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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Peninsular Malaysia 17th - 28th September 1998,
22 Briar Avenue,
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Our work and family commitments largely dictated the timing of this trip. September is not the optimum time to visit the peninsular, although it is before the rainy season
All our travel arrangements were made through Wildwings. The flights with Gulf Air (via Abu Dhabi) were good value at £450 and OK between London and the Gulf, but the connecting flight from Abu Dhabi to KL on the outward journey left something to be desired. On reflection direct flights from either London or Amsterdam to KL (BA, Virgin, Malaysia or KLM) would have been worth the extra £100 or so to avoid changing planes in the middle of the night. For those on a very tight budget cheaper flights are apparently available with China Airlines (via Zurich) or Aeroflot.
All our accommodation and transfers were pre-booked through Wildwings with Kingfisher Tours in KL at a cost of £240 each. The accommodation was varied from adequate (Kuala Selangor) to sumptuous (Taman Negara).Mano Tharmalingan Kingfisher Tours PO Box 12077,50766 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tel 00603 242 1454 Fax 00603 242 9827
We only had ten days and with hindsight we should have tried to go for a full fortnight in order to have a couple more days at Taman Negara and we should have spent a night at the Gap Resthouse for the birding at lower altitudes.
Details of the three sites that we visited (Kuala Selanagor, Fraser's Hill/the Gap and Taman Negara) can be found in a number of guides to the region eg Bransbury and Wheatley . These are pretty accurate in terms of the species to expect. The sketch maps in Wheatley’s book are quite adequate for the immediate area around the resort at Taman Negara and for the reserve at Kuala Selanagor. A map of Fraser's Hill is available from
Mr. K. Durai,
c/o WWF Office
49000 Fraser's Hill
17/09 Met at KLIA by Mano Tharmalingan of Kingfisher Tours who drove us to the reserve at Kuala Selangor. Settled into our accommodation and then spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening birding from the bunds that surround the main lagoon. Early highlights were two Lesser Adjutants and a substantial fall of Tiger Shrikes.
18/09 Torrential overnight rain continued into the morning and prevented an early start A relatively birdless walk through secondary growth forest did produce our only Forest Wagtail and our first Greater Coucal. Time spent on the boardwalk failed to add to our species list. The return via the bunds did improve our count of Kingfishers, particularly welcome was our first amazing Stork-billed Kingfisher and a surprisingly fearless Crested Serpent Eagle that allowed a close approach. The afternoon was spent around Lighthouse hill where we found our only Lineated Barbet and Spotted Dove.
19/09 A much fresher morning with clearer skies and a light breeze. We headed off to spend the morning in the mangroves and found that the change in the weather coincided with a light passage of Japanese Sparrowhawks. Once again no luck with either Mangrove Pitta or Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, but two Arctic Warblers were new arrivals. On our way back Malayan Bronze Cuckoo brightened up a relatively dull morning. At midday Manu collected us for the trip to Fraser's Hill. With his usual immaculate timing we arrived at the Gap with enough time for lunch at the Resthouse and a little birding before the road opened for up traffic. Slaty-backed Forktail walking on the road was the highlight of the drive up to Fraser's Hill. Manu showed us some of the "Hot Spots", particularly the delightful dump, before leaving us at the Bangelo Rumpin. Whilst NJW caught up on his beauty sleep KWR experienced his first bird wave, which included Blue Nuthatch. This nearly became the disaster of the trip, as we didn’t see another Nuthatch until just before we left for Taman Negara. The last light of the day was spent with Lee/Gary (he seemed to prefer that we used his anglicized name) a Malaysian birder. We spent the evening eating with Durai and Gary.
20/09 The morning started misty and we went with Lee/Gary to the Telekom loop. As the mist receded we encountered a few bird waves which included Speckled Piculet. Surprisingly it turned out to be one of the best birds of the trip. Yet another case of the field guides not doing a bird justice. Lets hope no one ever produces the definitive guide or we will be deprived of pleasant surprises such as this. The species count gradually rose as the day warmed up. The late afternoon introduced us to the pleasure to be had from feeding leaches on the Bishops Trail. This famous trail was very quite but we did manage good views of a Red-headed Trogon.
21/09 We started the day off at the Old Zoo and on the Bishop’s Trail which once again was disappointingly quiet apart from one wave which included a superb Rufous-browed Flycatcher. After lunch we made the mistake of walking to the waterfall in the hope of finding a Malayan Whistling Thrush. It was a long, hot and birdless slog made worse by the thought that the return journey would be uphill. We ultimately cracked and shamelessly begged a lift for the return journey from a very pleasant Chinese family. They were rounding off their trip to the Commonwealth Games with a stay at Fraser's Hill. They left us at the dump where the afternoon was salvaged by a Red-bearded Bee-eater, a truly strange and wonderful bird.
