Follow That Bird
- sydney's birding company Email:tours@followthatbird.com.au

Birding Malaysia Trip Report

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Stork-billed Kingfisher by Patricipant Adrian O'Neill
A successful week that gave everyone some insight into the great delights of Oriental birding. Everyone managed good views of hornbills, pheasants, broadbills and trogons plus a bunch of other colourful and elusive species.

My total trip list was 174 species seen and a further 19 heard only. We started off doing a bit of urban birding in Kuala Lumpur on the morning of the 19th. Highlight here were a couple of Purple-backed Starlings, wintering migrants from NE Asia. We transferred through to the jetty for our three hour ride upstream to Taman Negara National Park. No sooner had we set out when a party of four White-crowned Hornbills flew across the bow-a great sighting of this scarce and inconspicuous bird.

Once set up in the Mutiara Resort we scouted out some profusely fruiting Jambu trees near our accommodation. Always alive with birds this became a regular haunt during our stay in Taman Negara, every time we added new species to the list. Regular visitors included Thick-billed and Little Green Pigeon, Oriental Pied Hornbill, colourful Fairy Bluebirds and a bunch of bulbuls and barbets. The trails were often slow for birding activity but perseverance paid off with great sightings of Crested Fireback Pheasant, White-bellied Woodpecker, Banded Broadbill to name a few.

Perhaps our greatest highlight at TN was the afternoon boat trip up the Tahan River drifting back with the outboard engines off. We had some excellent views of perched Rhinoceros and Black Hornbills, a multitude of kingfishers including the scarce Blue-banded, a stunning Chestnut-naped Forktail and a Short-toed Coucal was a rare sighting.

sspiderhunter
Streaked Spiderhunter by Adrian O'Neill
We all enjoyed the more refreshing climate of Fraser's Hill. Our first morning gave a rush of new and colourful birds attracted to lights and the moths. People did not know which way to look with Green Magpie, Chestnut-capped and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Long-tailed Sibia, Golden and Grey-throated Babbler, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Greater Yellownape, Verditer Flycatcher, Black and Crimson Oriole flitting about and popping out. We even had a surprise visit from the scarce bamboo specialist White-hooded Babbler.

Walking the roads and trails added a further bunch of good birds-everyone loved the toucan-like Fire-tufted Barbet and after a bit of a struggle on the narrow jungle trail Red-headed Trogon was a definite crowd-pleaser. A vagrant Eurasian Sparrowhawk posed for digiscoping in between attempted strikes on hapless victims like Little Cuckoo-Dove. Too quickly our trip was over. We enjoyed the tasty food; everyone was friendly and everything efficient. Many thanks to Janene for her excellent organisation and special thanks to Jack, Patricia, Adrian, Belinda, Dorothy, Joan and Barbara for the great laughs and fun we had whilst birding in the jungles of Malaysia.

by Dion Hobcroft guiding for FTB

blangur
Banded Langur by Adrian O'Neill
BIRD LIST
Little Heron: (2-5) daily TN
Chinese Pond Heron: (1) daily TN including one bird developing some diagnostic breeding plumage on 19 Mar.
Cattle Egret: (6) on Tembeling River on 19 Mar as we headed to TN.

Lesser Fish-Eagle: (2) on Tahan River, TN on 21 Mar gave great views of this scarce and declining raptore.
Crested Serpent-Eagle: (1) in flight, Tembeling River on 19 Mar.
Changeable Hawk-Eagle: (1) pale morph Tembeling River on 19 Mar and (1) dark morph present daily Tahan Hide, TN 20-22 Mar gave repeated scope views.
Grey-faced Buzzard: (1) gave good flight views on our Tahan River pelagic on 21 Mar.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: (1) female gave great scope views, watched hunting on the Telekom Loop, FH on 23 Mar. Photographs confirmed the identification of this vagrant.

Black-thighed Falconet: (1-2) scoped at the Tahan Hide on 20 and 22 Mar.

Crested Fireback: (1-20) seen daily at TN. Numerous excellent views.
Red Junglefowl: (2-4) every morning at the Tahan Hide gave good views

White-breasted Water-hen: (1) seen on bus trip from KL to TN Jetty on 19 Mar.

Red-wattled Lapwing: (3) Tembeling River on 19 Mar.

Common Sandpiper: (3) Tembeling River on 19 Mar.

