Peninsular Malaysia – Hornbill and Central Route Tour

Peninsular Malaysia – Hornbill and Central Route Tour
By Keith Cowton
18th September – 2nd October 2015

As a very keen birdwatcher and photographer resident in England, I have visited all the Continents of the world to see birds and other wildlife. In the past, I had visited Nepal, Hong Kong, southern India and Northern Thailand, with this being my second visit to Malaysia having spent three weeks birding in Borneo in November 2012. As a result of my travels birding, I have managed to see over 5,000 species.

Bird Malaysia – Natural History Tours organized the above tour of Peninsular Malaysia for me, with it being divided into two separate sections.
The first week accompanied by Asami Nakada, a Japanese lady, visiting :- Sungai Sedim, Royal Belum State Park and Temengor Forest Reserve/Lake, Taman Negara – Merapoh and Lake Kenyir.  The second week visiting :- Taman Negara – Tahan (Mutiara), Fraser’s Hill, Sekincahn paddy fields, and Kuala Selangor State Park.

Overall, during the tour, I recorded 264 species, of which 76 were lifers. The following number of each of these species were recorded – Dove’s (10), Malkoha’s (6), Trogon’s (3), Owl’s (8), Frogmouth’s (3) Kingfisher’s (4), Hornbill’s (9), Barbet’s (8), Woodpecker’s (13) Bulbul’s (15), Babbler’s (20) and Pitta’s (2).

Throughout the tour, the organization by Bird Malaysia was excellent. From the time that I met Sri, Shakira and guide, Andrew Sebastien at Penang Airport, to when Sing and Carol took over guiding me at Fraser’s Hill everything ran smoothly, staying in good hotels all perfectly situated to ensure the most time available being spent in the field, birdwatching.

Birding highlights at each location visited being as follows
Sungai Sedim – Raffle’s Malkoha, Rufous-winged Philentoma and hairy-backed Bulbul.

Royal Belum State Park and Temengor Forest Reserve/Lake – 5 Hornbill’s – Black, Great, Pied and Plain-pouched, 3 Malkoha’s – Raffle’s, Red-billed and Black-bellied, Chestnut-naped Forktail
With photographic opportunities – Buffy-fish Owl at a daytime roost, Grey-headed and Lesser Fish Eagles, Oriental Honey Buzzard.

Taman Negara – Merapoh –  Night birds – Large Frogmouth, Malaysian Eared Nightjar, and Buffy Fish Owl, 4 Woodpecker’s – Banded, Buff-necked, Buff-rumped and Rufous, Pitta’s 2 – Garnet and Malaysian Banded, Broadbills 3 – Banded, Black and Yellow and Grren, Crested Jay.

Lake Kenyir. – 6 Hornbill’s – Great, Helmeted, Pied, Rhinocerous, White-crowned and Wreathed,
Javan Cuckooshrike and Red-breasted Bee-eater, Night birds – Savana Nightjar and Blyth’s Frogmouth.

Taman Negara – Tahan (Mutiara) – Crested Fireback, Great Argus, Crested Partridge, Black Magpie, Gould’s Frogmouth, Straw-headed Bulbul, Large Wren Babbler, Siberian Blue Robin, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher.

Fraser’s Hill – Laughingthrush’s 3 – Black, Chestnut-capped and Malaysian, Black-browed and Fire-tufted Barbets, Green-billed Malkoha, Black-eared and White-browed Shrike-babblers, Blue Whistling-thrush,  Lesser Shortwing, Pygmy and Streaked wren-babblers, Black and Crimson Oriole, Slaty-backed Forktail.

Sekinchan paddy fields – Cinnamon Bitterns, Great, Intermediate and Little Egrets, Striated and Purple Herons, Black-crowned Night-heron, Chinese Pond-heron and Watercock
Kuala Selangor State Park – Laced Woodpecker, Mangrove Whistler, Lineated Barbet, Olive-winged Bulbul, Arctic and Dusky Warblers, Asian Brown and Yellow-rumped Flycatchers.

The excellent opportunities’ available to photograph the birds, butterflies and animals seen throughout the tour being an added bonus.

Reported (with thanks) By Keith Cowton.
Pictures Credited to Asami Nakada.