22/09 An excellent day. In the cooler conditions we set off to the Hindu School (at the end of the Maybank Trail) which is at the top of the New Road. A severe landslip means that this road is not yet open and moreover it is not likely to be for some time. With no traffic it is like a giant concrete trail that cuts through the forest with all the way down to the Gap. At the first culvert we saw 3 Slaty-backed Forktails. Other highlights of the descent included Orange-bellied Leafbird, Verditer Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Buff and Grey Woodpecker and many more. After lunch at the Gap Resthouse we birded along the road down towards Kuala Lumpur where we encountered several parties of birds that included Black Laughingthrush, Sultan Tit, Black-browed Barbet, White-hooded Babbler and Everett’s White-eye. We returned to the Gatehouse as it started to rain in order to catch the 15.00hrs bus up the hill. Whilst we were waiting we heard both Oriental Cuckoo and Helmeted Hornbill.
By the time we reached the Fraser's Hill gatehouse it had stopped raining. A quick check of the gully failed again to produce Malaysian Whistling Thrush, but did yield our only Chestnut-crowned Laughing Thrushes. After a brief stop at the WWF centre to chat to Durai we headed off on the Telekom loop. On or way we finally pinned down Blue Nuthatch.
23/09 We made one last early morning bid for the Whistling Thrush but in vain. Our transport arrived at 8:00 am to take us to Kuala Tembeling. We were thus fortunate to miss the arrival of a prominent member of the British Royal family for his 30 minutes of fame birding with Durai. On our arrival we upgraded our transfer to jet boat to increase our birding time at Taman Negara. This still left us with time to kill. Fortunately the cafe adjacent to the ticket office for the boats served the best chicken curry we had during the entire trip and the owners offer of seconds was gratefully accepted. The jet boats save time but are not conducive to seeing birds on the journey. After settling in to our accommodation which was sumptuous, and we suspect was an unexpected upgrade, we walked the Jenut Muda trail. A young Banded Broadbill made the walk worthwhile.
24/09 Probably the best day of the trip. Emerging from our chalet at dawn we were treated to superb views of Oriental Pied Hornbill as they fed in the trees around the resort. We walked the Jenut Muda trail in the hope of finding Great Argus as we had heard two calling the previous evening. None of the birders we had spoken to previously had seen it so we traveled more in hope than expectation. Fortunately this turned out to be one of those occasions most of us go birding for. At the crest of one of the rises on the trail we rounded a small bush to be confronted by a male three metres in front of us. It examined us disdainfully and with immense dignity took its leave of the arena. Nick decided that the word stately was invented for this bird. He is surely right and it makes any further description unnecessary. Apart from this highlight new birds had come with regularity. The situation improved even further during the afternoon when we walked the Bukit Teresek trail. We walked this trail in reverse to normal. This meant walking up the slope from the river, which was as steep as a flight of stairs and slippy with wet clay and covered in tangled tree roots, instead of down like all the sensible people. Despite this the birding was excellent and the sight of two Rhinoceros Hornbills dueting high in the trees soon dispelled any fatigue we may have felt. Dusk was spent feeding mosquitoes as we waited for the Bat Hawk to fly down the river alas to no avail.
25/09 Once again we woke to torrential rain and had to settle for a leisurely breakfast. Despite the rain eventually stopping it seemed to dampen bird activity for the rest of the day. Purple-naped Sunbird at the Tahan hide decided the identity of a strange "Spiderhunter" seen the previous day.
26/09 The day arrived dry and birding at breakfast produced both Chestnut-bellied and Chestnut-breasted Malkoha and Hill Mynah. We took a boat trip down to the waterfall. On the way we saw Oriental Pied Hornbill and our only Crested Honey Buzzard. After birding around the waterfall we walked down to the Tabing Hide where we were collected by our boat. The birding was slow but provided some excellent birds such as Crested Fireback, Black and Yellow Broadbill and Banded Kingfisher. The stars of the show were, however, two Whiskered Tree Swifts that perched above us on a dead tree and performed beautifully. These birds compete with Red-bearded Bee-eater to be the oddest looking birds of the trip. Thirty Silver-rumped Swifts accompanied us for some of the short trip back down river and just before the end a Black Hornbill flew over. As we were about to dock our only Straw-headed Bulbuls of the trip were flying around a bush close to us on the bank.