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Verditer Flycatcher by Adrian O'Neill
Thick-billed Pigeon: (10-20) daily Tahan Hide, TN.
Large Green Pigeon: (1-4) daily Tahan Hide, TN. A good result for this scarce and declining species.
Little Green Pigeon: (10-20) daily Tahan Hide, TN.
Mountain Imperial-Pigeon: (5-10) FH including some scope perched views.
Little Cuckoo-Dove: (2) on 24 Mar FH and heard only on 25 Mar.
Spotted Dove: (2) in KL on 19 Mar and (4) on drive between TN and FH on 23 Mar.
Emerald Dove: (1) TN seen by Dion and Patricia on 20 Mar.
Peaceful Dove: (1-2) seen on two dates.

Blue-rumped Parrot: (4) in flight at Tembeling River jetty on 19 Mar with (1) male in flight at Tahan Hide on 20 Mar.
Long-tailed Parakeet: (1) gave a good perched view at Tembeling River jetty on 19 Mar.
Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot: Seen daily at TN with everyone enjoying great perched views in a fruiting tree on 21-22 Mar.

Indian Cuckoo: (2) in flight calling on Tahan River pelagic on 21 Mar.
Drongo Cuckoo: (1) Tahan River, TN on 21 Mar and (1) near The Gap, FH on 22 Mar was tame and gave a great view.
Green-billed Malkoha: (3) FH on 24 Mar near Bishop Trail.
Black-bellied Malkoha: (1) TN on 20-21 Mar.
Raffle's Malkoha: (1-2) TN on 21-22 Mar
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha: (1-3) TN on 19-21 Mar with especially great views at the restaurant.

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Banded Broadbill by Adrian O'Neill
Short-toed Coucal: (1) flew across Tahan River, TN on our afternoon boat trip on 21 Mar gave a great view of this rarely encountered species.
Greater Coucal: (1) on 19 Mar and (1) 22 Mar both along Tembeling River, TN in secondary scrub.

Buffy Fish-Owl: (1) seen well by those who opted to come spotlighting on 20 Mar in oil palm plantation across the river from TN.

Edible-nest Swiftlet: Recorded in small numbers daily in KL and TN.
Glossy Swiftlet: Recorded in small numbers daily at FH.
Brown-backed Needletail: (10-20) daily TN
Silver-rumped Swift: (1) TN on 20 Mar.
Fork-tailed Swift: (10) near The Gap, FH on 22 Mar.
House Swift: Common in KL and FH
Asian Palm Swift: (5) at a fuel stop between TN and FH on 22 Mar.

Whiskered Tree-Swift: (1) perched over the Tahan River, TN on the boat trip on 21 Mar.

Red-headed Trogon: (2) male and a female gave repeat perched views on the Bishop Trail, FH on 24 Mar.

Common Kingfisher: (4) along Tembeling River on 19 Mar.
Blue-eared Kingfisher: (1) seen by Dion and Adrian on Tahan River on 21 Mar.
Blue-banded Kingfisher: (2) including a perched male and a flypast female on the Tahan River on 21 Mar. A scarce species.
Rufous-backed Kingfisher: (1) seen by Dion and Adrian on 21 Mar on Tahan River appeared like a projectile orange ping pong ball.

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Green Magpie by Adrian O'Neill
Stork-billed Kingfisher: (5) along Tahan River on 21 Mar.
White-throated Kingfisher: (2-10) seen daily along Tembeling R and TN. Lots of great views of this colourful species.
Black-capped Kingfisher: (2) on Tembeling River on 19 Mar and (2) Tahan River on 21 Mar allowed super views.
Rufous-collared Kingfisher: (1) seen by Dion on both 21 and 22 Mar in the forest interior of TN. Shy on both occasions.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater: (2) at a roadside rest stop en route to Tembeling River Jeti on 19 Mar.
Blue-throated Bee-eater: (50) on the boat trip along Tembeling River on 19 Mar with (2-10) daily at TN allowing lots of views of this spectacular bird.
Dollarbird: (1-2) daily at Tahan Hide, TN.

White-crowned Hornbill: (4) on 19 Mar flew across the Tembeling River in front of our long boat giving good views of this scarce and inconspicuous species.
Black Hornbill: Joan did a great job spotting a pair that gave a great view on our boat trip on the Tahan River, TN on 22 Mar.
Oriental Pied Hornbill: (2-4) daily at Tahan Hide, TN gave great views.
Rhinoceros Hornbill: (6) on our Tahan River pelagic on 21 Mar including great perched views and (1) near The Gap, FH on 23 Mar was chased off by a Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo.

