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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 nature2pixel@gmail.com or send a text message to me via WhatsApp at +60183632738.



Licensed Guide specialized in birdwatching and photography tour in Peninsular 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 nature2pixel@gmail.com 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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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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