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Birdwatching in Malaysia

Malaysia has two distinct parts which is separated from each other by South China Sea. This country is located in the humid tropics and this provides a favorable climate to support diverse life forms, from microscopic organisms to macroscopic species such as fishes, birds and mammals. The terrestrial ecosystems in Malaysia include various types of forest and agriculture land ranging from coast to highland.

"Rice field"



Birding experience is superb here as Malaysia is regarded one of the safest and comfortable places to bird in the tropics with good facilities and accessibilities. There are varieties of birding spots within easy reach from the capital city of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur.
There are over 700 species recorded throughout the country. Our published itineraries on this page cover the traditional birding spots for conventional tour groups as well as local patches. The tours require birders to walk and wait on well marked trails. Sometimes the walks will be slowly paced to observe more birds and to catch bird waves.

"Trip map"


Electronic map of Malaysia

Year round birdwatching tours in Malaysia

Tour I

7 days of birding in Peninsular Malaysia


Itinerary
LODGING AND MEALS
We will be staying in simple and comfortable accommodations adjacent to or within birding spots to keep the driving hours to the minimum while maximizing birding time. These accommodations include chalet and hotel. Each day, we will either start off with simple breakfast in the hotel or a short morning birding session depending on locations. Together, we will have lunch and dinner, savoring Malaysian food from common Malay, Chinese and Indian restaurants along the journey. However, please advise us on any allergies or food and accommodation preference upon booking tours with us.
ITINERARIES
Duration: 7 days 6 nights
Number of species expected: 150 – 200
Starting/Ending Point: Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Habitats covered: mangrove, lowland forest, sub-montane forest and paddy field
Transportation: Car

Day 1
Meet up at arrival hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Transfer to Kuala Selangor and check-in to accommodation. Proceed to paddy field for a leisure birding inside the vehicle while targeting the white-breasted woodswallow, white-rumped munia, scaly-breasted munia, dollarbird, black-shouldered kite, and oriental pied hornbill. Tonight, we will have seafood with rice for dinner. After dinner, transfer to hotel for a good rest and to prepare for tomorrow session.
Dinner and overnight included.

"Inside the forest"


Day 2
Transfer to Kuala Selangor Nature Park for an early morning walk. Our target here includes mangrove whistler, sunda pygmy woodpecker, laced woodpecker, greater flameback, crested serpent eagle, brahminy kite, great tit, ashy tailorbird, and mangrove flycatcher. Around noon, we will break for lunch at a nearby cafe and return to hotel for check-out. Transfer to Fraser's Hill. While waiting for the odd hours upward traffic, we explore the areas between the new and old gates. Our target here is black-crested bulbul, black laughingthrush, white-hooded babbler, maroon woodpecker, and bamboo woodpecker. Reaching the hill station, immediately we check-in to the hotel. After a brief rest in the hotel, we explore the surrounding area on foot. At night after dinner, we will explore Fraser's Hill on a night drive looking for brown wood owl.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight included.
Day 3 and 4
We will start the birding session early again today to catch the morning bird wave which usually comprises of streaked spiderhunter, black-throated sunbird, blue-winged minla, blue nuthatch, little pied flycatcher, silver-eared mesia, chestnut-capped laughingthrush, and others. After a short break, we continue to explore Fraser's Hill looking for red-headed trogon, green magpie, malaysian cuckooshrike, speckled piculet, greater yellownape, chestnut-crowned laughingthrush, little cuckoo dove, black-and-crimson oriole, fire-tufted barbet, long-tailed broadbill, mountain bulbul, slaty-backed forktail, grey-chinned minivet and others.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight included.

"Yellow-nape Woodpecker"


Day 5
Today, we will explore Fraser's Hill for the last time before leaving the hill station. By late afternoon, we depart to Bukit Tinggi / Bentong for an overnight stay.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight included.
Day 6
We will leave early in the morning to Bukit Rengit lowland forest for black-thighed falconet, long-tailed parakeet, scarlet-rumped trogon, black-and-red broadbill, dusky broadbill, gre-and-buff woodpecker, olive-backed woodpecker, raffles' malkoha, black-naped monarch and others. By evening, we depart to Kuala Lumpur.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight included.

