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This tour will cover several key birding sites in peninsular Malaysia, visiting various habitats from the coastal mangrove forests to the highlands of the Titiwangsa Range. The Titiwangsa Range runs southward from the border of Thailand and forms the backbone of the peninsula. After spending three nights at Fraser’s Hill, one of the best areas for birdwatching in Malaysia, we will also concentrate our efforts on the world-famous and stunningly bird-rich Taman Negara National Park; the tropical rainforest here is said to be 130 million years old. We will be targeting many of the highly sought species to be found in Malaysia, such as pittas, trogons, broadbills, hornbills, and kingfishers, along with some very special, secretive birds such as Rail-babbler, Mountain Peacock-Pheasant, and Malayan Whistling Thrush.
This tour can be combined with our preceding Birding Borneo – Spectacular Birds and Other Wildlife 2019 tour for a complete Malaysia mega tour.
Itinerary (13 days/12 nights)
Day 1. Arrival at Kuala Lumpur
After arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport you will be taken to our nearby hotel, with the rest of the day spent at leisure. The group will meet for a welcome dinner in the evening, when we will discuss plans for the coming days.
Day 2. Pulau Indah and Putrajaya
We’ll have an early-morning transfer to the coastal mangroves for Mangrove Pitta and other species such as Ashy Tailorbird, Laced Woodpecker, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Copper-throated Sunbird, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Lesser Coucal, Coppersmith Barbet, Long-tailed Shrike, Barred Eagle-Owl, and more. After the morning birding session we will travel back to our hotel for a rest during the heat of the day.
In the late afternoon and early evening we will head out again to a patch of forest, looking for Oriental Dwarf (Rufous-backed) and Blue-eared Kingfishers, Black-and-Red, Dusky, and Banded Broadbills, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Dollarbird, Brown Hawk-Owl, and Blyth’s Frogmouth.
Day 3. Putrajaya
We will likely head back to the same forest that we visited the previous afternoon and evening, where we will look for several species such as Black-backed Swamphen, Painted Stork, Large-tailed Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar, Plaintive Cuckoo, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, White-crowned Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Violet Cuckoo, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, White-chested Babbler, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Rufous-chested Flycatcher, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, and Olive-backed Flowerpecker. We will spend the majority of the day birding in this area, as there are numerous high-quality target birds for us to search for.
Day 4. Kuala Selangor
After breakfast we will visit a nearby heronry for Painted Stork, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Eastern Cattle Egret, Striated Heron, White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Triller, and others. Then we will check out of our hotel and travel to Kuala Selangor in the afternoon. Along the route we will check out some rice fields, where we may find Scaly-breasted, White-headed, Chestnut (Black-headed), and White-rumped Munias, White-breasted Woodswallow, Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Watercock, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Coppersmith Barbet, and others. At night we will be looking for Buffy Fish Owl, Sunda Scops Owl, Spotted Wood Owl, and Large-tailed Nightjar.
Overnight: Kuala Selangor
Day 5. Kuala Selangor to Fraser’s Hill
A pre-dawn walk will give us another chance to look for nocturnal species. In the morning we will be exploring the mangroves and their surroundings for Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Lineated Barbet, Daurian (Purple-backed) Starling, Crested Goshawk, Crested Serpent Eagle, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Olive-winged Bulbul, Common Flameback, Greater Flameback, and many more.
During the afternoon we will transfer to the beautiful, picturesque mountains of Fraser’s Hill. Along the way to the hill station we will make several stops for Chestnut-naped Forktail, Whiskered Treeswift, Rufous-bellied Swallow, House Swift, Red-wattled Lapwing, and Banded Bay Cuckoo. At night we will be looking for Brown Wood Owl, Mountain Scops Owl, and Grey Nightjar.
