Malaysia September 2006
Barbets and Beer
After numerous visits to Thailand, a couple of visits to Cambodia, and a fair bit of birding in Vietnam, Ha and I decided to do something different and go to Malaysia. Thus, it was a great coincidence that Limosa Holidays offered a trip to Malaysia, promising the best of the Malay Peninsula.
I also contacted Dr. Singh, a very active member on the BirdForum, as we would come into Kuala Lumpur a couple of days earlier, and wanted to use the opportunity to go birding around KL. Not only did he agree to take us around, he also promised that a few cold beers would be available!
The trip, without the flight from the UK, cost £1595.00 per person, or about USD 3,000.00 per person. We had a few nights before and after the trip and stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. An outstanding hotel, and not too expensive for the comforts offered at around USD 100.00 per night. Alcoholic beverages are very expensive in Malaysia, due to the high taxes imposed, I usually paid USD 4.00 - 5.00 for a beer. Food in local street restaurants is very cheap, but fairly expensive, at least compared with Vietnam, in the more up-market places.
1 USD = ca. 3.65 Malaysian Ringit (RM). Make sure not to take any USD 100.00 notes with serial numbers starting with "C". Credit Cards are widely accepted, but proof of identity sometimes needs to be shown when using those.
Beer is widely available with the exception of Muslim restaurants and establishments. Luckily, Tiger is my favorite brand:-).
Accommodation and food:
As mentioned, we stayed at the Renaissance, which was above reproach. During the tour, the accommodation was basic, but all right, more details in the actual trip report.
Ha and I really wanted to try Malaysian food, but this was easier said than done. Every Cuisine must be available in Kuala Lumpur, and we had some of the best Japanese and Chinese food we had eaten in a long time. Malaysian food was much harder to get, apart from the ever-present Beef Rendang and Sate. I was expecting some spicy food, but I found the food very (too) mild. Breakfast at a small local restaurant with Dr. Singh was one of the highlights!
This and that:
Safety does not appear to be an issue. Bag-snatching and robberies do occur but, with a bit of common sense, the country appears to be quite safe.
Same-day laundry service was available everywhere. I wish tour companies would make this information part of their tour program, as this determines how much one needs to lug along. Laundry service at the Renaissance was robbery, should have ditched the dirty clothes and buy new ones, would have been cheaper.
It was the rainy season, but we were pretty lucky, with only one afternoon in Taman Negara washed out. However, it was wet, much to the delight if the leeches. Parts of Taman Negara and Fraser's Hill were crawling with them, forcing Ha to not join some of the hikes.
Shops for buying necessities (snacks, water, etc.) are everywhere, no need to lug lots of stuff.
As mentioned above, we had a bit of rain, but the worst rain was when we were in the bus at the end of the trip, heading back to KL. Lowest temperatures were around 18° Celsius at Fraser's Hill, and 33° Celsius in Taman Negara. However, Taman Negara is extremely humid, making the temperature feel just this side of hell; bring lots of water on your walks.
We had brought "Birds of South Asia" by Craig Robson. In Malaysia, we found "Birds of Taman Negara" and "Birds of Fraser's Hill" by M. Strange and D. Yong. We also had the "Photographic Guides to Snakes and other Reptiles" by Merel Cox and "Mammals of South East Asia". For the more touristy thinks, we had the Lonely Planet Guide to Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.
A word of thanks:
First of all, I would like to thank Chris Kightley of Limosa Holidays; he was extraordinarily patient answering all my inane questions. Thanks also to our fellow travelers: Nicholas, Alan, Adrian, Lee, Martin, and Margaret. Keep up the birding. Although we did not always see eye to eye, Dennis Yong knows tons about birds. Thanks Dennis, explain the birds better, and stay off the politics:-). Thanks also to the bus driver, Mr. Lan. Like me, he prefers to arrive a few minutes later, but in one piece.
A very special shout to Dr. Singh. You were a fantastic host, the beer went down really well, and the food at your house was excellent (never mind Blue-banded Kingfisher, Raffle's Malkoha, Lesser Adjutant, .........). Regards to your family, and we will look after you when you come to Vietnam.
Last, but not least, my wife Ha. You did great but I agree with you: you will never be able to tolerate leeches.
Comments, corrections, and suggestions can be sent to hannostamm"at"hotmail.com.
