Peninsular Malaysia

Rail-babbler Eupetes macrocerus ©Ian Dugdale Website
Birding Peninsular Malaysia

Information about Malaysia can be found on the main Malaysia page. However, the peninsular is one the most bio-diverse regions on earth. It is a treasure house of some of the most exotic plant life, birdlife, animal life and marine life on the planet. People seem unaware that its rainforest is inhabited by tigers, leopards, sun bears, gibbon, rhino and elephants as well, of course as a very wide range of bird families particularly hornbills, barbets and babblers to name just a few. As many as 650 species in all and 18 IBAs. The range of habitats include lowland rainforest, mountain forest, mangrove forest, mudflats, beaches, scrubland, rocky islands.Malaysia also holds a lot of native birders, particularly those who enjoy photographing birds and so some of the world’s very best bird photographers.Malaysia is also one of the world’s tiger economies and is far along the development route with a very good infrastructure and relatively high standard of living.

Top Sites
  • Fraser's Hill

    InformationSatellite View
    The avifauna here and in a few other higher altitude spots in Malaysia is very different from the surrounding area and rather like that of similar altitudes in the Himalayas. The hill station has over 270 species of local and migratory birds flocking here together. The annual International Bird Race is held in the second weekend of June each year, organized by the Fraser's Hill Development Corporation in collaboration with WWF It sees participants throughout the world converging on the hill station in a team competition to sight, identify and record the highest number of species of birds stated in the official checklist.
  • Pulau Langkawi

    InformationSatellite View
    Off the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, near the border with Thailand, lies a group of over 100 stunning tropical islands the largest of which is Pulau Langkawi. Langkawi is clean, green and friendly. Tourist development, on the whole, appears to be as low impact as possible and the islands still possess uncrowded beaches, thickly forested hillsides and unpolluted mangroves where monkeys, otters, kingfishers and hornbills abound.
  • Putrajaya Wetlands Park

    InformationSatellite View
    Putrajaya Wetland is the first constructed wetland in Malaysia - consisting of 24 wetland cells. A variety of bird life can be sighted in this wetland park which includes: purple heron, grey heron, little heron, common moorhen, purple swamphen, painted stork, and yellow bittern. The surrounding vegetation which has been preserved is made up of oil palm and rubber trees. Flowering and fruiting plants were also planted during the constuction of the park. These are good habitat for other birdlife and among those are barred eagle owl, barn owl, collar scops owl, large-tailed nightjar, savanna nightjar, and red-whiskered bulbul. During the migration season, raptors can be seen soaring above the wetland.
  • Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest

    InformationSatellite View
    Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest is a lowland dipterocarp forest located adjacent to Semenyih Dam. This forest is easily accessible by road. There is a small stream running through the forest providing crystal clear water with gentle rapids. There is also a forest trail and along the trail there is a few exits. It is best to stay near clearings and along the stream. The road leading to the forest is also rewarding and keep observing along the way as you may catch a glimpse of hornbills, barbets, bulbuls, falconet, and many more.
Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 781

    (As at February 2019)
Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 3

    Malaysian Partridge Arborophila campbelli, Mountain Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron inopinatum and Malayan Whistling-Thrush Myophonus robinsoni
Useful Reading

  • *Field Guides & Bird Song

    For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Malaysia as a whole - please see the Malaysia page of Fatbirder ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Checklist of the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia

    By MNS Bird Conservation Council | Malaysian Nature Society | 2010 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 60 pages, 1 b/w map, tables | ISBN: 9789839681482 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore

    By Allen Jeyarajasingam & Alan Pearson | Oxford University Press | 2012 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 628 pages, 74 colour plates, b/w illustrations, 2 b/w maps | ISBN: 9780199639434 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Handbook of Important Bird Areas in Malaysia

