More about Coffee and Birds

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Took a short time going through some articles on birds and coffee farm. Now I realized there are really a lot of effort on this sustainable farming practice. I would like to share the following links with you. Enjoy the articles. 

Coffee Made in the Shade Can Be More Profitable, Thanks to Birds
October 1, 2019

Birds, Coffee, and Natural Ecosystems
Amanda Rodewald studies the ecology of coffee farms and birds’ habitats in Central and South America, with an eye on preserving biodiversity.

There is another interesting article about crows in Malaysia which stated that the House Crow over here is genetically similar to the ones in Sri Lanka. Some believe the bird hitchhiked ships and arrived in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Zoologist Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor from UPM said that crows from Sri Lanka was introduced in Malaysia. It was introduced as a biological control to coffee plantation in Pulau Carey in 1902 by John Edward Valentine Carey. Read more here:

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Heroes: Sir David Attenborough

Friday, November 27, 2020

His voice is unmistakable! I have heard of his voice for so many years on television documentaries since my childhood. I am sure you can recognize his voice instantly! For today's post, I would like to talk about David Attenborough. 

Over the years, we have seen so many naturalists making lots of wildlife documentaries. Everyone has their own unique personality / character. But whenever I think about a naturalist on TV, it would always be him, the one and only David Attenborough. I tried to watch almost every documentaries I can find featuring him. One of the most unforgettable and my favorite series is The Life of Birds. As a birder, I of course bought a copy of the DVD for my own collection. 

David Attenborough joined BBC in 1952 and made remarkable journeys into the wilderness to film the wonders of nature. Such an incredibly strong passion for nature, even age could not stop him from sharing his knowledge to the world. I truly believe he has witnessed so many things in life more than anyone else and he have seen the changes to the natural world - good and bad. 

He has been to Borneo and he even helped to highlight on the bridge project over Kinabatangan River which was eventually abandoned. Read the article here:

Learn about this fascinating figure. Check him out on Google and YouTube. Watch his documentaries.  

Here are some links for a start: 

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Review: Fraser's Hill

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


My first visit to Fraser's Hill was in the 90s. I had to complete my university field practical hours, so I picked WWF Fraser's Hill. I was stationed here for 4 weeks. I had no idea it was so cold up here. Everything was cold (at least for ordinary Malaysian standard). But I am glad that I got the chance to experience how and what it was like in those days. Birds are practically everywhere and very approachable. If you walk into the trails, Large Niltava and Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush would be perching close to the trail. Plenty of Silver-eared Mesia. 

Fraser's Hill was named after a Scottish, Louis James Fraser. The old story we know is that he went missing in the forest but the latest news I was told is that he actually went back to Europe where he met with an accident and died. If you want to read more about Louis Fraser, just click here to Wikipedia

According to Pahang Tourism's website, it mentioned that the hill station is 1,524m above sea level. However, I believe this is the highest accessible point (by walking) of Fraser's Hill. It is generally around 1,200m above sea level. Up there it is generally between 19°C - 22°C. 

The hill station is regarded as one of the prime birding destination in Peninsular Malaysia. Oversea birders have been visiting this place for many many years. There are about 250 bird species recorded here but frankly speaking you will probably get to see 100 species while some would require lots of patience and longer duration. It also depends on the season. During the migration period, you could expect some species passing by while some would remain as wintering visitor. 

Normally, I would suggest at least 3 days 2 nights birding in Fraser's Hill but not everyone would be able to spend such amount of time. Day trip is doable but you will be missing the birding session in the morning and late afternoon since the drive from KL city center to the hill station is not 1.5 hours as stated in some of the websites or according to Google Maps. The road uphill is winding and narrow while the road between KL and Kuala Kubu Baru can be busy at times (especially holiday season / public holiday). 