27/09 This day was a special holiday declared by the President to celebrate the end of the Commonwealth games and Malaysia’s success. The numbers of visitors increased noticeably and made birding close to the centre difficult. Towards the end of the day however as it got quieter we were rewarded with a few new species notably Asian Fairy Bluebird, Black and Red Broadbill, Red-eyed Bulbul and Black-headed Bulbul.
28/09 Our final day left us with little time for birding at Taman Negara except from the boat down river. This was not by jet boat and as we were in the lead boat we saw a few more birds. White-throated Kingfishers were very common and the three Stork-billed Kingfishers were worth seeing again. Four Rhinoceros Hornbills flying across the river seemed to be saying farewell and the Common Sandpipers that flew close served to remind us that we were returning home. Manu collected us on time at Kuala Tembeling. After grilling us to find out what we had seen he must have taken pity on us feeble foreign birders. We had plenty of time to catch our flight home so he took us on a small detour to show us our final birds of the trip. A quite walk up a small stream led to a female Chestnut-naped Forktail and her single youngster without doubt the most memorable end to a trip we have both had.
The order, nomenclature and taxonomy follow Inskipp et al (1996) An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region as do the numbers applied to each species
74 Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
Males heard calling at KS1 on 19th.
87 2Crested Fireback
A single male walked across the trail from the Waterfall to the Tabing hide 26th
111 Great Argus Argusianus argus
One heard calling in the forest behind the resort (TN) on the evening of 23rd. Excellent views of a male on the Jenet Muda Trail (TN) on the morning of 24th.
193 Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus
One on the road to High Pines (FH) on 20th.
194 Rufous Piculet Sasia abnormis
One near the Tabing Hide (TN) on 25th.
199 Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopus
A mangrove specialist seen each day at KS usually from the boardwalk.
216 Rufous Woodpecker Celeus brachyurus
Seen at TN. Two on 27th and 28th around the resort and on the trail to the Canopy walkway.
221 Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus
Seen in bird waves on the Telekom Loop (FH); one on 20th and two on 22nd.
222 Crimson-winged Woodpecker Picus
One on the River Trail (TN) 24th.
223 ‡Greater Yellownape Picus
One in a bird wave on the Telekom Loop (FH) on 20th.
235 Common Flameback Dinopium javanense
Three seen in the secondary growth forest at KS on 16th. Two around the resort area (TN) 24th.
243 Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis
Two on the Telekom Loop (FH) on 22nd one of which was drumming high up in a dead tree.
245 Buff-rumped Woodpecker Meiglyptes
One on the River Trail (TN) 23rd. One on the very steep climb from the River Trail to the top of Bukit Teresek (TN) on the 24th.
247 Buff-necked Woodpecker Meiglyptes
Two on the trail to the Canopy Walkway (TN) on 27th.
248 Grey-and-buff Woodpecker Hemicircus
One near the bottom of the New Road (FH) on 22nd.
252 Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus
One on the very steep section of the Bukit Teresek Trail (TN) on the 24th.
253 Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus
Commonly heard singing over all of Fraser's Hill. The first one seen was in the garden of the Bangelo Rumpin on 19th. At least one of these spectacular Barbets was seen well every day at Fraser's Hill.
257 Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata
One in trees at the base of the Lighthouse tower KS on 18th.
267 Black-browed Barbet Megalaima oorti
Seen on 22nd on the new road to the Gap and another along the road down from the Gap Resthouse.
278 Brown Barbet Calorhamphus fuliginosus
Three on the steep slope of the Bukit Teresek Trail on 24th.
283 Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros
The most conspicuous of the Hornbills. First encountered at dawn on the 24th when three were in trees opposite the traveler's restaurant at TN. They appeared there most mornings and were also seen flying over the river at other times of the day.
284 3‡Black Hornbill
One flew over the boat on the return trip from the Waterfall 26th.
287 Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros
On the 24th two performed an amazing duet above our heads on the Bukit Teresek Trail (TN) before we saw them flying off. Another bird was more obliging on 27th when one was watched attacking a tree under the Canopy Walkway (TN). Four further birds were seen flying over the river on our return to Kuala Tembeling on 28th. These birds and the following species are extremely vocal and are heard more often than they are seen.
290 1Helmeted Hornbill
Heard at FH, the Gap and TN but never seen.
298 White-crowned Hornbill Aceros comatus
A female was flushed on the River Trail (TN) on 24th.
