Short but fruitful birding Sep-Oct 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

This is BC and NG first birding out of Singapore. When BC mentioned that they wanted to get Broadbill, I already have a few spots in my mind. I recommended some birding spots near KL to maximize our time in the field.
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Central Region Birding 16-27 September 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

We start the trip with a morning session at the coastal open field, then a brief stop in Putrajaya Heronry before we break for late lunch. In the afternoon, our plan had postponed due to bad weather. We returned to the hotel for dinner and rest early.

The next day, we returned to the lowland forest of Hulu Langat to get a Rufous-collared Kingfisher but no sign of White-chersed Babbler or Pale Blue Flycatcher or any other usual species. Very unusual ... freaking quiet!!! We exploted a few areas in Hulu Langat but then decided to return to the hotel early due to lack of new birds to add to the trip list and furthermore, many places were crowded, unfortunately....but still a good day.

Woke up early the next day, and drove up to the highland for Mountain Peacock Pheasant and Ferruginous Partridge. Hit the targets plus a few other good ones. We spent the afternoon in a lowland forest at another bird hide where we manage a few bulbul and babbler species. We spent the next morning at this location before resting and birding near the hotel where we were stayed for 2 nights. Brilliant choice! Good opportunities for Udo to get lots of video.

The next destination is Taman Negara, one of the oldest rainforest in the world. But frankly, the weather was not too ideal for us. Nevertheless, we kept our spirit high and tried our best to look for birds to get some video. I would say, one of our best highlight is Large Frogmouth, a family of wildboar and a Muntjac.

After 3 nights in Taman Negara, we went up to the highland to enjoy birding in a much cooler environment. True enough, we enjoyed so much not only the beautifully colored birds but the surrounding. Just the best time to enjoy the birds with less crowd. :D I am very sure Udo enjoy taking video of the trogon, mesia, barbet and so on.

For our last destination, we covered the coastal side of Kuala Selangor. Very quiet in the mangrove reserve but Udo still managed to add some lifers to his bird list. I guessed the highlight from the coast would be Lesser Adjutant!

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Overnight Birding in Fraser's Hill 12-13 September 2018

The trip starts early in the morning from the city centre. We started birding as soon as we arrived at KKB dam, followed by the Gap. Birding resumed in the afternoon after lunch and continued until night time. The next morning, the weather was not ideal for us to watch birds, therefore we decided to look for birds on our way down from Fraser's Hill. A short lunch in KKB and a short birding in the vicinity before we drove back to the city centre.
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Central Region Bird Photography 8-11 Sep 2018

Met Harjeet in Sepang then drove towards the forest of Hulu Langat. We only managed to spent half a day in Hulu Langat due to bad weather condition but still get some of the targets we required. Best bird for the day is Rufous-backed Kingfisher!

The next day, we drove up to the highland and nailed that Ferruginous Partridge and Mountain Peacock Pheasant. Harjeet spotted the Orange-breasted Trogon when we were about to pack our equipment. Very surprised! Next, we went to Fraser's Hill. We spent 2 nights here! Great birding here! What else can I say, just look at the photos below.

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Fraser's Hill 28-30 August 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

Guided 2 Australian birders in Fraser's Hill recently. Both carrying portable photographic gears too. We started the day very early from Sepang with a breakfast at KKB. Along the journey to the highland, we also made several birding stops and only reached the hill station in the afternoon. We had 1 full day in Fraser's Hill on Day 2 and spent another half day (morning) birding along New Road. Although we descended from the hill station after lunch, we only reach Sepang after 6 hours. Weather was pretty descent, but it gets really hot in the afternoon with temperature reaching 35C sometimes. We managed to get most of the birds up there but we missed a few of the common species, very strange. Mountain Scops Owl was easy this time but no sign of Brown Wood Owl and Collared Owlet.

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Central Region Birding 17-25 August 2018

Sunday, August 26, 2018

I have been waiting for this trip to commence ever since it was confirmed with Cindy many months ago. Although I was not expecting so many guests, I though should accept it as a challenge and do my best to fulfill everyone's expectation of a birding trip to Peninsular Malaysia. And it turned out to be a pretty successful trip.