    By Yeap Chin Aik, Anthony C Sebastian & GWH Davison | Malaysian Nature Society | 2005 | Paperback | 94 pages, Col photos, tabs, maps | ISBN: 9789839681239 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Fraser's Hill

    By Geoffrey Davison, Con Foley & Adam Hogg | John Beaufoy Books | 2019 | Paperback | 176 pages, ~300 colour photos | ISBN: 9781912081547 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore

    By GWH Davison & Chew Yen Fook | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2017 | Paperback | 144 pages, 280 colour photos, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9781472938237 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Taman Negara - An Illustrated Guide and Checklist

    By M Strange & Dennis Yong | Draco Publishing | 2006 | Paperback | 120 pages, Colour photos | ISBN: 9789810544416 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Kelantan Branch

    Webpage
    Address : 204, Jln Sultan Yahya Petra, 15150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Langkawi

    Webpage
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Penang Branch

    Webpage
    Address : Nature Information Centre (NIC), 673-B Jln Kebun Bunga,10350 Penang.
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Perak Branch - Perak Birding Links

    Webpage
    Address : 70,Jln Chan Chee Keong, Ipoh Garden South, 31400
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Selangor Bird Group

    Webpage
    Local branch news, trips, photos etc.
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Sembilan/Melaka Branch

    Webpage
  • Malaysia Nature Society - Terengganu Branch

    Webpage
    Address : 1926, Bkt Kubang Jambu, 20050 Kuala Terengganu. mnsterengganu@gmail.com
  • Malaysia Nature Sociey - Johore Branch

    Webpage
  • Malaysian Nature Society - Kedah Branch

    Webpage
    Address : 3, Jalan Timur 1, Kawasan Perusahaan Mergong Barrage, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Kuala Gula Birds Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    The mangrove forest and mudflats of Kuala Gula are particularly important for more than 60 species of water birds including egrets, herons, storks, rails, shore birds terns and gulls, as well as some wetland dependent raptors and kingfishers.The flagship species of Kuala Gula is the globally threatened Milky Stork. Kuala Gula is currently the only known resident area for this vulnerable species in Malaysia. Another Vulnerable stork species, the Lesser Adjutant can be found here easily.
  • FR Pasoh Forest Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    It has a total area of 2450 hectares, with a core area of 600 ha surrounded by a buffer zone. Palm oil plantations surround the reserve on three sides while the other side adjoins a selectively logged dipterocarp forest.
  • NP Endau-Rompin

    InformationSatellite View
    It covers an area of approximately 870 km2 (340 sq mi), making it the second-largest national park in Peninsular Malaysia after Taman Negara. It has approximately 26 km (16 mi) of trail.
  • NP Malaysia Taman Negara

    InformationSatellite View
    Attractions found near Kuala Tahan (Park headquarters for Pahang) include a canopy walkway, Gua Telinga (cave system), Lata Berkoh (rapid). Visitors can enjoy the tropical rainforest, birdwatching or jungle trekking (e.g. Tenor Rentis) and the river views along the Tahan River. Birds such as the great argus, red junglefowl, and the rare Malayan peacock-pheasant are still found here in some numbers.
  • NR Kenong Rimba Park

    InformationSatellite View
    Kenong Rimba Park is a protected rainforest area in Malaysia, which borders on Taman Negara. The park covers 128 km2. Available activities include caving, jungle trekking, night walking, hill climbing, bird and animal observation.
  • NR Kuala Selangor Nature Park

    InformationSatellite View
    The Kuala Selangor Nature Park is managed by the Malaysian Nature Society, under a co-operative arrangement with the Selangor State Government. Resident birds (98 species such as pink-necked pigeon, peaceful dove, great egret, grey heron, little heron, milky stork, collared kingfisher, and brahminy kite) Migratory birds (57 species such as Mongolian plover, common redshank, blue-tailed bee-eater, and black-capped kingfisher)
  • SP Kukup Island Johor

