country, not to worry as they can be easily purchased from most of the shops here in Langkawi. 
Disposable plastic ponchos
Once used, these disposable plastic ponchos can be easily dumped into the trash bin. Why bother carrying a wet plastic poncho back into your hotel room, right? And so, where do they go from there? The landfill, obviously! What about those that didn't end up in the landfill?

These disposable plastic ponchos are mostly used during the rainy season. This post is to highlight the usage of these plastic ponchos on tours such as mangrove boat cruises, island hopping or rainforest walk in Langkawi and to encourage visitors and locals here to reduce the usage. Quite often when it pours, some visitors expect ponchos to be given to them which is entirely understandable as it is not comfortable to remain on the boat tour in a drenched condition. Before I proceed further, please don't get me wrong here. I am not cursing and going against these disposable plastic ponchos. No doubt that they can be evil to the environment if they are not disposed wisely. When it comes to emergency, these disposable stuffs will come in really handy. Being drenched in the wind on a rainy day in Langkawi could stand a chance of mild hypothermia. And so having some form of poncho is essential.
This fun video was taken when I was onboard Langkawi Dolphin Research boat last year with awesome skipper, Eddie. We were hit by heavy rain and wind at sea. Look at all of them huddling in cold and especially Jol Ern (in yellow reusable rain jacket). When the rain comes, it can come down hard on our sunny Langkawi! Having a poncho at that time was helpful!

Even though disposable plastic ponchos are not entirely bad, they can also create an impact to the environment especially to a small island like Langkawi. When they ended up in the landfill, they will be buried together with tonnes of other trash. And sadly, some will end up in the mangroves or even at sea because the users simply let them fly into the air and not pick them up after.
An attractive yellow plastic poncho wrapped around the roots of a Rhizophora tree in the mangrove.  Plastics trapped on the roots are not easily pluck off as they get wrapped a few rounds the root as the current turns them over and over. One can see them a lot in Kilim mangroves area.

Another one close by. Mangroves are fantastic ecosystem that trap rubbish brought in by the current from the sea.
kayaking tour
Plastic ponchos together with other trash collected while kayaking with my guest, Paul Bell from the UK
So far as I came to know that there is one sundry shop in Kuah town who is willing to collect these disposable plastic ponchos for charity purposes. Unfortunately, most of these plastic ponchos ended up in the landfill for life!

So, the question is, should operators continue to hand these out to their customers? I am also part of the guilt for issuing these ponchos. Unwillingly, I will issue them out upon request only after I have told them to use these ponchos when it is necessary and explain the reason why it is best to avoid. I used to collect them after they have used and would reuse them as my car seat liner.
Posted from my social media earlier
Ever since I have not been freelancing for some of the tour operators, I hardly issue these disposable plastic ponchos these days. Yay! 

While the operators will continue to issue them, the shops will continue to sell them, how can one traveller help to reduce the consumption and keeping the impact low?

It is always nice to see some of my guests travelled with their own reusable rain jacket or poncho. Even though Langkawi may have more sunny days than rainy days, the rain can come unexpectedly even during the dry season. Reusable rain jackets can be purchased from the big supermarkets in town. The cost varies from RM15-RM30.

Lazy or not too bothered to carry home after using them? You can always leave them to any locals who need them. I am sure some of the hotel gardeners would be happy to have them.

I do hope this message can get across to all visitors planning their holidays to Langkawi. And locals as well. Let's help keep Langkawi sustainable and clean.

Saturday 8 September 2018

Which Cyrtodactylus?

My day today was filled with looking at genus Cyrtodactylus from the Gekkonidae family. On our fun night out for critter spotting with Kim and Mark Pennell, we stumbled upon two beautiful geckos that I have yet to identify. Flipping through pages of Indraneil's Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia (2010 publication), Beautiful Bent-Toed Gecko Cyrtodactylus pulchellus looks kinda fit my images at a glance. 
Langkawi nature gecko
Cyrtodactylus macrotuberculatus - maybe?
A month ago, I saw a display of an image of a gecko which looks similar to my gecko photo and it was labelled as Cyrtodactylus langkawiensis. I was excited! Wow! Did we actually see an endemic species of gecko? 

