In Search of the Flying Rhino


between 19th July and 21st August 1996

Author: Keith Martin. Groenstraat 30/2, B-3001, Heverlee, Belgium.


Peninsular Malaysia is a very easy part of South-East Asia to travel around and is culturally (as well as ornithologically) fascinating, with a unique blend of primarily traditional Malay, Chinese and Tamil cultures. As well as enjoying the rich wildlife it is also worth trying to spend some time becoming familiar with the particular nuances of this extraordinary place, but obviously it depends on how much time you have available. Currently Malaysia is experiencing rapid growth and many areas have been converted into spectacular building sites, leading to the usual uncertainties about how much priority and protection the remaining forest areas will be afforded. In particular, several of the sites discussed here are under threat of further encroachment (a new road from The Gap to Bukit Fraser, further development at Bukit Fraser, road widening on Bukit Larut, village development expansion and road construction at the edge of Taman Negara). This always leaves a feeling of concern and a slight hopelessness about the future for the diversity of such magnificent places. It is hoped that by openly expressing an interest and a willingness to learn about the local environment, a visiting naturalist can at least contribute a small amount to raising local environmental awareness, if only by making people wonder what on earth these loonies with the binoculars are doing in their back garden.

Experience and Effort

This was our first (and hopefully not last) visit to Malaysia and was also our first experience of birding in extensive rainforest regions. Bewildering and frustrating on that first walk up the hill from The Gap, exhilarating and exciting always. We visited the Peninsula for just over a month, but I would estimate the birding effort over this period to be about 18 days. The remainder of the time was spent visiting friends, being a vanilla flavoured tourist and eating lots of bananas.

Transport and Accommodation

We used public transport throughout our visit. The Malaysian bus network is extensive, very cheap and generally efficient (plus or minus the odd half hour). Taxis are the easiest way of getting around the capital (and indeed the whole country if you are allergic to buses) although you'll have to get used to bargaining, not just over the fare, but also over the destination! Also highly recommended, if you are going the right way, is the train network. The service from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth (Penang) is cheap, modern and comfortable. The "Jungle train" from Kota Bharu south via Jerantut is cheap, wonderfully less modern, and still comfortable - a great experience. Accommodation was plentiful and available at all prices. We used a combination of floors, Chinese hotels, hostels and Government resthouses. The latter are an absolute bargain, where they exist.


Peninsular Malaysia had been experiencing unusually dry conditions before, and during, the time of our visit. Whilst this was perhaps detrimental to the bird list and did little to curb the rampant humidity, it generally made pleasant travelling weather and kept the leeches on the trails quieter than normal! Leeches are just a fact of life in tropical rainforests, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that mosquitoes were not in great evidence, except in urban areas and of course mangroves.


The following represents our eventual itinerary, which was largely made up as we went along. Locations in boldface are sites which are included in this report.

19th to 22nd July Kuala Lumpur
23rd to 26th July The Gap and Bukit Fraser
27th to 29th July Penang
30th JulyTaiping
31st July to 3rd August Bukit Larut
4th to 5th August Kota Bharu
7th to 13th August Taman Negara
15th to 17th August Kuala Selangor
18th to 21st August Kuala Lumpur

Nomenclature and sequence

Nomenclature is generally as in King, Woodcock, Dickinson, Birds of South-East Asia [1], although where appropriate alternative common names will be included. The sequence is rather eccentric, but is generally fairly well behaved. My apologies if you are a strict adherent to convention.


[1] Birds of South-East Asia, B.King, M.Woodcock and E.C.Dickinson, HarperCollins, 1975.

[2] A Guide to the Birds of Thailand, P.D.Round and B.Lekagul, Bangkok, 1991.

[3] A Birdwatcher's Guide to Malaysia, J. Bransbury, Waymark, 1993.

[4] Mammals of Malaysia, M.W.F.Tweedie, Longman Malaysia, 1978.

[5] Travel Survival Kit: Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Lonely Planet Publications, 1994

King et al [1] is a fairly effective guide book, but the plates are not entirely satisfactory and are indeed quite inadequate for the dreaded Bulbuls and Babblers. Note that many common birds of the Malay Peninsula are either depicted only in black and white, or not depicted at all in this book. Round and Lekagul [2] have superior plates, but this guide is not comprehensive either and several peninsular birds are not covered. We had access to [2] in Taman Negara, and our Babbler list would have been much shorter without it. John Bransbury's guide [3] is excellent, mainly for site suggestions and site lists. Of course these site lists are not comprehensive and we saw species at each site that are not included in the lists of [3]. We picked up [4] in Malaysia, and it was useful, but I think better "guide books" exist (Mammals of SE Asia, Earl of Cranbrook, is often cited). We used [5] primarily for travel information and for the non-birding sections of our trip.


A few quick thanks, where they are due. To Paul and Toni for their hospitality, friendship and introduction to many different lives, people and eating places of K.L. To John for his company, continually bumping into us, and for bringing Birds of Thailand with him! To Guna at Gunung Hijau for sharing his knowledge and love of the wildlife on Bukit Larut and for his very tasty "chicken and rice". To the owners of the floating restaurant on the resort side of Sungai Temebeling for their smiles, preferential treatment and life restoring Teh-ohs during a hard week of Babbler hunting. And finally to John Hatch for first enthusing over Rhinocerus Hornbills and for useful background information.


Kuala Lumpur

It's big, it's sprawling, it's chaotic and it kind of grows on you. Our main reason for lingering here was to visit friends and just to learn. Dominant cities are not always representative of a country, but they are often the best place to get a feeling for what makes the local world spin around. Whilst not claiming to have fully worked this out, I can at least say that from hating the place on arrival, I was rather sad to leave this huge living, breathing, booming Asian city. We stayed in a tall condominium in the Brickfields district, a largely Indian community of conflicting smells such as rotting garbage, carbon monoxide fumes and burning incense (not as bad as it sounds!) K.L. is (as yet) a surprisingly green city and even Brickfields has its birds, with House Swifts and Pacific Swallows continuously circling the upper levels of the residences, and Black-naped Orioles a conspicuous resident in the surrounding trees. Ironically my very first Malaysian bird was a Milky Stork, seen riding the thermals above Brickfields. It continued to intrigue me for four weeks until Rajan at Kuala Selangor finally explained that this bird is famous, presumably having escaped from the Lake Gardens aviary, and lifts off from the Gardens every day, before faithfully returning each night. Anywhere green is worth a look in K.L., but the most obvious location for extent and accessibility is the Lake Gardens. A short sweaty walk from downtown, the gardens include expanses of open woodland, grassy areas and a sizeable free-flying aviary. The aviary is certainly worth a look, just in case you need any further motivation to go Rhino-hunting.

Bird Highlights: Magpie Robin, White-breasted Waterhen, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Peaceful Dove, Common Tailorbird, Common Goldenback, Large-tailed Nightjar, Jungle Myna.

Mammal Highlights: Plantain Squirrel, Common Treeshrew, House Shrew, Long-tailed Macaque.

The Gap and Bukit Fraser (Fraser's Hill)

The Gap is an extraordinary place. It lies on the saddle of the road from Kuala Kubu Bharu (K.K.B.) to Raub and is marked only by a few houses, the most dominant being an old colonial style resthouse. The Gap is easily reached in a few hours from K.L. by taking one of the many regular buses from Pudu Raya bus station to K.K.B., and then connecting with one of the three buses to Bukit Fraser (the most convenient one leaves about 12.30). The Gap resthouse is definitely the place to stay and is spacious and generally quiet, although it is imperative to call ahead at weekends or holidays. There is a small restaurant which serves up evening meals - rather overpriced western fare, or delicious and cheap local food which they always seem rather surprised and disappointed if you order. One of the huts down the road towards K.K.B. is a good option for breakfasts and tea breaks. At The Gap you can sit in your room, on the terraces, or in the garden and listen to howling Siamangs and the beating of Barbets. It is a magical place. Options for birding are restricted to the three roads that meet there, in the directions of Raub, K.K.B. or Bukit Fraser. We found the K.K.B. road to be very good early morning, with several good viewpoints over the canopy and bamboo thickets and streams that were always lively (especially about 1km down from The Gap). The 8km road to Bukit Fraser is of course outstanding, and each day we opted to hike up the hill (this is a several hour task which the locals will decide you are certifiably insane for attempting and you may have trouble fighting off the offers of lifts). Traffic was restricted to one direction each hour, which resulted in surges on the hour and general peace in between. Note that this situation may have already changed.

