Welcome to Birdquest

THE MALAY PENINSULA

Saturday 6th July - Wednesday 17th July 2013

Chris Kehoe

Crested Fireback (tour participant Doug Ormston)

Crested Fireback (tour participant Doug Ormston)

Our 2013 Birdquest tour to Peninsular Malaysia produced a superb collection of Sundaic regional specialities including the Malaysian endemic Laughingthrush and Whistling Thrush, six species of Broadbill, five species of Trogon and both Garnet and Malayan Banded Pittas. The enigmatic Rail Babbler was typically tricky but some of the group managed quite good views of a highly mobile individual. At Fraser's Hill, where the Malaysian Whistling Thrush and Malayan Laughingthrush gave good views, we also found the stunning Blue Nuthatch, Long-tailed Broadbills, Black-and-crimson Orioles, Black Laughingthrushes, super smart Sultan Tits, Orange-breasted and Red-headed Trogons and Pygmy Flycatchers plus furtive Streaked Wren-babblers, Lesser Shortwings and Pygmy Wren-babblers. Long-tailed Sibias, Fire-tufted Barbets, Silver-eared Mesias and Chestnut-capped Laughingthrushes were pleasantly common, often visiting the feeders at our hotel. It was a surprise to find White-crowned and Great Hornbills in the hills where we enjoyed cracking views of Blyth's Hawk Eagle and Black Eagle. An extended stay at Taman Negara allowed us to fully explore the area in search of some of its scarcer and more elusive residents while fruiting trees outside our rooms offered respite from the steamy trails and produced a great collection of frugivores, including the scarce Grey-bellied, Scaly-breasted and Streaked Bulbuls, and a bonus in the shape of two Jambu Fruit-doves. The nearby Tahan clearing offered up views of several Black-thighed Falconets, Large Green Pigeons and a superb Rhinoceros Hornbill. In addition to the Pittas and Rail Babbler, the trails at Taman Negara gave us Diard's and Red-naped Trogons, Banded and Rufous-collared Kingfishers, Large and Striped Wren-babblers, Black Magpies and Crested Jays plus a host of Babblers and Bulbuls including the uncommon Finsch's Bulbul. Afternoon boat trips along the Tahan River produced the scarce and localised Blue-banded Kingfisher plus the now sadly rare Straw-headed Bulbul. Nocturnal excursions at Taman Negara produced great views of Reddish and Sunda Scops Owls while Malaysian-eared Nightjars put on a good show most evenings above our rooms where amazingly confiding Crested Firebacks walked around almost at our feet.

Blyth's Hawk-Eagle (tour participant Doug Ormston)

Blyth's Hawk-Eagle (tour participant Doug Ormston)