Wait a minute! Just to be sure, my first step was to check my only resource book and this langkawiensis is not listed. Next step was to ask Ms Google and I came upon images that led to a flickr album and to this website:

Then I realise that they look the same but something tells me that they have differences. To my untrained eyes looking at geckos, the best thing to do is to ask. I contacted someone who is into Herpetology and he has kind to give me the possible species name which is  macrotuberculatus with its common name given as Gunung Raya Bent-Toed Gecko (Grismer & Ahmad, 2008). However, that book didn't have any illustration. But he said that it is only a possibility though it stands a high chance of a macrotuberculatus rather than the langkawiensis based on the dorsal. I was very much hoping it was the latter.  
Langkawi nature gecko
Cyrtodactylus macrotuberculatus - Not sure!
It is not easy to identify a species from the photos. Geckos are more challenging than birds! Actually, waders are also challenging. After reading the descriptions of these two species of geckos I have found through online searches, the differences can only be seen by picking it up and doing detailed examination of its length, colouration of the dorsum, granular scales, size of tubercles, amount of ventral scales and more confusing stuffs! Its habitat is also taken into account too. As the saying goes, "Same same but different".

The conclusion is that I am convinced that the gecko we saw and photographed that night was not a Cyrtodactylus langkawiensis, which is endemic to Langkawi. And neither is a Cyrtodactylus pulchellus. According to the Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia (Das, I. 2010), Cyrtodactylus macrotuberculatus is endemic to the west coast of northern Peninsular Malaysia (Pulau Langkawi), however, recent findings of this species apparently have been recorded on the mainland too.

Thank you to the Herp guy for his time!

Mark and Kim Pennell, my return guests since 2015
1. Das, I. (2010). A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK), England. pp. 369
2. Grismer & Ahmad, 2008, Cyrtodactylus macrotuberculatus, Retrieved from

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Migration Check 2018-2019: Red-Necked Stint

I felt like someone out there has robbed me the hours that I should have for one day. It doesn't feel like twenty four hours in a day anymore. The last birds migration for Langkawi ended towards the end of April 2018, felt like days ago. Time rocketed too quickly and it is scary. I have yet to complete the summary for the last migration and the new season has started. Just barely three months have past, our migrants, a Barn Swallow and a Grey Wagtail were spotted on 15th July 2018 on my birdwatching tour. Then later towards the third week of July was a Common Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper in the first week of August. Early arrival?

Our rainy season is now and it didn't feel like our ordinary rainy season. The weather for the past three weeks was sunny, hot, humid and occasionally hazy. Thankful in a way, otherwise our nature tours will be cancelled. After three weeks of hot and humid, a storm came with a big gust on Sunday 19th August 2018 afternoon. This had helped to cool the temperature down. And as well as an opportunity to check out any birds on migration may be possible blown off course during the storm out at sea.

I headed out to my favourite swampy field and reeds to look for any migrants which have checked in. This vast area is a reclaimed land near the airport runway and I would say it is the final habitat in Langkawi for waterbirds. A shelter and feeding ground and as well as hunting ground for the poachers. 

It was back to hot and humid yesterday and a short walkabout had two Brown-Winged Kingfishers calling from a distance. 
Can you spot it?
Birdwatching Langkawi
Yeah! It finally revealed!

One was seen after coming out from its hideout and the other was calling somewhere. This would be my first time encountering two Brown-Winged Kingfishers in this area at the same time. Good news?
Birds of Langkawi
A Little Heron attempting to camouflage itself by posing like a stick!
As I walked further towards the sea, I startled a huge raptor. I only managed to capture record shots of it flying away. It came back and settled amongst the trees. 
Oriental Honey Buzzard took off
Flew into the trees to take shelter
An early record of this Oriental Honey Buzzard has arrived. According to Lim Aun Tiah, our senior birdwatcher with vast knowledge and experience on Malaysian raptors, it is very early for this Oriental Honey Buzzard to fly in at this time of the year. It is a good record for Langkawi indeed. Did this buzzard got blown off course during the storm?

