Monday, 14 March 2011

Brunei Critters

Whenever I visit a new country (or even go to live in one!) it's often the wildlife that interests me most.  In Canada we would regularly cycle up to the pond to see the beavers swimming around, and never got over the excitement of seeing hummingbirds in our garden.  Seeing a black bear in the wild was also an amazing experience - although I still regret not managing to see a wild moose. 

Here in Brunei there are countless exciting creatures...  many of them living in and around our house!  However, last weekend we spotted a new critter.  We noticed a movement in the undergrowth near the path whilst walking at Tasek Lama, and a closer look revealed this curious chap:


He didn't seem bothered by me creeping ever-closer with my camera so I managed to get some quite detailed shots.


I love the blue flecks on his back, and his amazingly long tail.


We had never seen one of these before - I have no idea what it is...  any suggestions much appreciated!  I couldn't help but wonder if it was some kind of chameleon as it was so well camouflaged amongst the leaves, and it had those incredible 'swivelly' eyes.

Bizarrely enough, the following day - whilst at the Empire Hotel - we spotted a near-identical critter on the rocks by the beach.  Identical apart from the colour (lending weight to my chameleon theory perhaps?)

He had exactly the same loooooong tail:


And the same row of spines down his neck.  He's looking at me wearily and saying 'Bugger off!' here - I think he was getting heartily sick of me crawling across the rocks towards him, forcing him to keep scuttling away.


After our tea we came back out to sit and watch the sunset over the sea and were massively excited to see HUGE turtles swimming just off the coast!   No pictures I'm afraid - they bobbed up and down pretty fast, I'd never have managed to get a photo, and also the light was fading fast - but take it from me, it was a fantastic sight.

3 comments:

Katrin said...

Hi,

got to your blog through another blog and thought I might answer your question about this little lizzard.

The little lizzard is an agamidae.

Here are some more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agamidae


Katrin

Norm said...

Many thanks Katrin! I was wondering how I'd be able to find out what he was.

I'm pleased you found my blog.

Kate

Katrin said...

You are welcome. There are some people (even Bruneians) who think it is an chameleon but fortunately I am married to a biologist I could get some knowledge about the nature here. I am glad I could help you and by the way you took some beautiful picture.

PS: I saw your blog through Boels blog (not sure if you know her).