"Blue Nuthatch"


Day 7
Today, we explore the Ampang-Hulu Langat forest where we will look for the blue-banded kingfisher, gold-whiskered barbet, chestnut-capped forktail, bar-winged flycatcher-shrike, black-winged flycatcher-shrike, grey-headed canary flycatcher, buff-necked woodpecker, buff-rumped woodpecker, scarlet minivet, firey minivet, glossy swiftlet, silver-rumped spinetail, and others. In the evening, we will depart to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. End of trip. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


7 Day tour price is: 2 pax RM 4,500.00 per person. 4 pax RM 4,250.00 per person.
For single traveling birder, please send us an email to enquire for single supplement rate.

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

EXTENSION (OPTIONAL) The following extension of birding areas are optional depending on the amount of time that you will be spending in Malaysia. A fully revised itinerary will be prepared for you upon selecting the destination(s).

North Region

In this region, our targets include javan sparrow, savannah nightjar, blue-eared kingfisher, black-and-red broadbill, blue rock thrush, blue whistling thrush, chestnut-headed bee-eater, orange-backed woodpecker, spotted wood-owl, barn owl, lineated barbet, and many more. The habitats that we are exploring here are mining pools, lowland forest, urban park, limestone cave, montane forest and mangrove.

"Silver-eared Mesia"

South Region
Primary target in the south is lesser adjutant stork, rufous-backed kingfisher, banded kingfisher, lesser whistling duck, red-rumped swallow, steppe eagle, brown hawk owl, red-naped trogon, and others. Traveling south from Kuala Lumpur, the birding spots are mudflat, agriculture land, and lowland forest.

"Blue-tailed Bee-eater"

East Region
There is only 1 birding spot that we will be visiting in this region which is Taman Negara. Touted to be one of the oldest rainforest in the world, this forest will show us the jewels such as rufous-backed kingfisher, crested fireback, banded pitta, green broadbill, and many more. However, due to the rainy season at the end of the year and early of the year, we would not be operating in this area during this period of time. Kindly contact us to enquire for the latest weather pattern.

Borneo (Sabah)
For the time being, we are recommending 3 days 2 nights trip to Kinabatangan. This trip is inclusive of 2 nights accommodation (twin-sharing), 6 meals, 3 river cruises, and unscheduled return transfer pick-up from Sandakan airport. The rate starts from RM 1,890.00. Surcharge applies for additional nights. Please take note that connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Sandakan or in opposite direction is NOT included.
What you could see here are 8 species of hornbills, raptors such as White-fronted Falconet, Lesser Fish Eagle, Green Pigeon and many other species. Possible sighting are Stork's Stork and Lesser Adjutant Stork.


Included:
The above rates include guiding fees and my expenses, twin sharing accommodation with attached bathroom, transportation, petrol, toll, and entrance fee.
Excluded:
The rate does not include lunch and dinner, alcoholic beverage and laundry.


Notes.
The above birding itineraries are based on what are essentially popular routes for birders. It can be shortened or extended.
All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.
Availability: January to July
For booking allow minimum six(6) weeks prior to departure.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Fitness:
Moderate. Birders are required to walk along forest trails.
Weather:
Tropical climate with warm weather all year round and occasional rainfalls. Temperature ranges from 13C to 32C depending on the birding sites. Annual rainfall varies from 2000mm to 2500mm. Nights can be chilly while in Fraser’s Hill.
Clothing:
Casual and light wear. Bring along long sleeves shirt and long pants. Since it can be hot at times while in the field, you can wear shorts and t-shirts. Light/medium weight sweater is recommended for chilly nights. Ensure that you bring sufficient change of clothing for 2 weeks.
Equipment:
Bring along your most important tool for bird watching which includes binocular, spotting scope and tripod, as well as notebook. Field guides are provided for reference during the tour.
You can also request us to arrange for equipment.
Medicine:
Though, clinics and hospitals are located throughout the country, it is best to bring along your supply of personal medicine.
Food:
You will be enjoying local delicacies of Malay, Chinese and Indian food. If you have allergy or strictly on vegetarian diet, please inform us.
Customization:
This tour can be customized to cater for bird photographers and digiscopers.


Should you only need a guide for a day please contact Weng Chun and Terence.   


