Travel Light and Lighter

Sunday, September 27, 2020

From carrying those heavy Nikon DSLR gears, Nikon spotting scope, Nikon binocular, heavy tripod and video head and gimbal in those early years of birding, I have realized and admitted that I will not be able to carry the same weight as before. I have sold most of those equipment and donated some but still have the Nikon binocular, Kowa binocular and Leica binocular. 

These days, I am happier with my current Panasonic Lumix G7 (sometimes with Olympus E-M1 Mark II) + 100-300mm II lens and Omicron 8x26 binocular. All fits into Hypergear waterproof sling bag. It even have space for a Kowa TSN-501 spotting scope.
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Birding Day - 24 Sep 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020
Went out birding early to cover the residential neighborhood and also the nearest forest to my home. 

The first bird of the day was a White-throated kingfisher. Pretty noisy before dawn. Next, there were Little Heron, Painted Stork, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Pink-necked Pigeon, and few others. Oh well, I was late for forest birding today because I decided to have brunch (breakfast+lunch). Upon arrival, I managed to get Rufescent Prinia, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, and many more. 

However, this afternoon birding provided me the opportunity to see a few butterflies and insects.

Green Dragontail butterfly

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Finding Common Kingfisher - 22 Sep 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

We got out from KL at the break of dawn and arrived at our destination looking for Common Kingfisher. The destination, well, it's not exactly a place with high aesthetic value. Luckily my guest understand this and sometimes you can expect some good birds in unexpected location. But since my guest have been to this spot in the past, it does not matter to him. As long as he gets to see and photograph the bird. 

Upon arrival at our destination, we waited for a little while. Took out the gears and I had to walked around scanning the perimeter as usual. Eventually, I heard the call of the target species. I ran over to the source and do another scanning with my binocular. B-I-N-G-O!!! 

Before we get to see the Common Kingfisher, we had Collared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher and several other species. No sign of Black-capped Kingfisher. 
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Trip Cancelled due to Bad Weather

Sunday, September 20, 2020

I drove out from the house very early in the morning as usual to rush up to the hill station before sunrise. However, by the time I reach the spot to ascend the uphill road to Fraser's Hill, there is a tree blocking the road at 6am. make it worst, there is no phone signal. I was the first to arrived here. So no choice, I had to make a U turn to the nearest spot where I get better phone signal. I called the local police station to informed them about the situation. The police told me they will forward this info to Bomba. By 7am, help arrived. It took about 10 minutes to clear the road so that everyone can continue their journey uphill. It's still raining. By the time I reached Fraser's Hill, it was drizzling. I had a discussion with the guest and told him, we can continue as long as it isn't raining that hard. But after a few birding stop, the rain got heavier so we agreed to postponed the trip to another date. 

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Bought 4 Binoculars

Today, I invested in 4 new binoculars. Apart from my Kowa 8x42 and Leica 8x32 (still in Leica workshop) binoculars, I have been using this Omicron 8x26 on my birdwatching and photography trips. It's very light and compact. I think I have been it for for more than 6 months and frankly it's well worth the money!

Therefore, I dare to invest in 4 pairs of the same model because I can provide these binoculars to my guests whenever they need one during my birdwatching and sometimes photographers can look and enjoy the birds through binoculars too.
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Birding in Fraser's Hill - 6th Sept 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

We drove up to the hill station very early morning with a stopover breakfast in KKB. Upon arrival in Fraser's Hill we started birding. Large Niltava, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Streaked Wren-babbler, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Buff-breasted Babbler, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, Malayan Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Blue-winged Minla and many others. But the best bird of the day for me would be the family of Malaysian Partridge. Good to see them again. 
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Birder with Targets - 4th Sept 2020

Mountain Peacock-pheasant...Red-bearded Bee-eater...Rail-babbler. Those are the main targets for today. We had 2 but never got any respond from MRB. Sigh.... Well, it's known to be a tough one. It has a nomadic behavior anyway. Ferruginous Partridge was calling very close but didn't show up.

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Forest Birding near KL - 9th Sept 2020

Today, we went into a forest near Kuala Lumpur hoping to find new birds. Unfortunately, it was a very quiet morning. Although we saw several species of birds including babblers, broadbill and spiderhunters, we only had decent shot of a pair of Red-naped Trogon. 

On the way home, we stopped by to buy a few containers of 'King of Fruits'. 
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Birder need lifers - 7th & 10th Sept 2020

Started with a pre-dawn birding in an urban park and found several Large-tailed Nightjar before we continued to a new spot for more lifers. 

After a short breakfast with noodles and a cup of kopi O' Ping, we went into the forest park. Pretty nice environment, one of the cleanest forest I have ever since in 20 years in West Malaysia. Here, we found Blue-banded Kingfisher, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, White-bellied Erpornis, Striped Tit-babbler, Bamboo Woodpecker, Rufous Woodpecker, and many others but it's good to get an opportunity to see a White-crowned Forktail and Chestnut-naped Forktail . However, the only other lifer we got from this forest is a Rufous-chested Flycatcher. We left this forest before mid day and continue to the other side of the forest where we also made a quick stop. Found Grey-bellied Bulbul, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker. 

Next stop, we had a late lunch at my usual place in Bukit Tinggi. Darn it! It rained before we could continue our birding. Anyway, we drove slowly towards the city hoping that the rain clouds will be gone soon. Fortunately, the rain stopped. We walked into a forest trail and saw a few birds, nothing new until we got 3 Grey-headed Babbler nearby. With a little patience, we finally nailed this species after searching in several places on our previous trips. We returned to KL with 3 new species.