1st of September:
Only shopping on the agenda today, looking for a camera for Ha. Finally chose the Sony DSC H-5, a choice we would not regret. Most pictures on this page were taken with it. After scouring the malls, we had an excellent Japanese meal at the hotel.
2nd of September:
Much like the previous day, getting some shopping in. We also had lunch at the restaurant at the Kuala Lumpur Tower, at something like 260 meters up. Cannot say that the food was outstanding, but the views very pretty cool and, at 75.00 RM a head, not too expensive. We walked across a little park to get to the tower, where we ran into Silvered Langurs, Oriental Magpie-Robins, Peaceful Doves, Asian Glossy Starlings, and both Common and Javan Mynas. Called Dr. Singh who confirmed that he would pick us up the next morning at 07:30. Dinner was at the Town View Restaurant somewhere in the "Golden Triangle".
3rd of September:
First day of birding!!! Dr. Singh, his Nephew Rick, and his bodyguard were right on time and, after a curry breakfast, we headed for the Taman Rimba Ampang Forest Reserve where Dr. Singh had seen Blue-banded Kingfisher before. This being Sunday, it was quite busy but the birds were obviously used to it.
Birding started as soon as we hit the car park, with great views of Green-backed Flycatcher and Blue-winged Leafbird. The road is just over 1 km long, at the end of it, we had our first star bird, a Raffle's Malkoha. Impossible to get photos of it, but the Black-thighed Falconets were more obliging. They actually had me stumped at first, as Dr. Singh, Ha, and I had different descriptions of the bird, before I figured out that there were actually two birds involved; an adult and a juvenile sharing the same perch. Another great bird was a single Finsh's Bulbul, stealing the show from his Yellow-vented and Spectacled Cousins. A bird-watching couple that we had spoken to earlier waved us over to the other side of a little stream and there, sitting really tight, was one of the birds we had come here for: Blue-banded Kingfisher! The only downside was that Dr. Singh's scope, the Kowa with the integrated camera, had gone on the blink. A bird that I had been after for ages, but always missed. This certainly called for a few cold Tiger Beers in celebration! Dr. Singh, being a birder after my own heart, had a well-stocked backpack, with a choice of beers. As it was getting seriously hot by now, we headed for Dr. Singh's house for a well-deserved, and excellent meal, picking up Sultan Tit and Verditer Flycatcher along the way.
Completely stuffed, we dragged ourselves back to our feet and headed for Mangroves near the town of Klang. We headed down a wrong road, which was lucky. As we went back the way we came, we spotted a couple of birds in a distant tree. They turned out to be a Brahminy Kite and, even more impressive, a Lesser Adjutant. We did go for a short walk but it was just too hot and we did not turn up much more in the way of birds, with just a lot of Spotted Doves and a pretty Blue-tailed bee-eater.
Thoroughly exhausted, we headed back for KL, where Dr. Singh dropped us at the hotel for a great Chinese meal.
Ha chose the Blue-banded Kingfisher as "Bird-of-the-day", Rick the Black-thighed Falconet, and I the Raffle's Malkoha, as it completed my collection of South-East Asian Mainland Malkohas. I think Dr. Singh was to annoyed about his scope to choose a bird.
4th of September:
First day without Cigarettes! A friend had brought some Nicotine patches, and I was going to give it a shot. I am OK, or so I tell myself.
Ha and I left for the airport to meet up with the other birdwatchers coming in from England. They arrived just a little bit late, and at 08:00 we were on the road to Kuala Selangor. We had a quick stop at a petrol station to get some water, and were rewarded with Common, Jungle, and Javan Mynas, the latter apparently expanding its range from Singapore along the highway. Other birds seen here were both Pacific and Barn Swallows. Checking out the area behind the petrol station, we found a Black-naped Oriole, a Hill Myna, and a Brown Shrike. The more common birds were also obvious: House Crow, Oriental Magpie-robin, Peaceful (or Zebra) Dove, and Yellow-vented Bulbuls. A few Red Junglefowl were seen whilst driving through the enormous Oil Palm plantations.
Just before lunch, we arrived at the De Palma Resort, where we would spend the night. A quick spin before going for the feed netted both Brown-throated and Olive-backed Sunbirds, Common Flameback, Lineated and Coppersmith Barbets, Asian Glossy Starlings, and Golden-bellied Gerygone.