317 § Scarlet-rumped Trogon
One from the steep slope on the Bukit Teresek Trail (TN) on 24th.
318 Orange-breasted Trogon Harpactes
One from the steep slope on the Bukit Teresek Trail (TN) on 24th.
319 Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus
One from the Bishops Trail (FH) on 20th.
324 Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis
Several flying over the road on the trip from the airport to Kuala Selangor and three over the resort area (TN) on 27th.
327 Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Conspicuous at Kuala Selangor and several birds which were probably this species on the River Tembeling.
339 Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella
One male seen high in a tree and in flight on the River Trail (TN) on 26th and a far more obliging female sat above the trail to the Canopy Walkway (TN) on 27th.
342 Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon
Seen at both TN on 28th where three birds flew across the river on the boat trip to Kuala Tembeling and up to five birds at KS on 18th. Birds were usually seen in flight although two birds were seen perched in the forest at KS.
345 White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon
A common bird, particularly abundant on the lagoon at KS and on the River Tembeling.
345 Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon
One seen briefly at KS on 17th.
354 Collared Kingfisher Todriamphus
Noted as common at KS being seen in the mangroves, secondary growth forest and on the lagoon.
367 Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis
An incredible bird first seen at the charming Frasers Hill dump on 21st. Two more were seen in more appropriate surroundings from the New Road (FH) on 22nd. On the 24th singles were near the Waterfall (TN) and on the trail from the Waterfall to the Tabing hide.
386 Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus
Heard calling at the Gap on 22nd.
395 Little Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx
One seen in bushes around the bund at KS on 19th.
409 Black-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus
One on the River Trail (TN) on 24th.
410 Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus
A brief flight view of a Malkoha at Kuala Selangor on 16th was probably this species. Seen daily at TN particularly close to the resort area.
411 Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus
A flight view of a large long tailed Malkoha from the car as we left Frasers Hill may, frustratingly, have been Green-billed.
414 Raffle's Malkoha Phaenicophaeus
A common Malkoha in the lowland forest. Two on the River Trail (TN) on 24th were the first. Seen daily thereafter usually as pairs.
415 Red-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus
First seen on the Bukit Teresek Trail (TN) on 24th. Seen daily thereafter.
417 Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus
A confiding bird was seen at close range around the resort area (TN) on 26th.
429 Greater Coucal Centropus sinensus
Seen briefly flying off the trail at Kuala Selangor on 16th. Good views were had of a bird calling on the bund on 19th. One bird seen from the river on 26th.
503 Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta
Swiftlets were on the wing over most habitats most were not specifically identified but when they were this species was the most common.
514 Edible-nest Swiftlet Collocalia
See previous species. This species was identified over most habitats.
518 Silver-rumped Swift Rhaphidura leucopygialis
A bird seen poorly at the Waterfall (Frasers Hill) on 21st was probably the first. Birds were found in mixed flocks at TN. By far the best showing were thirty flying low over the river on the 26th as we travelled back to Kuala Tehan.
521 Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus
Generally needletails sp. occurred in small numbers within larger flocks of other species. Twenty with Fork-tailed Swifts near the Waterfall on the 26th gave the best views.
523 Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
As with the other aerial feeders it was not possible to examine every flock seen so the relative abundance or other wise of each species was difficult to assess. This bird was first identified at Kuala Selangor on 17th.
527 Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus
See Asian Palm Swift. This species appeared to become more conspicuous whilst at Frasers Hill and TN. It is difficult to say whether this is a function of date location or just observer awareness.
529 House Swift Apus affinis
See Asian Palm Swift. This species appeared to become more conspicuous whilst at Frasers Hill and TN. It is difficult to say whether this is a function of date location or just observer awareness.
533 Whiskered Treeswift Hemiprocne comata
Two were watched hawking for insects from the branches of a dead tree on the trail from the Waterfall to the Tabing hide on 26th. This improbable cross between a Flycatcher and a Swift provided some of the best entertainment of the trip.
596 Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata
One flew across the Jenut Muda trail on the 24th shortly after our encounter with the Great Argus.
623 Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus
Seen and heard at dusk in the car park at the entrance to the reserve at Kuala Selangor on 18th.
631 Rock Pigeon Columbia livia
We definitely saw some pigeons.
652 Spotted Dove Streptopelia orientalis
One on 18th at Lighthouse Hill (KS).
659 Little Cuckoo Dove Macropygia ruficeps
A common Dove at Frasers Hill first seen on 20th and then regularly in small numbers during our stay.
