Birdwatching Keysites

Birdwatching Keysites

North Malaya Keysites

We have designed our itinerary so as the travel time between most sites will not exceed 3 to 4 hours. We usually keep to the most scenic route so as you may enjoy the countryside. At times along the way we will stop for birding breaks. Our groups will be small and vehicle-comfortable.

KEDAH

Langkawi Island
Langkawi is truly an ecological gem. Langkawi is geologically varied; within its confines it offers the oldest rock (sandstone) formations in Malaysia to the stunningly beautiful limestone formations and sea stacks of the east coast that majestically rise like ancient temples out of the ocean. Equally varied are its many flora types. Langkawi offers lowland rainforest, mangrove forest and forest on limestone. The varying soil substrates contain numerous specialized and endemic floras that can be found nowhere else in the world. it is also home to 200 species of birds and over 340 species of butterflies. There are a full range of natural history tours to keep your interest, we offer general ecological tours to the rainforest, mangrove forest, limestone, snorkeling, birdwatching and butterfly tours.
Tukun Perak.
This small rocky outcrop in the middle of the straits of Malacca is home to some excellent deep sea fishing and to over 20 species of seabirds. The journey by speed boat is approx 3 hours but you may be rewarded with whales, whale sharks, giant Manta rays and dolphins.
Sungai Merbok Forest Reserve
This area consists of a stretch of coastal tidal mud flats, mangroves forest, rice fields and fruit orchards. This habitat is rich with aquatic life and migratory water birds. The most dominating feature is the Jerai peak that offers some common lowland bird species. Located at the base of Gunung Jerai is Malaysia’s most ancient civilization. Here was once a thriving center of Hindu and Buddhist culture from the 4th century AD to 14th century AD. Scattered Throughout this valley are remnants and artifacts of Hindu and Buddhist temple.
Ulu Muda Forest Reserve
Covering more than 115,000 hectares the Ulu Muda forest reserve ranks among the best of the unspoilt wilderness to be found in Malaysia. Scattered areas of intrusive granite rocks are the source of several hot springs and salt licks, including Sira Hangat, regarded as probably the largest mineral spring in the country. The abundance of wildlife that roams the area regularly visits these springs and salt licks which are an important source of vitamins and mineral supplements. Large mammals recorded include elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, seladang, sun bears, tapirs, and three species of deer. Small animals include gibbons, civets, and otters, black and red giant squirrels. There are also over 230 species of birds that have been recorded here among them are nine species of hornbills including the rare and endangered Plain-pouched Hornbill, Hooded Pita, Straw-headed Bubbul and Malay Peacock Pheasants. Between the months of June and July we can observe the daily spectacle of over 1200 plain pouched hornbills travelling between food tree and roost.
Sedim Forest Reserve
Sungai Sedim is located at the base of the Bintang Range and here are the highest peaks in the state. Gunung Inas is the highest peak and it rises to over 4000 feet. This forest reserve has some interesting highlights including the longest canopy walkway in the world. It is almost a kilometre in length. This walkway takes you up to about 30 meters and brings you at eyeball to eyeball level with the many birds up there. There are many other hiking and mountain biking jungle trails that are ideal for the energetic and adventurers. For the adrenalin junkies there is white water rafting.

