Thursday, 16 February 2017

16th February 2017 Fraser's Hill

We made a 5.30am start bound for Fraser's Hill arriving at the Gap at dawn seeing 2 Grey Nightjars sat on the road there. As we made our ascent the weather deteriorated with it being increasingly cold and foggy. We flushed a Whistling-Thrush from the road just as we passed the Upper Gatehouse being a traditional site for Malayan Whistling-Thrush. We headed for Richmond near the summit and soon heard a party of Malayan Hill Partridges and we eventually saw a party 4 at 10.30am being a regular time for them to feed alongside the road according to a duo of Malaysian birders who timed their arrival at 10.20am. I had fond memories of seeing Marbled Wren-babblers with JFC back in 1988 and was keen to see the species again. An attempt at a first suitable gully didn't elicit any response but at a second gully we heard one calling almost immediately. After a prolonged game of hide and seek we eventually saw a pair foraging in the leaf litter but my attempts at photographing them on the dark forest floor failed. Superb birds nonetheless. We took and early lunch and prior to descending saw both Pygmy Wren-babbler and a female Lesser Shortwing. We made our descent down the new road that passed through promising habitat for its entire length. Fraser's Hill seemed to be as good as I could remember it and it would be easy to imagine spending an enjoyable 10 days or so birding there. In 1988 we had stayed at the 'Gap restaurant' sharing it with Fred Fearn and Laurence Pitcher etc. so it was sad to see that building was now no more than an abandoned derelict shell. The road leading from the Gap back towards KL also still passes through intact forest where we saw a Blyth's Hawk-Eagle and a stop at a fruiting tree produced my second new bird for the day in the form of Yellow-crowned Barbet. We made our way to the Chinese Cemetery in KL where we spent a couple of hours looking for Barred Eagle Owl and Sunda Scops Owl but only succeeded in hearing the latter and seeing 5 Large-tailed Nightjars. We returned to the Tune Airport Hotel at 11pm with the prospect of another early start for our onward flight to Vietnam.

Blyth's Hawk-Eagle 1
Emerald Dove 1
Asian Koel h  
Grey Nightjar 2
Large-tailed Nightjar 5
Glossy Swiftlet 30
Germain's Swiftlet 50
Pacific Swift 100
Wreathed Hornbill 3
Black-browed Barbet 2
Blue-eared Barbet 1
Swallow 4
Grey-bellied Bulbul 2
Black-naped Oriole 1
House Crow 50
Marbled Wren-Babbler 2
Pygmy Wren-Babbler 2
Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush 6
Malayan (Chestnut-crowned) Laughingthrush 2
Lesser Shortwing 1 female
Oriental Magpie-Robin 2
Malayan/Blue Whistling-Thrush 1
Grey Wagtail 2
Asian Glossy Starling 10

Fraser's Hill Clocktower

Emerald Dove at Fraser's Hill

Malaysian Hill Partridge at Fraser's Hill

Pygmy Wren-babbler at Fraser's Hill

Female Lesser Shortwing at Fraser's Hill

Blyth's Hawk-Eagle at Fraser's Hill

Blue-eared Barbet at Fraser's Hill

Black-browed Barbet at Fraser's Hill

Yellow-crowned Barbet at Fraser's Hill