French Birders - May 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
"I had the opportunity to come to Malaysia for a second time around mid-May 2018 as a side-trip to a professional visit to Singapore for a conference.  My daughter Pauline (22 yo) came along, she was finished with her exams and was glad to seize this opportunity to try her new Nikkor 18-300 mm lens on exotic wildlife.  We choose Cheong Weng Chun as a guide because we knew him from our previous visit to Taman Negara back in 2013.  I provided Weng Chun with the list of regional birds that I had missed on other occasions and he built a trip to maximize our possibilities to fill up the “gaps”.  I must say that he did an outstanding job, succeeding in finding a great number of my missing species, including some difficult ones.  He worked relentlessly from early morning (before dawn!) until late at night, making sure that not a single minute was wasted.  His talents to detect bird calls (even while driving!) and his knowledge of the places where he took us were impressive. He was also very helpful for the identification of mammals (monkeys, squirrels, palm civets, otters…) and reptiles. He provided Pauline with excellent photographic opportunities. As every “twitcher”, I appreciated very much this dedication to make sure that my bird list would be as good as possible in the end.  If you are an avid birdwatcher, I highly recommend relying on Weng Chun as a guide to optimize your chances to find the greatest possible number of species during your trip."

For 1 week, together with father-daughter from France, we covered Fraser's Hill, Lanchang / Krau, Bukit Tinggi and Hulu Langat to look for specific target species. We did not manage to cover all species due to limited time to cover all birding sites in Peninsular Malaysia, however, we did a pretty awesome job covering some of the difficult birds as well seeing some unexpected species too!

From the airport at night, we drove up to the highland for overnight. Early morning, as we were walking towards the stake out, we nailed the first target in Silver-breasted Broadbill. I heard the call nearby and whistled a few times. It responded and showed up well, not eye level but still pretty good view. Next, we waited for the Mountain Peacock Pheasant which took some waiting time but we still managed to see but dipped on Ferruginous Partridge. Met another small photography tour group at site (and which we met again at a lowland forest and in Fraser's Hill). After lunch, we headed to the lowland forest and track down a few more targets. We came back to the same forest the following morning to add a few more into our trip checklist. Simply wonderful session! Babbler, trogon and woodpecker! We continued our birding in Fraser's Hill where we stayed for 3 nights. More woodpecker and trogon. We spent another night in Kuala Lumpur and finally got them their first ever frogmouth! Both were extremely happy and we finished the trip with short stop at Putrajaya. Nothing new but they were still amazed with the number of nesting birds in the heronry.

Admiring the nesting birds in Putrajaya Heronry

One of the many photos from their camera

Violet Cuckoo with iPhone SE + Kowa TSN-501

I stepped on many ant trails and yes, I got bitten by the ants alot on both legs. For the past few days, the bites were very itchy and still are (at the time of writing this post).

Weather in Fraser's Hill wasn't perfect all the time, we experienced rain during our stay. no problem...we still able to get most of the targets.

If it still rains, then no choice, just watch the birds at the feeder

Waiting patiently for an elusive bird under the light shower

It is usual to see bird waves in the hill station while going out birding

Yes, everyone is required to look up the tree canopy for birds sometimes

Just wait and wait calmly......and at the end rewarded with a family of partridge

Its not just about birds. We also stopped the car by the roadside for primates. Here in particular, we saw a family of Siamang. Amazing!

What was behind the leaf? It was perching so low to the ground, we had to kneel down to see it!

We walked through the dense forest to hunt down a Diard's Trogon

Wait and more waiting....that's part of the game isn't it?

A rewarding morning session! Mountain Peacock Pheasant!!!!

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HK birders - May 2018

"My husband and I went for 6D5N birding with Weng Chun (first two days with his assistance Adam as Weng Chun with another guests) at the area of Peninsula Malaysia which included Bukit Tinggi, Krau Forest, Fraser’s Hill & in Kuala Lumpur area. Weng Chun is absolutely amazing at spotting (both by ear and sight) & locating the birds. He can drive (safely)as well as hear the birds call and stop the car to find the birds where situation is possible. Before the tour, we communicate thru email with Weng chun and he asked us about our target birds and we named a few. But after 6 days, we have over 129 species of birds seen and most of them able to photograph and video too. On the way of our tour, we kept senting some of the bird’s photos to our family to share our findings, and all our family members were amaze by the beauty of the birds.  Really thank you Weng Chun to show us the nature beauty of Malaysia !!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! "

Back-to-back trip. Tired ... exhausted but still want to enjoy guiding and going out to the field looking for birds for enthusiastic birders like Janet and Ray.

First, they covered the forest of Hulu Langat which is the most productive birding spot around Kuala Lumpur. Next we head up to the highlands for the usual targets of Mountain Peacock Pheasant and Ferruginous Partridge before going down to a nearby lowland forest for babbler, trogon, broadbill, woodpecker and hornbill. A birding trip in Peninsular Malaysia is never complete without making a trip to the premier birding spot at Fraser's Hill. 