665 Peaceful Dove? Geopelia striata
First seen around the accommodation at Kuala Selangor on 18th. Small numbers were seen around the bunds and the resort area at Taman Negara.
678 Little Green Pigeon Treron olax
Seen only at TN in the resort area. A small flock of up to 15 birds regularly used the trees opposite the Travellers Restaurant giving excellent views.
679 Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron
Seen only at Kuala Selangor. Flocks of up to 20 were seen regularly flying and perched high at the tops of trees. It was never easy to get good views.
687 Large Green Pigeon Treron capelle
Definitely two going to roost at the Tahan hide on 27th.
729 Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia
First seen at Frasers Hill on the Telekom Loop on 20th. Single birds were encountered occasionally each day thereafter.
773 White-breasted Waterhen Amauronis
Twice seen from the bunds at Kuala Selangor disappearing into the vegetation. Extremely close views of one with a very young chick on 18th were much more enjoyable.
819 Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatillis
A wader roost formed each evening on the Lagoon at Kuala Selangor containing up to 30 of these birds.
820 Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
The wader roost at Kuala Selangor comprised mostly this species with around 200 present.
827 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Common on the River Tembeling. Also seen at Kuala Selangor.
965 Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus
One flew across the river near to the Waterfall (TN) on 26th.
971 Brahminy Kite Haliastur indicus
Seen only at Kuala Selangor where they were highly conspicuous with birds constantly soaring over the forest and mangroves and roosting on dead trees.
972 White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus
A pair was present at Kuala Selangor. When they were not soaring over the Lagoon they could usually be found perched on the Telekom mast.
987 Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis
The most widespread and obvious raptor with the local exception of the Kites at Kuala Selengor. Two birds perched in low trees over the bunds at Kuala Selangor giving excellent views were the first seen. At Frasers Hill they were particularly obvious from the new road down to the Gap on with up to six seen on the walk down on 22nd.
1008 Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter
Seven birds probably represented a light passage South over the mangroves at Kuala Selangor on 19th.
1024 Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
One, flying over the foothills on the drive to Frasers Hill, on 19th.
1035 Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus
One, flying over the new road to the Gap, on 22nd.
1038 Blyth's Hawk Eagle Spizaetus alboniger
First seen flying over the Bangelo Rumpin (Frasers Hill) on 20th. Two were also seen from the new road to the Gap on 22nd.
1089 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Small numbers were seen daily at Kuala Selangor.
1094 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Up to thirty present on the Lagoon at Kuala Selangor at all times.
1098 Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Small numbers were seen daily at Kuala Selangor.
1099 Great Egret Casmerodius alba
Common at Kuala Selangor.
1101 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
One on the return journey to Kuala Tembeling on 28th.
1105 Little Heron Butorides striatus
Several of these birds were seen each day on the Lagoon at Kuala Selangor.
1141 Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
Two of these enormous were Storks feeding on the Lagoon at Kuala Selangor on 17th.
1214 Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus
Three birds seen well off the trail to the Canopy Walkway (TN) 27th. One was still present the following morning.
1215 Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus
Seen only at TN. The first was a juvenile on the Jenut Muda trail on 23rd. Two on the steep slope of the Bukit Teresek trail on the 24th.
1216 Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus
One obliging if slightly wet individual showed well off the River Trail on 26th.
1248 Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone
Seen only at Kuala Selangor where it is a common bird but its small size and arboreal habitat make it surprisingly difficult to see. Found in the mangroves as well as the secondary growth forest.
1252 Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella
Two birds seen distantly at the Gap were probably this species. At TN a female was seen well from the River Trail on the 27th. As it disappeared into the forest it was joined by a male that gave tantalisingly a brief view.
1256 Greater Green Leafbird Chloropsus
One seen on 27th
1258 Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsus cochinchinensis
Seen only at TN. The first were from the Bukit Teresek trail on 24th and one or two birds were seen daily thereafter.
1260 Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsus
Two seen from the new road to the Gap on 22nd and a further two on the Telekom Loop later the same
1262 Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus
Large numbers of 1st year birds were present around the bunds at Kuala Selangor on 17th and probably represented an arrival of winter visitors. Numbers dwindled over the following days as they dispersed. One bird was seen at the Gap gatehouse on the 22nd.
1266 Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
One juvenile on the bund at Kuala Selangor on 17th.
1279 Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala
Another mangrove specialist seen in small numbers from the boardwalk at Kuala Selangor on each visit.
1305 Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis
For a large and spectacular Magpie this was a remarkably difficult bird to pin down. One minute it is out in the open showing well and within seconds it has disappeared completely. Two on the road to the High Pines Resort (Frasers Hill) on 20th were the first. Odd birds appeared on the fringes of bird waves with four on 22nd being the most seen at one time.
