Birding sites in Pahang – Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara), Frasers Hill & Cameron Highlands. Cameron Highlands is a bird watching destination, which combines montane forests, vegetable farms and tea plantations. Host to about 260 bird species
Cameron Highlands is the largest hill resort in the country and is a bird watching destination, which combines montane forests, vegetable farms and tea plantations. Host to about 260 bird species, the area is home to many of the montane bird species as bird watching areas are located at elevations of 1,300 to 1,700 m above sea level. Birds found here are similar to those in Fraser’s Hill with some of the montane specialist species such as the Golden-throated Barbet, Rufous-vented Niltava, Rufous-winged Fuivetta and the Lesser Shortwing. During the migration season, many migrant birds spend the winter months in Cameron Highlands and rare species seen here include the White-throated Rock Thrush and Siberian Thrush. One of the best bird watching areas is the road leading to the telecommunications station near the summit of Gunung Brinchang where many of the montane birds may be spotted. It is possible to drive there. You can also opt for trails such as the Robinson Waterfall trail, Pant Waterfall trail and the trail starting from the Malaysian Agricultural Research Station (MARDI). If you plan to take the longer trails, it is advisable to check with local guides or hotel information desks on the condition of the trails. It is also important that you inform local authorities on your trekking routes.
Tourism Malaysia Pahang
TeI: +609 – 5177 111
Fraser’s Hill is a heaven for bird watchers. This hill station is blessed with pristine forest areas and is home to about 247 bird species, of which about a third are montane species. Bird watching areas start at a height of about 700m near the Gap resthouse, to the summit of Fraser’s Hill, which is more than 1,000 m high. You can look forward to an exciting experience here as you might encounter very colourful birds that are very different from those in the lowland forest. Some of the montane birds that you will encounter here are the Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Little Cuckoo-dove, Large Hawk-cuckoo, Red-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Broad bill, Grey-chinned Minivet, Black-and-Crimson Oriole, Blue Nuthatch, Green Magpie, Fire-tufted and Black-bro wed Barbets as well as the Greater and Lesser Yellownape Woodpeckers.
Three Laughing Thrush species – the Black, Chestnut-capped and Chestnut-crowned Laughing Thrushes, are also found here. Interesting and strikingly colourful mountain babblers include the Silver-eared Mesia as well as the Cutia, White-browed and Black-eared Shrike-Babblers. Resident flycatchers you may find here include the Little Pied, Large Niltava and Hill Blue Flycatcher. Two endemic birds, found only in Peninsular Malaysia, are the rare Mountain Peacock Pheasant and the Malayan Whistling-Thrush. Many birds congregate in large feeding flocks called “bird waves” where you will find various bird species and activities.
Most birds can be observed along the forested areas along the winding roads at Fraser’s Hill. Girdle road goes around in a looping circle and is one of the best roads to conduct bird watching. Other trails good for bird watching include the Bishop and Hemmant Trails where you may find the rarer species. The road from the Gap resthouse, Jalan Mager and waterfall roads are also popular. It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance if you plan to go during the weekends or public and school holidays.
Fraser’s Hill Tourist Information Centre
Tel: +609 – 362 2195
Genting Highlands is part of an important Bird Area (IBA) with the international designation, making it a prime site for bird watchers and nature lovers alike. Located at 3,000ft above sea level, it is blessed with a lush rainforest approximately 130 million years old and a variety of habitats such as lowlands, agricultural and highlands. This diversity of habitats attracts a large range of bird species within a relatively small area and offers great bird watching opportunities. Compared to the world’s total of about 10,000 species, Malaysia has about 746 bird species, and about 30% of these can be recorded in the greater Genting Highlands area, a significan number being endemic to the region. The diversity of unique bird species, accessibility and world-class facilities set Genting Highlands apart from other bird watching sites. Starting from the lowlands of the Gombak Road at about 150 m until the very peak of Genting Highlands, wonderful birds such as the Great Hornbill, Banded Broadbill, Whiskered Treeswift, Hanging Parrot, Orange-backed Woodpecker and Asian Fairy Bluebird give way and exchange elevation with their highland cousins such as the Red-headed Trogon, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Pygmy Wren-babbler and Red-bearded Bee eater. These in turn, make way dramatically to montane species such as the Chestnut-tailed Minla, Rufous-vented Niltava, Mountain Leaf warbler, Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch, Mountain Tailorbird and the Black Eagle.
KUALA TAHAN – TAMAN NEGARA
Taman Negara is the largest national park in Malaysia and is also known as one of the country’s premier bird watching areas. Located in the states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu, the park covers an area of more than 4,343 km of primary rainforest. With about 380 bird species, the park arguably has the highest number of birds of any forest area in Peninsular Malaysia. Habitats range from montane to lowland forests with most of the birds found in the lowland forest around the main bird watching areas of Kuala Tahan and Kuala Terenggan. During the fruit season, usually from May to August, many bird species can be found feeding on fig trees around the park headquarters. They include the Thick-billed Pigeon, Rhinoceros Horn bills, Blue-eared Barbet, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Blue-winged Lea fbirds, Green Broadbill and the Yellow-vented Flowerpecker. The six species of pheasants are found here include the Crested and Crestless Fire back Pheasants, Malaysian Peacock as well as the Crested Argus Pheasants.
The months of June and July are ideal to search for the majestic Great Argus Pheasant along the trail to Teresek Hill. As you drift down the pristine Tahan River, you might spot the much sought after Masked Fin foot, one of the only three species found in the world or the Stork-billed, Blue-banded, Blue-eared and Rufous-collared Kingflshers that might also be found along the river trail to the Lata Berkoh cascades. Taman Negara is a treasure trove for hornbills and nine species can be found around the Kuala Tahan and Kuala Terenggan areas. Most areas around the park headquarters in Kuala Tahan are generally good for bird watching. The other trails are the riverside trail to Tabing Hide, the trail to the canopy walkway, the Bukit Teresek trail and the trail to Kumbang Hide at Kuala Terenggan. If you plan take on a long trail, it is advisable to hire a local guide to accompany you.
Department of Wildlife & National Parks Taman Negara-Kuala Tahan
Tel: +607 – 266 1122