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Rail Babbler in Malaysia

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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 10:56   #1
Jose Ramon
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Rail Babbler in Malaysia

Hi all,

I am planning a tour to watch the Rail Babbler, among many other birds, and I am trying to get information about the best places and best time of the year to watch it.

It seems that places in Southern Thailand are not a safe place to go now due to local troubles.

Regarding Panti Forest in Peninsular Malaysia, I have some info that tells that it does not seem to be as reliable as it used to be. So other points in Malaysia seem now to be the best option.

Does anybody has recent informations about the Rail Babbler?

- Best places to watch it

- Best time of the year to watch it

- Any local birdwatching guide available in the area?

Thanks in advance,
Jose Ramon
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Old Sunday 5th March 2017, 19:57   #2
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Jose, just to say that in July 2005 and April 2009, my 2 visits to Taman Negara to date, I did well for rail-babblers both times. I variously heard and saw them on the Jenet Mudah trail, the swamp loop behind the resort, near to Yong hide, near Simpon, somewhere deep in the forest between the resort and Kumbang hide and close to Kumbang hide itself (right by the river you have to ford as you hike back to the resort).

This might well mean you could bump into them anywhere at TN.

Best of luck,
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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 18:57   #3
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Jose, I was in Panti a for a little over a day in the middle of August with Rail-babbler as my main target, having nipped over the border on a short stop-over in Singapore. Not having any maps of the site, I didn't really know where to go or where any of the trails were. As it turns out, I barely covered the first 3km and birding was disappointingly slow (though still pretty good), given the site's reputation. Eventually heard a bird calling late morning, probably 10.30-11.00am. After whistling back several times, I crept into the forest to track it down and realised it wasn't responding to me - there were two of them, and I couldn't see either!

After several panicky minutes, I finally clapped eyes on one walking through the fairly open forest floor. Minutes later, having lost sight of it, it returned and began a courtship duet with the second bird! This was just before the main track from the visitor centre meets the gravel road that runs through the forest - ca 2km from the main highway. On the way back, heard another calling about 1km from the highway, again not too far into the forest. The eBird range map also shows quite a lot of records from Panti this year, so it would seem that the place hasn't quite lost it's Rail-babbler mojo just yet.
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 04:38   #4
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If you plan to visit Panti for the Rail Babbler via Singapore, you can engage local Singapore bird guide Lim Kim Seng. Just google for his contact details or find him on Facebook.
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