1328 House Crow Corvus splendens
Common at KS particularly around the town.
1336 Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Large crows seen in flight in most areas were presumed to be this species, but as with the hirundines time did not allow for extensive scrutiny.
1357 Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis
A common an easily seen bird in all locations.
1361 Black-and-crimson Oriole Oriolus
A male from the Telekom Loop (FH) on 20th was the only record.
1369 Javan Cuckooshrike Coracina jarvensis
On the afternoon of the 19th, our first day at Frasers Hill small groups of these birds appeared to be everywhere noisily chasing each other around the treetops. Inexplicably the next one to be seen was a lone individual at the start of the new road to the Gap on 22nd. Odd birds were then seen until we left.
1376 Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike Coracina
Two birds seen around the resort area (TN) each morning.
1397 Pied Triller Lalage nigra
Two seen around the bunds at KS on 18th.
1411 Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus
A common bird at Frasers Hill that caused us much confusion before we realised that relying upon males to show a Grey chin was a mistake. The wing pattern is the reliable way to identify them.
1416 Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus
First seen on the new road to the Gap on 22nd when two were part of a bird wave close to the Gap and another pair seen from the road downhill from the Rest House on the same day.
1423 White-throated Fantail Rhipidura
Replaced Pied Fantail in the mountains at Frasers Hill. Seen frequently as part of bird waves and also on their own.
1426 Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica
Common and conspicuous bird seen daily at Kuala Selangor. The bird most likely to distract your attention when you are looking for something special.
1427 Spotted Fantail Rhipidura perlata
First seen on the steep ascent of Bukit Teresek from the River Trail on 24th. Subsequently seen from the Jenut Muda trail on
1438 Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
Seen only at KS with two birds on 17th and three on the 18th. All were of the darker nominate race.
1441 Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
Two seen on our first visit to the Dump (FH) on the 19th . Up to five were seen in the same place on each subsequent visit. Two were at the Gap gatehouse on 22nd.
1442 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus
Small numbers were ever present at Frasers Hill sometimes associated with bird waves.
1447 Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus
Replaced the previous species at TN and were equally conspicuous.
1450 Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis
Seen only at TN. The first was on the River trail on 24th. Three were seen on the 26th. A relatively common Flycatcher which was certainly the most confiding.
1452 Asian Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone
Avery common and conspicuous Flycatcher that invariably was the first indicator of a bird wave. The white morph appeared in the majority. Seen only at TN.
1469 Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
First seen at Kuala Selangor on 18th. Single birds were seen each day thereafter. At TN one was seen on the trail to Tabing hide on 26th.
1473 Rufous-winged Philentoma Philentoma pyrhopterum
First seen on the Jenut Muda trail (TN) on 24th. This is on of the commonest Flycatchers and single birds and small groups were seen each subsequent day.
1474 Maroon-breasted Philentoma Philentoma
A pair seen on the 24th on the Jenut Muda trail.
1475 Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis
One near the Waterfall (TN) on 26th.
1565 § Ferruginous Flycatcher
A bird seen near the Waterfall (TN) on 26th was thought to be of this species.
1574 Rufous-browed Flycatcher Ficedula
One of these stunning Flycatchers in a small bird wave on the Bishops Trail (FH) on 21st.
1586 Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula
The commonest Flycatcher at FH with a total of twenty seen, usually in pairs. they also join bird waves.
1593 Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina
Seven birds recorded all on the 22nd at FH. Five were seen during our descent of the New Road and two later in the afternoon on the road to the Telekom Loop.
1598 Large Niltava Niltava grandis
A pair on telephone wires at Frasers Hill on 19th. Seen each day thereafter at Frasers Hill with at least nine individuals involved including one immature male
1622 Pygmy Blue Flycatcher Muscicapella
Only one of these tiny flycatchers was seen. It was in a bird wave on the Telekom Loop (Frasers Hill) on 20th.
1623 Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culcicapa
Fairly common at Frasers Hill but always seen as singles and not included in bird waves. The first was at the dump on 19th. At TN two were seen near the Waterfall on 26th and one near Tabing hide the same day.
1644 Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus
One of the easiest to find birds in Malaysia, in fact it probably finds you. Found in all open areas close to human habitation.
1645 White-rumped Sharma Copsychus malabaricus
Two on the Jenut Muda trail on 24th. A tail less bird was seen on several occasions.
