Trip Report 22nd January 2016 - 1st February 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

For this trip, there is a specific list of target species. So we started off from Putrajaya where we first ticked off Golden-bellied Gerygone and Pink-necked Green Pigeon followed by Brown-throated Sunbird, Copper-throated Sunbird, and Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker before reaching Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Inside the park, Common Flameback was easy towards the boardwalk but we were made to sweat looking for Mangrove Whistler.  No luck with the Laced Woodpecker and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher. Tonight it rained and we decided to call it a day.

Day 2: The next morning, we started very very early and nailed a few Large-tailed Nightjar, a lone Buffy Fish Owl and a Spotted Wood Owl flying towards us! We spent some time waiting for Long-tailed Parakeet (but where are they now??!!!) Anyway, at the boardwalk, we achieved our target birds - Mangrove Blue Flycatcher and Laced Woodpecker. It was nice to see a pair of Greater Flameback too! Next on our list, we had Hooded Pitta (almost instantly upon arriving at destination) and a couple of Red-eyed Bulbul, Cream-vented Bulbul, Olive-winged Bulbul and Buff-vented Bulbul. Heaven opens!  One round of tea break at a nearby food stall. At the end of the day, while walking back to the car, we saw many Green Pigeon - 2 target species on the same tree. They are Little Green Pigeon and the previously ticked Pink-necked Green Pigeon. Finally, we had very good look at the noisy flock of Long-tailed Parakeet that flew above us. What an exhausting day!

Day 3: We headed to a small patch of forest at the far end of KL. Before reaching our destination, we made a brief stop for breakfast and had Purple-backed Starling roosting nearby. After a few hours in the forest, we ticked Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Greater Green Leafbird and Rufescent Prinia. A male Banded Kingfisher (not a target species though) made an appearance nearby and got everybody excited and neglected the fruiting tree that attracts variety of avifauna. There were other species too but I will not highlight on this report. We missed out on the Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha and Black-bellied Malkoha in this area. Nothing much happen after a long time, and we drove to the other side of the hill. Spent the whole day there - at another stakeout. Many good targets were found that includes Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Dusky Broadbill, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker, Grey-breasted Spiderhunter, Long-billed Spiderhunter, White-tailed Flycatcher, and Rufous-winged Philentoma. Another tiring day but well worth the energy spent!

Day 4: The weather today was rather bad. Right from the start of the day at the highlands, it was misty and very windy. We waited for long time and yet, the weather never improve that much that would allow decent birding. The only birds we managed were 2 Yellow-breasted Warbler and Mountain Tailorbird. The Mountain Leaf Warbler and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush were around too. In the afternoon, the Siamang encounter on a fruiting tree directed us to a single Rhinoceros Hornbill. Before we left the birding spot, we had peek at 2 Black-thighed Falconet. Other species not in the list were simply ignored. Let's hope the weather improve tomorrow.

Day 5: Weather did not improve. Instead it rained a lot and the visibility was extremely poor due to heavy mist. After a while, we make our way to the lowland forest where we got Whiskered Treeswift, Silver-rumped Needletail, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker and Red-throated Barbet. Some of the targets were calling but not able to get even a glimpse - these include Black Hornbill, Dark-throated Oriole, Checker-throated Woodpecker, Chestnut-rumped Babbler, and Sooty-capped Babbler. We completely ignored the Red-bearded Bee-eater, Banded Pitta, and Black Magpie (these are not in the target list). Rain in the late afternoon forced us to call it a day. Will we get to see more target species?

Day 6: Back in the forest again early morning. We spent the entire day in this forest and it was a pretty good day with targets achieved with Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker (yes, again), Maroon Woodpecker, Blue-rumped Parrot, Black Hornbill, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Black-bellied Malkoha (better view), Dark-throated Oriole, Spectacled Bulbul, Straw-headed Bulbul, Horsfield's Babbler, Black-capped Babbler, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Red-throated Sunbird, and we were very grateful to the Black-thighed Falconet which alerted us the presence of a Rufous-bellied Eagle gliding but our view was blocked after it passed through several tall trees. I quickly moved around to find a more open area and start scanning. Voila! adult Rufous-bellied Eagle perching. lllllooooonng enough to get a scope view. Well, honestly speaking, the Straw-headed Bulbul is a surprise for myself. This is my first Straw-headed Bulbul for Krau (I have only seen it in Taman Negara and Kepong in the past). Drove back to the hotel and slept early. Must get enough rest for our drive up to Fraser's Hill.

Day 7: It was a long winding road up to the hill station. As soon as we arrived at the Gap, there was a Blyth's Hawk-eagle calling from a perch but never got a view. sigh. The highlights for today are Fire-tufted Barbet, Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Long-tailed Broadbill, Black-and-Crimson Oriole, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Large Niltava, Black Laughingthrush, Grey-throated Babbler and Long-tailed Sibia. We completed the day with a Collared Owlet calling next to the road. What a day!