Lots of birds to be discovered here including Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, Malayan Laughingthrush, Black Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Long-tailed Sibia, Black-throated Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter, Large Niltava, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Little Pied Flycatcher, Red-headed Trogon, Collared Owlet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Large Cuckooshrike, Black-and-Crimson Oriole, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, White-tailed Robin, Streaked Wren-babbler, Pygmy Cupwing (previously known as Pygmy Wren-babbler), Black-browed Barbet, Fire-tufted Barbet, Golden Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Buff-breasted Babbler, Malaysiam Partridge, and many more. 

Watch the video above which I have compiled and to highlight some of the amazing birds up in the hill station. Apart from the birds, you can expect to see a few species of primates and wild boar too. Plenty of squirrels around while the cutest in Himalayan Striped Squirrel. 

Lots of restaurants around there. Most would be serving local meals (Chinese, Malay and Indian) while there are a few that serve western food. For accommodation, try Shahzan Hotel, Puncak Inn or the more expensive Smokehouse. AirBnB is available in Silverpark while some bungalows are renting out the rooms. 

Hope you get some ideas how Fraser's Hill would be for your birding trip to Fraser's Hill and what you can expect from there. 

If you are interested to hire my service to guide you for birding in Fraser's Hill, just send me an email to or send a text message to me via WhatsApp at +60183632738.

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Do You Like Coffee?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

An email received yesterday "How will the ☕ you drink help birds? Find out now"

I drink coffee at local coffee shop, not like those Starbucks or Coffee Beans. I am not crazy about coffee but occasionally I will order just the ordinary black coffee with sugar (no condensed milk added) and ice while on birding trips. Although, I don't believe the beans or the powder originate from shade-grown coffee plantation because it will be expensive for the coffee shop owner.

Almost all kind of farming or plantation over here in Malaysia is destructive, which means, farmer or big plantation companies will clear the forest before planting their crops. Quite unfortunately, sad but true. But after reading the text on the above link, personally I like the idea of shade grown farm. It really helps to keep the birds (and other wildlife) in their existing habitat. Really a win-win situation. I might be wrong or the writer could be half right. But I think there must be a thorough field study conducted on shade-grown coffee, otherwise how would the writer come out with the statement "more than 42 species of North American migratory songbirds that winter in coffee plantations, including orioles, warblers, and thrushes". Amazing!!!

If you can't see the link, here it is: Drink Coffee That's Good for Birds

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Nature Photography with Roger back in 2009

Friday, November 13, 2020

I remember this trip very well. It was my first trip with Roger for 5 days. We covered Kuala Selangor, Fraser's Hill and Hulu Langat. His enthusiasm and passion for butterflies is amazing! I was impressed and soon, I started shooting and looking out for butterflies too. I did another trip with Roger in 2011 and will compile the photos soon. 

Throughout the 5 days, we see more things - apart from birds and butterflies, we had sightings of water monitor, tarantula, trapdoor spider, colugo (YOU SHOULD LOOK AT HIS FACE! HE WAS SO AMAZED), and many primates. 

Let's take a look at the video. I hope you enjoy this. There are more videos from my YouTube channel which showcases Birds in Malaysia, my Birding in Malaysia trips, and others. Subscribe to the channel and you will be notify when there is a new video uploaded to my channel. Thank you.


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It's about Butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia.


I have been thinking whether to start a new blog or use this blog to share my butterflies sightings & photographs. After a few days of thinking about this, I decided to stick on to this blog. Over the years, going out on birding trips and sometimes just around the neighborhood, I have been able to take photographs of butterflies of various sizes. I used to have a dedicated macro lens, but nowadays I only have a micro four thirds telephoto zoom lens to take all the shots, which I am quite happy about. 

How can you benefit from this page? Many of my friends are curious whenever they see colorful butterflies in their garden or while they walk in the urban parks. Sometimes they tried to describe to me what they saw which I can't imagine. Some managed to get some photographs with their smartphone and that's helpful. Now, if I can have a page filled with photographs of the common butterflies in Peninsular Malaysia, it will truly help anyone who wanted to find out what they are looking at. 

You can also visit my Facebook album "Butterflies & Moths of Peninsular Malaysia"

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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.

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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