Gold-whiskered Barbet: (1-4) seen 20-21 Mar at TN, often perched and scoped.
Red-crowned Barbet: (1) perched Tahan Hide, TN on 20 Mar.
Red-throated Barbet: (1) perched Tahan Hide on 22 Mar was well spotted by Janene.
Black-browed Barbet: (2) perched FH on 23 Mar gave a good scope view.
Blue-eared Barbet: (1) perched TN on 21 Mar was watched calling away in the scope.
Coppersmith Barbet: (2) Tahan Hide, TN on 20 Mar gave great perched scope views.
Fire-tufted Barbet: (3) on 23 Mar at Telekom Loop, FH was a crowd-pleaser.
Brown Barbet: (2) Tahan Hide was a good sighting of this often uncommon and inconspicuous barbet.

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Silver-eared Mesia by Adrian O'Neill
Rufous Woodpecker: (1) Tahan Hide, TN on 20 Mar.
Crimson-winged Woodpecker: (1) on 20 Mar and (2) on 21 Mar gave great views.
Greater Yellownape: (1) well spotted by Patricia at FH on 22 Mar.
Banded Woodpecker: (1) scoped briefly on forest edge at TN on 22 Mar.
Buff-necked Woodpecker: (2) seen very well on Swamp Loop, TN on 21 Mar.
White-bellied Woodpecker: (1) well spotted by Janene was scoped on The Swamp Loop on 22 Mar.
Maroon Woodpecker: (2) seen by Dion on Swamp Loop at midday on 20 Mar.

Barn Swallow: (500) along Tembeling River on 19 Mar with (1) TN on 20 Mar.
Pacific Swallow: (5-10) daily
Red-rumped Swallow: (2) at Tembeling River Jeti on 19 Mar.

Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike: (2) on both 23-24 Mar at FH.
Large Wood-Shrike: (2) TN on 21 Mar.
Malaysian Cuckoo-Shrike: (6) on 23 Mar at FH
Ashy Minivet: (20) on Tembeling River on 19 Mar with (2) in resort grounds TN on both 21-22 Mar gave good scope views.
Grey-chinned Minivet: (10) on 23 Mar at FH gave great views of this brightly plumaged bird.
Scarlet Minivet: (2) near The Gap, FH on 22 Mar.
Common Iora: (1) gave a great view in the gardens at Tembeling River Jeti on 19 Mar.
Green Iora: (1) in a mixed flock near The Gap FH on 22 Mar.

Greater Green Leafbird: (2) TN on 21 Mar.
Blue-winged Leafbird: (2) in a mixed flock near The Gap FH on 22 Mar.
Orange-bellied Leafbird: (4) gave excellent views of this colourful bird FH on 23 Mar.
Fairy Bluebird: (10-20) daily at TN gave numerous excellent views especially in the fruiting trees at Tahan Hide.

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Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush by Adrian O'Neill
Straw-headed Bulbul: (2) Tembeling River on 19 Mar, (2) Tahan Hide scoped on 20 Mar and (8) gave great views and song performances on the Tahan River on 21 Mar.
Black and White Bulbul: (1) male seen by Dion at Tahan Hide on 19 Mar.
Black-headed Bulbul: (20-100) abundant in the fruiting trees daily at Tahan Hide, TN.
Black-crested Bulbul: (2) near The Gap, FH on 23 Mar gave good scope views.
Puff-backed Bulbul: (1) seen by Adrian and Dion on The Swamp Loop TN on 20 Mar.
Stripe-throated Bulbul: (1-4) seen on three dates at TN.
Yellow-vented Bulbul: (5-10) daily TN and also in KL.
Olive-winged Bulbul: (2-5) on two days at Tahan Hide, TN.
Red-eyed Bulbul: (2-5) daily TN
Spectacled Bulbul: (1) on 21 and (2) on 22 near Tahan Hide, TN.
Hairy-backed Bulbul: (2) on 20 Mar on Swamp Loop, TN.
Mountain Bulbul: (6) on 23 Mar at FH.
Streaked Bulbul: (2) on 20 Mar and (2) on 22 Mar at Tahan Hide, TN.

