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Malaysia (1 Viewer)

jalid

Well-known member
There were two Malayan Peacock Pheasants showing a couple of times at Mutiara in February. However, at least one of them was ringed, which made us suspicious about their origin and history. I could not get further information then. (There were also some calling around, for example one from the other side of the river at the "swimming place").
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I had a male Argus on the JMT, he would stand on an at hill and call in to the valley below, allowing approach to with 15m.

No MPP then though, one of the toughest places to see birds in my experience and the humidity was horrible when I was there.
 
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James Eaton

Trent Valley Crew
The Malayan Peacock Pheasants around the resort (a pair), with the metal ring extremely difficult to see are both released birds (originally there were three), few years ago now. Anyone that tells you otherwise are definitely grasping at straws!

So many tourists at Mutiara now many galliforms (bar the fireback group) have retreated quite a long way into the forest now, unfortunately.

James
 

andyb39

Well-known member
The female MPP I saw was around the Tahan hide. I don't think it was ringed but will check my photos.
 

James Eaton

Trent Valley Crew
The female MPP I saw was around the Tahan hide. I don't think it was ringed but will check my photos.

The Tahan Hide female is one of the released birds - they've been feeding it on-and-off for a couple of years, and is often in association with the male.

It's a long time since the Swamp Loop area held 'wild' peacock pheasants - pre-boardwalk off the top of my head, when it used to be really dark and mosquito-ridden!

James
 

andyb39

Well-known member
Yes, I've just checked my photos and it's clearly ringed, so I have to knock it off my list. Bummer.
 

paul5000paul

Well-known member
Thanks

Thanks to all that offered advice on birding in Malaysia.

Some feedback:

The Mountain PP obliged at Bukit Tinggi as per instructions.

At Fraser's there are now many bird photographers of the type that do not own binoculars! The Partridge site was like attending a football match, get there early for the best seats. Some were using playback excessively, and at great volume, other photographers, to be fair, were not happy with this either. At one point a fight almost broke out between different groups. The Partridges were very shy and never settled to feed during my visits and once I had seen them well I couldn't face going back. Avoid weekends at Fraser's. I was given a location for Cutia which proved fruitful.

The Gap: Bamboo Woodpecker at 0.9 Km on road up in big bamboo clumps. Marbled Wren Babblers calling around 2km up. Saw a pair after a few attempts but they keep very well hidden.

Panti Forest: Rail-Babbler finally gave itself up along a side trail off the vehicle track (wide road in places). Grey-breasted Babbler was also seen well. Time was very limited here but the birding was generally good.

Singapore Botanical Gardens: Red-legged Crake seen well along the Heliconia Walk near Symphony lake.

Taman Negara: I connected with Olive-backed Woodpecker at Tabing Hide and Blue-banded Kingfisher and Blyth's Frogmouth at Lubok Simpon. Large Frogmouth called close to Tahan Hide at dusk but other night birding was unproductive or rained off.
TN was busy with tourists, a lot more than in 1998. The new boardwalks are noisy and, in places, dangerous to walk on as they are poorly maintained. The heat and humidity was energy sapping and combined with a mild dose of food poisoning made for very uncomfortable birding conditions. Maybe it was the time of year or the weather conditions or even me but the trails around the resort were a lot less productive than in March 1998. I saw no ground birds whatsoever in 5 days birding. I did hear Great Argus along the Riverside trail but they were some way off and 3 Blue-winged Pittas calling on the Swamp Loop did not want to show either. In '98 (11 night stay and I did go to Kumbang a few times) I saw: 6 (2 groups) Great Argus, 27 Crested Fireback, 3 Malaysian PP, 9 Crested Partridge, Banded Pitta, Garnet Pitta, BW Pitta and 2 Hooded Pittas!
TN was disappointing and I was glad to leave. On a positive note, and as Steve Babbs has already stated, Kuala Tahan is awash with alcohol. Well, you can buy it from a shop in the village and the café next door allows you to drink it there if you have ordered their food; my girlfriend would not have endured 5 nights otherwise!

Retrospectively, I wish I had got away from the HQ trail system more and stayed out in some of the hides but my gf was having none of it.

