Nature

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Asian water monitor lizards in Bangkok

I have plenty of monitor lizards, next to my home in Phuket, but I have never seen Asian water monitor lizards here. Bangkok's Lumpini park offered a perfect place to see these majastetic animals. 

The lizards roam freely in the park. Most of the time they spend at the various lakes and rivers, but occationally they climb up to to the ground.

Asian water monitor lizard swimming in Lumpini park in Bangkok

Asian water monitors can look cute too.

Asian water monitor lizard at Lumpini park, Bangkok Thailand

Asian water monitor lizard at Bangkok Thailand

Asian water monitor lizard

Unfortunately there are some idiots, who think pulling a lizard's tail is a form of having fun.

Man pulling Asian water monitor lizard from it's tail

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Baby of Yellowhead

I mentioned earlier when a regular visitor to my home, The Yellowhead monitor lizard came to visit once again. Now it seems that Yellowhead has a baby she likes to bring along. These are the first pictures of the baby lizard. It's about 70cm in length. 

This must be offspring  of what did happen in April 2014 when the Yellowhad was mating on a tree

I had a very close encounter with Yellowhead earlier today. She was trying to find something to eat underneath a fallen tree. I was merely 50 cm away from her, until she noticed me and run away.. whole 2 meters. Then she just stared at me for couple of minutes until we both went our ways. Her skin was pealing out. 

Yellowhead monitor lizard baby

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Birds in Phuket

When I first moved from Finland to Asia, one thing I noticed was the lack of the bird calls. This happened when I was living in Singapore as well as I moved to Bangkok an later to Phuket. For some reason the birds in Asia are much more quiet than in for example Finland. 

Well, that was until I moved to live in the jungle. Now I can enjoy the bird calls pretty much all the time. There are few small birds, which I have tried to take a photo for months, but have failed to do so. Maybe some day. 

Here is some of the birds, living in Phuket. 

 



 White throated kingfisher in Phuket

 

Asian Egret

Asian egred in Phuket

 

Black baza

Black Baza in Phuket

 

Lovely chicken

Chicken in Phuket

 

They said that one has to touch two wires to get an electric shock. They said so.

 

Oriental Magpie Robin

Oriental Magpie Robin

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Brown hawk owl

One of my neighbors - Brown hawk owl comes to visit his hunting spot almost nightly. 

It's a wild animal, but it's not scared to sit on the tree branch next to my house.

In the evenings I like to sit on my balcony, which is less than 10 meters from the tree. 

I have not seen snakes for an while, maybe this owl is one reason as it likes to eat mice and other little animals which the snakes also like to have for dinner. 

 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Hawk-Owl

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Brown hawk owl

 

Brown hawk owl  in halloween costume

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Butterfly drinking tree sap

 

Butterfly drinking tree sap

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Camouflaged animals

Couple of jungle photos of animal visitors around my home.

 

Green

Camouflaged animals

Brown 

Monitor lizard climbing to a tree

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Cat in a tree

Happiniess is to have two cats, which occationally do funny stuff. This morning, for the second time in a week, I woke up to Snowball calling for help. She had somehow managed to escape outside during the night. Coming back seemed to be the problem. 

Smart kitty as she is, she climbed to a tree and made noises until I woke up. She had no difficulties climb down when I opened the door for her. 

 

Snowball cat in a tree

 

Cat on a tree

Cat on a tree

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Coconut Monkey - video and photos

Monkey dropping and collecting coconuts in Phuket, Thailand

 
This 30 years old makaki has been working together with it's owner for 4 years. It's work is to climb to coconut trees, select riped coconuts and drop those down to be collected by it's keeper.
 
The keeper also shouts advices, which coconuts are ready to be collected. The monkey then spins the coconut until the cord snaps.


Makati Monkey climping to coconut tree Phuket, Thailand
The monkey seemed happy and not abused.
 
 
Monkey up in the coconut tree

Monkey up in the coconut tree
 
Back to home with scooter
Monkey transported on scooter Thailand
 
Tall Palm trees and pretty sky

Tall Palm trees and pretty sky
 

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Common Keelback

Common Keelback or yellow-spotted keelback, Xenochrophis flavipunctatus,is a non-venomous snake, but bites easily if agitated.

This little fellow was about 50cm long, trying to cross the road going over the hills of Phuket.

Common Keelback snake

Yellow-spotted keelback in Thailand

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Common birdwing butterflies mating

Common birdwing butterflies (Troides helena cerberus) mating in Phuket, Thailand

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Common tree frogs

There are my favourite frogs in Thailand. Common tree frogs, which have occupied my WC. At some point I counted 5 different tree frogs staying there. This is a nice symbiosis for both of us. The frogs get a save place to stay and I get a free labour taking care of the mosquitos. 


The most interesting feature of these frogs, is their ability to climb the walls, even glass surface. However I have never seen a frog hanging from the ceiling, the way geckos do. 
 
Common tree frog in Phuket
 
Common tree frog in Phuket
 
Normally these frogs live in trees.
Common tree frog climbing to a tree
 
I'm busy, gotta go. See you later.
Common tree frog jump Thailand

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Copperheaded Racer snake in Thailand

Copperheaded racer snake (Coelognatus radiatus), which is a common sight in Thailand paid a visit this morning. The snake dropped from a tree to front of my home. 



The snake is non venomous, but can bite, if disturbed. 

Who wouldn't love those cute eyes?



The copperheaded racer snake can be quite fearsome when feeling threaded. Here is a video from Thailand Snake http://www.thailandsnakes.com/ how an road rescued snake tries to attack the person who took the video. 


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Dragonflies are pretty

Dragonflies in Phuket

Dragonfly in Phuket

 

Dragonfly in Phuket

Dragonfly in Phuket

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Flappy birds

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Flappy birds

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Golden Tree Snake

Golden Tree Snake is common, mildly venomous snake in Thailand.

