Malaysia is a very nice country to visit and travel in. Also it is not as busy as Thailand as far as birding goes. Very few birders in the parks that I have visited so far. If you are a birder, northern Malaysia is a great place to spend some time.
This trip to Malaysia I made a big circle. I started in Penang, Malaysia. Then went to Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, Then to Taman Nigara Pahang, Malaysia, Then back to Thailand.
I headed to Georgetown first, and visited the park on the far side of the island. Very nice!
Georgetown is a very clean and modern city. I really enjoyed it. So much so I am headed back in a few weeks to relax and re-visit the park. Great food and great places to stay. A little pricey! But, worth every penny IMO.
This first site in Georgetown is a great place to bird, and a GREAT place to unwind and relax for a few days. I stayed a week. My schedule was one month in Malaysia. For me a week is a huge rush.
The month time limit was because I could only get a one month visa for my pickup. What a hassle. I get a 3 month visa when entering Malaysia, but my pickup only gets one month. LOL
A few birds from Georgetown, Taman Negara.
Stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
420mm, F/5.0, 1/1600
Striated heron (Butorides striata)
700mm, F/6.3, 1/1000, ISO 1000
White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
500mm + 1.4, ISO 2500, 1/1000, F/8
This first pic was easy to take. These guys are all over the pace. But the lighting was extremely difficult this year. Early morning fog and smoke from Indonesia really hurt my photography. So, not a lot of pics this time.
Fire-tufted barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)
700mm, F5.6, 1/640, ISO 1000
This is a juvenile male.
Large niltava (Niltava grandis)
700mm, 1/60, ISO 2000, F/5.6
Little pied flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni)
700mm, F/5.6, ISO 2000, 1/500
700mm, F/7.1, 1/80, ISO 3200
Large niltava (Niltava grandis) female
700mm, F/7.1, 1/80, ISO 3200
Long-tailed sibia (Heterophasia picaoides)
420mm, 1/250, ISO 1600, F/5.6
Chestnut-capped laughingthrush (Garrulax mitratus)
There are several reasons I like this park entrance the best. It is run by the government and is kept in pristine condition. If camping the facilities are GREAT. If driving in from Gua Musang it is not a bad drive.
Gua Musang has some good hotels, and more are on the way. Northern Malaysia is having a growing spurt. It won't be long before this area is really developed. So, my advice is to visit the area now while it is still good value for the money.
When I first showed up there was a fruiting tree loaded with berries. I am a lucky birder.
This is a rare animal indeed. Extremely hard to get close to. Not a good photo, but I am happy just to see these guys and get a shot of a juvenile.
Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus)
Black hornbill (Anthracoceros malayanus)
Rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros)
420mm, F/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 1250
500mm, F/4.0, 1/30, ISO 3200
500mm, 1/50, ISO 3200
500mm, ISO 3200, 1/40, F/4.0
This guy was stubborn, it took me a few days to get a good shot. I mimicked his call and he came in. But, it took me a few hours.
Got this guy in a fruiting tree in the main camping area.
Got this guy in a flowering tree close to the main gate. There were several feeding at the tree.
These guys are endangered. Habitat loss.
This guy was feeding at a fruiting tree I was shooting at one morning. Beautiful Broadbill.
Luckily I had my 500mm lens + teleconverter mounted when this guy showed up. Very rare find.
These guys were all over a fruiting tree in the park.
This female and male were building a nest. Getting ready for some little ones.
Malaysia has a HUGE air pollution problem. Each year Indonesia burns off a huge amount land for cultivation. This year the smoke covered Malaysia and southern Thailand. I had to leave, it is a health hazard. So much so I do not recommend going to Malaysia when Indonesia is burning it's jungles. I will never visit here again at this time of the year. EXTREMELY BAD.
That is it for this hop. A wonderful travel experience, and some good birding thrown in for good measure.
I am a huge fan of not being in a hurry and having your own transportation. The advantages are too many to count.
The next time you want to go birding try flying in, renting a vehicle and exploring the area yourself, or with a local guide for a day or so. Then get serious about birding.
As usual if interesting in more photos from this area head over to my flickr site. HERE
All the best and safe travels, Gary