Next time I will try the other gate and spend a lot more time out at night.


Cheers,


Paul
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I think you were unlucky with crowds at Fraser's, although you did very well for birds. I was there at a weekend and there were only a few. It took me 5 minutes to see the partridges well. I agree that TN was bloody hard work.
 

paul5000paul

Well-known member
Malaysian Partridge stake-out

I think you were unlucky with crowds at Fraser's, although you did very well for birds. I was there at a weekend and there were only a few. It took me 5 minutes to see the partridges well. I agree that TN was bloody hard work.

I was expecting to put in a couple of hours at most but it took nearly 8 hours to get good views; 5 mins is very good timing indeed.
 

andyb39

Well-known member
Hi Paul,

It sounds like you did pretty well. I'll probably PM you about Marbled Wren-babbler and Grey-breasted Babbler.

I know what you mean about binless birder-photographers and excessive playback. Last year at FH a group had located a pair of Red-headed Trogons. Even though the birds were most obliging, the male sitting on wires and allowing close approach, they still insisted on blasting the call out at deafening volume. Mindless behaviour.

I share your experience of Taman Negara. Bird density is seemingly much lower than at say, Panti. I'm not sure why, as there weren't that many visitors when I was there. One reason might be the noisy boardwalks. I did pick up a few good birds, but they were few and far between. I didn't get as far as Tabing hide as the trail was a quagmire after heavy rain, as was the slope up to Yong and Blau hides. The heat and humidity were torture - even walking to Lubok Simpon and back left me drenched, let alone walking along Jenet Muda. Perhaps the Merahpoh entrance is a better option.
 

temmie

Well-known member
How far do the boardwalks go from the visitor centre: 1 kilometer? 2? or even more?
Reading into Paul's experience, either the main entrance is a bit disappointing with visitors / boardwalk / ... or maybe it's still as good as ever once you go further away from the visitor centre?
I'll be there in two weeks and am prepared to do everything from bushwacking to mud crawling to see those ground birds, and I still reckon I can get Rail Babbler in Taman Negara. Is this realistic or should I plan to split time with Panti?
 

andyb39

Well-known member
The trail to Lubok Simpon, the Jenet Muda trail, the Swamp Loop and the trail all the way from the visitor's centre to the Canopy Walkway are all boardwalked. The trail to Tabing hide and those to Blau and Yong hides are not, although Blau and Yong hides are best accessed by boat.
 

paul5000paul

Well-known member
Rail-Babbler

How far do the boardwalks go from the visitor centre: 1 kilometer? 2? or even more?
Reading into Paul's experience, either the main entrance is a bit disappointing with visitors / boardwalk / ... or maybe it's still as good as ever once you go further away from the visitor centre?
I'll be there in two weeks and am prepared to do everything from bushwacking to mud crawling to see those ground birds, and I still reckon I can get Rail Babbler in Taman Negara. Is this realistic or should I plan to split time with Panti?

Perhaps I was unlucky at TN but I didn't get a sniff in 5 days. At Panti, I heard a bird after 2 hours and saw it in the same place the next day. 4pm seemed to be the time this individual started vocalising. I had visited the exact spot in the morning.
 
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paul5000paul

Well-known member
The heat and humidity were torture - even walking to Lubok Simpon and back left me drenched, let alone walking along Jenet Muda. Perhaps the Merahpoh entrance is a better option.

Not just me then. The humidity was horrendous at TN. Panti was much easier, just the standard equatorial heat and humidity rather than TN's "boil in the bag" setting.
 

temmie

Well-known member
A quick update: we did well with rusty-naped Pitta, marbled-wren babbler, malayan whistling thrush, partridges, bamboo woodpecker and the more common stuff. No snif of cutia and long billed partridge but we only tried the pine trail in the afternoon. It feels like many skulking birds are overplayed and not responding on the regularly birded trails, eg we heard 5 rusty naped pittas on bishop that were playing very hard to see while we saw one much more easily on a less birded trail... more important: we found the little shop entering the village from the old road sold beer, and some restaurants (not all) serve beer! Tomorrow we'll be in Taman Negara. Pray for us that the ground birds will be visible!
 

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