On various occasions I have moved these snakes from inside the house to outside, simply by catching it from the tail.



Golden Tree Snake

 

Golden Tree Snake, Thailand

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Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) with it's beautiful tail.

Greater racket-tailed drongo

Greater racket-tailed drongo

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Lizards mating at the top of the tree

Lizard couple climbed to the top of the tree, about 10 meters high, for their mating rituals. (April 28th 2014)

Lizards mating at the top of the tree

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Monitor Lizard vs toad

My home ground is a battlefield every now and then. This time a monitor lizard hunted  a toad for it's lunch. The frog tried to protect itself by bloating it to be too large for the monitor to swallow, but after few minutes the toad had to give up. 

 

Monitor lizard versus a toad

Monitor Lizard eating a toad



A mouthful 

Monitor Lizard eating a toad





Shake, rattle and swallow. It's not easy to swallow a bloated toad, but after an battle it finally happens

Monitor Lizard eating a toad



Mjam. What's for the dinner?

Monitor Lizard eating a toad

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Monkey baby at Khao Rang viewpoint

Mother and baby monkey at Khao Rang viewpoint in Phuket. 

Monkey baby at Khao Rang viewpoint

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Morning monkeys came for breakfast

A group of monkeys is living close to my home. They come to visit me couple of times a week. Sometimes just stairing from the close by tree, sometimes jumping on the roof of my house... and of course sometimes stealing my papayas.

This morning while drinking my morning coffee the group paid an visit once again. I must say I like these fellows. They are curious, a bit cautious but not too much. Generally we seem to have mutual understanding that there is no need to be hostile to each others. 

Today was the first time I the monkeys teeth while one of the monkeys was eating an papaya. See the third picture.

Morning moment

Morning monkeys came for breakfast

 

whaat?

 

One more stolen papaya

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Oriental garden lizard

Oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) is commonly seen in Thailand. These slim body lizards are expert climbers and can be seen both on ground as well as on trees. 

Common garden lizard Thailand

 

This is Oriental garden lizard male, which is ready to mate. It's neck and upper body turn into red when it's in heat.  

Common garden lizard Thailand, Male in heat

This baby lizard was a bit confused in my garden and didn't run away so it was easy to pick up.

Oriental garden lizard juvenale, Thailand, Phuket

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Pitcher plant

Phuket has brilliant amount of different plants and animals within our island.

 

Today I was walking with a friend and I saw a plant, I have never before noticed. I had ridden this road, which is only 100 meters from my home, for quite many times. 

 

The plant was one of the flycatcher family. It catches the flies and other little critters to it's bowl and get extra nutrients by doing that. 



One thing I had never noticed was that the bowl was an extension of the leaf of the plant. 

 

This one is most likely Nepenthes Gracilis

Pitcher plant Nepethens gracilis Thailand

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Sunbirds deciding nest location with mutual agreement

I had a lovely and very close opportunity to watch a Olive-backed sunbird couple while they were deciding their new nest location. The olive backed sunbird, or sometimes called as 'Yellow-bellied sunbird' - Cinnyris jugularishad, couple were flying in front of my house for some time. They were doing short flights from one tree to another, and from branch to another, while looking for perfect location to build a nest. 

I was able to see and photograph, much to my surprise, how they decided together, where they would build their nest.

The selected nest location was just 0.5 meters from my balcony. The very same, where I'm writing this blog.. and the very same, where my cat's like to sleep and watch the surrounding nature. This happened in February 2016. I'm writing this down as I can still remember the events and mainly because today I saw similar sunbird couple trying to find a place for their next nest. 

At the end of the story, the couple build their nest for some days, but stopped building every now and then. Eventually the sunbirds abandoned the pre-nest structure. Possibly because my cats were hanging just half an meter away from the nest. 

 

The female sunbird selects the spot and calls for her partner to check the location

The Female sunbird selects the spot and calls for the male to come to check the location

 

This could be a good spot to make a nest, what do you think?

Sunbirds selecting together where to build nest

 

Yes my darling, I agree, you choose well. This is the spot!

Sunbird couple deciding next location as mutual agreement

 

After some time nest making is in process

Sunbird making nest, flying with nest making material, Phuket, Thailand

 

Sunbird couple nest building continues together

Olive backed sunbird couple making nest together



Olive backed sunbird couple making nest

 

Unfortunately the nest was never completed. This is my last photo of nest making, before the couple decided to move on and build the nest somewhere else. At the time I had to travel aboard and couldn't see what was happening. I was hoping to see a ready nest when I came back, but that wish didn't fulfill. Nature have it's own ways. 

Olive backed sunbird nest making

 

Getting more information about the collective nest location decision

I wanted to know if this behavior of birds deciding together, where the nest should be build, has been documented and photographed. I have no contacts to local Thailand universities, so I contacted my own University of Turku, back in Finland. 

To my great surprise, in a matter of hours I was in contact with three different biology professors, one who was my childhood friend's father. 

Unfortunately they didn't have knowledge about the behavior of tropical birds. 

I'm still hoping to know if this is well known and documented behavior, or if.. if I did managed to witness something a bit more special :) 

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Tiffany and Snowball 2014

My two lovely ladies. Tiffany and Snowball.

Tiffany

 

Snowball

Tiffany and Snowball 2014

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Video: Papaya thief - my neighbour macaque

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Water buffaloes in Phuket

Phuket has a large number of water buffalos, mostly wandering freely in Thalang.



Water buffaloes in Phuket

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Yellowhead lizard came to visit

This Yellowhead  monitor lizard is a regular visitor at my home. It's been coming for visits for months since it was still a baby and much smaller than it is currently.

 

Yellowhead lizard came to visit

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