Bukit Fraser is a rather peculiar place. At 1300 metres above sea level, the temperature is notably cooler and the fauna considerably different to The Gap (825 metres). Bukit Fraser is a classical colonial hill station and is still a retreat for those who wish to escape the heat of the coast. A sizeable golf course has been carved out of the forest and there are several very ugly developments and many twee Tudor style mansions, but there can be no denying that despite this unusual facade, the birding is very good. It is a very "birdy" place and even the owner of the grocery store whipped out a copy of King et al from underneath the counter when he saw us buying hiking supplies (only mad dogs and birders walk the road to The Gap). There are several jungle trails at Bukit Fraser, but many are very steep and hard to find. We had poor experiences at the classical locations referred to with misty eyes by Bukit Fraser veterans, such as the Rubbish Tip (garbage!) and the Bishop's Trail (almost impossible to find). But the roads and trails all seemed to be worth pacing. To get maximum benefit from a visit to these two sites I would suggest also staying up at Bukit Fraser for a couple of days. We stayed at The Gap and subsequently were never on Bukit Fraser at quite the right time of day (early morning, late afternoon). That said, I would choose The Gap ahead of Bukit Fraser if only a brief visit is possible. It is quieter, and really enchanting.

Only problem with both these sites - we didn't see any Hornbills!

Bird Highlights (The Gap): Striped Tit-Babbler, Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot, Green-billed Malkoha, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Sultan Tit, Verditer Flycatcher, Streaked Spiderhunter, Brown Wood-Owl, Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, Chestnut-naped Forktail, Pin-tailed Parrot-Finch, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker.

Mammal Highlights (The Gap): Dusky Leaf-monkey, Giant Squirrel.

Bird Highlights (Bukit Fraser): Black Laughingthrush, Mountain Tailorbird, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Mountain Imperial-Pigeon, Collared Owlet, Fire-tufted Barbet, Black-browed Barbet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Mountain Bulbul, Green Magpie, Silver-eared Mesia, Oriental Cuckoo, Sultan Tit, Blue Nuthatch, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, Long-tailed Sibia, Large Niltava, Little Pied Flycatcher.

Mammal Highlights (Bukit Fraser): Siamang.


Very much on the conventional tourist trail, but well worth it for fans of mopeds, holes in the road, shoe and bag shops, Chinese temples and most importantly, eating. We were lucky enough to visit during a national power strike, which resulted in a hideously uncomfortable night as the ceiling fans of course all stopped revolving. The advantage was that Penang rushed outdoors to escape the heat of the buildings and the town became illuminated with thousands of little candles. Unfortunately blenders and fridges also pack up without power, and so I was cruelly denied a banana juice from my favourite Indian restaurant. Penang Hill is the obvious spot to head for with the binoculars once you can't eat another murtabak, and it can be reached via a small rack railway. An alternative is to copy the Chinese and jog up the unbelievably steep road to the summit. We came down this road, and that was quite bad enough thank you. The birding is quite pleasant at the summit and on the descent, but don't do what we did and try to take the train on a public holiday. The Botanical Gardens at the foot of the hill are also pleasant, busy (but excellent for people watching - we saw the "stick and plastic bag secret society of elderly Chinese men" and "the man with the biggest nose in the World and his three wives"), and has the most aggressive Long-tailed Macaques in Malaysia. Penang is easily reached by train from Kuala Lumpur (to Butterworth then ferry across the strait) and every second building is a hotel or a restaurant.

Bird Highlights: Brahminy Kite, Asian Palm-Swift, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Olive-winged Bulbul, Little Spiderhunter, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Green-winged Pigeon, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch.

Mammal Highlights: Giant Squirrel.


Taiping is just a short bus (or train) ride south of Georgetown (Penang) and is a very Chinese town and well worth a visit, although perhaps largely only ornithologically so as an access point to Bukit Larut. We stayed in a very spacious and grand looking resthouse majestically set in the Lake Gardens, but less majestically set next to the town prison. The Lake Gardens are a very fine spot to stroll around and have plenty birds that are worth hunting out. They are very quiet in the morning, but very busy late afternoon when Taiping pours in to conduct various energetic forms of physical exercise, from football, jogging and frisbee throwing, to serious amounts of less than discrete canoodling. The resthouse served excellent meals on a breezy terrace and there were Black-thighed Falconets in the trees at the entrance. This was quite enough for me to decide it was a good spot.

Bird Highlights: Black-thighed Falconet, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Common Goldenback, Common Iora, Pied Fantail, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Richard's Pipit, Pied Triller.

Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)

Bukit Larut is an outstanding birding location. An old hill station, it sits high in the mountains that tower behind steamy Taiping. The hill station is reached by a long windy road which twists and turns from a gate at the edge of the Taiping Lake Gardens to a height of 1100 metres. The only way up is by "Government Land Rover", a novel concept, and a very exciting and cheap way to the top. This also makes traffic on the road very quiet, except for the occasional maniacal Telekom drivers who go beyond the hill station to the Telekom Tower at the end of the road, a height of 1450 metres. There is a resthouse at the hill station which is cheap and not that exciting, so try and stay at the resthouse that lies a further one kilometer up the road, Gunung Hijau. This place is splendidly isolated, has four well kept rooms, unbelievable views and the caretaker on our visit, Guna, is a very keen naturalist and is very keen to share his knowledge with visitors. Guna is also a more than competent cook! Into the bargain, at night the garden starts to resemble some sort of exotic zoo, with Colugos in the trees, Brush-tailed Porcupines queueing up at the back door, and enormous Atlas Moths covering the veranda. Locations for birding are largely restricted to the road, but this is hardly a handicap. Between the hill station and the Telekom Tower is particularly interesting , mainly because of its height and the fact that it is very quiet, but the entire road is worth walking. I am sure three days spent watching from Guna'a garden alone would notch up a healthy bird list. There are a few other jungle trails which may also be worth a hike. We spent one day walking all the way back down to Taiping, grabbed a couple of lychee juices and then Landrovered back up. This was well worth the knee strain. Note that at weekends and holidays Bukit Larut gets very busy and amazing numbers of schoolkids seem to run up the hill, or pile into the Land Rovers. Avoid these times. You must book ahead anyway, so don't just turn up at the door. I've probably given it away already, but Bukit Larut was our favourite location (and it was there that we saw our first Flying Rhino).

Bird Highlights: Black Eagle, Streaked Wren-Babbler, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Chestnut-naped Forktail, Thick-billed Pigeon, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Red-billed Malkoha, Ornage-breasted Trogon, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Rhinocerus Hornbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Banded Woodpecker, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Sultan Tit, Chestut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, White-browed Shrike-babbler, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Lesser Yellownape, Puff-throated Babbler.

Mammal Highlights: Siamang, Colugo, Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Brush-tailed Porcupine, Pig-tailed Macaque, Dusky Leaf-monkey, Himalayan Striped Squirrel.