1672 Chestnut-naped Forktail Enicurus ruficapillus
An adult and a juvenile on 28th on a rocky stream off the Old Gombak Road was a magnificent finale for the trip.
1674 Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus
One seen on the road as we drove up to Frasers Hill on 19th, three on the first stream down the new road to the Gap on 22nd and one at the gate house at Frasers Hill on 23rd.
1702 Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis
Very common around Kuala Selangor. A huge roost was in the centre of town. An annex under the awning of the shops provided more than adequate viewing.
1721 Common Mynah Acridotheres tristis
As the name suggests this bird is common and widespread and was seen every day.
1736 Hill Mynah Gracula religiosa
One bird in trees opposite the travelers Restaurant (TN) on 26th.
1752 Blue Nuthatch Sitta azurea
This "common" component of bird waves proved anything but for us. One was seen in the first wave at Fraser's Hill 19th but no others were seen until our last afternoon at Fraser's Hill when we recorded a further six. We even asked Durai the best place to look - he is probably still laughing.
1778 Great Tit Parus major
First seen in the mangroves at Kuala Selangor on 17th and four there on 19th. (I don't appear to have recorded all the ones we saw can you fill this out. Were they all in the mangroves?)
1790 Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea
Seen only at Frasers Hill with the first in a bird wave on the 19th. Two on the Bishops trail on 21st. One at the Gap and one on the Telekom Loop on 22nd.
1800 Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Odd birds were noted in hirundine flocks on the River Tembeling. Closer inspection would surely have produced more.
1806 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Large numbers of hirundines were seen in all localities. When time allowed for close inspection this was the most numerous species.
1807 Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
Lesser numbers than the previous species a rough estimate would suggest perhaps less than 20% of the hirundines but still a significant number of birds
1821 Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus
Three seen from the boat close to the Kuala Tahan jetty on 26th as we returned from the Waterfall trip.
1827 Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus
Seen only at TN from the River trail on 27th. An adult feeding several young.
1828 Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus
A common and obvious species around the Gap and along the new road on 22nd.
1843 Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus
Four at the gate at the Gap 22nd were the first definite sightings. A further four at the Tabing hide (TN) on 25th.
1848 Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus
Almost ubiquitous at Kuala Selangor. This species is far less intrusive at TN where small numbers were seen around the resort area.
1852 Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus
Seen only at TN from the River trail on 27th. An adult feeding several young.
1857 Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus
The first was seen on 22nd on the new road to the Gap. A flock of six was watched later that day around the Rest House.
1858 Grey-cheeked Bulbul Alophoixus
The first positive identification was one on 23rd on the river trail (TN). Two in the same area on 24th. The gloom left quite a few Bulbuls of this type unidentified.
1862 Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes
Adults feeding several young birds were ever present around the Tabing Hide (TN).
1865 Buff-vented Bulbul Iole olivacea
A small group of around six birds were the first Bulbuls we encountered at TN. It took some time to get to grips with these dull birds in the gloom of the forest. This was the fore runner of many such frustrating episodes which left a lot of birds unidentified. This is the down side of rain forest birding for the inexperienced and brought home the importance of knowing the calls of the forest birds.
1876 Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii
This montane specialist was seen in small groups frequently all over Frasers Hill.
1894 Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens
Six birds seen in roadside scrub on the walk down on the new road to the Gap on 22nd. Its skulking habits probably means that it is far more common than these numbers suggest.
1899 Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris
Single birds and pairs seen each day in the vegetation on the bunds at Kuala Selangor.
1904 Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
Small flocks of up to twenty regularly seen and heard at Kuala Selangor.
1909 Everett's White-eye Zosterops everetti
Only seen at the Gap on 22nd when a group of around thirty formed the bulk of a bird wave.
1990 Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus
Common at Frasers Hill.
1991 Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
One seen at Kuala Selangor. Common around the resort area (TN)
1992 Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus
The first was seen at the Dump (FH) on 19th.
1996 Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps
Ubiquitous at KS. The first new bird of the trip as a pair noisily chased each other at eye level as we got out of the car at the reserve.
2020 Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus
One Telekom loop (FH) 22nd.
2022 Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
Two in the mangroves at KS on 19th appeared to herald the return of the wintering warblers. One from the Tahan hide on 25th and one near the Tabing Hide (TN) on the 26th.
2024 Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus
One on the road to the Telekom loop (FH) 22nd.
2029 Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus
One on the new road to the Gap on 22nd and another on the road to the Telekom loop the same day.
2039 Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus
One in a wave on the Telekom Loop (FH) on 20th.
2047 Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus
One or two birds were seen in most bird waves at FH.