    InformationSatellite View
    Part of a large area of mangroves in the South-west region of Johor be given protection and conservation status, which includes the Sungai Pulai MFR and Tanjung Piai State Park.
  • SP Perlis State Park

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Park consists of Mato Ayer Forest Reserve and Wang Mu Forest Reserve with a total area of about 5,000 hectares. The forests are rich in animal life, including the Serows, Panthers and 6 species of Hornbills. Perlis State Park is also the only place in Malaysia where the Stumped Tail Macaque is found. The forests are located next to the Thaleban National Park, across the Thai border and the two areas form a forge forested area rich in wildlife. The Timah Tasoh Dam, which located in the migratory path of the birds become the first stop of birds such as the Cotton Bellied Sea-Eagle species.
  • WII Tasik Bera

    InformationSatellite View
    As the largest freshwater swamp in Peninsular Malaysia, Tasik Bera or Bera Lake remains both a unique and remote wetland wilderness. Surrounded by a patchwork of dry lowland dipterocarp forests, the lake environment includes islands of peat swamp forests.
  • WII Tasik Chini Wetlands

    InformationSatellite View
    Lake Chini is Malaysia’s second-largest natural freshwater lake, 12.565 acres of lush wetlands comprising a dozen interconnecting bodies of water. Historians believe that the lake is the site of an ancient Khmer city, from an era when the Khmer empire extended into the Malay peninsula.
  • WP Langkawi

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Caged birds are not my thing but this is an introduction...
  • WR Bukit Fraser

    InformationSatellite View
    The Reserve was established in 1922, comprising of steep area of 2,979 ha. Most of the area is above 1,000 metres in altitude. The hill station has over 270 species of local and migratory birds flocking here together. The annual International Bird Race is held in the second weekend of June each year, organized by the Fraser's Hill Development Corporation in collaboration with WWF It sees participants throughout the world converging on the hill station in a team competition to sight, identify and record the highest number of species of birds stated in the official checklist.
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Bird Malaysia

    Tour Operator
    Bird Malaysia’s team consist of specialist birder guides who are members of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and BirdLife International Partners for Malaysia with intimate local knowledge of the rich habitat of East and West Malaysia birds. With a collective birding experience of over 25 years, the team is well-respected in the Malaysian birding circle, and have been honored and respected by organizations and peers alike.
  • Junglewalla

    Tour Operator
    Irshad Mobarak is one of Malaysia’s most celebrated naturalists with over 26 years experience in the field. A former banker, Irshad is a strong advocate for the conservation of Langkawi’s fragile natural heritage. In early 1994 he set up Junglewalla with the help of his best friend’s and mentor Miles Baddeley (Wildlife for the Future-UK). Irshad’s main objective is to educate and inspire people to experience Langkawi’s rich natural history. As pioneer in of Eco-Tourism in Langkawi, he develop a series of ” Junglewalla’s Signature Tours” that has shaped Langkawi’s nature tourism today.
  • Terengganu River Safari

    Tour Operator
    Along the mangrove swamp river, you will be greeted by wild animals like monitor lizard, monkeys, crabs, colourful birds, eagles
Trip Reports


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  • 2012 [11 November] - Bruce Wedderburn - Frasers Hill

    Report
    This was a short weekend trip to Fraser Hill (Bukit Fraser) which is situated just over 100 km north of Kuala Lumpur. Bukit Fraser includes seven peaks, with altitudes ranging between 1,200 and 1,500 meters above sea level, so it is a lot cooler than Kuala Lumpur. The area is one of the top birding sites in Malaysia and features on most birding trip reports.
  • 2014 [08 August] - Oscar Campbell - Panti Forest Bird Sanctuary