PERAK

Maxwell Hill Forest Reserve
Bukit Larut is renowned as Malaysia's first and least developed hill-station resort. There are walking trails, guesthouses and unspoilt forest and gardens. There are many species of mountain birds and wildlife to observe here.Bukit Larut's habitats include lowland dipterocarp forest through to lower montane forest. Some 25 species of mammals and more than 200 bird species have been recorded at Bukit Larut and around its foothills in Taiping's Lake Gardens. Notable mammal sightings include the dark handed gibbon, clouded leopard, serow, flat-headed cat, white-bellied rat and the lawas round leaf horseshoe bat. Some of the rarer bird species sighted includes black eagles, mountain peacock pheasants, cutias, and peregrine falcons.
Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary
Kuala Gula covers an area of over 40,000 hectares of mangrove forest, mudflats and estuaries and it is a sanctuary for nearly 200 species of birds. It is particularly important for more than 60 species of water birds including egrets, herons, storks, rails, shore birds terns and gulls, as well as some wetland dependent raptors and kingfishers.The flagship species of Kuala Gula is the globally threatened Milky Stork. Another Vulnerable stork species, the Lesser Adjutant can be found here easily. About 28 species of shorebirds over winter here or stop over while on passage. The most common ones are the Common Redshank, Terek Sandpiper, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint and Bar Tailed Godwit. The most common terns and gulls are the Brown headed Gull; White¬ winged Tern and Common Tern. Besides these, the common wetland dependent birds occurring here are the White bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, and White throated, Stork billed and Collared Kingfisher.
Royal Belum Park
Royal Belum covers a total area of approximately 290,000 hectares of mostly virgin rainforest. There are an estimated 60-70 tigers roaming around in Belum, it is also home to Seladangs,the Sumatran Rhinos,Elephants, Binturongs, Malayan Sun Bears, Serows, Leopard cats, Clouded Leopards, flying foxes, 200 species of colorful birds, otters, porcupines, reptiles, dholes - these are only a small number of animals species that share the space. There are 18 Orang Asli or indigenous tribes in Peninsular Malaysia. About 5,600 Orang Asli live at Temenggor, made up of the Temiar, the Jahai and the Kinchu tribes. They lead a semi-nomadic life, engaging in a little bit of hunting, a little bit of gathering, a little bit of fishing and a little bit of cultivation.

TRENGGANU

Situated along the east coast of the peninsular Malaysia, Trenggnu boast the longest coastline in the country, exotic tropical islands, lush jungles, quaint fishing villages and dazzling waterfalls. Trengganu is indeed a great mix of natural beauty tropical charm and friendly Malay culture.
Setiu
The Setiu Wetlands is located in the lower reaches of the Setiu river basin within the Setiu district of Terengganu on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The wetlands lie within the Peninsular Malaysian lowland and montane forests eco-region. It comprises primarily estuarine and coastal wetland types and is included within a larger wetland complex known as the Setiu-Chalok-Bari-Merang basin wetlands. Among the significant features of the Setiu Wetlands are its roles as important breeding ground for freshwater and marine fishes, and in providing nesting grounds for Malaysia’s largest breeding population of the critically endangered Painted terrapin (Callagur borneoensis). The sandy riverbanks, sand islands and the coastal sandy beaches in Setiu are important nesting areas for the endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and critically endangered painted terrapin (Callagur borneoensis).
Redang island
Pulau Redang, located 45 km off the coast of Kuala Terengganu, is the largest of a group of islands dotting the South China Sea off the Terengganu coast. The waters around Pulau Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks: The H.M.S Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse, which sank here at the start of World War II, setting the stage for the Japanese occupation of Malaya.This paradise island is perfect for snorkelling, swimming, scuba diving, jungle trekking, boating and canoeing.The adjacent islands of Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Ling, Pulau Pinang, Pulau Bidong, Pulau Lang Tengah and Pulau Lima are excellent snorkelling spots. The island offers crystal-clear waters and numerous dive sites. Sheltered within the Pulau Redang Marine Park, the waters here are rich in marine life.At mid-day when sunrays penetrate the sea, brilliant hues of coral, anemones and clams can be seen.The waters around Pulau Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks: The H.M.S Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse, which sank here at the start of World War II, setting the stage for the Japanese occupation of Malaya. This paradise island is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, jungle trekking, boating and canoeing.
Tasek Kenyir
Tasek Kenyir is one of South East Asia largest man made lakes. Spreading over 369 sq km and set within a lush rainforest. a breath taking place . it is best for nature retreats, fishing, swimming, trekking, canoeing and birding. It is blessed with fresh air, great flora and fauna, streams and rapids or just simply a relaxing time.

THAILAND

Butang Islands Group - Tarutao National Park

This is Thailand’s very first marine national park and is set within a group of over 30 islands. Koh Adang has many secluded and fine beaches and it offers some good snorkeling and diving sites, there a rich diversity of flora types including lowland forest, coastal forest and mangrove forest. The waters off Koh Adang are visited by Whale Sharks, indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphins and several species of tropical and migratory whales.