After waiting forever for our food, we finally managed to take off for the nearby Taman Alam Nature Reserve. Right at the entrance, an immature White-bellied Sea-eagle gave us a much appreciated welcome. We walked around the reserve, heading for the boardwalk, picking up a single Forest Wagtail, a couple of Common Ioras, and two Tiger Shrikes along the way. A few Purple and Grey Herons were flying overhead, the Yellow-bellied Prinia was somewhat more difficult to nail.
From the boardwalk we had great views of Sunda Pigmy Woodpecker, Collared Kingfisher, Great Tits, and a Little Bronze Cuckoo. Lee saw some Pigeons in a bare tree, those turned out to be Pink-necked Pigeons. Another great Woodpecker seen here was Laced Woodpecker. On the way back to the bus, Ha saw a Smooth Otter, whilst other mammals seen here were Plantain Squirrels, Long-tailed Macaques, and Silvered Langurs. Just before we reached the hotel, I saw a large bird perched in a tree and headed back on foot, together with Dennis and Ha. The bird turned put to be a Crested Serpent-Eagle.
The place was also crawling with Gliding Lizards, but the only ones we could identify were Common Gliding Lizards, with a couple of males displaying their reddish throats.
Dinner was at the Sin Hai Ping Restaurant in town, not bad at all.
Ha chose the Brown-throated Sunbird as her "Bird-of-the-day", I liked the Laced Woodpecker.
5th of September:
I need a cigarette! I catch myself standing downwind from Dennis, trying to catch some of his second-hand smoke. Luckily, we are soon occupied looking for Nightjars. Sure enough, it did not take long before we first heard, and then saw, Large-tailed Nightjar. Black-capped Night-herons were returning from their shift, whilst Large-billed Crows started theirs. Just before breakfast, a lone Dollarbird was waiting for its first meal.
After some tea and toast, we headed back to Taman Alam. By 08:30 it was already incredibly hot, but we had paid for this, and there was birding to be done. The Olive-winged Bulbuls near the entrance proved very shy, as did the Abbott's Babblers a bit further on. Luckily, the Mangrove Blue Flycatcher was a lot more forthcoming, as was the Pied Triller. Other birds here, which we hadn't seen the previous day, were Arctic Warbler and Ashy Tailorbird.
We headed back to the Sin Hai Ping Restaurant for lunch, if you ever go there, try the Chili Chicken, it was excellent. They also had some of the cheapest beer of the trip, at RM 12.00 for a large bottle.
After lunch, we headed for Fraser's Hill, but not before Ha and Lee had done some serious shopping for snacks and sweets. On the way, we had the first serious rain, restricting birding somewhat. The only new bird was Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker. Luckily, the weather cleared somewhat once we reached "The Gap", and we managed to pick up a few birds: Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Everett's White-eye, and Rufescent Prinia.
After the scorching heat of Kuala Selangor, the lower, but pleasant, temperatures at Fraser's Hill were surely appreciated by all. We stayed at the Shahzan Inn, which was decent enough. I don't know how much Limosa paid for the rooms, but they had a promotion of RM 100.00 for a double room, including breakfast.
Ha took the Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker as "Bird-of-the-Day", I the Abbot's Babbler.
6th of September:
Had a strange dream involving cigarettes. Withdrawal symptoms are getting really bizarre.
After breakfast, we headed to the nearby Jelai resort. The place is full of flowers, and attracted a fair number of birds such as Orange-bellied Leafbirds, Long-tailed Sibias, Streaked Spiderhunters, and Chestnut-capped Laughingthrushes. We walked down a nearby road, where we saw Malayan Hill Partridge and Mountain Fulvettas. House Swifts, Barn Swallows, and Glossy Swiftlets were zipping along overhead.
With the help of a tape, Dennis enabled everyone to get a good look of a Large Scimitar-Babbler. I do not want to start a discussion about the ethics of using tapes; fact is that many of the skulking species would not have been seen without the use of tape, or Dennis imitating a Collared Owlet.
A Large Hawk-cuckoo first flew overhead, before perching nearby, whilst Mountain Imperial Pigeons were fairly common. Silver-eared Mesias and Blue-winged Minlas were also common, and often together. The Minlas had me stumped first, as they actually have no blue in the wings in this part of the world.
Other good birds seen here were Javan Cuckooshrike, White-browed Shrike Babbler, and Hill Blue Flycatcher.