    PDF Report
    ...This was plenty for any day out but notable species also rounded up included Great Argus (two calling on the left near the streams several km in), Lesser Fish Eagle (soaring low over the forest alongside White-bellied Sea-Eagle), Wrinkled Hornbill (in canopy near the temple clearing), Banded Broadbill (very noisy; group of five seen closely), Banded Bay Cuckoo (low off trail beyond the streams), Banded Kingfisher (surprisingly high in the canopy in a mixed feeding flock), Red-crowned Barbet (common on voice; several seen; only other barbet identified was Brown) and Banded and Chequer-throated Woodpeckers. Both Whiskered Treeswift and Brown-backed Needletail showed along the main trail, as did three species of malkoha (including Chestnut-bellied)...
  • 2014 [11 November] - Danny lau - Tioman Island

    PDF Report
    ...Being southerners of the Malay Peninsula, vagrants or stray dispersants are harder to come by. The simplest of reasoning is that the vagrants would need to travel further south to reach us than to the northerners of the Malay Peninsula...
  • 2015 [03 March] - Mike Nelson - Fraser’s Hill

    PDF Report
    This four-day trip was to explore one of peninsular Malaysia’s most accessible highland sites, Fraser’s Hill. As this was Fred and Maryanne’s first time in Asia it was a great introduction to some of Asia’s exciting birds and new families. The birds didn’t disappoint with great looks at some common but no less stunning birds like Silver-eared Mesia, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Black-and-Crimson Oriole, Orange-breasted Trogon and Orange-bellied Leafbird, along with a few range-restricted megas such as Malaysian Partridge and Malayan Laughingthrush.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Oliver Simms

    PDF Report
    During the trip, I identified 218 species of bird (10 + Heard Only) and 22 species of mammal. I am pretty happy with this for a first visit and it included some real crackers like Garnet Pitta, Rail-babbler, Malayan Laughingthrush and Great Argus. I think I would have got a few more species with a guide but the species I seemed to miss were Hornbills and Trogons – only one species of each – which I did not imagine would be difficult to find! In the case of Banded Pitta, I think I was desperately unlucky to flush two off the path and not get any sort of tickable views.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Peter Marsh - Panti Forest

    PDF Report
    I, like many birders, am chasing the intermediate goal of seeing a representative of every bird family. I chose a trip to the Panti Forest in southern Peninsular Malaysia to seek the Rail Babbler, the only member of the family Eupetidae. While this was the prime target of the trip I was, of course, open to the enjoyment of any and all birds encountered on the trip.
  • 2015 [05 May] - Peter Waanders & Lee Kok Chung - Peninsular

    PDF Report
    Our second Peninsular Malaysia tour was another resounding success. Designed for those who have always wanted to bird South-east Asia, but have had some reservations, this tour visits the birding highlights of Peninsular Malaysia while staying at comfortable, quality lodgings with a range of food to suit all taste-buds.
  • 2015 [09 September] - Dave Bakewell - Peninsular Malaysia

    PDF Report
    our itinerary took in most of Peninsular Malaysia’s premier forest destinations, from the poor soil swamp and heath forests and intact mangroves of the southernmost state, to the montane mossy forest of the main Titiwangsa Range and massive tracts of lowland rainforest of Taman Negara. Despite having to endure the stifling ‘haze’ emanating from forest burning in neighbouring Sumatra for much of the trip, a creditable total of 294 species was recorded over the 15 days of the tour, including such sought-after species as Rusty-naped, Malayan Banded and Garnet Pittas, Malayan Peacock-Pheasant, Oriental Bay, Mountain Scops and Barred Eagle Owls, Blyth’s and Gould’s Frogmouths, Greybreasted Babbler and Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker, as well as mouth-watering views of the Rail-Babbler.
  • 2016 [02 February] - Dave Bakewell - Peninsular Malaysia