We started the trip with a pre-dawn walk near the hotel for Savannah Nightjar and Large-tailed Nightjar, which were a success just before sunrise. After a breakfast in the hotel, we traveled to the coastal side hoping to catch the endangered Lesser Adjutant. Unfortunately, we were unable to add it onto our list but we managed Yellow-bellied Prinia, Dollarbird, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Goshawk and a few others. Next, we proceed towards our hotel in Kuala Selangor for an afternoon siesta. We resumed birding shortly and added Oriental Pied Hornbill, Ashy Tailorbird, Pygmy Woodpecker, Collared Kingfisher, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Pink-necked Pigeon, Pied Triller, and many more. At night, we went searching for the nocturnal species and added Buffy Fish Owl.

On our 2nd birding day, we birded Kuala Selangor Nature Park. We done pretty well in this area and gotten our main targets Mangrove Whistler, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher and Cinereous Tit. Of course, there were other birds in our morning session here. In the afternoon, we moved on to a more cooling environment for birding - Fraser's Hill!

We spent 3 nights up on this hill station. A truly wonderful experience and temperature for all in this group. We started birding even before sun rises and ended each day with a night session. Let's see, some of the highlights we recorded include (but not limited to) Red-headed Trogon, Malayan Partridge, Malayan Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Large Niltava, Pygmy Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, White-tailed Robin, Pygmy Cupwing, Blyth's Shrike-babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Golden Babbler,  Buff-breasted Babbler, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Blue-eared Barbet, Black-browed Barbet, Fire-tufted Barbet, Common Green Magpie, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Greater Yellownape, Lesser Yellownape, Blue Nuthatch and so much more. The bird waves were really amazing for us too.

Our next destination after Fraser's Hill, is none other than the famous Taman Negara dubbed one of the oldest rainforest in the world. We spent 4 nights here and recorded many good species including the critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill. We walked the trails and go on boat rides throughout the period. Weather could be better, we were struggling at some points during the walks but always rewarded with good birds at the end of the day. Among the highlights during the period are Blue-banded Kingfisher, Banded Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Greeen Broadbill, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Black-and-Red Broadbill, Banded Broadbill, Sunda Scops Owl, Crested Partridge, Malayan Peacock Pheasant, Moustached Babbler, Scaly-crowned Babbler, White-chested Babbler, Abbott's Babbler, Black-capped Babbler, Pin-striped Tit-babbler, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Thick-billed Pigeon and Little Green Pigeon. 

Bird of the trip for me....Large Frogmouth. We tried several nights in Taman Negara and finally got it with a few guests who were willing to wake up early to hunt for it. We made use of the available hours in the morning and rewarded with Malaysian Blue Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Red-throated Sunbird, Spectacled Spiderhunter, Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher, Bronzed Drongo, Straw-headed Bulbul, Wrinkled Hornbill (again!), Rhinoceros Hornbill, Black-naped Monarch, Scarlet-rumped Trogon,

We departed from Taman Negara after lunch and made a brief stop in Lanchang before continue to Bukit Tinggi, our final birding stop. We added Sooty-capped Babbler, Short-tailed Babbler, Black-capped Babbler, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Cream-vented Bulbul, Black-headed Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, Buff-vented Bulbul, Rufescent Prinia, Little Spiderhunter,

On our final day, we nailed the 2 main targets - Mountain Peacock Pheasant and Ferruginous Partridge but we also managed to include Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Bushy-crested Hornbill and few others.

Apart from the birds, we also had a fairly good wildlife sightings including Long-tailed Macaque, Pig-tailed Macaque, Silver Leaf Monkey, Dusky Langur, White-thighed Surili, Plaintain Squirrel, Red-cheeked Squirrel, Grey-bellied Squirrel, Red-bellied Squirrel, Western Striped Squirrel and others.

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Central Region Birding 6-8 August 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"I would like to thank you about your excellent trip organzation and caring for me during this photography trip. Also, I would  like to thank you for your continuous efforts to bring birds to me and trying to find as many bird as possible." - Saad, Saudi Arabia

This is the first time I am guiding a birder from Saudi Arabia. Saad is a very calm birder, lots of patience and looking out for detail of the birds. We covered the lowland forest near KL and Krau forest before spending a night in Fraser's Hill - my favorite birding spot in Peninsular Malaysia. Birding activities in the lowland forest were relatively slow compared to usual days but up in the highland we were rewarded with many lovely species that you never get tired of.

I also had my unusual sighting on this trip. An uncommonly seen babbler, Collared Babbler or formerly known as White-hooded Babbler.

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Central Region Birding July-August 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A great birding trip with Roland and Nini. Lots of laughter and fun during our 8 days birding. Some targets showed up instantly while some took much longer but also some misses too. Still, we get pretty good list for the trip.

