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Malaysia (1 Viewer)

Britseye

Well-known member
Any other nocturnal beasties? In particular, I'm desperate to see a colugo.

I believe Langkawi is very good for Colugo? Also Singapore Zoo has been highly recommended as a place where wild ones are pretty easy to see. (It might even have been a Birdforum thread at some point?) I'm keen to see one too having had awful views one night in Borneo.

Last time I was TN (May last year) had a couple of Malay Porcupines and several Mouse Deer (Lesser, I think) while spotlighting the Swamp Trail. Also one of the Civets (forget which) gave great views just after dark at the hide whose name I forget, behind the chalets at the resort. I believe Leopard Cats are not infrequently seen by organised spotlighting groups on wheels in the date palm plantations just back up the road from Tahan as well as Civets most nights. My girlfriend saw a Loris walking along the wires right in the middle of Tahan one evening.

I really enjoyed the moths around the lights just before the river, especially around the Info Centre building. Not that I ID'ed any other than the big Atlas I rescued from the jaws of a Magpie Robin.
 

Stuart Ling

Well-known member
Hi Paul, I was in Singapore a few weeks ago and saw a couple of Red-legged Crakes at the Chinese Gardens. It didn't take me too much effort to find them there but I've struggled to find them at the botanical gardens. PM me if you want tighter gen.
Stuart
 

Dave Boyle

Well-known member
Any other nocturnal beasties? In particular, I'm desperate to see a colugo.

I'm staying at the Greenland Guesthouse, the owner says he gets them in the garden here sometimes (plus there's a Buffy Fish Owl comes to his pond every night) and a friend of mine saw one from the Tahan hide last year.
 

Dave Boyle

Well-known member
First time I went to TN, Dave, I was serious hardcore and found it hard and frustrating at least for the first four days. More recently I've gone a lot more chilled out and just simply enjoying going for a walk in a forest environment and ended up seeing just as much, if not more, without the background frustration. I don't know if you've done much forest birding or not? but just to keep your spirits up, here's a couple of things I've found...

1) sometimes it can be too dry in the forest and an afternoon or two's worth of rain can help liven things up
2) it's a good idea to mix up slow, methodical, creeping around birding with a burst of speed, or just casual strolling along at normal walking pace. Don't bird the forest as if you're looking for scarce migrants in the UK. TN is where I bumped into a couple of spectacular critters on the side of path whilst burning along at Olympic walking pace back from Kumbang Hide.
3) also, mix up forest interior birding with a bit of a sit and wait birding on the outer edges at favoured areas. I was lucky when I was there in 2012 there was a spectacular flowering fig right at the top of the steps at the entrance where you could spend ages watching comings and goings. I didn't have the same luck in 2017 but there was a fig in the centre of the clearing by the hide behind the resort chalets that was productive, although the birds were more distant.

By the way, if you're having trouble finding beer, there's a resort half a k further up the road from the bus station where you can get a nice cold one!

Thanks a lot for Graham - yep, probably creeping around too much I'll try mixing up a bit more! I live in a forest these days, its only got about 5 species of bird in it but I see them all everyday, so you're right its pretty frustrating seeing about 25 species a day when there's potentially hundreds!
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I believe Langkawi is very good for Colugo? Also Singapore Zoo has been highly recommended as a place where wild ones are pretty easy to see. (It might even have been a Birdforum thread at some point?) I'm keen to see one too having had awful views one night in Borneo.

Yes I started the thread, but I'm not going to Langkawi or Singapore so I'm putting my hope into other sites.
 

paul5000paul

Well-known member
Cheers

Hi. Would just like to say a word to stick up for Taman Negara. I was there in 1991 (a month in March), 2012 ( the whole of July) and 2017 ( a week in May). Sure, there are now hundreds of visitors staying in the posh resort at the HQ, but not many venture too far up the trails (now boardwalked all the way from HQ up to Lubuk Simpon and round Jenet Muda!) I would thoroughly recommend staying out in one of the hides (it'll cost you a quid/night!). Tahan hide is approx 4k from HQ and is a reasonable base to get away from crowds for a night or two (though it IS a very spartan existence). Together with Dave Willis I had several Gould's Frogmouths, a Javan, a Reddish Scops, and what we think was probably a W-f Scops calling early one morning. Mind you, we also had Gould's Frogmouth on the Swamp Loop Trail last time I was there and bumped into Denis Jong who stated Rail-Babbler can be seen on that trail too.

Kumbang Hide is much further from HQ (10 Km) and is generally where the slightly more hardcore birder ventures. You can get a boat. I was only there 24 hours last time I went, but heard Large Frogmouth and whistled out a Rail-Babbler quite easily. Saw Tapir dusk and dawn too.

A couple of birds you mention...CRT, Barred Eagle Owl, Moustached Hawk Cuckoo, Chestnut capped Thrush ... I was working/guiding at a forest site in Sabah for three months in summer 2014. Although I walked the same trails every day, I saw each of these species ONCE. Birds like this, the time factor comes in to play. You can't really look FOR them, I don't think. Same with the Partridges. Obviously knowing the calls makes a huge difference as it extends your 'net' wider; but the chances of successfully targeting them in five days is low.

I haven't got my notebooks at hand, but pretty sure I remember seeing Olive-backed Woodpecker on the Swamp Trail in 2012? I saw several Blue-banded Ks on my first visit in 91 by taking shoes and socks off and slowly wading along some of the forest streams.

