Specific Targets for Michael & Claire

Sunday, February 4, 2018

"My wife and I are serious birders from the USA. We frequently find ourselves in Bangkok for work assignments, and one of our favorite birding destinations while in Asia is Peninsular Malaysia. There a tremendous variety of quality birds and habitat within a few hours of a major international airport at Kuala Lumpur. There is also a fantastic guide, Weng Chun, based out of KL, who can maximize your success in the area. We have now taken two birding trips in Malaysia with Weng in the past thirteen months. Both trips have been very good; the first trip being our introduction to birding in this country, and the second being aimed at a broader range of habitats and the goal of picking up some of the tougher species not seen on the first trip. I sent Weng a long list of targets and he came up with a detailed plan that was very successful. Weng has an extensive knowledge of the area and knows specific places that yield specific birds; he also is a great 'ear-birder' and never misses a vocalization - I frequently record songs and calls while birding and then compare with xeno-canto after (and share them there if they are high enough quality) - and verified that Weng was always spot-on with his IDs. And importantly for me, he has the patience to help me find obscure or well-hidden birds that challenge my poor eyesight. We will be in Bangkok for the rest of 2018 and will certainly go out with Weng again. Very highly recommended." - Michael, USA

2nd birding trip with Michael and Claire! It's always nice to have birders coming back and be able to guide them again. We only had a day in Fraser's Hill during our 1st birding, but this time, Michael gave me a list of birds that he wanted to see. I recommended Krau / Bukit Rengit and Fraser's Hill. In the morning, we managed to get a good species off from the target list which include Large-tailed Nightjar, Black Hornbill, Little Green Pigeon, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Sooty-capped Babbler, Black Magpie, Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker, Banded Broadbill, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, and a few others.

It was almost middle of the day, so we took a short break at the bird hide and joined a part of 7-8 bird photographers there.

Upon arrival at Fraser's Hill, we wasted no time and headed to the spot for Malaysian Partridge. We were not alone. This partridge is an attraction to many bird watchers and photographers. There were 6 photographers with us for almost 1.5 hours but they left after not getting any response from the partridge and it started to drizzle. We were the reluctant birders! We stayed on ..... then I heard Large Cuckooshrike and quickly alerted Michael and Claire. We retraced our steps back to the "blind" and got a better view of Emerald Dove. Suddenly the partridge called! and it popped up and gave us a few minutes look at it.... well worth the wait. After dinner, we nailed 2 Grey Nightjar. No owl....everything so quiet....very windy. We called it a day.

In the morning after breakfast, we drove towards our birding stop.....unfortunately a tree fell and blocked the road. It was a very....very....very windy last night and this morning. So we had no other choice but turn around and use the other way to reach our birding stop.

This is the look from the other side of the road. Anyway, I told Michael and Claire to stay focus on our targets. We just need a White-tailed Robin. But Mugimaki Flycatcher came out first, got chased away by Rufous-browed Flycatcher. Large Niltava was calling but never show up. Then, Claire pointed out a silhouette of a bird at a distance. Can't see much details ... I had to take out the scope and luckily the bird was still there. It was an Orange-headed Thrush (unexpected but it is inside the list of targets). After a few more minutes, The robin showed up! Great view!!!! can't complaint. Drove down to the Gap and back up the hill station in the next few hours. It was pretty quiet. Although we managed to ticked a few targets. Then, I suggested that we depart early to the airport and stop by a botanical park to get Pitta(s). They agreed because they have never see a Pitta before (who would ever say NO to Pitta).

We walked quite a bit to reach the stakeout for the Blue-winged Pitta and yes, like any other birds, we waited for a while...entertained by a family of Dusky Leaf Monkey. Next, our target is Hooded Pitta which requires to walk a little bit more but along the way, we ticked Grey-breasted Spiderhunter and Spectacled Spiderhunter. After getting the Hooded Pitta, we also had Little Spiderhunter and Green-backed Flycatcher. That ended our birding chase for this time. Hope to see Michael and Claire again after they completed their planned trips to several countries in Southeast Asia.

Licensed Tourist Guide specialized in birdwatching and photography tour in Peninsular Malaysia. BSc Forestry (Parks & Recreation Management).

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Birds of Peninsular Malaysia

Birds of Peninsular Malaysia
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia

Wildlife in Peninsular Malaysia

Wildlife in Peninsular Malaysia
A collection of wildlife photographs in Peninsular Malaysia that includes mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Some photographs are taken with camera while some are taken with mobile phone whenever I get the opportunities to shoot while on a guiding assignment.


You will see other interesting insects during your birding adventure with me. Here are some of the photos I have extracted from my hard drives..

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.

Southeast Asia Birding

Southeast Asia Birding
Sometimes I accompany my regular guests for birding trips out of Peninsular Malaysia. Check out what we found.
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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. When I go out to the field, I will usually have my Leica Ultravid 10x32 binocular and Kowa TSN-501 spotting scope with me. This is the lightest setup for me as I prefer to go light these days. There are times, I will have my parabolic microphone in the field for recording bird calls.

In the past, I will have my Kowa BDXD 8x32 binocular, Zoom H2N recorder, Kowa TSN-501 and my favorite Nikon1 V1 with a 70-300mm lens. This is the lightest setup I have tried.

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.

Here are a few of my favorite birding spots around Kuala Lumpur.

• Kuala Selangor - the habitats include mangrove forest. Good for woodpecker and kingfisher. Some amount of walking is required on flat terrain.

• Fraser's Hill - one of the traditional key sites for birding in Peninsular Malaysia and still the best place to visit. Elevation between 900 - 1200m above sea level. The species found here are different from the city of Kuala Lumpur. Targets may include Trogon, Woodpecker, Partridge, Laughingthrush, Leafbird, Spiderhunter and Sunbird.

• Hulu Langat - one of the most visited birding spot due to its proximity from the city centre. Walking is required but on easy terrain in this lowland forest. Sometimes need to wait at fruiting trees. Generally a good spot for Broadbill, Kingfisher, and Babbler.

• Bukit Tinggi - An alternative spot if you do not want to spend too long hours travelling to Fraser's Hill. It's about 900m to 1,000m above sea level and you get a combination of lowland and highland species at this elevation. Walking is required but just a short distance. Traditional known for Broadbill, Hornbill, Partridge and Pheasant.

• Gombak-Ampang - Generally recommended for photographers targeting Blue-eared Kingfisher and at times during fruiting season, it attracts many species of Bulbul and Barbet. Located in urban area.

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Bird Video

I am also interested to take video of birds. Here are some of my favorite videos for your viewing. Video taken with Nikon1 V1 attached to a Sigma 500mm f4.5 and most of the time iPhone SE through the spotting scope. Editing is done on smartphone Power Director for Android device and I also like the iMovie on iPhone. Enjoy.

Recommended Field Guides

If you are interested to get a copy of field guides to assist you to learn and identify birds in Malaysia. Click the followings to find out more.