Birding guide Cheong Weng Chun, your local Birdingpal guide
BSc. Forestry, majoring in Parks and Recreation Management (UPM).
Weng Chun has traveled to almost every corner of Peninsular Malaysia visiting the jungles, waterfalls, islands, and wetlands. He started birdwatching in the 90’s with a resident bird guide in Fraser’s Hill after an introduction by a wildlife lecturer. He is also keen in nature photography and birds being his favorite photography subject, the traveling have indeed benefited his passion for nature photography and bird watching. He is currently affiliated to Malaysian Nature Society’s Selangor Bird Group and Oriental Bird Images. He is also a co-moderator for a Malaysian bird watching/photography forum. Weng Chun is a nature guide licensed under Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, and have been managing one of the wetland parks in the country. He also contributes articles and photos of birds to local magazines.


Testimonial.
For those of you who are looking for a birding guide to Peninsular Malaysia, you can’t go wrong with Cheong Weng Chun. He is knowledgeable, organized and passionate about birding and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip with him. He is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the natural history of Malaysia and he introduced us to the local Malaysian culture. We had the opportunity to travel to Singapore during Christmas week 2011 and visit Peninsular Malaysia in the first week of 2012. Being avid birders, we wanted to spend some quality time in Malaysia birding. After much internet searching and advice from fellow birders, I found Weng Chun via the Birdingpal site, and our adventure began. Weng Chun met us at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on a January morning, and before we knew it we were off on what turned out to be a very successful five-day trip. Our first stop was at Paya Indah Wetland where we had a good start with many birds that are fairly common in Malaysia but entirely new to us. Highlights were the Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, and Chestnut-winged Cuckoo. Then off to Kuala Selangor and the paddy fields, where we spent several hours finding raptors, munia, swallows, swifts and many others. The highlight of this area for us were the Cinnamon Bittern, the large flock of white-headed munia and the multitudes of Black-shouldered Kites. At the Taman Alam Nature Reserve, we explored mangroves and found Greater Flameback Woodpecker, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher and Mangrove Whistler. The next two and a half days found us in Fraser’s Hill, a welcome respite from the lowland heat. This delightful area was not only picturesque and beautiful, but we found many many birds here. Highlights included Red-bearded Bee-eater, Yellow-vented Green-pigeon, Green Magpie, Slaty-backed Forktail, Lesser Shortwing, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Rufous Piculet, Great Hornbill, Asian Fairy-bluebird and too many others to mention. We then spent one more day in the Hulu Langat area, birding along back roads and in a lowland forest reserve, where we found Crow-billed Drongo, Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo, Temminck’s Sunbird, and Black-and-Yellow Broadbill. All in all we identified 197 birds during our time with Weng Chun, greatly exceeding our expectations. And best of all we made a new friend. We heartily recommend visiting Malaysia and employing Weng Chun as your guide. Sue & Ed, Massachusetts, USA
Dear Cheong, Thank you for an outstanding 5 days of bird/butterfly watching and nature photography. Your knowledge of birds was excellent, and I greatly appreciate your attention to the smallest details of the trip. I also appreciate your enthusiasm around natural history in general. My favorite was the Sunda Colugo (flying lemur) - I never knew such an animal existed, and this supposedly noctural creature was delightfully active for us.
Feel free to pass on my name and e-mail address as a reference. I can recommend you highly to anyone interested in birdwatching and general natural history.
Kind regards, Roger Rittmaster, M.D. North Carolina, USA hutchins.rittmaster(AT)verizon.net
Cheong is a great guy. Very friendly and knowledgeable in birds and jungle environment. To me - coming from cold Scandinavia - it was great to be shown so many birds and have such an entertaining day. Cheong is also witty and funny which did make the day even more fun. Highly recommended - will contact again next time I am in Asia. Thomas Hagstrom thomas.hagstrom(AT)comdatsec.com
Just a quick note of thanks for arranging the tour to Frasers Hill. I enjoyed it very much. There were 8 lifers in that for me. Hope to bird with you again later this year. Richard Carden (Japan)
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful time that I had in Kuala Selangor and Fraser's Hill. I was impressed by your focus on customer service. It appeared that customer service comes naturally to you. Your attention for details was amazing. Within that short span of time, I could watch and photograph a number of species of birds and monkeys. Before coming to Malaysia, I had never photographed sunbirds. With you on my side, I felt that photographing such a fast species became easier. Thanks for all your help. Sabyasachi Patra (India)
Weng Chun provided a wonderful service. I have a slipped disc, so I could not lift anything. Without his excellent help and consideration, this trip would be impossible. He handled my luggage, showed me the birds, and even took photos for me. He is fun to be with. Dr. Robert Dix (USA), rdix2002(AT)yahoo.com
We enjoyed every minute of our trip with you. Not only was your organisational skills superb but your field knowledge was also excellent. The effort you have put into our trip was noticed and we appreciated your support and assistance. We will most certainly recommend you as a guide and when we are back in Malaysia will certainly make use of your services again. Keep on laughing. ” – Johan & Laurette Haasbroek
Mr and Mrs Haasbroek took a 6-hours flight from Australia and birded with Weng Chun for 5 days. They traveled to specific spots in Peninsular Malaysia to look for specific bird species. During the trip, some of the common (or have been seen by Mr Haasbroek) species were also noted.
Lifers for Mr Haasbroek includes Lesser Adjutant, Black-thighed Falconet, Hen Harrier, Greater Spotted Eagle, Pintail Snipe, Great Hornbill, Fire-tufted Barbet, Greater Yellownape, Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker, Javan Cuckooshrike, Tiger Shrike, Black Magpie, Common Green Magpie, Chestnut-capped (Spectacled) Laughingthrush, Blue-winged Minla, Long-tailed Sibia, Malayan Whistling-thrush, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Buff-breasted (Fire-breasted) Flowerpecker and Yellow-eared Spiderhunter.
Some of the common birds include Silver-eared Mesia, Mountain Fulvetta, Black-crested Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Red-eyed Bulbul, Red-headed Trogon, White-throated Kingfisher, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Purple-naped Sunbird, Common Flameback, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Banded Woodpecker, Oriental Magpie Robin, Javan Myna, Common Myna, Large-billed Crow, House Crow, Drongo Cuckoo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Bronze Drongo, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Crested Serpent Eagle, Blyth’s Hawk-eagle, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Brahminy Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Paddyfield Pipit, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Asian Dowitcher and many more.
Apart from birds, we also sighted the long-tailed macaques, pig-tailed macaque, dusky langurs and white-thighed langurs (with 1 newborn showing pinkish facial skin!!). The siamangs were also heard calling in the forest of Hulu Langat.
Generally, the weather is not being kind to us throughout the 5-days trip. It was either drizzle, mist or overcast skies that affected our birding session. Nevertheless, the sightings of common and target species were sufficient to make us enjoy the trip. We also hope to assist Mr Haasbroek to get the other target species in his list very soon.