For this trip, Roland had informed me that he wanted to get better photographs of hornbill and kingfisher. I planned out an itinerary to suit his targets and add a few other popular photography targets too. We covered the coastal of Selangor, Putrajaya and then moved further inland into the lowland forest of Hulu Langat, Krau, Kuala Tahan and the highland of Bukit Tinggi as well as Fraser's Hill. A trip to Peninsular Malaysia MUST include Fraser's Hill. 

After 4 days of birding, we managed 6 species of hornbills (White-crowned, Rhinoceros, Great, Black, Oriental Pied and Helmeted). No matter how hard we tried for the next few days, we were unable to add any new hornbill species sighting to add to our trip list. The best we got was a call of Bushy-crested Hornbill. Can't complain much, it has been a great birding for me and them. 4 owls for the entire trip including the not so common sighting of Brown Wood Owl and Mountain Scops Owl. And yes! both of them had tons of photos of the owls (i hope). We worked really hard for it. 

We also saw and photographed 6 species of kingfishers (White-throated, Stork-billed, Collared, Rufous-backed, Rufous-collared and Banded). No sign of the Blue-eared and Blue-banded though, and we were not anywhere near the habitat for Ruddy and Brown-winged. :D

It was surprising to see this Rufous-collared Kingfisher at a good close distance and eye-level. It was very cooperative and stayed for a long time for Roland, Nini and myself to observe and admire it.

Photo taken with iPhone SE, Kowa TSN-IP5, and Kowa TSN501.

And no forgeting the 2 most popular Trogon in Peninsular Malaysia, none other than the Scarlet-rumped Trogon in the lowland forest and Red-headed Trogon on the highland.

The photo on the right showing a Scarlet-rumped Trogon taken with iPhone SE, Kowa TSN-IP5, and Kowa TSN501.




All these 9 photos showing Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Banded Kingfisher, Crested Serpent Eagle, Red-headed Trogon, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Malayan Peacock Pheasant, Oriental Honey Buzzard and Banded Pitta were taken with iPhone SE, Kowa TSN-IP5, and either Kowa TSN501 spotting scope or Kowa BDXD 10x32 binocular.

We were driving around a small area surrounded by oil palm and there it was a juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle. Good thing there is not much traffic along this stretch of road. We were able to stopped the car and take photographs of the raptor.

At the location for Rufous-backed Kingfisher. Roland decided to stayed on this spot because this is the best angle to shoot the kingfisher despite that Nini found a leech here. Ok, by now you should have guessed that why Nini is not sitting here.

We met Susan Myers and Greg Greene led by a friend of mine at Taman Negara.

A birder from Netherlands joined us for Chestnut-winged Babbler. There was a Blue-winged Pitta nearby too.

Nini goes after the Blue-winged Pitta!

It finally showed up after a lengthy wait! Patience, patience, patience....but time is very crucial.

Complete our target for Malayan Peacock Pheasant in Taman Negara, we took the short river crossing on a boat. It was a hot day indeed!

We spent a late morning at this location of an abandoned hotel in the hill station. It rained for a minute then it stopped and we got good lighting but maybe Nini felt it was better to shoot from inside the car while Roland prefers to sit out in the open. We had a good show put up by Silver-eared Mesia, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, Fire-tufted Barbet, Long-tailed Sibia and the friendly squirrels too.

Nini was tired, so she had the afternoon OFF while Roland continue birding with me in a quiet afternoon.

Nini need a massage, but the only massage available in Fraser's Hill, is this massage chair at Shahzan Inn hotel lobby.