As regards getting there, yes, the road goes all the way to Kuala Tahan. Note that the river taxis back and forth from Tahan to HQ run till at least 1030 so it's quite possible to get in a few hours torching in the primary forest and still get back to accommodation on the Tahan side.

Thanks Britseye.
Will give one of the hides a go for sure. Have managed untickable views or calls only of most on the list over the years esp. BBK!

Thanks again for the advice.

Paul
 

paul5000paul

Well-known member
Cheers

I'm at Taman Negara at the moment - I haven't seen any of the birds on your list yet!

Yep its busy near the resort but it doesn't take much to get away from the crowds - I walked up the river to the Tabing hide today & saw about 3 people all day past Lubok Simpon.

I heard Rail-Babbler yesterday on the Jenut Muda track & I'm told Red-throated Sunbirds come to the dangly clumps of small yellow flowers around the resort.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the info. Most on the list are tricky to see and my expectations for a clean-up are low. Have managed untickable view of a few on the list and like Steve Babbs have been frustrated by Rail-Babbler vocalisations in the past.

Thanks again and good luck. Drop me a line if you bump into any goodies please.

Cheers,

Paul
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I'm looking into Merapoh but one trip report says the entrance road is only suitable for 4WD. Does anyone know if that is the case?
 
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Dave Boyle

Well-known member
Hi Paul - saw Rail-Babbler today! What a bird - don't settle for rubbish views, they're like a mini pheasant! I'll message you when I get to the UK in about 10 days.
 

Britseye

Well-known member
Hi Paul - saw Rail-Babbler today! What a bird - don't settle for rubbish views, they're like a mini pheasant! I'll message you when I get to the UK in about 10 days.

Congratulations! I'd be interested in the story of how you saw it, if you care to share.

Graham
 

Dave Boyle

Well-known member
Sorry rubbish internet where i am now but saw another Rail-Babbler yesterday - they're easy! I'll be in touch with details for whoever wants them
 

Dave Boyle

Well-known member
Hi Paul, just back Malaysia,

I saw 3 Rail-Babblers in 2 weeks and heard another 2 -
Jenut Muda Trail - one around the big gully and presumably another one about 300m further on
Riverside Trail - one past the Bukit Teresek turn off, half way between the first bridge and the next stream and one at the junction with the Tabing Hide turn-off
Blau - one on the track down to the Blau hide

Saw Blue-banded Kingfisher twice at the Tabing Hide - one time from the hide and one time from the bridge just before the hide - just in flight both times, maybe I've got lower standards than you!

Saw Red-throated Sunbird once - a male feeding a recently fledged chick from the big bridge before the Tabing Hide turn-off

I Barred Eagle Owl was seen one night in the resort, in trees above the furthest away chalets but it was not seen subsequently - I heard one before dawn somewhere near the summit of Bukit Teresek

I heard Gould's Frogmouth a couple of times but didn't manage to see them - there were a couple at the campsite and a couple on the Jenut Muda trail before dawn one morning.

Hope that's of some help!
 

paul5000paul

Well-known member
Thanks

Hi Paul, just back Malaysia,

I saw 3 Rail-Babblers in 2 weeks and heard another 2 -
Jenut Muda Trail - one around the big gully and presumably another one about 300m further on
Riverside Trail - one past the Bukit Teresek turn off, half way between the first bridge and the next stream and one at the junction with the Tabing Hide turn-off
Blau - one on the track down to the Blau hide

Saw Blue-banded Kingfisher twice at the Tabing Hide - one time from the hide and one time from the bridge just before the hide - just in flight both times, maybe I've got lower standards than you!

Saw Red-throated Sunbird once - a male feeding a recently fledged chick from the big bridge before the Tabing Hide turn-off

I Barred Eagle Owl was seen one night in the resort, in trees above the furthest away chalets but it was not seen subsequently - I heard one before dawn somewhere near the summit of Bukit Teresek

I heard Gould's Frogmouth a couple of times but didn't manage to see them - there were a couple at the campsite and a couple on the Jenut Muda trail before dawn one morning.

Hope that's of some help!

Dave,

Thank you, that is very useful. Will certainly target some of those areas.

Cheers,

Paul
 

amears

Well-known member
In case of interest, here are my Railbabbler records, most from TN and all those seen were after whistling/playback...

#Way Kambas: 1 calling and seen well. First heard to call from fairly open area of forest next to the main track a few kms from the clearing. Quickly glimpsed moving through the dense ground cover (a reasonable view with the smooth, rufous back seen well, leaving me quite astonished). Then responded to our whistles and furtively circled at about 10m, occasionally allowing further brief views. Once ran along an exposed log giving a fantastic view of the whole bird. Also seen to fly a couple of times.
#2 calling in the muddy gully close to Yong hide. Brilliant views of 1 over 30 mins, at ranges down to 3m. Calling frequently in response to my whistles, the blue airsacks inflating as the bird stooped with its chest to the ground on each call. A Garnet Pitta also came in close calling but didn't show.
#1 heard only near Simpon
#1 calling and seen briefly from trail back from Kumbang
#Way Titias: 1 probable heard only during the walk out
#1 calling for a long time on Jenet Mudah and eventually glimpsed with the naked eye
#1 heard only on the swamp loop
#1 calling and watched on and off for 30 mins beside the river crossing near Kumbang hide. Incredible views, down to 3m and on the trail at times.
 

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