Birding guide Terence Ang, your local Birdingpal guide
Terence Ang has travelled to almost every corner of Peninsular Malaysia by visiting the jungles, waterfalls, islands, and wetlands following his interest in nature particularly on birds. He started birdwatching in his early teenager’s years and was particularly interested in raptors and montane birds. He is also keen in nature (especially wildlife) photography especially on birds, as birds has always be his favourite photography subject. He is currently affiliated to Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Field Ornithologist of Sri Lanka. Terence Angis a nature guide licensed under Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia (MOTOUR), and has been managing one of the wetland parks in the country. He also contributes articles and photos of birds to local newsletter, magazines and websites including many rare records sighting and research work. He has been speaker and trainer on bird conservation and ecotourism. He is involved in MOTOUR “An Assessment of the Feasibility of Developing Birdwatching as a Tourism Project”.


Wheng Chun is not just a guide, but an artist too.



Some facts about Malaysia.

Malaysia is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free countries to visit in South-east Asia. It's buoyant and wealthy, and has moved towards a pluralist culture based on a vibrant and interesting fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures and customs. Aside from the gleaming glass towers of the 21st Century, though, Malaysia boasts some of the most superb beaches, mountains and national parks in Asia.
Malaysia is a federation of thirteen states and three federal territories in Southeast Asia with a total landmass of 329,847 km2. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The country is separated into 2 regions – the Malay peninsular and Borneo – by the South China Sea. Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei. Located near the equator, the weather is characterized by tropical climate. Malaysia is headed by a king and politically led by a Prime Minister. The government is closely modeled after the Westminster (parliamentary system).
The population of Malaysia is estimated at approximately 27 million. The Malay language is the official language although English is widely spoken.

More facts about Malaysia.

Guide books and CD’s recommended:

A Field Guide to the Birds of South-east Asia by Craig Robson.

Find lowest prices here

Bird Recordings

Birds of Tropical Asia, Sounds and Sights v3.0 by Jelle Scharringa

www.wildsounds.com


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Last update 20/02/2014