Soon after, we saw a bird that was one of my targets: Fire-tufted Barbet. Over the next few days it would turn out that they are actually very common, we would hear the Cicada-like call every day. Nice bird anyway:-). We also saw yet another Shrike Babbler, Black-eared Shrike Babbler this time. Another good bird was Rufous-crowned Flycatcher, we also added another Laughingthrush to our list, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush.
After a decent lunch, we headed back out into very overcast weather, with the occasional drizzle. This did stop neither the birds nor the birders. One of the first birds seen by everybody, except me, was a Blue Nuthatch. Darn! The Grey-headed Pigmy-Flycatcher seen soon after did not make up for it. However, I did get good views of the last species of Laughingthrush found up here, Black Laughingthrush. Really nice birds, and pretty conspicuous too, as they make a real racket.
Apart from that, not much new, and we headed back to the hotel for dinner and a couple of cold ones.
Some good birds today, but Ha finally settled for the Fire-tufted Barbet, whilst I took the Black Laughingthrush as "Bird-of-the-Day".
7th of September:
After breakfast, we first headed to the Jelai Resort again, but did not turn up anything new. From there, we took the road leading to "The Gap". Incidentally, the road is no longer one-way, as there now is a second road.
As on the previous day, Little Cuckoo-doves were very common. We also saw two Sultan Tits, the first of the trip for the English participants. Black-browed Barbets were seen well, whereas the Bushy-crested Hornbills only gave the briefest of views in the far distance. Ha surprised everybody by spotting a Red-bearded Bee-eater that no one else had seen, her peripheral vision is really phenomenal. Even the Gold-whiskered Barbet could compete with that bird, at least not for me.
Just before heading back for lunch, I swear that I saw a flock of Marlboro Lights flying by, seems nobody else saw them.
Whilst everybody had a Siesta, I walked around town where I saw Little Pied Flycatcher and Mountain Bulbuls.
We headed back out in the afternoon, but the weather had become worse and there was little activity. We headed for the Admiralty Bungalow were a couple of Large Niltavas could hardly be seen through the mist. Another bird new for the trip here was Green-billed Malkoha. With the weather steadily deteriorating, and temperatures fairly low, we headed back to the hotel.
A unanimous choice for "Bird of the Day": Red-bearded Bee-eater.
8th of September:
On the way to breakfast, I found a cigarette butt in an ashtray. Could I quickly sneak a couple of puffs? Luckily, Ha found me and managed to strengthen my resolve.
We headed once more to the Admiralty Bungalow in freezing temperatures (freezing at least for me, it was just under 18° Celsius). Not much new, except a Mountain Leaf-warbler. We therefore headed for the nearby Pine Trail, leaving Ha behind as she was worried about Leeches. She did not miss much, except a Barred Eagle-owl sitting out in the open.
We headed to the Hemmant Trail which, again, was very quiet, with a Red-headed Trogon I spotted above us being the only real highlight. Here, I should add that we appear to have been pretty unlucky with our trip, generally seeing much less than other people have done in the past. Ah well, that is what birding is all about. At least we had some close-up views of Siamang calling.
After lunch, I again took a quick spin on my own, seeing two birds that the others would not see at all: a single Black Eagle flying over the hotel, and Golden Babblers on Hemmant Trail. The latter are supposed to be common up here, but this was the only time they were seen.
The afternoon's highlight though was seen shortly after we arrived at "The Gap": Pin-tailed Parrotfinches busy feeding in some flowering Bamboo. Great birds to see as their movements are totally unpredictable.
We stuck around till dusk, seeing Dusky Broadbill, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Asian Fairy Bluebird, and Grey-rumped Treeswift. Just before it got dark, we saw the birds we had come here to see: Malayan Eared Nightjars calling and flying overhead.
After all, we had some great birds today. Ha's "Bird-of-the-Day" was Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, I took the Malayan Nightjar.
9th of September:
Time for us to leave Fraser's Hill and head to Taman Negara. However, there was ample time to bird on the way down, and we saw some great stuff that we had not seen previously. Purple-naped Sunbird was a nice one, as were the Striped Tit Babblers. The morning's highlight for me was a pair of Checker-throated Woodpeckers. So nice were they that I actually forgot my cravings for a smoke for a couple of minutes.
