Birds at Fraser’s Hill

After butterfly and moth, finally get around writing about the real purpose of the trip to Fraser’s Hill – the birds. This was a birding trip after all.

We reached Fraser’s Hill early in the morning. It was raining and we waited at Punchak Inn for the rain to stop. But that didn’t stop some in the groups from dashing out to take photos when they heard bird calls from around the car park area. Think those were Laughing Thrush and a Green Magpie. After the rain, we made our way to our first birding stop of the trip, the Jeriau Waterfall. Seems like there is a Silver Breasted Broadbill spot in the area. We went all the way in to the end and indeed the guys quickly spotted it. Everybody, including M got a shot of it before it flew off. Everybody except me. [sad] I was looking around for butterfly instead! But as a consolation, I managed to shoot a Slaty backed Forktail while the rest were waiting for the Silver Breasted Broadbill to return. Which it did not. And after a long long futile wait, we finally decided to leave and go on to the next site.

Next site is a road near to Bishop Trail. Apparently the birds here are so used to human that they will just appear. It seems photographers have been feeding them or baiting in the industry lingo and the birds appear whenever human turn up. And boy, did they turn up. A Spectacled Laughing Thrush was the first one to appear. This was followed by a few Ruofus Browed Flycatcher. Cute little bird.

Rufous Browed Flycatcher

Next was a Niltava but I missed that as I was walking around with M, looking for monkeys and butterflies. M spotted a Mountain Bulbul though, a fairly common bird in the area.

Mountain Bulbul

Going back to the main birding area which was actually a drain culvert, I managed to shoot a White tailed Robin. Beautiful blue Robin. At least very different from the very common Magpie Robin.

White Tailed Robin

From there we made our way to another location where someone not from our group but from Singapore joined us. He had worms with him and he put it generously around the area and soon a few Slaty backed Forktail appeared.

Slaty backed Forktail.

We went back to Punchak Inn to check in after that. At the town centre, there were a lot of House Swallow or Pacific Swallow flying around including these family of 3 which seems to be permanently perched on this lamp post.

In the afternoon, we went to Jelai Resort, an abandoned place. Seems like this is one of the place where a lot of birds appear regularly. And true to that, we didn’t have to wait too long before a Silver earned Mesia appeared. Not one but a few!

Silver eared Mesia

Again, the guy from Singapore who joined us came with worms and he put them on a log. Fire tufted Barbets appeared immediately followed by Long tailed Sibia and many Spectacled Laughing Thrush.

Fire Tufted Barbet

Long Tailed Sibia

Spectacled Laughing Thrush

After a while, I walked away with some others to look for other birds in more “natural” setting. We heard many and one of them spotted a Trogon. Not too sure which particular species though. 

We went for dinner before calling it a day and just right outside the restaurant, we spotted a blue bird. I was the only one with a camera ready in my head and I managed to snap off a shot and by golly, I got a Niltava! So happy.

Niltava

Next morning, we returned to the Bishop Trail road and saw some photographers there already. They had spotted a beautiful Red headed Trogon and like a model on a catwalk, the Trogon put up a magnificent show for all its adoring fans below

Red headed Trogon

After a while, I went off to look for other birds. Again sighted the Ruofus browed Flycatcher. Poor thing must be waiting for some human to contribute worms. Not from me though. Also saw the Mountain Bulbul again. After this place, we went to another location where there was a golf course. The star of this area was supposed to be a Pitta but that didn’t appear. But another VIP did – a Pygmy Wren Blabber.  This little bird no bigger than a golf bal had a very loud piercing call and it flew from one side of the road to another so swiftly that no one had time to follow through with their camera. The few instances it ran around in the undergrowth, it was fairly dark and very difficult to get a proper shot. Some of us did managed including me with this blurry noisy photo.

Pygmy Wren Babbler

We returned to Jeriau Waterfall after this as the group wanted another attempt at the Silver Breasted Broadbill. While the rest went in quickly, M and me hanged around the carpark and this birdie came.

Orange Bellied Leafbird

I got off a few quick shots before it flew away. Fortunately the photo came out well. No other birds at this area but lot of butterflies today. 

After lunch, we went hiking at Hemant Trail and the first bird we saw immediately on entering it was this Lesser Yellow Naped Woodpecker.

Lesser Yellownape Woodpecker

We heard the Green Magpie but nobody could get a clear shot of it. After exiting the trail, we went to a new location hoping for a glimpse of the Malaysian Partridge. But we did spot another Laughing Thrush on top of the usual Spectacled Laughing Thrush – the Malaysian Laughing Thrush.

Malaysian Laughing Thrush

From there, we went off to the final destination of the Fraser’s Hill birding trip – back to Jelai Resort. Seems like they couldn’t get enough of the barbet. After a while, some of us went off to explore the nearby trails and were lucky to spot a few birds including this Little Cuckoo Dove. Some of the others managed to spot a Pin tailed Parrotfinch which apparently is a low land bird and has not been spotted this high up for many years.

Little Cuckoo Dove

We checked out the next morning at 4 am to go to Lanchiang. I assumed it was another place like Fraser’s Hill but was surprised to find that it was actually a forested area with a clearing and logs placed neatly. Someone had put up a hide to screen the photographers from the birds. The place is dark and leech infested as well. And worst, it seems this place will works only with baiting. Not really comfortable with the whole set up so i left and walked with M along the road. Actually there are a lot of birds there. My shorter lens couldn’t capture much but M with her new Nikon P900 got more including a Crested Serpent Eagle and a White Bellied Woodpecker. I got some un-identified birds. Too far for me to get a good shot and too noisy and blur when blown up to more than 200 percent. But still for what its worth, here are 3 of the slightly visible one.

 

 

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