2068 Black Laughingthrush Garrulax lugubris
About four of these good looking Laughingthrushs were seen at the Gap on 22nd.
2090 Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush Garrulax
A common bird at Frasers Hill and another compulsory component of bird waves.
2106 Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax
Two on 22nd over the stream by the Gatehouse (FH).
2117 Abbott's Babbler Malacocincla abbotti
A few birds were seen on the forest trails at Kuala Selangor. This was the most easy to find Babbler at TN where they were still feeding young. Careful scrutiny of these birds is needed to find the similar Horsfield’s Babbler and Short Tailed Babbler.
2120 Short-tailed Babbler Malacocincla
One seen around the stream between the resort and the canopy walkway on 27th.
2129 Moustached Babbler Malacopteron
Once it was realised that the moustache on the adults was worn at this time of year this became one of the commoner Babblers.
2130 Sooty-capped Babbler Malacopteron affine
A common Babbler seen daily at TN.
2131 Scaly-Crowned Babbler Malacopteron cinereum
See Rufous-crowned Babbler. (I think I was calling pink legged birds juvenile Rufous)
2132 Rufous-Crowned Babbler Malacopteron
First seen on the Jenut Muda trail on the 24th. It was common there after although there was probably much confusion with the previous species.
2174 Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea
A common and numerous component of bird waves at Frasers Hill. Nearly all waves appeared with Mountain Fulvettas and Golden Babblers at the fore.
2195 Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris
First seen on the Jenut Muda trail (TN) on 24th
2222 Silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris
Seen only at FH where this striking bird is common in both in small flocks in the waves of mixed species
2228 Black-eared Shrike Babbler Pteruthius
Most bird waves at FH contained small numbers of this species.
2230 White-hooded Babbler Gampsorhynchus
Three of these attractive birds in a bird wave by the Gap rest house on 22nd.
2237 Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera
Very common at FH, particularly in bird waves.
2255 Mountain Fulvetta Alcippe peracensis
A common and numerous species around FH. See Golden Babbler.
2266 Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia
A common and conspicuous bird at FH where small noisy flocks were seen each day.
2335 Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus
One on the trail from the Waterfall to the Tabing hide on 26th.
2365 Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
One on 20th from the Telekom loop (FH).
2370 Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum
One immature bird at the start of the New Road (FH) identified by its diagnostic bi-coloured bill. A female Sunbird with it may well have been of this species.
2373 §Brown-throated Sunbird
One at KS on 18th.
2375 Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Anthreptes
Small flocks high in the mangroves at KS on 19th caused some initial identification problems as the small bill is so unlike the other Sunbirds that it sends you thinking about the wrong genus. A single bird seen well from the Tahan hide on 24th gave the first impression of being a Flowerpecker.
2376 Purple-naped Sunbird Hypogramma
A single bird seen briefly, but well from the Tahan Hide (TN) on 25th. Its striking similarity to a Spiderhunter explained the probable identity of a "Spiderhunter" seen on the River Trail the previous day.
2382 Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia
The commonest Sunbird at KS with groups of up to four birds being seen regularly around the bunds in the same habitat as the Yellow-bellied Prinias.
2397 Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga
The only Sunbird seen at FH where it is conspicuous particularly around the ornamental bushes with red flowers.
2403 Thick-billed Spiderhunter Arachnothera
One on the River trail (TN) 24th.
2408 Grey-breasted Spiderhunter Arachnothera
Two from the Tahan hide (TN) on.
2410 Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera
Common around FH where its noisy calls and frenetic activity make it easy to find.
2419 Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Surprisingly only two were seen at KS on 18th and another at the Gap.
2428 Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
One in the secondary growth forest at KS on 18th.
2434 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Not seen until our first visit to the Dump (FH) on 19th but thereafter, particularly on the new road, it was ever present.
2476 White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Only seen on 22nd when small flocks were encountered all the way down the New Road to the Gap
2481 Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
A small flock of around twenty on the bunds at KS on the 18th were the first. The same or other flocks were seen each day thereafter.
2483 Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca
Three going to roost in a palm at KS on 17th. Small flocks were encountered around the bunds at KS occasionally included other Munia species.
2486 White-headed Munia Lonchura maja
A single bird in a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias at Kuala Selangor was the only record.
1Abbreviations used: FH, Frasers Hill; KS, Kuala Selanagor; TN, Taman Negara
2Species in italics and underlined are considered to be threatened
3Species in Italics are considered to be threatened
‡ Species only recorded by KWR
§ Species only recorded by NJW