    PDF Report
    We arrived at Fraser’s Hill just in time to get a taste of the hill station’s colourful avifauna in the late afternoon. A cracking male Black-eared Shrike-Babbler got us off to a fine start, and this was quickly followed by a characterful Blue Nuthatch, several Black-and-crimson Orioles, and an overhead Fire-tufted Barbet, as well as the commoner species. We were serenaded by an amazing four Rusty-naped Pittas (two pairs?), but these proved characteristically elusive. After dark we were entertained by ‘Bob’ the Masked Palm Civet, a regular visitor to the garden of our lodgings. Our attempts to entice a Mountain Scops-Owl into view later were first hampered by thick fog and then curtailed altogether by rain.
  • 2017 [03 March] - Geoff Upton

    PDF Report
    Sarah and I spent a week on the island of Langkawi, in north west Malaysia (Kedah state) on the way back home after a big southern hemisphere trip. Our daughter Rachel joined us for the week and flew back to the UK with us. We’d read that Langkawi is less developed than Penang and it seemed to have opportunities for seeing some wildlife, alongside the main objective: having a relaxing and fun week.
  • 2018 [01 Jan] - Matthew Kwan - Peninsular Malaysia

    Report
    We woke up before dawn and got ready for some early morning birding. Being situated in the Telecom Loop, we decided to leave the car at the lodge and do some birding on foot. It took some time to acclimatise to the different sounds of the forest, but once we got tuned in birds started emerging...
  • 2018 [02 February] - Alex Berryman

    PDF Report
    The Malay Peninsula is one of the mot regularly birded parts of SE Asia; it’s cheap, small and easy to visit access most of the key sites in a short period of time. I have kept this report fairly brief - there is a wealth of information already available - consisting of logistic and general information, a small section on birding each site, and a checklist at the end with more precise details for some of the more sought-after species. In total, I recorded 288 in 12 days, 9 of these were heard only; having just spend 4 weeks in Sabah, there were many h.o. records on the Peninsula that I didn’t bother following up.
  • 2018 [08 August] - Wilbur Goh

    PDF Report
    Plain-pouched Hornbills are one of the least known species of Asian hornbill. Often confused with the similar looking Wreathed Hornbill, it is now known that its core (and only!) range is the narrow stretch of land from Southern Myanmar to northernmost Peninsular Malaysia. With almost consistent yearly sightings in this part of the world, this tailor-made tour to the wilds of Ulu Muda was designed to see this enigmatic hornbill plus a handful of other possible lifers while spending as little time as possible. Once at the right spot, we counted a total of 360 birds flying to their roosting grounds (and this is a low count!), truly one of Malaysia’s best nature spectacle.
  • 2018 [09 September] - Hans Mathese

    Report
    With only limited traveling/birding time available, Peninsular Malaysia came into our mind. Clearly, it wasn't sufficient to cover all areas and see all specialties. Luckiliy, it is an easy stopover option when coming from further East.
Places to Stay


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  • Fraser Hill Shahzan Inn

    Accommodation
    The Fraser Hill Shahzan Inn hotel is located in the famous tourist area - Fraser Hill, can make your journey more comfortable and convenient. Hotel facilities allows your stay becomes memorable. Guests are free to use the restaurant, business center, room service, meeting facilities, parking lots and other facilities.
  • Frasers Hill Pine Resort

    Accommodation
    The Pines Resort has 90 fully service apartments, varying 1500 to 1700 sq ft of living area. Each apartment has a large balcony with breath-taking views overlooking some of the most scenic views in Fraser's Hill. The apartment features 3 bedrooms complete with dry kitchen, lounge and dining area. Guest can opt for one, two or three bedroom apartment to suit one's preference and budget
  • Gem Island, Terengganu

    Accommodation
    ¦the island retains its peaceful, quiet atmosphere, the nesting site of sea eagles, reef herons, terns and other birds.
  • Kapas Island Resort, Off Marang, Terengganu

    Accommodation
    Walking along the beach seems to be a good idea and if you're interested, you can collect a variety of wonderful sea shells of various shapes and sizes and maybe catch glimpse of wildlife such as birds and lizards.
  • Mutiara Taman Negara - Pahang