Bronzed Drongo: (2-5) on 20-21 Mar at Tahan Hide, TN and (4) near The Gap, FH on 23 Mar.
Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo: (5-10) both days at FH, most with missing racquets.
Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo: (1-10) daily at TN with (1) watched harassing a Rhinoceros Hornbill near The Gap FH on 23 Mar.

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Mugimaki Flycatcher by Adrian O'Neill
Black-naped Oriole: (2-4) daily TN and also seen in KL
Black and Crimson Oriole: (2) male and female gave good views at FH on 23 Mar.

Green Magpie: (1) gave a great view of this spectacular but often secretive bird at FH on 23 Mar.
Black Magpie: (2) on both 20-21 Mar at TN was a good sighting of this typically very shy species.
Slender-billed Crow: (2-6) daily at TN
Large-billed Crow: (1) on 19 Mar and also present FH.
House Crow: (10) in urban KL on morning of 19 Mar.

Sultan Tit: (1) seen by Dion on Telekom Loop, FH on 23 Mar.

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch: (1) in mixed flock near The Gap FH on 22 Mar.
Blue Nuthatch: (6) near the tip at FH on 23 Mar gave excellent views of this beautiful bird.

Buff-breasted Babbler: (1) on the beginning of the Bishop Trail, FH on 24 Mar gave a good view.
Short-tailed Babbler: (2) seen by Adrian and Dion on the Swamp Loop, TN on 20 Mar.
Ferruginous Babbler: (1) gave a good view on the Swamp Loop, TN on 22 Mar.
Horsfield's Babbler: (2) near Tembeling Jeti on 19 Mar seen by Dion.
Abbottıs Babbler: (1-2) seen TN on 20-21 Mar.
Moustached Babbler: (1) TN on 20 Mar.
Rufous-crowned Babbler: (2-6) TN on 20-21 Mar.
Golden Babbler: (10) FH on 23 Mar.
Grey-throated Babbler: (2-4) FH on 23-24 Mar.
Black-throated Babbler: Dion had great views of (3) on the Swamp Loop on 20 Mar.
Chestnut-winged Babbler: (3-4) seen on 20-21 Mar on Swamp Loop, TN.
Striped Tit-Babbler: Heard and seen daily TN
Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler: (3) seen well by Dion 21 Mar on The Swamp Loop, TN.
Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush: (10-20) daily at FH
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush: (2) FH on 23 Mar
Silver-eared Mesia: (5-20) daily FH
White-browed Shrike-Babbler: (1) female FH on 23 Mar.
Black-eared Shrike-Babbler: (1-3) both days at FH
Blue-winged Minla: (5-10) daily FH
White-hooded Babbler: (1) was a surprise visitor to the flocks of birds attracted to the insect lights at FH on 23 Mar. Always a good sighting.
Mountain Fulvetta: Common at FH
Long-tailed Sibia: Common at FH

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Mountain Bulbul by Adrian O'Neill
Oriental Magpie Robin: (10-20) seen daily; most widespread bird on the tour.
White-rumped Shama: (1-3) seen daily at TN and its superb song heard daily.
Chestnut-naped Forktail: (1) well spotted by Janene on the Tahan River trip, TN on 21 Mar was a highlight sighting.

Chestnut-crowned Warbler: (1-2) seen on both days at FH
Yellow-browed Warbler: (2) FH on 23 Mar.
Common Tailorbird: (1) TN on 20 Mar and one found sleeping at night whilst spotlighting in oil palm plantation the same night.
Dark-necked Tailorbird: (1) seen on both 21-22 Mar at TN.
Mountain Tailorbird: (2) on both 23-24 Mar at FH gave most people a view of this colourful and restless bird.

Rufescent Prinia: (2) seen briefly by Dion near The Gap, FH on 23 Mar.

Asian Brown Flycatcher: (1) TN on 20 Mar and (2) FH on 23 Mar.
Verditer Flycatcher: (1-2) both days at FH.
Mugimaki Flycatcher: (4) at FH on 23 Mar gave great views of both male and female.
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher: (2) at TN on 20 Mar including a stunning male.
Rufous-browed Flycatcher: (3) two adults feeding a juvenile on Bishop Trail at FH on 24 Mar gave great views of this beautiful tiny skulker.
Little Pied Flycatcher: (1) male seen by Joan, Jack and Dion at FH on 23 Mar.