Talae Sap Lagoons

Located in the south of Thailand it is a group of four linked lagoons or lakes. It extends for 80 km along the coastal lowlands of Songkhla and Phatalung. Together the lake forms a vast inland sea that is one of the natural wonders of Thailand. Thale Songkhla is salty while has fresh water and the lakes in between are brackish. It is a sophisticated ecosystem that mixes mangroves, Irrawaddy Dolphins, sea fish and mollusks with woodlands, lotus lilies, river terrapins and waterfowl. It offers a riot of jacanas, swamphens, herons, and terns with hoards of egrets, Lesser Whistling Ducks, Garganey and Cotton Pygmy Geese. You may even see Black-winged Stilts and Painted Stork as this is the only place in Thailand where it is known to breed.

Talae Ban National Park

Tucked away in the southern corner of Thailand is a Gem of a park. Its undulating hills and deep valleys feature rugged limestone landscapes, and are home to unique plants and rare animals. It is a protected area of international importance.
North Malaya – Eastern Route

North Malaya – Eastern Route

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Itinerary: Pick up from Penang airport and a 90 minute drive to Taiping. Check into hotel. Birding around resort.

Day 2 - Habitat type: Montane forest, Lowland Rainforest

Itinerary:  We start early and travel 45 minutes to Kuala Gula. We spend the day birding along the main bund and later take a boat for more birds along the mangrove river. Overnight Taiping Target Birds: Common Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Milky Stork and Lesser Adjutant, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Chinese Pond-Heron and Little Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White-breasted Waterhen, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Tern and Little Tern. The Brown-headed Gull, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Red-necked Stin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Mangrove Pitta, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler, Great Tit.

Day 3 - Habitat type: Lower Montane fores, Lowland rainforest

Itinerary: We take the first ride up the summit of Maxwell hill and bird  the easy trails down. After lunch we bird a little more and take the last ride down. Overnight Taiping. Target Birds: Blyth’s Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black-thighed falconet, Red-headed Trogon, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Lineated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Blue-eared barbet, Little Spiderhunter, Spectacled Spiderhunter, Streaked Spiderhunter, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Cinnamon-headed Pigeon, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Mountain Tailorbird, Ashy Minivet, Fiery Minivet, Mountain Fluveta, Brown Fluveta.

Day 4 - Habitat type: Canopy walkway, Lowland rainforest

Itinerary:  We check out of taiping resort and travel 2 hours to Sedim . we spend the whole day birding along the many trails here including the longest canopy walkway in the world. That night after dinner we may do some night spoting along the canopy walkway. Overnight Sedim. Target Birds: Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Drongo Cuckoo, Violet Cuckoo, Raffles Malkoha, Red-billed Malkoha, Whiskered Treeswift, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Diard’s Trogon, Cinnamon-rumped Trogon, Banded Kingfisher, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Dusky Broadbill, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Black-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Ashy Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Cream-vented Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Buff-vented Bulbul

Day 5/6/7 - Habitat type: Lowland Rainforest

Itinerary:  After some early birding at Sedim we checkout of hotel and travel to belum along the way we may stop for more birds and to stretch our legs. We check into hotel and the next days we will birdwatch, search for elephants and visit the orang asli. For certain birds we will have to use a boat around the lake. Target Birds: Wreathed Hornbill, Plain-pouched hornbill, Wrinkled Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, White-crowned Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Bushy-creasted Hornbill, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Lesser Fish-Eagle, Grey-headed Fish-Eagle, Bat Hawk, Blue-banded Kingfisher, Banded Kingfisher, Fire-tufted Barbet, Black-throated Barbet, Blueared Barbet, Greater green Leafbird, Lesser green Leafbird, Green Magpie, Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Black and Red broadbill, Banded Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Asian Paradise Flycatcher,  Yellow- vented Flowerpecker, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker,

Day 8 - Habitat type: Paddy field and Disturb Forest

Itinerary: This morning after some birding and breakfast we check out and make the journey for Langkawi. We stop at bujang valley to stretch our legs and some birds at the this stop. We take the ferry from Kuala Kedah to Langkawi. We check into hotel and have this evening free.

Day 9/10/11 - Habitat type: Lowland rainforest, mangrove forest, rice paddies, freshwater wetlands, scrub forest.