Overnight: Fraser’s Hill
Days 6 – 7. Two full days birding at Fraser’s Hill
We will take a pre-dawn walk for the rare and local endemic Malayan Whistling Thrush. During our two full days in the hill station we will look for Silver-eared Mesia, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Malayan Laughingthrush, Black Laughingthrush, Greater Yellownape, Lesser Yellownape, Bay Woodpecker, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Mountain Bulbul, Ochraceous Bulbul, Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Cinereous Bulbul, Blue Nuthatch, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, Banded Broadbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Red-headed Trogon, Orange-breasted Trogon, Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, White-tailed Robin, Lesser Shortwing, Buff-breasted Babbler, Golden Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Large Niltava, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Little Pied Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Hill Blue Flycatcher, the endemic Malaysian Partridge, Streaked Spiderhunter, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, and Black-throated Sunbird. We will also try to look for the rare Rusty-naped Pitta if luck is on our side!
Overnight: Fraser’s Hill (two nights)
Day 8. Fraser’s Hill to Taman Negara
In the morning we’ll transfer to Taman Negara with a stopover for Dusky Crag Martin, Black Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Rufescent Prinia, Banded Broadbill, and others.
Upon arrival at Taman Negara we will start exploring the village for Barred Buttonquail, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Blue-rumped Parrot, Black-and-red Broadbill, Banded Woodpecker, Checker-throated Woodpecker, Asian Palm Swift, Black-thighed Falconet, and Oriental Dollarbird. We’ll also take a drive around the local roads at night, looking for an assortment of owls, frogmouths, and nightjars.
Overnight: Taman Negara
Day 9 – 11. Three full days birding at Taman Negara
We will spend the morning exploring the incredible Taman Negara valley for many species, including Rhinoceros Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, and Great Hornbill, and if possible Garnet Pitta. In the afternoon we will transfer across the river into the national park for a three-night stay inside the park. For these three days we will explore the forest along the boardwalks/trails and by boat for a wide range of awesome target birds (some of the best birds in all of Asia!), such as Asian Fairy Bluebird, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Green Broadbill, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Diard’s Trogon, Red-naped Trogon, Cinnamon-rumped Trogon, Black Magpie, Crested Jay, Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Straw-headed Bulbul, Yellow-bellied Bulbul, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Black-and-white Bulbul, Sunda Scops Owl, Reddish Scops Owl, Large Frogmouth, Gould’s Frogmouth, Blyth’s Frogmouth, Large Wren-Babbler, Striped Wren-Babbler, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Chestnut-rumped Babbler, White-chested Babbler, Sooty-capped Babbler, Moustached Babbler, Black-capped Babbler, Black-throated Babbler, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Malaysian Blue Flycatcher, Blue-banded Kingfisher, Oriental Dwarf (Rufous-backed) Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Banded Kingfisher, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Rail-babbler, Malayan Banded Pitta, and so much more!
Overnight: Taman Negara (three nights)
Day 12. Taman Negara to Bukit Tinggi
We’ll have a final morning birding at Taman Negara, looking for anything else that might be new or missing from the species listed above before we transfer to Bukit Tinggi in the afternoon.
Overnight: Bukit Tinggi
Day 13. Bukit Tinggi to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, tour concludes
We will have an early morning birding session, where we will target the rare and localized endemic Mountain Peacock-Pheasant and Ferruginous Partridge. There are plenty of other exciting birds in this gorgeous forest, and we may find Sultan Tit, Large Woodshrike, Long-billed Spiderhunter, Blue-winged Leafbird, and Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler. After lunch we will then transfer back to Kuala Lumpur, where the tour will conclude mid-afternoon and you will be able to take your evening international flight home.
Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors.
Andy is a superb guide with a wonderful knowledge of birds and where to find them. He is enthusiastic and keen, great company and a real pleasure to bird with. Our Australian trip was very successful in terms of sightings and also really enjoyable. Andy played a big part in that with his superb organisation, excellent birding skills, easy-going nature and positive attitude. I would happily join Andy on a birding trip again and hope to be able to do so later this year!
Janice — Kent, UK