I arrived at the patch of swampland and expected my Lesser Sand Plovers to be there. They were there! Not many though, about eight of them scattered around the swampy patch. Do bear in mind that Langkawi is extremely poor with waders life as compared to the mainland.
Plovers and sandpipers parading
Bird watching Langkawi
Lesser Sand-Plover
Lesser Sand-Plover

Other waders were Little Ringed Plovers, Wood Sandpipers and Common Sandpipers scattered around the area too.
Little Ringed-Plover
Wood Sandpiper

Suddenly, something big flew in. Guess who has checked in?
Grey Heron in flight
It was close to 10am and already starting to get very hot. Twenty minutes after the Grey Heron has flew past above me, I spotted our local raptor, White-Bellied Sea-Eagle drying its wings. 
White-Bellied Sea-Eagle sunning itself after yesterday's heavy rain
While on the last scan of the area, I spotted something else that looked like new to this neighbourhood. From where I was standing while looking at it with my binoculars, I couldn't work out what it was. It was walking in and out of the grass where a Wood Sandpiper was. I gave it a couple of record shots. And then after, I lost it!

A heavily  cropped photo showed a stint-like. I am not familiar with stints and the only stint I have seen here would be the Long-Toed Stint. As this stint was near to a Wood Sandpiper and just to be sure that I am not photographing another Wood Sandpiper, I asked for help from other birders on the mainland who have done a lot more wadering than me. Dave Bakewell, our wader sifu, responded and threw me couple of questions leaving me to figure out. What did I come out with? A Red-Necked Stint! Woohoo!! My lifer and possibly a new record for Langkawi! Thank you for the id confirmation, Dave. Check out Dave's blogs here and then you will know why he is a wader sifu to me.   
Langkawi Bird guide
A Red-Necked Stint, possibly a new record for Langkawi. 
I probably lost that stint after this big raptor came flying in and distracted me. was just another White-Bellied Sea-Eagle - with a fish in its talons!

White-Bellied Sea-Eagle juvenile with a fish in its talons.

It turned around!

This juvenile White-Bellied Sea-Eagle did a circle above me before it decided to fly past over me.

Looked like it was about to dive!
Then it was pursued by the other White-Bellied Sea-Eagle which was sunning itself earlier. I was ecstatic as my first thought was, it is a courtship? Then I realised it was going for the fish instead. The attacker looked like it is turning to the sub-adult plumage.

Langkawi Birdwatching

The juvenile managed to evade the attacker
This juvenile did not give up easily

Still chasing...
What a stunning performance by these Sea-Eagles before I left the swampy area. And like magic, the Red-Necked Stint disappeared. 
Weather on that morning
A fruitful morning indeed and here is my list from that area:
1. Red-Wattled Lapwing  Vanellus indicus
2. Yellow-Vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus goiavier
3. Lesser-Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna javanica
4. Black-Naped Oriole  Oriolus chinensis
5. Paddyfield Pipit  Anthus rufulus
6. Little Heron  Butorides striata
7. Brown-Winged Kingfisher  Pelargopsis amauroptera
8. Collared Kingfisher  Todiramphus chloris
9. White-Throated Kingfisher  Halcyon smyrnensis
10. White-Bellied Sea-Eagle  Haliaeetus leucogaster
11. Oriental Honey Buzzard  Pernis sp.
12. Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola
13. Lesser Sand-Plover  Charadrius mongolus
14. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
15. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 
16. White-Headed Munia  Lonchura maja
17. Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis
18. Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
19. Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica
20. Spotted Dove  Spilopelia chinensis
21. Pied Fantail  Rhipidura javanica
22. Brahminy Kite  Haliastur indus
23. Common Myna  Acridotheres tristis
24. Greater Coucal  Centropus sinensis
25. Grey-Headed Swamphen  Porphyrio poliocephalus
26. Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea 
27. Red-Necked Stint  Calidris ruficollis
28. Snipe sp  Gallinago sp.

Looking forward to more interesting migrants this season!