Itinerary: The next three days will be spent exploring and birding langkawi’s many diffirent habitats for the full range of birds this island has to offer. The birding paced is slower so as to allow you to enjoy the beach and ambience the resort has to offer. Target Birds:Great hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Jerdon’s Baza, Creasted Goshawk, Ghangeble Hawk-Eagle, Orange-breasted Trogon, Orange-breasted flowerpecker, Scarlet-backed flowerpecker, Crimson sunbird, Ruby-cheeked sunbird, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Forest Wagtail, Great Slaty woodpecker, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Greater Racquet-tailed drongo, Large Green Pigeon, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Thick-billed green Pigeon, Blue Whistling Thrush,    Brown-winged Kingfisher, White-collared Kingfisher, Black-capped kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Red-wattle Lapwing, Chinese Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Heron, Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Purple Heron, Purple Swamphen, White-browed Crake, Slaty–breasted Rail, Ruddy-breasted Crake, White-breasted Waterhen, Oriental Pratincole, Pacific Golden Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Pintail Snipe, Plain-backed Sparrow, Baya Weaver, White-rumped Munia, Black-headed Munia, Black-naped Oriole, Black –hooded Oriole, Ashy drongo, Black Drongo, oriental Magpie Robin, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Strip-tit babbler, Brown Shrike, Common Flame-backed Woodpecker, Laced Woodpecker, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Greater Coucal, Plaintive Cuckoo, Emerald Dove, Grey-faced Buzzard, Bhraminy Kite, White-bellied Sea eagle. Departing: 26 February 2008 Duration: 13 nights Tour leader: Irshad Mobarak & Hymeir Kamaruddin Departs: Penang Maximum Group Size: 12 Fitness Level: Average All Inclusive Packages: Single room supplement: Carbon-Clear Voluntary Contribution: Included in cost: accommodation, all meals, transfers, transport, all excursions and guides. Not included in cost: Travel insurance, tips, drinks, items of a personal nature.

North Malaya – Bintang Range

North Malaya – Bintang Range

Just a short distance from the bustling heritage city of Penang we have the town of Taiping. This is base to some of the best birding that peninsular Malaysia has to offer even for the more discerning birdwatchers.

Day 1 - Habitat type: Lowland evergreen forest.

Itinerary:
We pick you up at Penang and drive to Sedim. Here we bird along the many trail here including the longest canopy walkway in the world. By evening we drive to Taiping and check into our resort. Target Birds: Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Drongo Cuckoo, Violet Cuckoo, Raffles Malkoha, Red-billed Malkoha, Whiskered Treeswift, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Diard’s Trogon, Cinnamon-rumped Trogon, Banded Kingfisher, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Dusky Broadbill, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Black-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Ashy Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Cream-vented Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Buff-vented Bulbul.

Day 2 - Habitat Type: Mangrove forest, Coastal wetlands, Rice Paddies and other fresh water wetlands.

Itinerary:
We leave taiping and travel to Kuala Gula. We bird aroung the main bund and take a boat to bird along the mangrove river. Target Birds: Common Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Milky Stork and Lesser Adjutant, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Chinese Pond-Heron, Little Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White-breasted Waterhen, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Tern and Little Tern. The Brown-headed Gull, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Red-necked Stin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Mangrove Pitta, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler and Great Tit,, Mangrove Pitta, Mangrove blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler, Great Tit.

Day 3 - Habitat type: Montane forest and Lowland Rainforest

Itinerary:
We take the first 4 WD to the summit of Maxwell hill and do some easy paced birding.We spend the night in Maxwell Hill, and do some owling at night. Target Birds: Blyth’s Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black-thighed falconet, Red-headed Trogon, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Lineated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Blue-eared barbet, Little Spiderhunter, Spectacled Spiderhunter, Streaked Spiderhunter, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Cinnamon-headed Pigeon, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Mountain Tailorbird, Ashy Minivet, Fiery Minivet, Mountain Fluveta, Brown Fluveta.

Day 4 - Departure Day

Itinerary:
We have lunch at the top and by late afternoon we continue birding and take last 4WD ride down. On the last day we do some birding around the base of the Bintang range.
  • Departing: 8 March 2008
  • Duration: 3 nights
  • Tour leader: Irshad Mobarak & Guna Segaran
  • Departs: Penang
  • Fitness Level: Average
  • Maximum Group Size: 8
  • All Inclusive Packages: RM. 1804
  • Single room supplement: RM. 465
  • Carbon-Clear Voluntary Contribution: RM. 54
  • Included in cost: Accommodation, all meals and non alcoholic drinks, transfers, transport, all excursions and guides. Not included in cost: Travel insurance, tips, drinks, items of a personal nature.