Night Herons in Penang

Subject: Night Herons in Penang
From: "Chris Hankel" <>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 16:15:48 +0930
I've just returned from 2 weeks in Penang. A friend who's lived there for 4 
years took 
me to the most amazing heronry that she and her Hash runner friends had come 
across the weekend before.
In  a small belt of Avicenna trees between a very busy area of Georgetown and 
very old Kaoy Clan or Weld Quay marine settlement on the eastern shoreline is a 
breeding colony of Night Herons.  The wooden houses of the Quay are built above 
sea floor and at low tide sewage drains from them. At high tide the sea rises 
below the 
houses, which are all connected by boardwalks.
The smell of the sewage waterway from the settlement and the droppings from the 
colony is overwhelming but it's an amazing sight to see this very active 
breeding colony 
of these beautiful birds. It's also very easy to get close to them to take 
I've been unable to find out exactly what sort of Night Heron they are, but the 
one in Malaysia seems to be the Black-capped. 
The other pleasure in the birding category I enjoyed was the view from my rooom 
their apartment which is on the 25th floor and looked out on to a jungle 
covered hill. 
Apart from the monkeys, Brahminy Kites and White-Bellied Sea-eagles seem to 
made the hill their home and they could be seen flying across the hill and out 
over the 
nearby beach on fishing sorties. They were very vocal too.
To top that off, we spent 3 days on Langkawi and went on a boat trip  to an 
area in 
mangroves where there's a huge colony of what they call Brown Eagles but we 
Brahminy Kites. The boat trip was great value as it also included a visit to 
bat caves 
and a fish farm and the opportunity to have the best lunch at Ramad's Hole in 
the Wall 
Cafe at the fish farm. Not to mention the fabulous scenery.
Two Pied Horn-bills in a tree just by the dining area of the resort entertained 
us during 
breakfast and a Storkbilled Kingfisher  was waiting for a feed from the lagoon.
Wish I'd had Malaysian Bird Field guide though as I saw lots of other birds 
identity I could only guess at.
It's nice to be home though,  breathing clear fresh air after the pollution in 

Chris Hankel
Administative Assistant
Academic and Student Administration
Faculty of Social Sciences
Flinders University
South Australia
Telephone (+61 8) 8201 2771
Facsimile (+61 8) 8201 5034

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