    Accommodation
    Discover the wonders of an ancient forest at Mutiara Taman Negara. Pitch tent or check-into this forest reserve and bask in the natural surroundings of the Taman Negara park. Mutiara Taman Negara, an eco-tourism Resort that offers a variety of accommodation types promises guests this unique experience with basic amenities and sufficient modern comforts.
  • Penang Mutiara Beach Resort Penang

    Accommodation
    Penang Mutiara Beach Resort heralds a new standard for Asian resort hotels. Located on a prime beachfront at Teluk Bahang, otherwise known as the glowing bay, it nestles in 7.3 hectares (18 acres) of landscaped tropical greenery. All 438 of its spacious rooms enjoy sea and garden views. Here in this paradise of comfort and luxury, it has been claimed that nothing is unusual.
Blogs
  • Birds of Fraser's Hill (Bukit Fraser)

    BLOG
    Fraser's Hill is a perfect destination for bird watchers (in this blog I will use the term "birder"). Birders can start spotting birds from the Gap and all the way up to the hill station. We have heard some birders saying that Fraser's Hill is one of the best birding sites in Asia
  • Choy Wai Mun - The Penang Birder

    BLOG
    I was born and raised in Penang Island, a small tropical paradise off the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It may not be the best place in the world to live in but it does have its fair share of good points and the bird life is not too bad as well. I guess that is why I still call it home after all these years. For as long as I could remember, I have always been fascinated with animals and I do not mean puppies and rabbits. Even my preschool storybooks were illustrated books on wildlife. As I got older, I did not outgrow this fascination. In fact, it grew ever stronger on me - especially my love for birds. Unfortunately, birding could not really put food on the table and it remains more of a hobby.
  • Hakim - Birding On Bike

    BLOG
    My name is Hakim from Penang. I started birding in 2008… doing thesis for my undergraduate thesis in Terengganu. After the university day had passed, I continue birding in my area… firstly I start with nothing, no binocular, no camera and nothing. Until the day I invite Dave Bakewell to my area, he loan me a pair of binoculars
  • Mike Birder - Birding in Malaysia

    BLOG
    Welcome to my Malaysian Birding Blog. I migrated to blogspot.com as my blog at multiply.com closed shop in 2012. I wish to showcase all Malaysian birds that I have photographed whether here or overseas. My countdown of lifers started in 2005. Coming to February 2019 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
  • Redzlan A Rahman - Love for Bird and Nature

    BLOG
    This blog evolved from my personal rambling, to my addiction to GPS and Digital Mapping, to Digital SLR camera and photography in general. Over time this blog focuses more about bird and nature. I love nature and bird photography when I have a free time or on holiday. Mostly birding around my backyard, around Raub, Fraser's Hill and Bukit Tinggi.
  • Wengchun's Birding

    BLOG
    I enjoy doing what i like - nature photography particularly into birds. During my time at work I also take people around Putrajaya Wetland for birdwatching. If you enjoy the same hobby as I do or if you would like to join me in my outings, stay on my blog or contact me.
  • Zul Ya - Birds of Peninsular Malaysia

    BLOG
    Like the natural beauty, especially colourful birds in Peninsular Malaysia.
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Nelson Khor

    Gallery
    …my name is Nelson Khor, a citizen of Malaysia, as a own hobby in photograph. Come over to the photograph start from year 2001 with the Sony compact camera, in year 2003 start to increase and upgrade the hobby in DSLR System, Canon 300D will be my first DSLR, start to photograph, Landscape, Model, Man at Work, Sport, Macro.
  • Photographer - Paul Huang - Birds of Frasers Hill

    Gallery
    rasers Hill has often been called THE birding place in Malaysia. It is also the place that hosts an International Bird Race every year in June. I have visited Frasers Hill twice and it is all it claims to be. The terrain is diverse and therefore you will see lowland forest, submontane birds right up to Montane birds.

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