Taman Negara

Taman Negara (literally, "National Park") is a compulsory destination. It represents the easiest access you'll get to extensive lowland rainforest, and has a series of well marked trails which allow reasonable penetration into an area of remarkable old growth forest in which shafts of light occasionally penetrate to illuminate colourful butterflies, and the sounds of unseen birds resonate from the darkest of corners. It is well packaged by the tourist industry, and so if you don't try too hard you will probably be bundled off here anyway. Huge numbers of visitors, from the loaded to the allegedly destitute, all seem to make their way here, but don't be put off. The loaded don't leave the resort and the allegedly destitute all spend most of their time floating down the Sungai Tembeling on inflatable tyres, so the trails will be quieter than might be expected. The most commonly used access is by sampan (motorised canoe) from Kuala Tembeling, near Jerantut, to the Kuala Tahan resort, on the edge of the park. Unfortunately a road has been bulldozed in to the village on the opposite side of the river to Kuala Tahan, and subsequently this village is blossoming as a source of alternative accommodation and facilities. This is possibly good for the local community, but probably not good for long term conservation in this corner of the park (where does the rubbish go for instance?) The overly slick youth hostel at Jerantut was very keen to bus us into Kuala Tahan, but we fought off the pressure, partly as a matter of principle (stubborn and ideological), but also because the birding is better by the boat (conveniently!). There are places to stay other than the Kuala Tahan resort, but the resort allows the best access to trails and is quite simply the most convenient option, especially for first time visitors. Beware that saving money by staying on the other side of the Sungai Tembeling may leave you stranded early morning, until the boatmen start their regular short crossings of the river. We opted for the resort hostel (overpriced but functional dormitory style accommodation), but if you are keen to spend more money then name your price and there will be a hut for you. There is a pricy shop and a pricy restaurant in the resort, but the floating restaurants on the Sungai Tembeling serve tasty hearty fare, and we took the most enormous bunch of bananas and rambutans into the park with us, which kept us going on the trails. The trails are all worth hiking, but getting out early is a good idea, as is late afternoon. Particularly worth it were the Tahan Trail, Jenut Muda Trail, Bukit Teresek Trail, all of which we paced several times, and the Bukit Indah Trail. The Swamp Loop Trail is a short loop for mosquito fans. Taman Negara also has a number of hides (bumbuns) where visitors can stay overnight, but should be booked in advance. We hiked out one day to Bumbun Kumbang, which was a great walk in itself and involved exciting things such as fording a waste high river. Bumbun Kumbang was well worth visiting just to see another part of the park. Unfortunately the allegedly destitute travelling hordes are catching onto the fact that the hides are a cheap and adventurous overnight stay and they can become overnight party rooms rather than serious wildlife hideouts. We were lucky to have some quiet companions, but their patience for a Tapir watch lasted about 15 minutes, after which everyone wanted to go to bed. And no-one else had brought a torch, which kind of shows the commitment we're talking about. Having had that little moan, Bumbun Kumbang was a very good bird spot, and try as I might I couldn't find a better spot in the immediate locality. For birds, the hide seemed to face the wrong direction, as it was immediately next to a tall fruiting tree. So I spent more time on the tall steps than inside! The trail from Kumbang to Kuala Trenggan, for the boat back to Kuala Tahan, was also ornithologically good, and memorable largely for meeting a 20cm bright blue scorpion who ran around in excited little circles and waved enthusiastically - an enthusiasm I didn't entirely reciprocate. Many old heads will tell you that Taman Negara is not as good as it was ten years ago, and this is probably true in the vicinity of Kuala Tahan. We met someone who had met someone (yeah yeah) who had once crept up to Bumbun Kumbang in the middle of the day and surprised a Tiger and a Guar (wild cow) who were having a roaring competition next to the salt lick. Don't worry, you won't have to endure an experience such as this (sadly) but Taman Negara is still an exciting spot for birders and the more time that you can spare there, the more you will get from it. We saw over one hundred species of bird in a week, and most importantly five species of Hornbill, so we were more than happy.

Bird Highlights: Straw-headed Bulbul, Great Argus, Rufous Piculet, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Black-and-red Broadbill, Green Broadbill, Banded Broadbill, Dusky Broadbill, Garnet Pitta, White-crowned Forktail, Jambu Fruit-Dove, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Black-bellied Malkoha, Red-naped Trogon, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Wreathed Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Rhinocerus Hornbill, Helmeted Hornbill, Red-throated Barbet, Dark-throated Oriole, Hill Myna, Bat Hawk, Malaysian Blue-Flycatcher, Spotted Fantail, Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker.

Mammal Highlights: Banded Leaf-monkey, Prevost's Squirrel, Slender Squirrel, Black-bellied Squirrel, Wild Pig, Sambar Deer.

Kuala Selangor Nature Park

The notion of a Nature Park is as yet rather unusual in Malaysia and this one is thus to be treasured. Situated just five minutes from Kuala Selangor town, itself an easy bus ride from Puda Raya bus station (actually that's not quite true as we had a bus trip from hell getting back to K.L., which is a hilarious and very long story which I'm afraid I am going to have to deny you). The park is jointly owned by the State Government and the Malaysian Nature Society (P.O. Box 10750, 50724, Kuala Lumpur;, and has several trails, small hides, a dilapidated pair of mangrove boardwalks (maybe they are repaired now) and a good bookshop. The manager Rajan was very welcoming and helpful. There is on site accommodation - we stayed in a tiny A-frame hut which was quite adequate since we were still speaking to one another and had no need for more space, but bigger huts with an ensuite are available. The usual booking advice applies, and be warned that school parties often descend on the place. Eating is easy as the town is a hop and a skip away. The park has a lagoon, surrounding woodland and an area of mangroves, with glimpses of the sea. And all in all, it is a very fine place and was extremely quiet and peaceful. The short trails are worth several circuits, and the hides are as good a place as any to duck out of the sun. We were a little disappointed with life on the lagoon, with the exception of the enormous Water Monitors, but the surrounding bushland was good and the mangroves were worth spending time in. At the end of the mangrove trail was a run down hide from which you could watch enormous and colourful mudskippers and crabs doing their thing, and also watch Long-tailed Macaques hunting them in the mangroves. In fact in a past life, these monkeys were called Crab-eating Macaques and so it was nice to see them behaving in this rather traditional manner, given that most of the examples that you see elsewhere have evolved into Camera-eating Macaques. In fact we hardly saw a soul during our visit except for a professional twitcher who arrived armed with tripod, camcorder, binoculars, camera and heaving with sweat, and who was most anxious to locate a Mangrove Pitta. He didn't look like he was having fun. We also ran into a quiet Danish ornithologist who had discovered a new species of dove on his last field trip to Africa. Kuala Selangor is that sort of a place.

Bird Highlights: Purple Heron, Red Junglefowl (puk-puk-puk), Malayan Bronze-Cuckoo, Buffy Fish-owl, Laced Woodpecker, Brown-capped Woodpecker, Ashy Drongo, Great Tit, Ashy Tailorbird, Mangrove Blue-Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler, Long-tailed Parakeet, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Greater Goldenback, Forest Wagtail.

Mammal Highlights: Smooth Otter, Leopard Cat, Silvered Leaf-monkey.



Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Plentiful around the Kuala Selangor lagoons.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
A skinny bird. Just the one seen at Kuala Selangor.
Little (Striated) Heron Butorides striatus
Common at Kuala Selangor. Also recorded in Kuala Lumpur near the Universiti Malaya, and in Taiping Lake Gardens.
Cattle Egret Bubuculus ibis
On our last morning at Kuala Selangor we visited one of the hides and saw a whole tree full of these birds, having not seen any over the previous 48 hours.
Great Egret Ardea alba
Recorded only at Kuala Selangor.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Several at Kuala Selangor.
Bat Hawk Machaerhamphus alcinus
Seen on only one occasion, at dusk, above the main Taman Negara resort at Kuala Tahan. The shape and restless flight pattern of this extraordinary raptor make it instantly recognisable.
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Very common at Kuala Selangor.
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
One bird seen at Kuala Selangor.
Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela
A striking bird of prey that seems to be common throughout the peninsula. It is a dream bird of prey to identify, quite distinctive and with a clear underwing pattern. We had very close views of this species at Kuala Selangor and many glimpses of it elsewhere.
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
One bird seen circling above Gunung Hijau on Bukit Larut.
Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius
Remarkably tidy little birds of prey, rather resembling overgrown sparrows. They are very easy to overlook and our only good view was of one perched in a tree immediately in front of the resthouse in Taiping Lake Gardens..
(Crested Fireback Lophure ignita )
I feel obliged to include this species because everyone says it is "guaranteed" at Taman Negara in the vicinity of Kuala Tahan. We went there, so we must have seen it.... WELL IT ISN'T!!!!!
Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
The proverbial wild chook. A "must see" bird, although beware of the fact that Malaysia is full or feral populations. They seem fairly wild and plentiful at Kuala Selangor and it is something of a novelty to hear cockerels crowing in the woods and feel the urge to pursue them. Very flighty. If you want a really good look at one then I suggest you try any backyard on the Peninsula..
Great Argus Argusianus argus
Sounds like it should be a species of butterfly, but is in fact one of the most amazing birds I have ever seen. Once you know the call (beautifully encapsulated by the phrase "oh wow") then a visitor to Taman Negara will realise that they are not that rare. But they are hard to see. We saw two casually stroll across the Jenut Muda trail and then vanish (and I mean VANISH) into the forest. This turns out to be a classic location, just after the second creek, but we did not know this at the time.
Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator
A small party seen scuttling around the rubbish dump down the road from the large hostel (opposite the mosque) at Jerantut. I don't recommend the rubbish tip to you, but birders will be birders...
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Great birds, and want to know the best thing about them? They're as common as Malaysian taxis. Wear a blindfold at all times if you don't want to see one.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
One or two birds seen at Kuala Selangor.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
As the name suggests. Plentiful at Kuala Selangor and also easily observed on the Sungai Tembeling on the trip into Taman Negara. In fact, even seen from our favourite floating restaurant at Kuala Tahan, which makes it a civilised bird.
Rock Dove Columba livia
Spotted (Turtle-) Dove Streptopelia chinensis
Easily seen in Kuala Lumpur, the Lake Gardens for example.
Little Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia ruficeps
Often easy to overlook in the forest, but present in high numbers at both The Gap and Bukit Larut.
Green-winged Pigeon (Emerald Dove) Chalcophaps indica
Seen in flight on three occasions, at The Gap, Penang Hill and Taman Negara. Probably more common than these three sightings suggest.
Peaceful (Zebra) Dove Geopelia striata
Easy to observe and in good numbers in Kuala Lumpur (Lake Gardens) and Kuala Selangor.
Little Green Pigeon Treron olax
A large group observed in the trees of the resort at Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara).
Pink-necked Pigeon Treron vernans
A fairly common bird, even close to urban areas. We saw them typically in parks, including the Botanical Gardens in Penang and Taiping Lake Gardens. Also present at Kuala Selangor.
Thick-billed Pigeon Treron curvirostra
Neck straining views of a pair high in a fruiting tree on Bukit Larut. Several other pigeons heard from the inpenetrable depths of the forest were quite likely to have been this species.
Jambu Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus jambu
Gorgeous Fruit-Dove which is quite hard to spot despite its bright crimson face and legs (the rest is green and white). Sadly seen only once, near Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Mountain Imperial-Pigeon Ducula badia
Seem to be common in montane forest areas such as The Gap, Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut. Usually seen flying high above the forest and as good an excuse as any to spend a bit of time enjoying some of the better highland lookout points.
Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot Loriculus galgulus
Fairly common at The Gap and Taman Negara. Very attractive but predictably hard to get a good look at. Persevere and you will almost certainly get lucky..
Long-tailed Parakeet Psittacula longicauda
One group of birds only, seen screaming overhead at Kuala Selangor.
Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus
Definitely seen just once, next to the golf course at Bukit Fraser. Several other dodgy looking female Cuckoos glimpsed on Bukit Larut were probably also this species.
Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantus sonneratii
A very attractive little Cuckoo, seen only once on Bukit Larut.
Brush Cuckoo Cacomantus variolosus
Also seen just the once, this time at Taman Negara.
Malayan (Little) Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutilus (malayanus)
There must be an unwritten rule about observing Cuckoo species more than once. Once again, once only, this time at Kuala Selangor. They are too quiet - that's the problem.
Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris
Ah yes - except this one. Common both in, and close to the resort at Kuala Tahan. This was a classic identification for me. On first seeing it, I wrote in my notebook, "looks like a cross between a Drongo and a Cuckoo". It proved to be an inspirational description.
Common Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
Seen only once at the foot of Bukit Melawati, next to Kuala Selangor.
Black-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus diardi
Malkohas are good fun. Very comical and reasonably hard to miss due to their ridiculous shape. This one was seen only once, near Kuala Tahan in Taman Negara. Not that exciting as Malkohas go, but seemingly not so common either.
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus sumatranus
Kuala Selangor would appear to be the top place for this one. Hanging around in the mangroves down the boardwalk, and worth risking the loose planks to see. Keep an eye on your footing, or take a less desperate friend with you!
Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
Appeared to be the commonest of the Malkohas and was seen regularly around The Gap and also on Bukit Larut.
Red-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus javanicus
Sexy Malkoha. Nice one. Seen just the once on Bukit Larut, but not forgotten.
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris
Not a bad Malkoha either, actually it's gorgeous, but again only seen a few times in Taman Negara.
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Only seen in Taman Negara, but fairly close to the resort. Someone should tell these birds that they simply don't belong in trees.
Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis
A couple of records, one from the banks of the Sungai Tahan at Taman Negara, and also seen from one of the hides, in dense vegetation at Kuala Selangor.
Mountain Scops-Owl Otus spilocephalus
Heard most evenings right outside Gunung Hijau on Bukit Larut. Tended to call just before sundown, but also refused to move from dense cover. Infuriating!
Brown Wood-Owl Strix leptogrammica
Big and rather unusual owl. We saw one in the early morning, about 100m distant, sitting on a dead tree above the main canopy just below The Gap. It didn't look like a bird that was planning on going anywhere in a hurry.
Buffy Fish-owl Ketupa ketupu
A cause of much delight in the mangroves at Kuala Selangor. Sometimes hard to pick among the dense mangroves, but rather keen on the occasional flight, so keep your eyes open. We saw it on each day of our visit. Rajan is always keen to keep tabs on the local birds, so tell him if you see any.
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei
This one's a bit cute I have to say. We saw it only once, at Bukit Fraser, but it was hunting quite happily in the middle of the day, around the time that even the Barbets were thinking of taking a bit of a break.
Malaysian Eared Nightjar Eurostopodus temminckii
Seen nightly at The Gap. The best strategy is to sit around in the lounge room, wait for the dinner call, and as soon as dinner is announced rush out and there it will be, fluttering high above the resthouse. Seemed to work for us anyway...
Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
Only recorded by us in urban areas. One seen by day close to downtown Kuala Lumpur, near the amazing new mosque, and others heard in, for example, Taiping.
Whiskered Treeswift Hemiprocne comata
Seen on just one occasion, on the lower reaches of the road up Bukit Larut. Very much performing in the classic manner, hawking conspicuously from the top of a dead tree.
White-bellied (Glossy) Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta
The most widespread of the annoying small birds that zoom overhead and cause identification headaches. Present in good numbers at almost every site visited.
Edible-nest Swiftlet Collocalia fuciphaga
A small dark Swiftlet, seen regularly at The Gap and also Penang.
Silver-rumped Swift (Needletail ) Rhaphidura leucopygialis
This bird is rather more distinctive than the previous two, but we saw them only in Taman Negara.
Brown (-backed) Needletail Hirundapus giganteus
A big and fast Needletail, seen hunting over the boat on the Sungai Tembeling. This bird is supposed to be common at most of the sites we visited, but this was the only time that we definitely recorded it.
Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
A beautiful swift whose tail seems very sharp when viewed at a distance. Again, seems to be a fan of parklands and was seen in Penang Botanical Gardens and Taiping Lake Gardens, as well as in Taman Negara.
House Swift Apus affinis
Conspicuous and widespread, especially in urban areas.
Red-naped Trogon Harpactes kasumba
Now Trogons are very exciting. They are the classic rainforest skulker. They have distinctive markings, but typically just sit in the forest, not doing very much, and are thus surely some sort of benchmark of birding success in Malaysia. We saw three species, which probably doesn't get us a badge, but it's respectable! Just the one female seen of this species, skulking of course, near Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Scarlet-rumped Trogon Harpactes duvaucelii
Having claimed that Trogons only skulk, a pair of these birds shot over our heads on the summit of Bukit Teresek in Taman Negara. That said, we then watched them having a good skulk.
Orange-breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios
A splendid skulker, seen in dense cover on Bukit Larut. The sighting was quite improbable, as it was fully 20 metres into a quite inpenetrable thicket. I want to ramble on about birding instincts and highly developed visual skills here, but ok ok.. it was luck...
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Yes it does. It sounds unlikely, but it really does. The second most common Kingfisher species that we observed on the Peninsula, but this is probably statistically insignificant as we only saw three species! Seen on the Sungai Tembeling (on the way in to Taman Negara), at Kuala Selangor, and most closely and gloriously in Taiping Lake Gardens.
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Another very attractive and distinctive Malaysian Sparrow. Seen almost everywhere, in a wide variety of habitats. Many seen from the train between Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth. Even easily seen in the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur.
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
A common bird at Kuala Selangor. If you don't see one there then you must have taken the bus somewhere else by mistake!
Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis amictus
A cracker. Very bizarre and large Bee-eater, which is both visually stunning and vocally extraordinary. Our first sighting was half way between The Gap and Bukit Fraser. The second encounter was half way up Bukit Larut. On the second occasion the bird flew all around us, often landing close and calling continuously, almost to the point of making us slightly anxious.
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
A more classical, and thankfully normal, Bee-eater which we saw only on Penang Hill.
Blue-throated Bee-eater Merops viridis
Particularly common on the Sungai Tembeling on the trip in to Taman Negara. Also seen several times at Kuala Selangor.
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis
Seen just the once on top of a tree by the banks of the Sungai Tembeling.
Oriental Pied-Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris
The other birds are of course just added bonuses. This is what we were looking for, and they are no disappointment. "Bills"! We saw two of these almost as soon as our sampan had left the Kuala Tembeling jetty, and had several other sightings around Kuala Tahan. Apparently one spent a morning on top of the roof of the resort cafe, but I don't believe in picking them off that easily.
Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus
Not so much visually, as vocally distinctive. Described politely, but accurately, in King et al as "a harsh, almost retching sound", and more technically in my notebook as "aaaaarrrghhh... like a very loud Sulphur-crested Cockatoo". Heard and seen near Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara, and also glimpsed in the resort as we were leaving.
Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros
And if "Bills" are the birds - then this is The Bill. The Flying Rhino. Absolutely magnificent bird. Once you've seen this one you can go home. Several good close views, atop a dead tree on the Bukit Teresek Trail, in flight from the summit of Bukit Indah (both Taman Negara) and excavating a hollow on Bukit Larut. Gob smacking birds. Unfortunately there seemed to be some confusion in our guides regarding the call of this species and that of the Great Hornbill, so this species was possibly also heard at The Gap.
Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
Probably glimpsed several times on Bukit Larut. One group of birds took off making a loud "Gerr-onk gerr-onk" call. Guna of Gunung Hijau assured us that this was Great Hornbill, but the guide book descriptions seemed to be at odds with this (suggesting this was more typical of Rhinos). Guna regards these as one of the commonest Bill species on Bukit Larut. Next time...
Helmeted Hornbill Buceros vigil
Seen just the once on the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara, but heard every day in the park. The call is a steady series of "whoop" notes, which starts slowly, accelerates and then ends in the sort of laughter that evil figures in James Bond movies make when revealing their plots to end the World. The Hornbill calls are all very fine, but this one probably just edges in front.
Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus
Rather dark and dull as Bills go, but these were our first and that makes them special. One family party seen several times on Bukit Larut. Having trekked the trails in search of them, they finally surrendered and flew into Guna's garden. Another wonderful call.. a rising and accelerating high pitched series of "woo" notes.. very primeval. Very Malaysia. It's all too much - where's that airline timetable...
Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus
Seen several times in flight in Taman Negara, once from the summit of Bukit Indah and a group flying over the Sungai Tembeling. Also recorded at Bukit Larut during our visit.
Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus
Barbets are the other family of species that helped to define our visit to the peninsula. The are all very attractive (be very careful when taking field notes - "green, yellow, red, blue, pretty" will not suffice!) and they just don't shut up. All day, every day, that monotonous "jungle" percussion noise that goes on and on and on and on and on. That's Barbets. This is a nice one - not quite so "green, yellow, red, blue" as some of the others, but seemingly fairly common on Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut.