Day 8: We waited by the roadside before sunrise. Although, I heard a juvenile Brown Wood Owl while my guest saw a big silhouette resembling a wood owl, we never really get to see the actual bird. But unexpectedly, a male Siberian Thrush hopped out to the road to feed. Around the loop, we heard the Rusty-naped Pitta at several spots. In the afternoon we went to the New Road but it was generally quiet. Only 1 target hit along this road after we crossed the long bridge. It was a Hill Blue Flycatcher. Upon sunset, we had 2 Malaysian Eared Nightjar flying above us. Tried looking for the Brown Wood Owl and Mountain Scops Owl but did not even hear them calling. Then it started to drizzle / rain. Well, maybe tomorrow.

Day 9: Again, we went out early before sunrise but had to return to the hotel for breakfast due to low bird activity. It was very misty so we decided to do birding at the Gap. Bad luck. It was as misty as the hill station. We drove down further and ticked a Chestnut-naped Forktail. Back at the Gap, visibility improve a lot. We walked up the Old Road and ticked Orange-breasted Trogon and Rufous Piculet. Both gave us extremely good view. Still no clue where is the Chestnut-crowned (Malayan Laughingthrush). We explored Telekom Loop at a slower pace but only managed to get 1 new lifer - Javan Cuckooshrike. By the end of the day, we finally had a Little Cuckoo Dove and completely ignored a Red-headed Trogon at close range / eye level. Although weather was much better than yesterday, still no sign of Brown Wood Owl and Mountain Scops Owl.

Day 10: Before sunrise, we headed down to the lowland forest to hunt for more "lifers". Most of the birds sighted today were the same except for Black-capped Babbler (which we only heard previously), Fluffy-backed Tit Babbler, Grey-bellied Bulbul, and Lesser Cuckooshrike. There were many good birds around but decided to ignore them as they are not part of the list for this trip. While waiting for the Garnet Pitta, we had one Black-backed Kingfisher perched a few meters away for a looooonng time. At the end of the day, 1 Indian Cuckoo was calling loud from top of a tree while 2 Black Hornbills flew towards me! Tonight we are heading back to KL. sigh....traffic jam....

Day 11: On our final day, we had 2 star birds - 1 come almost instantly upon arrival (a Blue-banded Kingfisher) while the Blyth's Hawk Eagle was just flying above just before lunch break. On the 2nd half of the day and final hours of birding, we didn't find anything new. In short, it has been a worthwhile birding trip (and we spotted interesting mammals too).

Mammals sighted on this trip include
  1. Silver Leaf Monkey
  2. Long-tailed Macaque
  3. Pig-tailed Macaque
  4. Dusky Langur
  5. White-thighed Langur (Surili)
  6. Siamang
  7. Plaintain Squirrel
  8. Grey-bellied Squirrel
  9. Mountain Red-bellied Squirrel (Pallas)
  10. Himalayan (Western) Striped Squirrel
  11. Slender Squirrel
  12. Black-banded Squirrel
  13. Malay Weasal (a new one for me in Fraser's Hill)
  14. Crab-eating Mongoose (another new one for me in Fraser's Hill)

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Visiting a Bird Magnet in KL

Saturday, January 23, 2016
Various species have been attracted to the fruiting trees in KL. Although I did get the info a few days earlier but never got the chance / time to visit until last Monday. OK due to my very tight schedule, I arrived at the site later than I had planned. Did I miss any birds? Maybe or maybe not (not on that day).

A pair of Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker provide some excitement for the morning.

Among other species sighted include Banded Woodpecker, Common Flameback, Black-headed Bulbul, Red-eyed Bulbul, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, Raffles's Malkoha, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Scarlet Minivet, Crested Serpent Eagle, Brown Shrike, and Asian Brown Flycatcher.
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1st birding in 2016

It's my first day of birding in the year 2016. Although, I am not exactly sure which is the first bird of the year, it really doesn't matter at all. I just want to keep enjoying this hobby. I was out in the field with a bird photographer as early as 7.30am at Kuala Selangor. We had spent almost 5 hours at selected spots before we head back to KL.

Well, I know there is still some time left for birding in the afternoon and then I decided perhaps I can drop by to pay a visit to Hooded Pitta. Yes. I managed to see the bird and took a few shots before the battery went out.

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Licensed Guide specialized in birdwatching and photography tour in Peninsular Malaysia.

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Butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia

Butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia
Collection of photographs for reference.

Notable Plants While Birding

Notable Plants While Birding
There will be some interesting flora that will definitely catch your attention while going out on a birdwatching trip with me. I am in the midst of compiling all the plants, please return to this website for updates. Thank you.

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Birds & Wildlife in Malaysia

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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. When I go out to the field, I will usually have my Kowa 10x32 BDXD binocular, iPhone and Kowa TSN-501 spotting scope with me. This is the lightest setup for me as I prefer to go light these days. Although sometimes, I will (and I need to) take out my Nikon 10x42 Monarch binocular, Nikon ED82 spotting scope, Nikon1 V1 setup for specific targets.

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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.

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