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Fraser's Hill 21st January 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My wife and I are serious birders and have worked with many guides around the world. We really enjoyed having Weng as our guide in Malaysia. He was willing to pick us up very early from our hotel in Kuala Lumpur so as to maximize our time at Fraser's Hill, and he helped advise us on our travel and hotel accommodations also. He is a very enthusiastic birder and his knowledge of the avifauna of Malaysia is extensive. He Despite having less than optimal weather for our trip, he helped us get a lot of the species we needed. We plan to bird with him again when our travels bring us back to Malaysia, and highy recommend him to anyone interested in finding more birds in this beautiful area.

-Michael and Claire 

Met Mike and his wife very early in the morning in KL and drove up directly to the Gap. Unexpectedly, the weather was pretty dull. The first bird we saw was a Dark-necked Tailorbird followed by several other species. We decided to make our way up to the hill station hoping for better birding, but as I was driving, I heard a familiar call! Stopped the car and asked everyone to get out immediately. We hit one of the target species! a pair of Silver-breasted Broadbill. And other target birds were also recorded from this spot too.  In between the Gap and the Upper Gate, we had woodpecker, laughingthrush, tailorbird, broadbill, bulbul and drongo. Unfortunately, the trogon decided to stay away from me this morning. *sigh*

Up at the hill station, we continue birding until lunch and check into the hotel for a short rest. It started to drizzle by the time we wanted to resume our birding and the situation remains until the end of the day trip. We covered the New Road in the afternoon but the weather was equally challenging. By 6pm, we called it a day.

For today, my personal favorite is the Large (Dark) Hawk Cuckoo. No doubt about it.
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Bukit Tinggi & Krau Forest 15th January 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017
It was a last minute plan to go up Bukit Tinggi today. But I really think that no birder could resist the sighting of Mountain Peacock Pheasant and Ferruginous Partridge. We arrived at the stakeout just in time for both species to perform quite well. We spent the next few minutes waiting and observing both species. We left the place fully satisfied with our targets without disturbing the photographers who were at the stakeout much earlier than us. While Thomas was busy taking photographs of both species, I took a short video clip of the Ferruginous Partridge (knowing that I will not be able to get any decent shots with my portable photo gears).

The above image of Ferruginous Partridge was screen captured from a short video.

Another screen capture from the same video.

We tried to look for our other targets - Silver-breasted Broadbill, Red-bearded Bee-eater and Banded Kingfisher. Unfortunately, we could not see / hear them except a brief call from the latter. Whiel waiting at another stakeout, I told Thomas the Bushy-crested Hornbill is calling but we were not able to locate it. After a short wait and search, we walked back to the car and saw a Tiger Shrike perching quietly almost at eye level but some distance away. I drove down slowly and tried to stop at selected spots hoping to get a glimpse of any Hornbill. All of a sudden, Thomas said there were 2 big birds far away. Wasting no time, we got some photos to check for ID. "Black Hornbill" ? no way I said....carefully checking the photo, we realized that it was actually Bushy-crested Hornbill !!! Good bird...It flew passed us but neither one of us get a decent photograph of them (yes! there were 5 birds in total) flying. Soon after that, we drove towards the lowland forest in Krau (some called it Bukit Rengit while some called it Lanchang).

Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

Yellow-bellied Bulbul (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)



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Fraser's Hill 7th-8th January 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

It was certainly another great trip to Fraser's Hill. Never fail to impress any of my guests for last 10 years and this site has been my favorite for almost 20 years since my first visit to the hill station. Despite the inconsistent weather, we managed to get almost all that we have targeted for this trip including the 2 species of trogon, glimpse of Malayan Whistling Thush (and I believe the 2 bigger looking thrush early in the morning were Blue Whistling Thrush as I have recorded them during my trip last month), 2 species of Shrike-babbler, tailorbirds, and a soaring Blyth's Hawk-Eagle. For me personally, the highlight for this trip are Green Broadbill on the first day and Brown Fulvetta on the second day.

Orange-breasted Trogon

Long-tailed Broadbill



  

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Birding on first day of 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Today I went birding with my last guest for year 2016 and so, this makes him my first guest of the year. We were already up in the highland even before sunrise on the first day of 2017! However, we were greeted by the wind and rain upon our arrival. Not giving up so easily, we waited for the visibility to improve to allow us to get our first birds for the new year. Moths were plenty and soon, the feast begins. Our first (few) birds were a pair of Mugimaki Flycatcher, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Oriental Magpie Robin, Long-tailed Sibia, Grey Wagtail, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Malayan Laughingthrush, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Streaked Wren-babbler, and Rufous-winged Fulvetta. 

As we moved down to lower altitude, there was an incredible "bird wave" which consist of Blue Nuthatch, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Blyth's Shrike-babbler, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Sooty Barbet, Black-browed Barbet, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, White-throated Fantail, and also Black Laughingthrush (which concluded our Laughingthrushes without much serious effort). Before we depart from the site, I heard a Banded Kingfisher but unfortunately, it did not show itself. 

Down in the lowland, we targeted for Rufous-backed Kingfisher and we managed to secure the target which was well hidden. In this forest, we also found Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Ferruginous Flycatcher,  Dark-sided Flycatcher, Green-backed Flycatcher, Checker-throated Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker and so on....

We tried to look for the Malayan Night Heron which I saw with in my previous trip but no show. Anyway, it was a good start for the year.  
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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.

I am very sure that some of you are interested to do bird watching but unable to join those groups due to the dates of departure that clash with your work. So if you are coming over for birding and intend to hire a guide, you can send me an email at wengchun (AT) gmail (DOT) com and go over to my guiding website 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.

Equipment

I use a spotting scope from Omicron for my bird guiding trips and digiscoping. You can get more information from their website at http://omicron-optics.com The spotting scope is placed on a Feisol tripod and Manfrotto 701 video head. This is an ideal setup for me due to its light weight. A customized eyepiece adapter to my Nikon P5100 was fabricated by Cheang Kum Seng from Ipoh, Perak. Very useful during my guiding trips because I get to take photos of birds sighted and post them on my Nature2pixel website. Binocular is the most essential tools for bird watching and guiding. I used to have a Minox 8x42 but have given it to a friend since I upgraded to Nikon 8x42 Monarch. Update: May 2014 - Could be time for me to upgrade to a Kowa 10x42 BD XD which is more compact? I came across this website showing a review of the Nikon D4S at http://www.aaronstours.com

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