Gold-whiskered Barbet Megalaima chrysopogon
Definitely green, yellow, red, blue. Seen outside The Gap resthouse and also on Bukit Larut.
Red-throated Barbet Megalaima mystacophonos
Seen just the once en route to Bumbun Kumbang on the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Black-browed Barbet Megalaima oorti
Bukit Fraser was the only location we saw this Barbet.
Blue-eared Barbet Megalaima australis
A fairly common Barbet, seen on several occasions singing its little heart out at the top of tall trees. Recorded both at The Gap and on Bukit Larut.
Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
In contrast to Victorian small children, always heard and never seen. This one can wait for the next time however, and the place I'll start looking is the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur.
Brown Barbet Calorhamphus fuliginosus
Seen on several occasions near the resort at Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara). Just to fool you, there's not a stitch of green, yellow or blue on this bird. But Barbets refuse to be dull, and this bird saves the day with its orange legs and red eye.
Rufous Piculet Sasia abnormis
A quite brilliant invention - a pocket-sized Woodpecker for the economy traveller. Resembles a Treecreeper or a Pygmy-Nuthatch and quite difficult to see unless you are a keen student of the canopy, which you will be after five days in Taman Negara. Seen just once on the Tahan Trail.
Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus
If you like Woodpeckers, you'll like Malaysia. A very smart Woodpecker, which we saw just the once on Bukit Larut.
Crimson-winged Woodpecker Picus puniceus
A distinctive green and maroon Woodpecker, with a yellow mohican. Seemingly fairly common and recorded at both The Gap and Taman Negara.
Laced Woodpecker Picus vittatus
Not so outrageous as some of the other native Woodpeckers, but attractive and common in the woodland at Kuala Selangor.
Banded Woodpecker Picus miniaceus
A nice variant on the Crimson-winged Woodpecker theme which we saw only on Bukit Larut.
Common Goldenback (Flameback) Dinopium javanense
Definitely the commonest Woodpecker that we saw and observed at most sites. Very much also a suburban bird and seen at Kuala Selangor, Taiping Lake Gardens and Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens.
Brown-capped Woodpecker Picoides moluccensis
Very subtle little brown and grey Woodpecker who most unusually seems to like mangroves. Obviously Kuala Selangor was where we came across this species, where I would say it was fairly common and observed on several occasions, including in small bird waves.
Grey-and-buff Woodpecker Hemicircus concretus
Yet another attractive Woodpecker, seen on only one occasion on the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Orange-backed Woodpecker Reinwardtipicus validus
A large Woodpecker with a bright orange back seeing flying away from us on Bukit Larut must have been this species. Next time a better view would be greatly appreciated!
Greater Goldenback Chrysocolaptes lucidus
A good exercise for these overworked eyes. This is the uncommon relative of the Common Goldenback. We saw one from the mangrove boardwalk at Kuala Selangor, but you have to persuade them to sit still as the facial markings are only very subtly different (King et al have a nice detailed comparison). The "greater" applies most significantly to the bill.
Buff-rumped Woodpecker Meiglyptes tristis
A wee one. Seen just up the hill from The Gap, and also from Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Buff-necked Woodpecker Meiglyptes tukki
A Woodpecker with a distinctive neck marking, seen just once on the trail to Bukit Indah in Taman Negara.
Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus
The Broadbills are a diverse range of "knockout" birds, which are without exception both unusual and rather exciting. The Dusky Broadbill we saw only twice, from Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara and on the Tahan Trail. It is tamely plumaged as Broadbills go, but it's a big chunky bird. Very nice.
Black-and-Red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
We got rather animated when we first saw this bird, and it turned out to be fairly common on the trails around the resort at Taman Negara, particularly the Jenut Muda Trail.
Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus
Stunning maroon Broadbill. We saw this just the once, close to Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara. It drew attention to itself by a most amazing call. The call was so amazing that I failed to be able to describe it in my notebook and thus I subsequently can't quite remember it. I think there was some buzzing and some clicking. I do recall that it was amazing though!
Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae
Seen at The Gap and also a large flock on Bukit Larut. Has to be seen to be believed really - looks like it is wearing a crash helmet.
Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis
A very unlikely looking green bird with a most unusual profile. You know you must be somewhere interesting when you see birds that look like this! We saw a pair on the good old Jenut Muda Trail in Taman Negara. Fail to pace this Trail at your peril.
Garnet Pitta Pitta granatina
Glimpsed just once, flying down the track ahead of us on the Swamp Loop Trail close to Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara). This trail was rather mosquito infested, so it's one for Pitta fans only.
Flyeater (Golden-bellied Gerygone) Gerygone sulphurea
It took a long time for me to tune into this common peninsular bird. We finally saw them in good numbers at Kuala Selangor, and once I had identified the call I realised that they had been singing from the trees outside our friends' apartment in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur...
Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala grisola
Fairly easy to see at Kuala Selangor from the mangrove boardwalks.
White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
A fairly common Fantail, seen at both The Gap and on Bukit Larut.
Spotted Fantail Rhipidura perlata
A delightful dark Fantail with a spotted chest. Seen only on Bukit Teresek in Taman Negara.
Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica
This seems to be the common suburban Fantail, and was easily seen in Taiping Lake Gardens and at Kuala Selangor.
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
Very pretty little blue Monarch, seen several times on the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara, each time in a bird wave.
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
Recorded from both Taman Negara and Bukit Larut. Very much a bird of habit which was seen several times over different days at fixed locations.
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
Seen only at Kuala Selangor, where it was common.

Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
A common bird at The Gap, Bukit Larut and Taman Negara.
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer
Surprisingly only seen once, close to Gunung Hijau on Bukit Larut. Almost certainly the explanation has something to do with observer incompetence.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
An excellent bird that is quite plentiful in a variety of habitats. Seen for example at The Gap, Penang Hill and Taman Negara, but our friends often see them in Kuala Lumpur. Beware of birds without the incredible rackets at the end of their long tail feathers. They're just out to confuse you.
Green Magpie Cissa chinensis
At the risk of getting repetitive, another amazing bird, savagely denied a colour plate in King et al. They are apparently common at Bukit Fraser, but we saw just the one. In fact the lack of colour plate meant that we were toiling to identify a bird whose bright plumage was suggestive of an Oriole, but our description didn't fool the man in the grocery store. Bukit Fraser is a fine place.
House Crow Corvus splendens
Fills a wide variety of ecological niches that are elsewhere occupied by both Corvids and Gulls. Abundant and noisy in the trees of any urban area, and just as abundant and noisy in the docks at Penang. Clearly one of natural selection's current "winners".
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Common at Bukit Fraser and presumably elsewhere. After a few days of House Crows I became rather slack at recording corvids (sorry, I promise it won't happen again)...
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
An attractive and apparently fairly common bird of open woodland. Seen regularly in Taiping Lake Gardens and at Kuala Selangor.
Green Iora Aegithina viridissima
Just one observation of this species at the foot of Bukit Indah in Taman Negara. Rather easy to overlook.
Dark-throated Oriole Oriolus xanthonotus
A conspicuous yellow, black and white Oriole that we saw in a mixed feeding flock on the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis
Big and yellow and abundant. What a nice combination. A very common bird in urban areas and a nice splash of colour in city streets (not that Malaysia lacks colour).
Large (Malaysian) Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae (javensis)
Seen on the road between The Gap and Bukit Fraser. A very different bird in bulk and plumage to its Australian relatives.
Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Coracina striata
Observed only once, but most conveniently, from the balcony of the hostel at the Kuala Tahan resort in Taman Negara.
Lesser Cuckoo-shrike Coracina fimbriata
A slender Cuckoo-shrike, seen from the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Pied Triller Lalage nigra
Fairly common in Taiping Lake Gardens, and also at Kuala Selangor.
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris
Minivets are very flashy birds, with the males generally red, and the females generally yellow. This Minivet is common on the upper reaches of Bukit Larut.
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
A very bright Minivet that seemed fairly common above The Gap.
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
A reasonably common bird at both The Gap and Bukit Larut.
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus
Several seen from the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella
This is a really beautiful and unmistakable bird, with the male black and bright blue. It is also very common and was recorded from most forest sites, including Penang Hill.
Lesser Green Leafbird Chloropsis cyanopogon
Leafbirds are a bit of a worry because they're called that for good reason. They are highly active, but have a wonderful knack of just melting into foliage. Consider them a challenge! And Green Leafbirds are the pits. We saw them on several occasions in Taman Negara, but were only sure of this identification twice - from Bukit Indah and Bumbun Kumbang.
Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
This ones a bit easier because you're looking at a leaf with a blue wing. It helps. A common bird at The Gap, Taman Negara and on Bukit Larut.
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii
And this one is even easier. A very nice Leafbird and seen several times at Bukit Fraser.
Rufous-winged Flycatcher (Philentoma) Philentoma pyrhopterum
Seen in Taman Negara, on the Bukit Indah Trail.
Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis
This bird was seen several times around The Gap, particularly on the Raub road.
Philippine (Asian) Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis
Visible and ubiquitous. Very common in urban areas and a large noisy colony roosted in the trees in front of our apartment block in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Plentiful! No surprises there...
Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus
Surprisingly recorded just the once, but as this was from "central" Kulala Lumpur, I suspect that this species is reasonably common.
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus
A large flock were aggressively feeding at the top of Penang Hill. This population is feral.
Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
A very large and attractive Myna (you kind of get out of practice at appreciating them don't you??) We came across a single bird deep in the heart of the forest at Taman Negara during our hike to Bumbun Kumbang.
Rufous-browed Flycatcher Ficedula solitaris
A seemingly tame little Flycatcher, who was happy to hunt from the road just a few metres ahead of us, near the golf course on Bukit Fraser.
Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni
Fairly common at Bukit Fraser.
Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina
Fairly common around The Gap. One bird obediently sat on the wires outside our window every day.
Large Niltava Niltava grandis
A rather odd bird, particularly the female who is largely brown with a blue flash on the shoulder. Hard birds to categorise as they are large Flycatchers that seem to spend a good bit of their time behaving a bit like Thrushes. Anyway - they are very common at Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut.
Malaysian Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis turcosa
One bird only , seen on the Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Mangrove Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis rufigaster
Observed on each day of our visit in the mangroves at Kuala Selangor.
Grey-headed (Canary-) Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
A common and attractive bird at Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut.
(Oriental) Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis
A very common bird almost everywhere, but no complaints about that.
White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus
Another unusual bird which was common at Taman Negara. A typical encounter involved hearing a rasping grating noise from somewhere down the track and then seeing an object flit like a giant butterfly just around the corner out of view.
Chestnut-naped Forktail Enicurus ruficapillus
Forktails are very elegant birds. They are sleek, smooth, sharp fliers and have beautiful high pitched whistles. And they love fast flowing streams. Our first Forktail encounter was with this species, about one kilometre down from The Gap (towards K.K.B.) where a stream crosses the road. The birds were very fast, and flew up and down the road, extremely wary of our presence. So persevere! Also fairly common on Bukit Larut and seen in Taman Negara.
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti
A "Rolls-Royce" Forktail! Everything that the Chestnut-naped was, except bigger and better! A pair of these birds were seen at a stream crossing on that Jenut Muda Trail again. Delicious.
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
A nice bird that sees to be widely distributed and reasonably common. We saw them at The Gap, Penang Hill and Bukit Larut.
Blue Nuthatch Sitta azurea
Rather an odd looking Nuthatch, that was fairly common at Bukit Fraser and about the only bird we saw at the infamous Rubbish Tip. It has a dark head with a blue eyering, which makes it look as if it has bought a cheap pair of plastic sunglasses.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Not that common during our visit, seen only at Kuala Selangor and at Jerantut. We had not seen any until we went into Jerantut late one evening and discovered that every wire in the town centre was shoulder to shoulder with these birds. By morning they had vanished.
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
The common and widespread Swallow, including urban areas such as Kuala Lumpur.
Red-rumped (Striated ) Swallow Hirundo striolata
Only a few birds, regularly seen flying around and around the resthouse at The Gap.
Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus
Oh oh - Bulbuls. There are, as you can see, rather many Bulbuls to choose from in Malaysia. But they're all different! It just takes time. But this is an easy starter. A bulky and attractive bird (yes, with a straw-head) that is an outstanding vocalist. Loud, far carrying and quite melodic. They were heard very often along the Sungai Tahan in Taman Negara, and occasionally seen, notably in the tall trees at the Kuala Tahan boat ramp.
Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps
And this one is quite easy as well, and common at Bukit Fraser and Taman Negara.
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus
One of our first Malaysian Bulbuls, seen from the resthouse window at The Gap, and in fact very common both there and on Bukit Larut. Just like the last Bulbul, but with a bobbly bit on it's head - you'll get the hang of it...
Scaly-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus squamatus
It is possible to tire a bit of Bulbuls, but not this bird. A small Bulbul with very attractive plumage. We only recorded them at The Gap, on the K.K.B. road.

Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni
A fairly common bird at The Gap and Taman Negara. Seems to be a fan of secondary growth rather than of forest, so is perhaps easier to see than some.
Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier
The abundant Bulbul in urban and open areas throughout the Peninsula.
Olive-winged Bulbul Pycnonotus plumosus
One of several fairly non-descript Bulbuls. Common on the lower slopes of Penang Hill, and at Kuala Selangor.
Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex
The kind of Bulbul that you begin to relish once you start becoming a connoisseur. Delicate, rather drably brown, with a distinctive white eyering. Seen on Bukit Larut and in Taman Negara.
Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus
Rather like the above after a long hard night's drinking. Brown with a red eye and soberly observed on Bukit Larut and in Taman Negara.
Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythropthalmos
Another variation on the brown Bulbul theme, and seen only in Taman Negara.
Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus
Something of a personal Bulbul milestone. This is a very common bird around The Gap and at Bukit Larut. It was the first nondescript Bulbul that we ran into, and the first that we successfully identified.
Grey-cheeked Bulbul Alophoixus bres
A Bulbul! Seen close to the resort at Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara.
Yellow-bellied Bulbul Alophoixus phaeocephalus
Not such a nondescript Bulbul for all the obvious reasons. Seen several times during the various trail pacings of Taman Negara.
Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger
Seen a few times in Taman Negara, in the general area of Bumbun Kumbang. Quite small, and not particularly appropriately named.
Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala
Very distinctive, and seemed to be quite common at The Gap. Also observed on Bukit Larut.
Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii
A large bird, seen once at Bukit Fraser and several times on Bukit Larut.
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
Not a Bulbul. Common at Kuala Selangor.
Everett's White-eye Zosterops everetti
The common White-eye at The Gap and Bukit Larut.
Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris
A fairly common bird at Kuala Selangor, which was most often observed in the grassland and crops between the reserve and the town, close to Bukit Melawati.
Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus cuculatus
Tailorbirds are cheeky little birds with cocked tails that tend to be very active in low shrubbery and are fairly easy to observe. The Mountain Tailorbird is probably the most handsome and we came across them fairly commonly at both Bukit Fraser and on Bukit Larut.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
And indeed, common, particularly in urban areas such as the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur.
Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis
Very widespread and seen at every site visited, except for Kuala Lumpur.
Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps
Very common at Kuala Selangor. A grey bird which has dipped its head into a can of orange paint.

Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps
A bird wave bird, seen on several occasions at Bukit Fraser.
Yellow-bellied Warbler Abroscopus superciliaris
Fairly common at The Gap, usually in mixed feeding flocks.
Black Laughingthrush Garrulax lugubris
Rather resembles a European Blackbird, or maybe I am doing it a minor injustice. Recorded on that wonderful road that twists from The Gap to Bukit Fraser.
Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush Garrulax mitratus
The first big test for anyone foolish enough to have taken only King et al along with them. Very common at The Gap and at Bukit Larut - but not illustrated. Rather excellent birds though, usually in little parties and always apparently having a great time.
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus
This one is illustrated, but we only saw it once, on Bukit Larut.
Ferruginous Babbler Trichastoma bicolor
OK - this is not for the faint hearted. If you insist on birding Malaysia, you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that the word "Babbler" is used to describe almost everything that moves up to five metres from the ground, and that they all look the same. Well, of course they don't. But it's tough work! The Ferruginous Babbler is not exciting, but it is ferruginous, and that's important because it's about all you'll get on it. We saw this en route to Bumbun Kumbang, Taman Negara.
Abbott's Babbler Malacocincla abbotti
By the way - you can rip out the illustration in King et al of this one. Abbott's Babbler was fairly common at Taman Negara, and plentiful in the woodlands of Kuala Selangor.
Short-tailed Babbler Malacocincla malaccensis
A nice little Babbler, which surprisingly has a short tail. We recorded it only once, on the trail from Bumbun Kumbang to the Sungai Tahan, in Taman Negara.
Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps
A very odd Babbler, which was hopping about in the grass on its own near the main settlement on Bukit Larut. It resembles, in looks and behaviour, an overweight Pipit.
Black-capped Babbler Pellorneum capistratum
Another Taman Negara Babbler. There is no doubt this is territory for bigtime Babbler fans. Seen on the trails close to Kuala Tahan.
Moustached Babbler Malacopteron magnirostre
Fairly distinctive as Babblers go and reasonably common on the Taman Negara trails.
Sooty-capped Babbler Malacopteron affine
Seen near Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Scaly-crowned Babbler Malacopteron cinereum
Another Babbler! Recorded again in the vicinity of Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Rufous-crowned Babbler Malacopteron magnum
Also Taman Negara, and recorded just once from the vicinity of Bumbun Kumbang.
Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus montanus
Babblers get a lot easier to identify once there is something else appended to the word "Babbler". Like "Scimitar" - a bit of a dead giveaway when something with a long curved bill puts in an appearance. We saw this bird both at The Gap and on Bukit Larut, and it is an excellent one.
Streaked Wren-Babbler Napothera brevicaudata
A small flock were seen above Gunung Hijau on Bukit Larut. Chuck away the "Babbler" bit and you'll get a better image of these birds.
Pygmy Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla
Quite common above Gunung Hijau on Bukit Larut. Very cute and very like the European Wren.

Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea
Quite unexpectedly yellow for a Babbler, and almost always one in every bird wave at Bukit Fraser and on Bukit Larut. Obviously great socialites.
Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps
A common Babbler, seen at The Gap, Penang and Bukit Larut. Yes - this is a Babbler which was not seen in Taman Negara!
Grey-headed Babbler Stachyris poliocephala
Recorded on the Bukit Indah Trail in Taman Negara.
Black-throated Babbler Stachyris nigricollis
Another Babbler seen on our successful perambulation to Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera
Seen close to Kuala Tahan in Taman Negara.
Striped Tit-Babbler Macronous gularis
An attractive bird which seemed fairly common and widespread. Seen at The Gap, Bukit Larut and Kuala Selangor.
Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler Macronous ptilosus
Seen just the once, behind Bumbun Kumbang in Taman Negara.
Silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris
A stunning and most unusually coloured bird, being a combination of greys, reds and yellows. Most easily seen on the gigantic billboard at The Gap advertising luxury apartments on Bukit Fraser. Thus clearly identified as a classic bird of Bukit Fraser and, according to everyone else that I've discussed this area with, a "common" bird on the Hill, we then proceeded to see it just the once. Interestingly, according to Guna this bird has "vanished" from Bukit Larut.
White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis
A striking bird. Very distinctive with a bold white eyestripe, and seen just once on Bukit Larut.
Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera
Very common bird on Bukit Larut. Usually in small parties and not very blue-winged, which caused a small identification crisis on first sighting.
Mountain Fulvetta Alcippe peracensis
Common small bird, often in bird waves at The Gap and on Bukit Larut.
Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia picaoides
A rather odd bird. Certainly has a long tail and is often in noisy active groups. Very common at Bukit Fraser, particularly near the golf course, and also seen on Bukit Larut.
White-bellied Yuhina Yuhina zantholeuca
You can't miss this one - it's not big and it has quite dull olive plumage, but it has a pointy crest which looks very very silly. Usually in bird waves, and seen commonly at The Gap, Bukit Larut and Taman Negara.
Great Tit Parus major
Fairly common in the mangroves at Kuala Selangor. Much paler than the ones which are currently outside my window.
Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea
And God awoke on his final morning of creation, feeling inspired and fresh as a daisy. He made himself a cup of tea, whipped out his pots of black and lemon paint and made the Sultan Tit. And everyone should be very thankful. Seen at The Gap, Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Spoggy. Wherever you expect to see one, you will.
Pin-tailed Parrot-Finch Erythrura prasina
A small flock seen in a bamboo thicket about one kilometre down from The Gap (direction K.K.B.). Every bit as exciting to see as the name suggests.

White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Widespread, and seen in locations as diverse as Bukit Fraser and Kuala Selangor.
Scaly-breasted Munia (Nutmeg Mannikin) Lonchura punctulata
A common and widespread bird and easily seen in the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, for example.
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
One seen in the woodland at Kuala Selangor. A rather striking bird, it took me quite by surprise as it is unlike any other bird we had seen in Malaysia prior to this encounter. A sort of "what the ???" type bird, unless you are prepared for it!
Richard's Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae
Just the one seen on the grass in Taiping Lake Gardens. Presumably not rare.
Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus thoracicus
A quite brilliant Flowerpecker, seen perched from the top of Bukit Indah in Taman Negara. Flowerpeckers are very irritating as they just won't sit still, and they are such pathetic little things (they'll probably drive you mad..). But the males are extremely pretty and this one is a real star.
Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus
Quite a common bird and clearly seen at The Gap and Taman Negara.
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker Dicaeum chrysorrheum
A subtle little bird, seen close to Kuala Tahan in Taman Negara.
Buff-bellied (Fire-breasted) Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
"Fire-breasted" is the better name, as the flame patch on the male's breast is very noticeable. Worth checking out at The Gap each time you hear that giveaway dry rattling noise - there's a Flowerpecker in town...
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum
These ones can even be identified in flight, due to the distinctive scarlet rumps, and the back of the male. Seen well in Taiping Lake Gardens, and at Kuala Selangor.
Brown (Plain)-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Surprisingly tough to identify as the colours of all the Sunbirds are sometimes very elusive. The bird is the common Sunbird of Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kuala Selangor.
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Anthreptes singalensis
A very pretty Sunbird. We ran into them in various surprising places and so my overall impression is that they are common and widespread. Seen on Penang Hill, Bukit Larut, Taman Negara and Kuala Selangor.
Purple-naped Sunbird Hypogramma hypogrammicum
Seen just a couple of times close to the resort at Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara.
Olive-backed (Yellow-bellied) (Yellow-breasted) Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis
Recorded only at Kuala Selangor, where it was uncommon.
Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata
Seen commonly at Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut. Very deceiving because, when the light catches it, the male's throat is every colour under the rainbow, except black!
Scarlet Sunbird Aethopyga mystacalis
Seen just the once at the summit of Bukit Teresek in Taman Negara. A very striking bird.
Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Spiderhunters have the bills for the job. Like miniature agile Ibises. This one is the smallest and the most widespread. It was fairly common at Penang, Bukit Larut and Taman Negara.
Long-billed Spiderhunter Arachnothera robusta
It's a whopper. Seen once or twice in the region of Bukit Teresek in Taman Negara.
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter Arachnothera chrysogenys
Two records for this bird. We saw it first, hawking in some lucky person's garden on Penang Hill, and then again on the Kuala Tahan Trail in Taman Negara.
Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna
A really excellently stripy streaky Spiderhunter. Not to be missed, but probably hard to do so anyway. Seen fairly commonly at The Gap and on Bukit Larut.