On the way to Raub, where we would take the boat to Taman Negara, we added Orange-bellied Flowerpecker. Raub itself was a circus. Not just that the food was lousy, there were gazillions of folks heading to Taman Negara. Luckily, we had our own boat and could bugger off before everybody else did. The river trip is not much to talk about, I understand that Limosa will drop it from future trips, as the road is now paved all the way to the park. For someone tall like me, the 2.5 hour trip can become quite uncomfortable. However, we did add Red-wattled Lapwing to our trip list.
We checked into the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. Nice grounds, good food, but the rooms could have been cleaner. Shame really, the resort has a lot of potential with better management (a hotel manager speaking here). Our rooms were quite far, a good kilometer from the restaurant. But at least this meant that it was fairly quiet. I was really surprised at the amount of people visiting Taman Negara, beginning to worry that we would see no birds. However, most people actually do not venture onto the trails, we never saw many people once in the forest.
Ha and I took a quick spin around the Resort, seeing Chestnut-winged Babblers and Stripe-throated Bulbuls amongst others. That was the birding done for the day, as very heavy rain set in. Towards the evening, the place is absolutely crawling with Wild Pigs.
We both chose a bird seen in the morning as "Bird-of-the-Day": Checker-throated Woodpecker.
10th of September:
No dreams involving cigarettes or licking ashtrays last night, the withdrawal symptoms are getting better.
After a good breakfast, we headed onto the Lubuk Simpon Trail. There were a fair amount of Leeches about, good thing that Ha stayed behind. A smart, male, Rufous-chested Flycatcher was one of the first birds we came across. Even this stunning bird was soon surpassed however when we saw both Black-and-yellow and Black-and-red Broadbills in the same tree. The morning was also great for Woodpeckers, with Crimson-winged, Checker-throated, Buff-necked, and Maroon Woodpeckers making an appearance. Three Wreathed Hornbills flew overhead. I never would see Black Hornbill, one of my target species, whilst Ha would see both Black and Oriental Pied Hornbills from the hide at the Resort. However, this was somewhat made up for by brief, but good, views of a male Crested Fireback. Another bird I was really pleased with was Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, completing my list of South-East Asian Tailorbirds.
Bulbuls were well represented, with Hairy-backed, Red-eyed, Spectacled, and Straw-headed Bulbuls giving nice views. The latter are incredibly loud, which regrettably makes them a much sought-after cage bird.
Completely exhausted, sweaty, and thirsty, we headed back for lunch. All meals at the Resort are Buffets; good thing, as the service was certainly so-so.
Duly refreshed, we headed for the Swamp Trail. A dark-morphed Changeable Hawk Eagle had made the Resort his home, we would see, and hear, him every day. After a Chestnut-breasted Malkoha earlier in the morning, we added Black-bellied Malkoha to the trip list. Short-tailed and Striped Wren Babbler were very nice, but the Green Broadbills were the highlight for me, completing my SEA Mainland Broadbill list.
Back at the Resort, I ticked off Grey-cheeked Bulbul before going for a couple of well-deserved cold beers and dinner.
Whilst Ha chose Abbott's Babbler as her "Bird-of-the-Day", there can be no doubt what my star bird was: Green Broadbill.
11th of September:
We took off early enough that I forgot to put my Nicotine patch, which I wouldn't realize until that evening. Certainly making progress here.
Starting at 06:00, the idea was to find some Owls before breakfast. However, no luck, and we would only see an early White-rumped Shama.
After breakfast, we took the boat to the Rentis Blau trail. A Black-throated Babbler was very accommodating, whilst the Crested Jay was only seen by Margaret and me as we happened to be looking at the branch were it alighted for a tenth of a second. We tried forever to get views of a calling Garnet Pitta but absolutely no joy, just a couple of Fluffy-backed Tit Babblers.
I was getting a bit tired of this whole group thing, so headed off on my own for a while. It was very slow bird-wise, but I still managed to see Little Spiderhunter, a red-morphed Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Buff-vented Bulbul and Green Iora.
After lunch, we walked the trails close to the Resort. Few birds, but Slender, Plantain, and Himalayan Striped Squirrels aplenty. Ha told me that she had seen Banded Kingfisher from the hide, so I headed there. Sure enough, a female Banded Kingfisher gave excellent views almost at eye-level. We also saw to female Crested Firbacks, and that was pretty much it for the day.
