Sunday, April 24, 2016

Birding in the Highlands of West Malaysia - Fraser's Hill, Bukit Tinggi and Genting - April 2016

Our last visit to Fraser’s Hill was 2 years ago during the 2014 Bird Race June 20-23 so it was time to revisit the Hill Station and it seemed a good idea for a respite from the hot weather. We decided to include a new site, Kuala Selangor Nature Park in the April 3-7 trip. As usual we started early and were on the road at 5.30 am. With a short coffee stop at Pagoh R and R, we arrived Exit 601 Shah Alam at 10.05 am. Following the signs we arrived in Kuala Selangor town at 11.30 am. As it was too early to check into Sun Inns, we had lunch at the nearby coffee shop before driving to the Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP).

Coppersmith Barbet
Mangrove Blue Flycatcher 
As we arrived at the car park, we saw monkeys sitting around. It was next morning that we saw vendors’ signs selling food to feed the monkeys. No wonder the animals were waiting to be fed. The office was open and the lady who attended to us was friendly and said if we wanted to enter early in the morning we could come at 7 am while the office will not open till 9 am, and we can pay the entry fee on our way out. As we were already at the park we decided to explore the front part and return next morning for the wetland section. As we entered we saw 2 birds fighting on the ground and they turned out to be 2 Coppersmith Barbets using their beaks grabbing each other’s beak but did not peck at any other parts of each other. The behaviour seemed like a friendly match of trying to hold each other’s beaks as long as possible. Other than this unusual pair, there were not many birds around that afternoon. So we left for look at the town and checked into Sun Inns for a rest from the drive.

Next morning at 6:30 am we had breakfast at MacDonald's, which was on the way to KSNP. We arrived 7:15 am at KSNP and walked into the forest track and saw some bulbuls and monkeys grooming each other. We crossed the bridge and walked along the bunds towards the wetlands. The call of the Abbot’s Babbler was very loud but we could not see the bird. The mangrove forest was dry and it was already humid in the morning. At the pond only a couple of egrets were in the water.
Laced Woodpecker
We walked onto the boardwalk and saw 3 Laced Woodpeckers and a couple of Yellow-bellied Gerygones. On our way out we saw the Mangrove Flycatcher and some Tailorbirds. By 10:30 am it was too hot already and we returned to check out from the hotel. On the way to Fraser's we stopped by the Sekichan ricefields. Although there were munias and some herons flying about, no other birds were seen. We continued to Sungai Burong, a coastal village and saw a nesting Collared Kingfisher but the weather was hot and the birds seemed to be hiding.

Campbell's Hill Partridge

At 2pm we arrived at Kuala Kubu Bharu’s Wong Ng Kee for lunch. After lunch we continue to Fraser’s Hill stopping by the waterfall but did not see the Chestnut-naped Forktail. At the Gap we saw a group of 5 photographers and later we found they were from Hong Kong with a local guide who was friendly. We met them the next couple of days and the guide told us some sites to check out. We also met Durai who has opened a shop at Shahzan Inn. He gave us some tips where to look for the Campbell's Hill Partridge also known as the Malayan Hill Partridge, and we were lucky to see a female with 5 young ones near Richmond Bungalow which has recently closed for business.

Buff-breasted Babbler

Mountain Imperial Pigeon

The next day we were up early at the Selangor side and saw the Verditer Flycatcher and other birds feeding near the roof of the Selangor Bungalow. Back at Shahzan Inn for breakfast we ran into Valerie and Jerry, whom we had met during our Mt Kinabalu Park trip in December. They were visiting for a week with Val’s sister and friend. During our 3 days we birded at the Telecom Loop, Jeriau Waterfall, the abandoned Jelai Resort and High Pines and found fewer birds than we had seen in previous trips. Durai thought the hot weather was the reason for the lack of birds.

             Kuala Selangor Bird Photos                        Fraser's Hill Bird Photos

                Birds Seen At Kuala Selangor Nature Park

Forest Wagtail
Olive-winged Bulbul
2)Coppersmith Barbet7)Mangrove Blue Flycatcher
3)Oriental Magpie Robin8)Asian Brown Flycatcher
4)White-throated Kingfisher9)Laced Woodpecker
5)Pied Thriller

                Birds Seen At Fraser's Hill

Pacific Swallow
Rufous-browed Flycatcher
2)Silver-eared Mesia21)Pygmy Wren Babbler
3)Buff-breasted Babbler22)Crested Serpent Eagle
4)Streaked Spiderhunter23)Striped-throated Bulbul
5)White-throated Fantail24)Mountain Fulvetta
6)Javan Cuckooshrike25)Orange-breasted Leafbird
7)Mountain Bulbul26)Mugimaki Flycatcher
8)Large Niltava27)Black-throated Sunbird
9)Little Cuckoo Dove28)Long-tailed Sibia
10)Black & Crimson Oriole29)Blue-winged Minla
11)Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo30)Campell's Hill Partridge (Lifer)
12)Grey-chinned Minivet31)Fire-tuffed Barbet
13)Asian Brown Flycatcher32)Black-crested Bulbul
14)Sultan Tit33)Barn Swallow
15)Golden Babbler34)Black & Crimson Oriole
16)Chestnut-capped Laughing Thrush35)Golden Babbler
17)Mountain Imperial Pigeon36)Yellow-vented Bulbul
18)Black-browed Barbet37)Orange-bellied Leafbird
19)Verditer Flycatcher38)Oriental Magpie Robin

After a couple of weeks home we drove to Bukit Tinggi which we last visited 3 years ago. During this trip, April 18-21, we also visited Genting’s Awana bird site but found there was construction going on and could not drive into the forest trail. Near the golf course we found a Blue Whistling Thrush and at the garden just outside Awana’s car park we saw a young Black-browed Barbet being fed by its parents.
Blue Whistling-thrush

Black-browed Barbet

At Bukit Tinggi we stayed at the Colmar Tropical which was convenient for the morning drive up to the Botanic Garden and Japanese Garden where we visited early at 7 am. Although it was quiet and the birding site to the forest trail was blocked due to a mud slide, we were lucky to see a rare visitor, a Blue-capped Rock Thrush at the Japanese Garden. While there were no sign of nests of the Silver-breasted Broadbill we were happy to see 2 pairs fly into the trees at the nursery, the same tree we last saw the nests.
Blue-capped Rock Thrush

Silver-breasted Broadbill

In the afternoon on the second day we drove to Janda Baik and saw the Spectacled Spiderhunters and Sunbirds feeding on the flowering trees near the river. We also visited the Hutan Lipur Konifer nearby Kampong Bukit Tinggi and were surprised to see the Sultan Tit at this low level forest.
Spectacled Spiderhunter 

Sultan Tit

Birds Seen at Bt.Tinggi, Genting, Janda Baik and Hutan Lipur Konifer

Rhinoceros Hornbill
Black-browed Barbet
2)Striped-throated Bulbul14)Blue Whistling Thrush
3)Ochraceous Bulbul15)Scaly-breasted Munia
4)Yellow-vented Bulbul16)Crested Serpent Eagle
5)Black-crested Bulbul17)Oriental Honey Buzzard
6)Red-eyed Bulbul18)Blue-winged Leafbird
7)Scaly-breasted Bulbul19)Brown-throated Sunbird
8)Blue-capped Rock Thrush (Lifer)20)Common Tailorbird
9)Silver-breasted Broadbill21)Dark-necked Tailorbird
10)Sultan Tit22)Tiger Shrike
11)Streaked Spiderhunter23)Brown Shrike
12)Spectacled Spiderhunter