House Shrew Juncus murinus

An abundant resident of urban areas, although I'll confess to only one good sighting of one scuttling across the road and disappearing into the kitchen of our favourite Brickfields restaurant! A familiar animal to Malaysians, they can often be heard squealing at night. Pale grey squashed ratty things.

Common Treeshrew Tupai glis

Very interesting animals which very closely resemble squirrels, so closely that we overlooked them until we got wise. They have much more pointed snouts, quite long feathery tails and are very active and thus hard to get a prolonged look at. They are far from rare and were most easy to observe in Kuala Lumpur, where they may be even more common than Plantain Squirrels.

Colugo (Flying Lemur) Cynocephalus variegatus

A quite improbable creation which we also saw at Gunung Hijau, but unusually for that place on a tree and not in Guna's kitchen. I became aware of a projectile flying across the road, failing to lose any height over some forty metres. The torch could only pick out two small pieces of unusual orange fungus on the tree bark, but this turned out to be back of a Colugo, almost perfectly camouflaged against the tree.

Silvered Leaf-monkey Presbytis cristata

Peninsular Malaysia has three species of Leaf-monkey, and this is one of the prettiest. Much slower and more graceful than Macaques (but probably only half as smart). This species seems to be under threat at the moment and Kuala Selangor is one of the few places that it can be easily seen. And indeed a visitor to the Nature Park will see them, particularly in the region of Bukit Melawati. The young are not to be missed - little orange fluffballs, a peculiar colour for animals that will become silvery grey when they grow up and get a real job.

Banded Leaf-monkey Presbytis melalophos

This is the common Leaf-monkey at Taman Negara, and we had very close views of them feeding at Bumbun Kumbang. They are fairly common further out on the trails but don't expect to see them in Kuala Tahan, where they apparently once graced the resort area. Sadly, as we saw Macaques quite far down one of the trails, this may be a trend that continues.

Dusky (Spectacled) Leaf-monkey Presbytis obscura

A very peaceful looking Leaf-monkey, with huge white eye-patches which make it look rather learned. Very common in front of The Gap resthouse, and indeed throughout the area encompassing The Gap and Bukit Fraser. Also common at Taiping and on Bukit Larut. Usually in small groups.

Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis

Certainly the ubiquitous monkey on Peninsular Malaysia, as well as in many other parts of SE Asia. Seen almost anywhere where there are some trees. The first ones we encountered were in the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, and our relationship started well when they showed me their teeth and hissed. They are almost in plague proportions in Penang Botanical Gardens, and some idiot had the great idea of shipping the "surplus" off to Kuala Tahan in Taman Negara to guarantee that tourists would see monkeys there. So now they do.. but only this species. They stole one of our bags at Kuala Selangor and I had a shouting match with the culprit, who had retreated up a tree to investigate the winnings, over this quite unreasonable incident. I took drastic measures and threatened to show it the wrong side of my Rossi boot, whereupon it mistakenly decided that my aim would be accurate, and dropped the bag to the ground. "But they're so cute...".

Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina

Not pretty. Perhaps worth renaming "Pig-faced". We had a few close encounters with this large Macaque on Bukit Larut, where they seems to be fairly common, and saw another from the Jungle Train somewhere between Kota Bharu to Jerantut (i.e somewhere in North Malaysia!). Presumably widespread and common. Our friends also reported them living in urban areas.

Siamang (Black Gibbon) Hylobates syndacylus

This is the Rhinocerus Hornbill of our mammal list. The biggest and arguably the best. They are fairly common at The Gap, Bukit Fraser and Bukit Larut, but not that easy to observe. They regularly give away their presence by their excited and resonating hooting, which carries for miles over the forest canopy. At all these places, this was the magical sound of the morning, a cry from the depths of the forest, and always made us stop, listen and feel thrilled. We had several views of family parties crashing through the upper storey, but one outstanding view on the Bukit Fraser road of a large Siamang sitting in a tree having a monumental scratch. We sat and watched one another for about 20 minutes. It is an amazing feeling to make eye contact with a wild ape, although I am sure the interest was mostly only one way.

(Black) Giant Squirrel Ratufa affinis

A bizarre animal. Black above and cream below, and about one metre long, half of which is a very thick tail. Our first sighting was of one crashing from a great height into a patch of bamboo close to The Gap. It was so large that I thought it must be a Civet of some sort, but it definitely looked squirrel like - just far too big... But it's a squirrel alright. Also seen at the top of Penang Hill.

Prevost's Squirrel Callosciurus prevostii

A squirrel which looks more like an item of confectionery than a wild beast of the woods. It has three broad bands of colour, black, white and chestnut, from back to belly. We saw it several times in Taman Negara. We met many disgruntled travellers who claimed to have seen "nothing" at Taman Negara. These people of course were expecting Black Panthers and Leopards, big game just like on their Kenyan safari, but I couldn't help feeling that they probably hadn't spotted this one either.

Plantain Squirrel Callosciurus notatus

An attractive squirrel with three colourful belly stripes, and as a bonus it is also seems to be the most widespread (of many) Malaysian squirrels. Recorded in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, as well as places like Bukit Larut.

Black-banded (-striped) Squirrel Callosciurus nigrouittatus

Fairly common Taman Negara Squirrel, with a black stripe on its lowerbelly.

Grey-bellied Squirrel Callosciurius caniceps

Seemed to be the commonest squirrel on Bukit Larut.

Slender Squirrel Sundasciurus tenuis

A Squirrel seen several times at Taman Negara, notable mainly for its general blandness and its sparsely haired tail.

Himalayan Striped (Tree-) Squirrel Tamiops macclellandi

A dainty little squirrel which seemed to be fairly common in the trees at Bukit Larut. It has two little cream marks behind its ears, just in case you are interested.

Red Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista

Another Gunung Hijau beast, and similarly to the Colugo was up to various strange night time movements in the tall trees around the resthouse. Not such a common sighting there apparently and even the ever laid back Guna seemed quite interested.

Norway (Brown) Rat Rattus norvegicus

Penang is rat heaven, and we saw them regularly scampering down the drains. Actually I am making an intellectual guess at the species, because Rattus rattus is another healthy (sic) candidate, although more likely inland. Keen students of these animals will find them in all the usual places, and several others.

Brush-tailed Porcupine Atherurus macrourus

Very funny little Porcupines with long flat back spines and a little brush at the end of their tails. Fairly common around Gunung Hijau on Bukit Larut, where a family party often take turns to make daring late night raids into Guna's kitchen. Rather daft animals that seemed to fail to notice a human sitting close by until they almost touched my foot, whereupon they bolted out of the kitchen at top speed. Guna has a Palm Civet which sometimes performs a similar trick at some ungodly hour in the morning, so if you're an insomniac then this might be equally entertaining.

Smooth Otter Lutra perspicillata

A huge otter, which is fairly common at Kuala Selangor, although we saw them just once. The view was very good though, of six animals from one of the hides, swimming across the lagoon and looking very like streamlined seals. Also reportedly seen on the Sungai Tahan during our visit to Taman Negara.

Leopard Cat Felis bengalensis

One sighting, at Kuala Selangor. A rather interesting encounter as we had gone for a bit of a look around after dark and picked out cats' eyes some 200 metres distant down the dyke. Being close to a settlement I didn't find this very notable, especially as I observed that the eyes were closing in on us quite fast. Keen not to take a local moggy back to the hut with us, we started to leave. As a late afterthought I flicked the torch back on to check we were not being followed, and just 10 metres away stood a stunning little cat with brilliant jungle markings. It turned quickly and slipped silently into the reeds. In case there are any lingering doubts that this was a wild animal, I can report that it was well fed and looked in full health. Now go and check the street cats of Kuala Selangor out! Rajan was impressed with this sighting as he has seen the animal only twice, but each time at the same spot as we did, patrolling the dykes.

(Eurasian) Wild Pig Sus scrofa

Seen only once, but heard fairly often at Taman Negara, particularly around Kuala Tahan. Reported in the grounds of the resort during our visit. Not delicate animals.

Sambar Deer Cervus unicolor

Fairly easy to see around Kuala Tahan, and our best views were obtained in the late afternoon from Bumbun Tahan.

Back to: