Who would have imagined that Long-Tailed Macaques eat mud crabs. Not us, until we observed a troop scavenging the mangroves of Kuala Selangor for crabs. Judging from the hand flipping the crabs obviously bite back and the Macaques don’t have it too easy. It’s obviously also a dirty business but these guys make good use of every log and stick to try and stay above mud level. Nevertheless they are quite proficient hunters who enjoy a high success rate.
A young male trying not to get his feet muddy!
Macaques are particularly photogenic. Once they sense that you are not a threat they relax and go about their business without fussing what we are up to, making it relatively easy to get good portrait and family shots.
What was interesting to observe about the crab hunting expedition was that in amongst the squabbling pack of monkeys a Little Heron went about his business spearing mudskippers without worrying what the Macaques were up to. It was if he was completely alone. These birds are extremely shy and difficult to photograph but they are obviously used to having Macaques intrude on their space and are not threatened by them. I suspect the presence of the Macaques chases the mudskippers out into the open, making it easier for the Herons to spear them. Either way I don’t care I got quite a few good shots of them both.
The main objective of the trip to Kuala Selangor was to try and get some Kingfisher shots, but it seems that Kingfishers don’t want to be photographed by me. Every time they see me coming, which is usually long before I see them, they bugger off. However today we did manage some long distance shots of a Collared Kingfisher. The photos are not the best, but here’s one anyway so you can see what these birds look like.
We also spotted a Brown-Capped Woodpecker high up in a tree, again too far away to be of any use. They are small well camoflaged birds that move up the bark at an incredible rate. So, unless we are lucky to get one close by they are also going to be difficult to capture clearly.
Finally, just before leaving the car park on our way home we noticed a Brown Shrike in a tree near where we were parked. Unlike the mangrove birds this little guy was quite happy to sit and pose.
I usually don’t have many positive things to say about Kuala Selangor as we get frustrated by the motorbikes that are always travelling the trails and the general hard work required to get a few photos. But I have to say although the motorcycles were there again today, some credit has to be given to the Malaysian Nature Society and Selangor State Government for their efforts to improve the Nature Reserve. The new walkway out to the edge of the Selangor River estuary is open and provides a very good perspective of the tidal mangrove areas facing the sea.
Similarly the mangrove replanting that has been going on for a few years has been really successful, and the new signs and information boards that have recently been set up are quite informative. As a consequence we learnt that Kuala Selangor is home to a species of tree climbing crabs…unbelievable!
So, if you are looking to experience a mangrove wetland, Kuala Selangor is an easy hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. With the new walkway open its worth a visit.