Taman Negara and Fraser’s Hill Birding

By Jonathan Wyplosz
August 2008

Finally we’re back home.
You were right, Taman Negara was quite slow birding… but rewarding. As usual, Orane and I are lucky so we managed to see the banded pitta twice, once at 10 meters from out chalet!. We met Alan Pearson, the illustrator of a guide about Malaysian birds, who was not that lucky. The central tree in the HQ is never mentioned in any trip report though we were able to see in this single tree green broadbill (at less than 2 meters), black and yellow BB, Rhinoceros hornbill, hanging parrots, Asian fairy bluebirds, thick-billed and little green pigeons, dozens of bulbuls, etc. and a couple of black thighed falconets in the next tree too.

This tree-snake was very close to the chalet too (with a very slow move of the tongue by the way). I don’t know the name of this species.

We didn’t meet Dorai in Fraser’s Hill because he was occupied and couldn’t find the book about birds in Fraser’s Hills, but we managed to see almost all the birds we were looking for : blue nuthatch, sultan tit, 3 species of laughinthrushes, black and crismon oriole, verditer flycatcher, streaked spiderhunter, black backed forktail, white-browed shrike babbler, white bellied yuhina, mountain imperial pigeon, crested serpent eagle, etc, etc. I didn’t make a list so I shorten the enumeration. I only missed the long tailed BB, I was able to hear it… but it stayed perfectly still and invisible. We also missed the red-bearded bee eater (easier to find at the Gap I think). You were right; Fraser’s Hill is very easy for birding though it is quite complicated to find his way in this up and down labyrinth.

It was a real pleasure to hear white handed gibbons in Taman Negara and siamangs in Fraser’s Hill, but we only saw banded langurs.

Here is a picture of our colugo on a pillar of the restaurant (it concludes the quartet of our most-wanted Malaysian mammals after the tarsier, the loris and the binturong seen in Borneo). Did we tell you it was licking the pillar?.  Thank you for having told us where to see it, it was one of the highlights of the trip.

The DNA test is wrong, it’s a mouse deer that can fly!

Warmest regards,
Last but not least :
What’s this bird seen in Fraser’s Hills? It was all black-black-black (underparts, upperparts, eyes). A philentoma?