Ha liked the Crested Firebacks most, she hadn't seen them before, whilst the Banded Kingfisher was my "Bird-of-the-Day".
12th of September:
I wasn't really feeling very social this morning, and set off on my own. I took the Swamp Hide again, but it was extremely quiet. That is, until I heard a Garnet Pitta whistling. Having missed it previously, I figured I might have a chance now, being on my own. I closed in on the call for the better part of two hours, I found it very difficult to determine where the call came from exactly. Finally, I spotted the Garnet Pitta, amazing how difficult such a brightly colored bird is to see in the gloom of the forest! The Pitta absolutely made my morning, and I went for lunch with a well-earned appetite.
During the lunch break, I went to the Canopy Walk, but some company had a team-building exercise there. When they finally left, the rather rude Warden wouldn't let me take my scope, so I walked back.
The afternoon was also spent around the hotel. Black-and-white Bulbul was very nice, as were the White-bellied Yuhinas I had been chasing for the last few days. If I remember correctly, we also saw the only Brown Barbet of the afternoon here, as well as Banded Woodpecker. Another great bird, flushed by Dennis, and located by Adrian, was Gould's Frogmouth.
I was just about to go to bed after dinner when Dennis alerted everybody that an Owl had been seen near the restaurant. We all ran back there, but the Owl had moved. Luckily, it hadn't moved far and, in the light of a torch, a Brown Wood Owl looked rather peeved off at all the attention. We did go out after that to look for a Pitta that had been seen sleeping near a trail, but never found it.
Not many birds today, but lack of quantity was made up for by the quality of the birds.
Obviously, the Garnet Pitta was my "Bird-of-the-Day", whilst Ha chose the Black-and-red Broadbill we had seen in the afternoon.
13th of September:
We were going to head up a river to look for birds. The trip is advertised as shooting the rapids, but it was pretty tame. However, we did see some good birds. A Large Green Pigeon was perched in a dead tree, as was a Whiskered Treeswift. The first exciting bird was a Lesser Fish Eagle, with either the same, or a second one, a bit later. Silver-rumped Needletails and Forktailed Swifts criss-crossed the river in search of food, whilst two Black Magpies flew across. We also saw White-chested Babblers on the shore, whilst the Blue-banded Kingfisher was only seen by the people who had seen it before on that trip, Ha and me. Two Smooth Otters were hunting for food, with one of them giving us good views of its impressive dental works. We also saw the only Slender-billed Crows of the trip.
After a leisurely drift down the trip, we got off the boats to follow the trail to Tabing Hide. Both Scaly-crowned Babbler and Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler were seen here, the latter neck-breaking high up in a tree. After a long wait, and endless searching, we got good views of a Red-naped Trogon. Coming back to the boat, Ha, who had stayed behind to avoid leeches, told me that she had seen Crimson Sunbird. This was dismissed by Dennis, but I know my wife, and believe her.
After lunch, Ha went back to the hide at the Resort, but did not see much new except Banded Bay Cuckoo and Black-winged Flycatcher Shrike. We also saw a Mouse Deer.
After dinner, as we were heading back for our room, we came across a family of Porcupines, really nice to see two adults and two little ones.
A couple of birds competing for the "Bird-of-the-Day" award, but Ha settles for the Crimson Sunbird, whilst I'll have the Lesser Fish Eagle.
14th of September:
Ha and I were still ticked of at Dennis's behavior the previous day, and set off on our own. We did not have much time, as we were going to head back to KL that lunch, but Ha did finally manage to see Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, and we were both happy with a pair of Rufous Woodpeckers.
Ha's "Bird-of-the-Day" is the Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, mine the Rufous Woodpecker.
And that was pretty much it. Ha and I had a couple of more days in Kuala Lumpur to see how much abuse my credit card could take. Overall, a great trip, with certain species such as Woodpeckers, Babblers, and Bulbuls particularly well represented, but we might not be cut out for traveling in groups. We like to watch birds, and not just rush from bird to bird, not looking at those again that have been "ticked". I suppose everyone to their own.
P.S.: I still don't smoke, even though I could kill for a cigarette right now.
List of species seen:
* denotes lifer, F = Fraser's Hill, TG = The Gap, TN = Taman Negara, KL = Kuala Lumpur, K = Klang, S = Selangor