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Viator (Mike Hooper)'s 2009 List (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
May 15, Central Catchment, Singapore

Went for an afternoon hike from Venus Drive through the forest to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve - around 9-10km hike in the end.

478. Jambu Fruit Dove
479. Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot
480. Blue-eared Kingfisher
481. Plain Sunbird

When I got home I was surprised to discover that this was my first sighting of a Blue-eared Kingfisher in Singapore.


Well-known member
June 3, Ferry crossing between Mersing and Pulau Tioman, Malaysia

Headed to Tioman island for a short family holiday which as expected didn't yield many new species for 2009. However the 2 hour ferry crossing yielded the 3 relatively common seabirds for the area.

482. Bridled Tern
483. Lesser Frigatebird
484. Black-naped Tern


Well-known member
June 8, Panti Forest, Johor, Malaysia

Thanks to a terrible ferry service and a slow truck driver I picked up a lifer on the bus trip back from Mersing to Larkin in Johor Bahru!

The first 'thanks' is to the ferry service with my scheduled 6:30pm ferry from Tioman to Mersing which eventually left around 8:45pm which meant we arrived too late for a bus to JB and hence Singapore and no long distance taxi drivers were interested. Probably a first for me with no one even offering to go for a ridiculous price - they simply weren't interested! As a result we were stranded and had to get a hotel for the night - wish we'd simply stayed on Tioman and got an early ferry the next morning! Beyond me how a ferry company can use 'the tide' as an excuse for being late - its not like it should have been a surprise when low tide was!

The second thanks to the truck driver who couldn't stay in his own lane and drove at 20km/hr meaning our bus was stuck behind him and drove slowly past by far the most interesting habitat of the return journey.

The end result, good views of a bird that I've never added to my list despite several good probable sightings, a Bat Hawk. An individual was perched in a dead tree not far from the road and since by design I was sitting on the right side of the bus I had a great view of it for far longer than you'd expect on a Malaysian bus!

485. Bat Hawk
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Well-known member
June 20, Pulau Ubin

A morning walk on Ubin yielded my 175th Singapore bird for 2009 - the rare resident Mangrove Blue Flycatcher.


Well-known member
Jun 28, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Singapore is currently in its hottest time of the year so we decided a few days relaxing in the cooler climate of the Cameron Highlands was in order - obviously the birders choice would be Fraser's Hill but this was a family holiday!

We decided to stay at The Equatorial Hotel ( @ 1600m nice and cool compared to Singapore) which meant I could have a 1/2 day of solid birding walking down from the summit of Gunung Brinchang at 2032m after driving the 8km from the hotel with the family. But thats for tomorrow's report!

The first new bird of the year was at the unlikely location of the Strawberry Park Resort: a Barred Cuckoo Dove

486. Barred Cuckoo Dove

After lunch we walked to Parit Falls which were fairly disappointing - not surprising but the area around the falls is just covered in rubbish although the height of the plastic bags etc in the tree shows the amount of water that could go over the falls during the rainy season. The walk to the falls yielded two more lifers: a Malaysian Hill Partridge seen crossing the path and a Yellow-eared Spiderhunter.

487. Malaysian Hill Partridge
488. Yellow-eared Spiderhunter

The last new bird of the day was also a lifer, a Common Green Magpie, seen when walking in the bottom of the valley of the Cameron Valley Tea Plantation.

489. Common Green Magpie
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Well-known member
Jun 29, Gunung Brinchang

A perfectly clear day for walking down Gunung Brinchang - every other day we were in the Highlands the summit was obscured by clouds. The walk started brilliantly with 3 lifers in the first 250m!

490. Golden-throated Barbet
491. Pygmy Wren Babbler
492. Yellow-breasted Warbler
493. Rufous-browed Flycatcher

494. Chestnut-tailed Minla
495. Snowy-browed Flycatcher
496. Rufous-winged Fulvetta
497. Rufous-vented Niltava

498. Temminck's Sunbird

A total of 48 species were seen whilst walking down the mountain.


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Well-known member
Jun 30

Three lifers were picked up on the trail from the Power Station to Robinson Falls

499. Moustached Babbler
500. Bar-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike
501. Blue Nuthatch

After the falls we relaxed with tea and scones at the Cameron Valley Tea Plantation before going for a walk down in the valley. By the stream we surprised a couple of feral Hwamei having a bath.

502. Hwamei


Well-known member
Jul 1

Time is up and its the ~500Km drive back to Singapore. Since we had all day we took our time and headed back down the old road road rather than the quicker (but 50+km longer) route via Simpang Pulai. This meant frequent stops to check out the view as we descended and some road side birding opportunities.

During the descent from the highlands added a lifer I was consciously looking for, a Gold-whiskered Barbet which was calling from the side of the road at a spot it was convenient to stop.

503. Gold-whiskered Barbet
504. Rufous-capped Babbler

The last new 2009 bird for the trip, also a lifer was a big surprise. We stopped for lunch at one of the rest places on the N-S highway in Selangor and 2 Silver-backed Needletails were circling the place. This is supposed to be a winter visitor/passage migrant to Pen Malaysia - summering over in Malaysia or very early returnees?