I think I have stretched them a little too much, birding before dawn while extending the birding hours until night (just like what I normally did with all my guests, and my guests from France from recent trip also experience the long birding hours, and jet lagged but I am sure they all wanted that and enjoyed it although exhausted).

Early morning at the stake out for the target species

Observing movement in a fruiting tree, we found Sooty Barbet, Black-browed Barbet and Black-crested Bulbul here

Woodpeckers high up in the tree

Also found a few Whiskered Treeswift in the morning

A few species of babbler and bulbul showed up for a short observation and photography

Scarlet-rumped Trogon was calling when we we about to leave the spot

Can you locate the bird in this photo?

Ray was trying to find that bird in a small gap among the leave

The next morning, we had a Crimson-winged Woodpecker. Ray got a video

Awesome looking bird, impossible to miss it. It has incredible striking color.

Green Broadbill with iPhone SE + Kowa TSN-501

Black Hornbill

Together with a few local birders and another group of HK birders, we waited for almost 2 hours but it finally decided to showed up

We met the same group of HK birders the next morning

Everyone sharing observation and helped each other to see the target species. Only a female individual, oh well....we can always try tomorrow.

We were back to the same spot in the afternoon, and seems like we don't need to come back tomorrow morning for the male bird....we got the male...finally

Janet admiring the male individual

Green Magpie for our last morning session in the hill station

Again, we saw the Green Magpie with just-arrived birders

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Birding Fraser's Hill - May 2018

Friday, May 11, 2018

"We could not be more appreciative of nor ask for a better birding guide than Weng Chun. I tried for several months to reach him after reading many great reviews. I tried through Birding Pal site but it wasn't working correctly. I finally reached him though this site or Facebook and it was so worth the wait and effort. From our initial contact it went smoothly and he was very accommodating with planning and his recommendations were right on. He picked us up at KLIA2 and we were off.  His sense of humor was delightful and we had fun everywhere - whether driving, dining or birding. We always felt safe and well-cared for and our time with Weng Chun will be remembered. 

We did not have a specific list of birds to see - we just put ourselves in his keeping. Weng Chun knows his birds!!! He could tell minute differences in their calls and appearances and at night we were amazed he could rattle off what we'd seen that day! He worked diligently to ensure I saw a hornbill on Peninsular Malaysia - a huge desire of mine.

Birders - if you are lucky enough to be able to schedule with Weng Chun on the Peninsula - do it. He is knowledgeable, professional, committed to your quests, and fun. We are ready to return! Thank you, Weng Chun!"

Another fun birding trip filled with laughter. This time I was guiding a couple from USA to Fraser's Hill (yes, again!) and Hulu Langat.  Weather was generally good and we had pretty good birds for this trip checklist. Lots of woodpeckers! Obviously many birds we saw on this trip are different from the ones they saw while birding in Langkawi.

After meeting up with Doug and Melissa in KL, we went up to Fraser's Hill. Along the way, we made several birding stops with unforgettable sighting of a Blyth's Hawk-eagle. We stayed up in the hill station for 2 nights and another night near KL. While birding in Fraser's Hill is very comfortable with nice weather, it is always a challenge to many of my guests to go birding in the lowland where it is warmer and humid, but still getting many new birds. We were fortunate to find a few fruiting trees in the lowland forest. Not forgetting an incredible sighting of a hornbill at the end of the trip.

Lots of amazing birds perching on the trees nearby. New birds for them, of course. 

Fire-tufted Barbet through the Kowa TSN-501 spotting scope

Observing the forest canopy for Blyth's Shrike-babbler previously known as White-browed Shrike-babbler 

A start of a new day in Fraser's Hill

In the morning, we went to look for the Rufous-browed Flycatcher, White-tailed Robin and Red-headed Trogon

A quick scan of the densely covered area for broadbill, and we got one!

White-eye, Cuckoo-dove and Flycatcher seen here within 1 minute

a portable spotting scope helps a lot during our birding trip

Continue walking around Fraser's Hill and keep looking around for birds ....

.... and we saw Mountain Imperial Pigeon perching quietly, almost miss it!

Now in more open space, we look up those birds flying fast in the sky

Town Centre was decorated that day

A Large Niltava was very cooperative - it allows us time to observe and taking a few photographs too

Large Niltava (male)

in a more hot and humid situation, birding in the lowland forest near Kuala Lumpur

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

Birdwatching and Photography Trips

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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.

Insects, Reptiles & Primates

Insects, Reptiles & Primates
You will see other interesting insects, reptiles and primates during your birding adventure with me. Here are some of the photos I have extract from my image bank.
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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 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.

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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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.

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