First Time Seeing A Malaysian Murmur – Ranau
On the night that we arrived in Ranau, we were shocked to find a huge number of small birds standing on the telephone lines. Whilst it isn’t a large town, Ranau is still a busy Malaysian town, and these swallows had decided to make this particular intersection of lines their home – as evidenced by the large amount of guano that lay directly under the lines.
Returning from Poring, we popped back to Huda Inn, hung up our swimming gear, and prepared to head back out to catch the sunset. After trying our best to capture the spectacular cloud formations that were arranged around Mt Kinabalu – and largely failing due to the abundance of poles, wires and advertising signs – we turned around to discover that the sky had suddenly got very, very dark behind us.
A storm was coming, and at the intersection of phone lines where the swallows from the night before had come home to roost, we found that there were an astonishing number of them flying around – hundreds, or more likely, thousands of them were heaving around the sky. Combined with the dark clouds and occasional flashes of lightning in the distance, the effect was truly breathtaking.
After getting dinner, we found our way to a place on the edge of town which offered a decent view of the valley below. We could see beyond the valley and occasional flashes of lightning. We spent some time trying to capture this – although our location ended up not being the best. Our attempts were cut short, however, after Laura emitted a disturbed sound and ran off. Looking down into the space she’d just vacated, I saw a black, shiny worm like creature amongst the leaf litter. On closer inspection it turned out to be a giant millipede – roughly 20cm in length – that had crawled over Laura’s largely bare foot.
I took a couple of pictures, embracing the strange fact that after spending several days and nights in and around the rainforest, a couple of our most dramatic experiences had taken place wandering around a small town in the mountains.