505. Silver-backed Needletail

In the end a satisfactory record of 119 species for the trip.
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Well-known member
Jul 5, Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Back in Singapore and spent the day hiking around Ubin with its varied habitat. Two new year birds found, first a Rufous Woodpecker followed later by a juvenile Banded Bay Cuckoo.

506. Rufous Woodpecker
507. Banded Bay Cuckoo


Well-known member
Aug 1

Picked up a lifer today in one of Singapore's rarer residents, Thick-billed Spiderhunter.

508. Thick-billed Spiderhunter


Well-known member
Sep 6

Headed to Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia for short break with my son taking advantage of Tiger Airways cheap tickets. This is my first visit to Borneo since getting serious about birding - hence some strange birds here which are lifers and some that aren't (if I'd previously photographed something it was already on the list - others no doubt I must have seen but weren't on the list).

The first lifer of the trip, a small flock of Dusky Munia was picked up getting from the budget terminal at Kota Kinabalu airport to the regular one to pick up our hired car having discovered it and us were a fair way apart.

509. Dusky Munia

We then drove up to Mt Kinabalu and dropped our gear where we were staying and had a short period of daylight to check out the roads around park HQ with a few birding stops along the way. Things seem to be quite a bit more developed than what I remember from my previous visit in early 1996 to climb the mountain.

510. Bornean Swiftlet
511. Black-capped White-eye
512. Mountain Wren Babbler
513. Short-tailed Green Magpie
514. Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher
515. Black-sided Flowerpecker
516. Bornean Stubtail
517. Bornean Forktail

518. Ashy Drongo
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Well-known member
Sep 7, Mt Kinabalu

The day started with a lifer from our balcony
519. Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike
520. Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush

First birding of the day was done around the powerstation before heading down Bukit Ular trail.

521. Bare-headed Laughingthrush
522. Sunda Laughingthrush

523. Bornean Treepie
524. Mountain Blackeye
525. Golden-naped Barbet
526. Crimson-headed Partridge

It was then back down to the roads around park HQ for some easier birding
527. Bornean Whistler
528. Chestnut-crested Yuhina
529. Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker
530. Indigo Flycatcher

In the late afternoon birded the upper part of Silau Silau Trail
531. Bornean Whistling Thrush
532. White-browed Shortwing


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Well-known member
Sep 8, Mt Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia

Headed to Poring Hotsprings first thing in the morning and did the canopy walk as soon as it opened. After the canopy walk did the lower part of the trail to the first waterfall.

533. White-crowned Shama
534. Hair-crested Drongo
535. Rufous-tailed Shama
536. Bornean Black Magpie
537. Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter

538. Little Spiderhunter

The drive back to Mt. Kinabalu added one of the birds I really wanted to find, two White-fronted Falconets in a dead tree right by the road allowing great views.

539. White-fronted Falconet

Back at Mt. Kinabalu hiked the upper part of the Silau Silau trail in the late afternoon and a had a great walk picking up 2 of the 3 whitehead's! The last, the spiderhunter, was to elude us on this trip.

540. Wreathed Hornbill
541. Maroon-breasted Philentoma
542. Whitehead's Trogon
543. Whitehead's Broadbill
544. Temminck's Babbler


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Well-known member
Sep 9, Sabah, Malaysia

An early start and headed to the Tambunan Rafflesia Centre on the way picking up two lifers - the first Mountain Serpent Eagle over the road and the second Black-headed Pitta in a stand of bamboo we'd had a rest stop at.

545. Mountain Serpent Eagle
546. Black-headed Pitta

Picked up some of the endemics, dipping on the barbets, which this site is famous for in a fruiting tree by the road near the centre.

547. Bornean Bulbul
548. Fruit-hunter
549. Bornean Leafbird

550. Sunda Bush Warbler

This proved the last 2009 bird for the trip as the next morning it was an early morning start back to Kota Kinabalu for our flight back to Singapore. A total of 124 species were sighted for the trip.


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Well-known member
Sep 13, Chiang Mai, Thailand

First new bird for 2009 was seen upon arrival at Chiang Mai airport, Great Myna.

551. Great Myna

After dropping things off at the hotel made a quick trip out to Huai Hong Khrai for the Green Peafowl and surprised to see some Brown Prinia along with the common Plain Prinia around the lake.

552. Green Peafowl
553. Plain Prinia
554. Brown Prinia

Heading back to Chiang Mai added two more birds to the 2009 list

555. Green Bee-eater
556. Indian Roller


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Well-known member
Sep 14

Up early and headed out to Mae Hia Agricultural College on the outskirts of Chiang Mai for some open country birding

557. Pied Bushchat
558. Wire-tailed Swallow
559. Grey-breasted Prinia
560. Black-necked Starling
561. Indochinese Bushlark
562. Red-whiskered Bulbul
563. Streak-eared Bulbul
564. Sooty-headed Bulbul
565. Burmese Shrike
566. Plain-backed Sparrow
567. Racket-tailed Treepie
568. Ashy Woodswallow
569. Rufescent Prinia

After lunch drove to Doi Inathon, spending the night at the Highland Resort before heading up the mountain the next day to camp for a couple of nights. The excellent grounds of the hotel added

570. Rufous Treepie
571. Red-billed Blue Magpie

Spent the last hour or so of light out at the "Parakeet Roosting" site (minus the parakeets) and added

572. Striated Swallow
573. Crested Treeswift
574. Purple Sunbird


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Well-known member
Sep 15, Doi Inathon, Thailand

Up before dawn and saw a calling Brown Wood Owl in the grounds before leaving to head up the mountain

575. Brown Wood Owl

First birding stop of the morning was the Ridge top trail at km13. Very quiet until I'd actually walked almost to the top of the ridge when encountered several bird waves.