On the way down from Fraser's Hill, we had Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike and Grey-chinned Minivet. New for the trip, so they both jumped out from the car and spent a few minutes waiting for the birds to give us a good view. Reaching KL, we had a short session going through the photographs taken by Roland and Nini. Label them one by one before we end this trip. Another good trip! Well done to both of them.
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Central Route Birding - July 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Starting off from KL, we drove towards the coastal open field with patches of Mangroves in the early morning. Found most of the birds we wanted but missed a few. In the afternoon, we went up to Fraser's Hill which we spent 3 days. The hill station proved to be a challenge with the low birding activities throughout the day and night. We managed to find 2 out of 3 targeted owls, but again, the Collared Owlet is rather quiet just like any of my previous trips. Brown Wood Owl was difficult, we only managed to find it on our last owling session up here. The Mountain Scops Owl was not easy either, many birders would agree that even though you may got near to a Mountain Scops Owl, does not necessary mean you will get even a split second look at it. But luckily we did pretty well. The scops owl stayed long enough for record shots with the camera. Red-headed Trogon requires 2 days of searching and waiting but we finally got 1 female and 2 male. Lots of Common Green Magpie, we saw them every day while we were there. Other highlights from the hill station include Malayan Laughingthrush, Malayan Partridge (7 of them), Malayan Whistling Thrush (heard only), Slaty-backed Forktail and Bushy-crested Hornbill (we saw 4 flying by).  After Fraser's Hill, we covered a nearby lowland forest in the late afternoon and morning the following day. The highlights from this forest were (but not limited to) Black-throated Babbler, Black-capped Babbler, Short-tailed Babbler, Ferruginous Babbler, Chestnut-rumped Babbler, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Banded Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, Spectacled Bulbul, Cream-vented Bulbul, Buff-vented Bulbul, Red-eyed Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Black-and-Red Broadbill, Black-naped Monarch and not forgetting the most tricky of all, a Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler. Next, we drove up to the hill of Bukit Tinggi for overnight. The next morning, we waited for our targets but only one appeared while the other target is no where to be found. However, we saw a star bird of the trip. We also found Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Blue-eared Barbet, Yellow-vented Pigeon, and Large Woodshrike. For our final destination, we covered the lowland forest near KL where we managed to include Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Pale Blue Flycatcher, White-chested Flycatcher, Banded Kingfisher, Red-bearded Bee-eater and few others.
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Weekend Birding with Mike and Claire - July 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Another good weekend trip with Michael and Claire. I have guided both of them before, this time we spent more time in the lowland forest of Pahang focusing on the just the "missing" or target species that Michael needed.

From KL, we set off to Pahang and arrived at our destination right on time! We spent the whole day until it gets dark. By the end of the day, we nailed White-bellied Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Long-tailed Parakeet, Black-thighed Falconet, Black-throated Babbler and others.

The following day, we returned to the forest for more targets (but due to limited time, we only spent less than half day here) which includes Great Slaty Woodpecker, Rufous-collared Kingfisher and others. Next we drove to Hulu Langat for a very quick birding session for Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Orange-backed Woodpecker and a few others. 

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Birders from Brazil visiting Fraser's Hill 12 July 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

This is my 2nd time guiding birders from South America. Last year, I had Hugo based in Ecuador and today, I had this couple from Brazil with me in Fraser's Hill. So, now I have guests coming from almost all continents. Before they come over to Peninsular, both of them spent a few days in Sarawak and Sabah. So, they already had a taste of birding in this part of the world.

We start looking for birds once we arrived at the hill station, and the first bird we saw is a Black-throated Sunbird. Then, we added Long-tailed Sibia, Silver-eared Mesia, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Large Niltava, Fire-tufted Barbet, Orange-bellied Leafbird and Streaked Spiderhunter. We were only focusing on specific birding spots in the hill station to ensure we get higher chance to see more species. We were unlucky with the Red-headed Trogon, but we still managed to locate Common Green Magpie, Blue Nuthatch, Black-browed Barbet, Pygmy Cupwing, Buff-breasted Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, White-tailed Robin, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Mountain Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Malayan Laughingthrush, Malaysian Partridge, Mountain Tailorbird, and few others great species! All new birds (lifers!) except Oriental Magpie Robin for the couple.

We waited for about an hour to get this species of partridge. Photo taken with iPhone through the binocular.

Sent them back to their overnight accommodation at the end of the day, bid them farewell before I make my way home to KL.

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Birds & Wildlife in Malaysia

About Me

I'm a bird watcher, digiscoper, photographer and a licensed nature guide. Welcome to my 'A Malaysian Birder' blog. I will post my bird sightings and photographs on this blog. I started bird watching while studying in university. After graduating with a degree in forestry specializing in parks and recreation management, I have been attached to the parks and gardens industry. My past work experiences involve conducting environmental education program, bird watching and many more.

Bird Watching Tours

There are quite a number of birding groups from Australia, United States and United Kingdom that come over to Malaysia annually visiting the traditional key sites that include Kuala Selangor, Fraser's Hill and Taman Negara. There is not doubt that the 3 sites are the preferred birding sites in Peninsular Malaysia. So if you are coming over for birding and intend to hire a guide, you can send me an email at and go over to posting section to view photos and summary of trip reports with testimonials from past clients.

Besides following the traditional route, I also customized trip according to clients needs, preference and interests. So there are some local patches that I can introduce to all bird watchers, digiscopers and photographers.

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