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Transit birding: Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

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Old Sunday 21st July 2019, 17:05   #1
Mike Hunter
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Transit birding: Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

I'm wrapping a birding destination around each end of a birding tour. If anyone would like to join a leg you'd be more than welcome.

Bukit Tinggi, near Kuala Lumpur - 14 Sept 2019

Key birds: Mountain Peacock-pheasant; Ferruginuous Partridge; Rail-babbler; Pin-tailed Parrotfinch.

By hire car from the airport on afternoon of 13th.

I've been before so know the drill.

AND

Singapore - 6 October 2019

Key birds: Red-legged Crake at the Botanical Gardens; Spotted Wood-owl Pasir Ris Park and other stuff if time.

Probably public transport (cheap bus from airport) into Singapore centre on 5th but hire car an option. Always a chance of a rare vagrant in Singapore.

Do contact me for more details. Happy birding.

Mike

Last edited by Mike Hunter : Sunday 21st July 2019 at 17:13.
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Old Sunday 21st July 2019, 17:19   #2
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I did a similar stop off in Singapore last year. I would recommend using the MRT, which is very cheap and easy. It runs direct to the airport, has a stop right at the BG entrance, and another a 10 minute walk from Pasir Ris Park.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2019, 11:31   #3
Mike Hunter
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I did a similar stop off in Singapore last year. I would recommend using the MRT, which is very cheap and easy. It runs direct to the airport, has a stop right at the BG entrance, and another a 10 minute walk from Pasir Ris Park.
Thanks for the information - very helpful.

How easy was the crake, whereabouts in the garden and do you think they are in any way time of day dependent (e.g. dawn / dusk best?). From what I can gather, the crake is easy, not time of day dependent and there are two good areas in the garden. Just making sure I'm not overlooking anything obvious.

Transit birding - it's where it's at! Doing something similar in 2020 coming back via Bangkok for my fourth crack at Eared Pitta.

Mike
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Old Monday 22nd July 2019, 13:25   #4
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Thanks for the information - very helpful.

How easy was the crake, whereabouts in the garden and do you think they are in any way time of day dependent (e.g. dawn / dusk best?). From what I can gather, the crake is easy, not time of day dependent and there are two good areas in the garden. Just making sure I'm not overlooking anything obvious.

Transit birding - it's where it's at! Doing something similar in 2020 coming back via Bangkok for my fourth crack at Eared Pitta.

Mike
Heliconia Walk will be easiest - but they are in quite a few areas. Possible any time of the day - but earlier gives you a better chance as much because there will be less people around.

Not too hard at Gardens by the Bay either.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2019, 15:36   #5
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It took me 2 mornings to connect, but perhaps I was unlucky. I failed at Heliconia Walk, but finally saw a pair with chicks in the Ginger Garden, which I believe is a regular spot. I put an exact GPS location in ebird for 24 July 2018.

Definitely go early. Dawn is around 0700, so no problem getting there before first light on the MRT, and the park is open 24/7.
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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 07:43   #6
Mike Hunter
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Thanks Viator and DMW

Reason for asking about time of day is that I was thinking about being ambitious and going for Mangrove Pitta (I last saw 23 years' ago!), the roosting owls nearby, getting to Botanical Gardens for mid-afternoon. You've convinced me to reduce these ambitions not least as the only tick is Red-legged Crake and I'll be at the Botanical Gardens for dawn.

I've heard birders needing two visits, but then others finding it within 30 seconds. Birding eh? We wouldn't do it if it was easy....

Many thanks

Mike
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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 19:19   #7
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Probably not much help but I saw a flock of about 15 Pin-tailed Parrotfinches about 3/4 of the way up the road at Bukit Tinggi about 6 weeks ago
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Old Thursday 25th July 2019, 11:43   #8
Mike Hunter
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Probably not much help but I saw a flock of about 15 Pin-tailed Parrotfinches about 3/4 of the way up the road at Bukit Tinggi about 6 weeks ago

Hi Dave

I know Bukit Tinggi is a pretty good reliable for this species so it's very much on my radar. Can you describe where you saw them in a bit more detail and I'll check it out? Thanks.

Mike
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Old Thursday 25th July 2019, 19:46   #9
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Sorry Mike, can't tell you exactly where they were, I just walked down the hill & they were in some flowering bamboo - there's bamboo pretty much all they way down but there was only the one flowering clump when I was there so I guess they'll be pretty nomadic. All I can really remember is it was about 15 minutes down from the top before you get to the stream.

I'd thoroughly recommend walking up & down the hill rather than driving if you've got the time - the birding's good & walking up before dawn saw a few Slow Loris, Sunda Scops Owl & Reticulated Python
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Old Friday 26th July 2019, 06:29   #10
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walking up before dawn saw a few Slow Loris,
A 'few Slow Loris', Dave? I've seen a couple of this species, but always interested in seeing more...can you elaborate for the sake of anecdote how you encountered them pre-dawn. I've only ever looked from dusk to midnight. I'm curious to work out how common they are. Thanks.
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Old Friday 26th July 2019, 17:22   #11
Mike Hunter
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Sorry Mike, can't tell you exactly where they were, I just walked down the hill & they were in some flowering bamboo - there's bamboo pretty much all they way down but there was only the one flowering clump when I was there so I guess they'll be pretty nomadic. All I can really remember is it was about 15 minutes down from the top before you get to the stream.

I'd thoroughly recommend walking up & down the hill rather than driving if you've got the time - the birding's good & walking up before dawn saw a few Slow Loris, Sunda Scops Owl & Reticulated Python
Thanks Dave - very helpful, and certainly intend doing so, perhaps before the chickens and definitely after. I've got plenty of time before my return flight.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 9th October 2019, 11:16   #12
Mike Hunter
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A quick update.

I was successful at Bukit Tinggi seeing Mountain Peacock Pheasant (finally), Ferruginous Partridge and Rail-babbler - easily and effortlessly. I had no luck with Pin-tailed Parrotfinch which is now my number one bogey bird across SE Asia.

Perhaps I underestimated the challenge but in 11 hours of hot sweaty work in Singapore's Botanical Gardens I couldn't find Red-legged Crake. It was very busy being a weekend, plus bands were playing in the afternoon and evening swelling the crowds further, but I'm still surprised I missed it as the favoured areas are relatively small in size.

Very easy and cheap to get to the Botanical Gardens on the MRT. Bukit Tinggi is less easy by hire car navigating through KL but straightforward enough.

Happy to provide more details to anyone if required.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 9th October 2019, 17:24   #13
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Hi Mike,
Out of curiosity, where exactly was the rail-babbler? On my visit it called near the Mountain Peacock-Pheasant feeding site, but always from far lower downslope on the left-hand side (looking from the public path), so basically invisible.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 06:30   #14
Mike Hunter
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Hi Mike,
Out of curiosity, where exactly was the rail-babbler? On my visit it called near the Mountain Peacock-Pheasant feeding site, but always from far lower downslope on the left-hand side (looking from the public path), so basically invisible.
Hi, it was calling from below the feeding station but after a while I could tell it was on the move and getting closer. After about an hour I caught sight of it coming through the left hand side of the feeding station, remaining mostly hidden, but then it walked right through the top end of the feeding station in full view. I cannot lay claim to seeing it through good birding or exceptional fieldcraft, I was simply lucky that I was there on a day the bird chose the route it did.

If you are really keen on seeing Rail-babbler, and it's one of the best birds in the world (in my top three!) then Panti is the place (which I saw on another transit foray).

Best regards

Mike

Last edited by Mike Hunter : Thursday 10th October 2019 at 12:09.
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