Helena Craig – July 2014
Myself, my husband Chris and my 13 year daughter, Mya-Rose Craig, who write the Birdgirl blog , are keen world birders. In July 2014, myself and Mya-Rose booked Andrew Sebastian for two days of birding at Kuala Salangor, in Malaysia. We were a little nervous as this was the first time we had birded without Chris. Andrew met us at KL airport, drove us to Kuala Salangor, then guided us at Bukit Melawati, after which we went out night birding. We spent the next morning birding at Kuala Salangor, seeing lots of our target birds.
Next, Andrew was going to be driving us to Bukit Fraser (Fraser’s Hill), where we were due to meet a guide and car. Andrew was amazing, realizing that our Bukit Fraser guide (who he knew) did not drive and so would not have a car. He therefore suggested that he take us to Bukit Tinggi, which I had missed completely from our itinerary. He told us that it would be difficult to get a taxi from Bukit Fraser and that we should not miss the Mountain Peacock-pheasant, an extremely rare endemic, which were coming to seed there. We were extremely lucky, seeing four Mountain-pheasants within twenty minutes of arriving!
Andrew then phoned our Bukit Fraser guide to say that we would be late and spent time birding with us at The Gap, at the bottom of the road. Andrew could have just dropped us with our next guide as planned, but instead went out of his way to show us birds, knowing that it would be hard to get to these places without a car.
I am hugely indebted to him for this, as we did then spend 5 days trying to bird around Bukit Fraser without a car, which was impossible.
At the end of our trip, we returned home and left Chris birding around Bukit Fraser with Andrew, having an excellent couple of days.As well as having a fantastic knowledge of the birds, Andrew was great at quickly pointing them out and was really good company. He also looked after as well, making my feel reassured on this my first trip on my own. Chris only had two days in Bukit Fraser and Andrew was great digging out the most crucial birds.
This is my daughter’s blog post about our first two days of birding in Malaysia with Andrew.