Slow-paced but still Great Birding

Sunday, June 25, 2017
Lesley and John busy with a bird on the wire

John and Lesley were greeted by Adam in the morning. Their morning target are Mountain Peacock Pheasant and Ferruginous Partridge, however only managed to see the former species. In the afternoon I met them in Krau forest with my 3 guests. We had a short birding session as the weather and lighting were not ideal. Along the road, we managed to get Black-bellied Malkoha, White-rumped Shama, Buff-vented Bulbul, Red-eyed Bulbul, Black-naped Oriole and White-breasted Waterhen. After bidding farewell to the 3 guests, Adam sent them to Kuala Selangor while I took John and Lesley back to Bukit Tinggi where we had great view of a Great Hornbill flying towards us, a very obliging Dark-necked Tailorbird, Striped Tit-babbler, and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker.

In the morning, we birded in Krau forest again. Our highlights for the morning include Black-thighed Falconet, White-breasted Waterhen, Black Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Black-capped Babbler, Black-throated Babbler, Short-tailed Babbler, Yellow-bellied Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, White-rumped Shama, Red-billed Malkoha, Whiskered Treeswift, Lesser Green Leafbird, Rufescent Prinia, Spectacled Spiderhunter, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill and others. In the afternoon, we continue our journey to Taman Negara. It was already late in the afternoon when we reached Kuala Tahan and by the time we checked into our rooms, we have very limited time so we head towards the nearest hide. After dinner, we hit the trail (boardwalk) and spotted our first scops owl.

Day no.3, we took a boat ride and saw very interesting birds which some of them we did not see again for the rest of the trip. After breakfast, we walk along the trail until mid-day and managed to get our first 2 species of trogon for the trip. After an afternoon rest, we continue our walk and a stop at the hide. Our highlights for the day include Blue-banded Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Lesser Fish Eagle, Malayan Peacock Pheasant, Black-thighed Falconet, Crested Serpent Eagle, Large Green Pigeon, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Drongo Cuckoo, Silver-rumped Needletail, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Banded Woodpecker, Rufous Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Checker-throated Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Black-and-Red Broadbill, Dark-throated Oriole, Black-naped Monarch, Crested Jay, Straw-headed Bulbul, White-chested Babbler, Abbott's Babbler, Moustached Babbler, Scaly-crowned Babbler, Horsfield's Babbler, Sooty-capped Babbler, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Plain Sunbird, Sooty Barbet, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, Emerald Dove, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Crested Fireback and others.

On the fourth day, we spent all our time focusing along the trails and hide, which we managed to ticked more species - Great Argus, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Plaintive Cuckoo, Raffle's Malkoha, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Banded Pitta, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Rufous-winged Philentoma, Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Thick-billed Pigeon.

Lesley heard some interesting calls along the trail 

Lesley taking notes of what she saw

Our last day in Taman Negara, we managed to get very good views of Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot and White-bellied Woodpecker. By late afternoon we have arrived in another premier birding site in Peninsular Malaysia, Fraser's Hill. Our highlights for the day include Changeable Hawk-eagle (again), Red-wattled Lapwing, Asian Palm Swift, Buff-necked Woodpecker, White-necked Babbler, Purple-naped Spiderhunter (Sunbird), Oriental Honey Buzzard, Little Cuckoo Dove, Glossy Swiftlet, House Swift, Rufous-bellied Swallow, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Fire-tufted Barbet, Black-browed Barbet, Lesser Yellownape, Greater Yellownape, Large Cuckooshrike, Bronzed Drongo, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Ochraceous Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Buff-breasted Babbler, Pygmy Cupwing (Wren-babbler), Spectacled Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Blyth's Shrike-babbler, Little Pied Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, and Streaked Spiderhunter.

White-bellied Woodpecker (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

Pygmy Cupwing (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

Day 6, we spent our time entirely at the hill station which we rewarded with Blyth's Hawk-eagle, Brown Wood Owl, Red-headed Trogon, Bay Woodpecker, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Sultan Tit, White-throated Fantail, Golden Babbler, Malayan Laughingthrush, Mountain Fulvetta, Slaty-backed Forktail, Malayan Whistling-thrush, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Verditer Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Orange-bellied Leafbird and Black-throated Sunbird.

Brown Wood Owl (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

Red-headed Trogon (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

Our final day in Fraser's Hill. We had a morning birding along the New Road and Old Road which we ticked off Orange-breasted Trogon, Mountain Scops Owl, Yellow-crowned Barbet, Red-throated Barbet, Banded Broadbill, Cinereous Bulbul, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Black Laughingthrush and Hill Blue Flycatcher. In the afternoon, from Fraser's Hill to Kuala Selangor, our list continues with Baya Weaver, Long-tailed Shrike, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Heron, Grey Heron, Brahminy Kite, Buffy Fish Owl, Germain's Swiftlet, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Collared Kingfisher, Common Flameback, Pied Triller, Yellow-bellied Prinia and Plain-throated Sunbird.

Buffy Fish Owl (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

The last day of the trip with John and Lesley. We walked into the mangrove reserve for our final targets which we did pretty well. We have the following species included into our trip list - Mangrove Whistler, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Laced Woodpecker and Little Bronze Cuckoo. On the way to the airport, we added Black-shouldered Kite and Painted Stork.

Mangrove Blue Flycatcher (Nikon V1 + CX 70-300mm)

Overall, I believe we have done pretty well. I am very glad that John and Lesley got quite a good number of species in this trip. Well done John and Lesley!

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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.


I use a spotting scope from Omicron for my bird guiding trips and digiscoping. You can get more information from their website at 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

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