On another day trip, we went up to the highland after hearing about the flowering and seeding of bamboos along the major road uphill. We arrived early in the morning and upon getting out from the car, we had at least 3 Pin-tailed Parrotfinch right above the car! This species is usually seen when bamboo is flowering / seeding. We quickly drove to higher altitude. Need more lifers! Not too far into the trail, we waited for a bird wave and found new species in the form of Speckled Piculet and Marbled Wren-babbler. Heard the Pygmy Blue Flycatcher but could not locate it. Next, we nailed down a Collared Owlet, not really a new species but this time we had the frontal view. After lunch, the weather does not seem to allow us to do any more birding here so we drove down to where we got the parrotfinch this morning. But it rained heavily so we decided to call it a day! Another 3.5 new species. 
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Sabah Trip 19-24 Aug 2020

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

5 months. It's been that long since the country borders were closed. All trips for this year are either cancelled or postponed. But with support from a KL based birder, I've arranged for a private trip to eastern part of Sabah. 

We traveled to Sandakan and made this our base so that we can make changes to our itinerary as and when required. Upon landing in Sandakan Airport, we made our way to Rainforest Discovery Center to try our luck with Black-crowned Pitta and Blue-headed Pitta but only White-crowned Shama turned up. So, without wasting anymore time, we decided to get a quick bite before continue our journey to the highland and stay for a night. 

The next day we went to a spot overlooking a valley shortly after breakfast. We got a few birds and then we drove to a feeding station for a Black-crowned Pitta. What was supposed to be a 1-2 hour session stretched to 6 hours before the 🌟 bird show up along with a White-crowned Shama and Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher. Saw a Crested Jay and heard a Rufous-collared Kingfisher but not very cooperative. The weather was a factor why we choose to leave after getting the Pitta. We returned to RDC area for a night. 

On the 3rd day, we had Robert showing us a few spot around the resort where we found White-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous Piculet, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Stork-billed Kingfisher and glimpses of Hooded Pitta. Then, we moved on to Lahad Datu. Found the spot for our next target with the help of my local guest based here. The next day, we spent the entire day waiting for the Blue-banded Pitta but no a single glimpse of it. Only heard it once. An uncooperative (bornean) Banded Kingfisher was perching nearby but we tried for it without much success. At the end of the day, we discussed and decided to return to Sandakan to spend more time rather than staying here. It was a pretty good decision as we got Diard's Trogon, Red-naped Trogon, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Raffles's Malkoha, and others. 

We came close on getting a Giant Pitta but we were short of time as we had to catch our flight home to Kuala Lumpur. 

With this mini expedition, we know what we could expect from Sabah and what to plan for in my next visit.
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Introduction to Birdwatching in Fraser's Hill - 30th Aug 2020

 "If any keen birders out there looking for a great weekend escape in nature, be sure to check out Weng Chun birding guide. Just had an amazing day out birding in Fraser’s Hill with no less than 26 new species spotted. Ideal for families, small groups or individuals."

- Rex, South Africa / KL

Guided a family for a morning birdwatching session in Fraser's Hill recently. We started the morning from the carpark and walked along the usual road towards the spot for Red-headed Trogon. Along the way, we passed by a Bottle Brush tree which is a favorite for Long-tailed Sibia, Blue-winged Minla, Black-throated Sunbird and Streaked Spiderhunter. Further up the road, we found Mountain Fulvetta and White-throated Fantail. As we got closer to our destination, I saw several photographers grouping infront of the trail head. Without doubt, they must have spotted the Red-headed Trogon and then we saw a red spot near the photographer. Definitely a Trogon! Everyone enjoyed the view through the binocular. It was a male bird. Not too long after, a female bird showed up. WOW!

I heard the Greater Yellownape (woodpecker) nearby but couldn't locate it as everyone were too occupied with the Trogon. 

After a few hours of walking, we took a short break. The 2nd part of the session, we had better luck with some colorful birds and there seems to be more activities going on the late morning. This include Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Silver-eared Mesia, Mountain Tailorbird, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, and others.

We ended the morning birdwatching with a family of 5 Malaysian Partridge (which we heard early morning but couldn't find). So, this is a great bird to finish off a great morning!

The birds that we saw during the morning session include (but not limited to)

1. Oriental Magpie Robin

2. Long-tailed Sibia

3. Streaked Spiderhunter

4. Blue-winged Minla

5. Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush

6. Red-headed Trogon

7. Streaked Wren-babbler

8. Rufous-browed Flycatcher

9. Large Niltava

10. Black-throated Sunbird

11. Pacific Swallow

12. Little Cuckoo Dove

13. Buff-breasted Babbler

14. Fire-tufted Barbet

15. Mountain Fulvetta

16. Black-eared Shrike-babbler

17. Silver-eared Mesia

18. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

19. Mountain Tailorbird

20. Lesser Shortwing

21. White-rumped Munia

22. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo

23. Mountain Bulbul

24. Grey-chinned Minivet

25. Pygmy Cupwing (previously known as Pygmy Wren-babbler)

26. White-throated Fantail

27. Malaysian Partridge

Mammals List: 

1. Dusky Leaf Monkey / Spectacled Leaf Monkey 

2. Western Striped Squirrel / Himalayan Striped Squirrel

3. Grey-bellied Squirrel

4. Mountain Red-bellied Squirrel / Pallas's Squirrel

Mountain Bulbul

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

Black-throated Sunbird

Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush

Silver-eared Mesia

Fire-tufted Barbet

Large Niltava

Little Cuckoo-dove

Red-headed Trogon

Rufous-browed Flycatcher

Streaked Spiderhunter

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

Birdwatching and Photography Trips

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.

My Artwork Products

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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