576. Black-headed Woodpecker
577. Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
578. Slender-billed Oriole
579. Golden-fronted Leafbird
580. Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch
581. Black-hooded Oriole
582. Collared Falconet
583. White-rumped Falcon

It was then up to Park HQ to pay the camp site fee and then set up camp. After a quick lunch it was up to the summit...

584. Flavescent Bulbul
585. Dark-backed Sibia
586. Rufous-backed Sibia
587. Green-tailed Sunbird
588. White-tailed Leaf Warbler

589. Ashy-throated Warbler
590. Yellow-bellied Fantail
591. Silver-eared Laughingthrush
592. Mrs Gould's Sunbird
593. Blyth's Leaf Warbler

594. Grey-cheeked Fulvetta

Heading back down the mountain was a misty stop at the 2 Chedis...

595. Grey Bushchat

A hike at the 37.5km jeep trail added another couple of lifers - very hard to see what could be heard in here

596. Hume's Treecreeper
597. Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush

Back in camp added one last lifer for the day

598. Hill Prinia


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Well-known member
Sep 16, Doi Inathon, Thailand

Up early to reach the second checkpoint before dawn for morning feast by the birds on all the bugs attracted to the lights. The first bird though was 10m from my tent, a Black-tailed Crake

599. Black-tailed Crake

Having reached the checkpoint birds started coming from everywhere with plenty of new birds.

600. Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker
601. Yellow-cheeked Tit
602. Long-tailed Minivet
603. Stripe-breasted Woodpecker

After a few hours headed downhill to the 34.5km Jeep trail for a short hike in the mist before the rain set in

604. Black-throated Parrotbill
605. Hume's Treecreeper
606. Orange-breasted Trogon
607. Striated Yuhina

As the rain got too much headed further down the mountain to Mr Daeng's cafe for lunch. Since it then cleared up headed back to the 34.5km trail for more...

608. Slaty-bellied Tesia
609. Small Niltava
610. Short-tailed Minivet

611. Yellow-browed Warbler
612. Small Minivet
613. Chestnut-fronted Shrike Babbler

614. Black Bulbul
615. Puff-throated Bulbul
616. White-gorgeted Flycatcher
617. Slaty-backed Flycatcher
618. Spectacled Barwing

After a long day is was back to camp before dinner and picked up two more lifers!

619. Collared Owlet
620. Shikra


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Well-known member
Sep 17, Thailand

Time to leave Doi Inathon and do the long drive to Doi Ang Khang.

The first 2009 bird of the day was seen at around the 14km mark of the descent

621. Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Having arrived at Doi Ang Khang the first new birds were in the village of Ban Luang

622. Ashy Bulbul
623. Crested Finchbill

624. White Wagtail
625. Eye-browed Thrush

After sorting out accomodation is was time for some birding, starting with the km21 trail...

626. Plain Flowerpecker
627. Striated Bulbul

628. Brown-breasted Bulbul
629. Spot-throated Babbler
630. Red-tailed Laughingthrush

The last 45min or so of daylight was spent on the trail from Ban Koom through the farmlard adding one last bird

631. Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler


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Well-known member
Sep 18, Thailand

An early morning start with a hike along Mae Per Forest Trail on Doi Ang Khang and picked up a few more lifers

632. Ashy Wood Pigeon
633. Maroon Oriole
634. Grey-headed Parrotbill
635. Mountain Bamboo Partridge

It was then back to the trail at the km21 mark where I got brief views of three Scarlet-faced Liocichla for which this trail is known

636. Scarlet-faced Liocichla
637. Blossom-headed Parakeet

Having seen my target I started to drive down the mountain and only got a couple of km to the army camp when a bird wave crossed the road so a quick stop and 45min birding with birds everywhere!

638. White-browed Laughingthrush
639. Giant Nuthatch

I then took the scenic route down the mountain to Chiang Dao which took 1/2 day including a few stops for birds/rest

640. Grey Treepie
641. Rufous-winged Buzzard

Having arrived at Chiang Dao, checked into Malee's guesthouse and had a bite to eat and headed to the Temple and the Gully Trail. In the end didn't even make the short distance to the Temple without a couple of lifers!

642. Chestnut-tailed Starling
643. Golden-crested Myna

The gully trail then added a few more new birds in very wet conditions - both because of more rain and the trail was all but non-existant and consisted of wading up the fast flowing stream!

644. Grey-eyed Bulbul
645. Blue-bearded Bee-eater
646. Blue-throated Flycatcher


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