White-throated Fantail: (2-4) on both days at FH.
Black-naped Monarch: (1) female at TN on 20 Mar.
Asian Paradise Flycatcher: (1) rufous morph having a bath in the pool below the fruiting trees at Tahan Hide on 20 Mar.

Grey Wagtail: (1) stunning breeding plumaged male feeding on the road near The Gap, FH on 23 Mar.
Richard's Pipit: (4) on 19 Mar of the migrant North Asian subspecies at a roadside bus-stop en route to Tembeling River Jeti.

Asian Glossy Starling: (20) plus daily in lowland forest and urban areas.
Purple-backed Starling: (4) in urban park in central KL on 19 Mar and (2-4) on 20-22 Mar at Tahan Hide, TN. Good scope views of males in adult plumage.
Common Myna: (10-20) daily in urban and forest edge areas in lowlands.
Javan Myna: (10) in urban park in central KL on 19 Mar.
Jungle Myna: (5) at Tahan Hide, TN on 22 Mar.
Hill Myna: (2-4) daily at fruiting trees at Tahan Hide, TN gave great views.

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Red-headed Trogon by Adrian O'Neill
Black-throated Sunbird: (3) at FH on 23 Mar.
Thick-billed Spiderhunter: (1) TN on 21 Mar.
Long-billed Spiderhunter: (1) possibly the same bird seen on three days at Tahan Hide, TN gave good scope views.
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter: (1) 22 Mar at TN
Streaked Spiderhunter: (10) at FH on 23 Mar.

Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker: (1) in the forest interior Swamp Loop, TN on 22 Mar.
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker: (1) near The Tahan Hide gave a great view on 20 Mar.
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker: (1) at the Tembeling River Jeti on 19 Mar gave a good view.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow: Common in KL with (4-10) around village opposite TN.
Scaly-breasted Munia: (10) on 19 Mar en route to TN.

BIRDS HEARD ONLY
Great Argus
Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo
Oriental Cuckoo
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Little Bronze-Cuckoo
Asian Koel
Mountain Scops Owl
Javan Frogmouth
Red-naped Trogon
Scarlet-rumped Trogon
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Helmeted Hornbill
Bay Woodpecker
Black and Yellow Broadbill
Banded Pitta
Eye-browed Wren-Babbler
Malaysian Blue Flycatcher
Hill Blue Flycatcher
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher

cwwoodpecker
Crimson-winged Woodpecker by Adrian O'Neill
MAMMALS
Long-tailed Macaque
: (10-20) at TN mostly along Tembeling River and in resort grounds.
Pig-tailed Macaque: (5) on roadside near The Gap, FH on 22 Mar.

Banded Langur: (5) on both 23-24 Mar at FH belong to a distinct subspecies sometimes elevated to full species status.
Dusky Langur: (5) in TN resort grounds on 19 Mar and (5) seen by Janene and others on 21 Mar on Tahan River boat-trip.

Sambar: (2) seen while spotlighting at TN on 19 Mar.

Lesser Mouse Deer: (1) gave a great view on 19 Mar near Tahan Hide, TN.

Wild Boar: Common in TN including resort grounds.

Malayan Civet: (1) seen poorly whilst spotlighting near Tahan Hide, TN on night of 19 Mar.
Common Palm Civet: (1) seen while spotlighting in oil palm plantation on 20 Mar.

Pygmy Tree Shrew: (1) on Swamp Loop, TN on 21 Mar.
Mountain Tree Shrew: (2) FH on 23 Mar.

Black Giant Squirrel: (1) seen briefly near The Gap, FH on 22 Mar.
Plaintain Squirrel: (2-4) seen daily TN
Horse-tailed Squirrel: (1-2) seen daily TN; probably this species.
Himalayan Striped Squirrel: (1-2) seen daily at FH.
Three-striped Ground Squirrel: (2) gave a good view on 21 Mar in TN.

REPTILES
Water Monitor
: (1-2) seen daily TN.
Green Calotes: (1) TN on 19 Mar.
Tree Snake sp: Possibly three different species seen in TN.

By Dion Hobcroft guiding for FTB

Follow That Bird   Phone: 61 2 9973 1865
Fax: 61 2 9973 1875
Email:tours@followthatbird.com.au
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Avalon NSW 2107
Sydney Australia
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Photos of Variegated Fairy-wren and Little Tern courtesy of Neil Fifer