Day 1 Arrival in Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Selangor - 17th March
Following an overnight flight from the UK we will drive to the coastal town of Kuala Selangor for an overnight stay. After checking into our conveniently situated hotel, we can begin our birding with an exploration of the nearby Kuala Selangor Nature Park. There are a number of key species to find here and around the mangroves and lagoons we will look for Black-capped and Collared Kingfishers, Laced and Sunda Pygmy Woodpeckers, Greater and Common Flamebacks, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler, Pied Triller, Olive-winged Bulbul, and Ashy Tailorbird. Other species here include Lesser Adjutant, Pink-necked Green-Pigeon, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Grey Tit, Olive-winged Bulbul, Ruby-cheeked and Brown-throated Sunbirds, Dollarbird, and Asian Glossy Starling. At night Large-tailed Nightjar can be spotlighted near the hotel, whilst there is always a chance of a Buffy Fish-owl or even a Barred Eagle-owl. Night at Kuala Selangor.
Days 2 - 5 Kuala Selangor - Fraser's Hill
An early morning visit along the coast gives us the opportunity to look for the elusive Mangrove Pitta and further chances to catch up with any species we missed yesterday, maybe a cute little White-headed Munia or skulking Chestnut-bellied Malkoha. But with the hills beckoning we will soon head out on the drive to the mist-enshrouded former British hill station of Fraser's Hill, situated in the central Malay highlands. There is no escaping the former colonial charm of this picturesque site and it is one of Asia's classic birding destinations. With a pleasantly cool climate and a bountiful selection of tropical birds we are sure of a fantastic time here. After checking in to our lodge for a 4-night stay there should be plenty of time to begin our exploration of the surrounding forest. Set amidst mature broadleaved evergreen forest at around 1000m this is a wonderful area of forested hills that stretch to the horizon. Our birding will usually be done from well marked trails or from the road which enables pretty decent viewing conditions to sift through the numerous mixed feeding flocks that occur. As always we will target the special birds which here include Malaysian Partridge, Rhinoceros Hornbill, the endemic Malayan Whistling-thrush, Malayan, Spectacled and Black Laughingthrushes, Fire-tufted Barbet, the incredibly tough Rusty-naped Pitta, Black-and-Crimson Oriole, Javan Cuckooshrike, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Blue Nuthatch, Collared Babbler and Marbled Wren-babbler. A huge variety of other species are possible here and include an interesting mix of Himalayan and distinctly tropical species including Blyth's Hawk-eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Black-thighed Falconet, Green-billed Malkoha, Mountain Imperial-pigeon, Yellow-vented Green-pigeon, Little Cuckoo-dove, Sunda Cuckoo, Collared Owlet, Glossy Swiftlet, Whiskered Treeswift, Helmeted and Wreathed Hornbills, Orange-breasted and Red-headed Trogons, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Speckled Piculet, Buff-rumped, Checker-throated, Bamboo and Bay Woodpeckers, Greater and Lesser Yellownapes, Black-browed, Brown and Gold-whiskered Barbets, Banded, Black-and-yellow, Silver-breasted and Long-tailed Broadbills, Pale Blue, Hill Blue and Little Pied Flycatchers, Large Niltava, White-tailed Robin, Lesser Shortwing, Grey-chinned Minivet, Ochraceous, Black-crested and Mountain Bulbuls, Greater and Lesser Racket-tailed Drongos, Sultan Tit, Pygmy and Streaked Wren-babblers, Large and Chestnut-backed Scimitar-babblers, Buff-breasted Babbler, Grey-throated and Golden Babblers, Silver-eared Mesia, White-browed and Black-eared Shrike-babblers, Blue-winged Minla, Mountain Fulvetta, White-bellied Erpornis, Long-tailed Sibia, Slaty-backed Forktail, Yellow-bellied and Mountain Leaf-warblers, Mountain Tailorbird, Everett's White-eye, Black-throated Sunbird, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Streaked Spiderhunter and Green Magpie.
Day 6 Fraser's Hill – Krau Forest - Taman Negara
We will set off early this morning on the drive towards Taman Negara, stopping along the way at the interesting Krau Forest where we have our first chance of finding Black Hornbill, Blue-eared and Gold-whiskered Barbets, Garnet Pitta, Scarlet-backed Trogon, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, and both Black-throated and Short-tailed Babblers. Afterwards we will continue our journey to Taman Negara National Park where will stay at the wonderful Mutiara Resort for the next 4 nights.
Days 7 - 9 Taman Negara
Taman Negara National Park protects 4343 square kilometres of virgin tropical rainforest and is widely regarded as one of the finest reserves in the whole world. To walk the secluded trails deep into the forest immediately leaves one in awe at the serene tranquillity as immense trees tower over you and a lush understorey hides a bewildering variety of birds. From our comfortable lodge located beside the rainforest we will make daily excursions via a network of trails, returning for lunch each day. There are no roads in the National Park so all of our birding is on foot, or we may take a boat to reach areas further upriver. But our birding begins in the immediate vicinity of our lodge as fruiting trees can attract an amazing variety of species with upwards of 10 species of bulbul possible including Puff-backed, Grey-bellied, Stripe-throated, Cream-vented, Red-eyed, Spectacled, Grey-cheeked, Yellow-bellied, Hairy-backed, Straw-headed and Streaked. There could also be other frugivores like Little, Thick-billed and Large Green-pigeons, Gold-whiskered, Yellow-crowned, Red-throated, Blue-eared and Brown Barbets, Green Broadbill, Green, Greater Green, Lesser Green and Blue-winged Leafbirds, Yellow-eared, Spectacled and Grey-breasted Spiderhunters, Crimson-breasted and Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers, plus Plain, Red-throated and Purple-naped Sunbirds. There is an excellent network of trails which will let us explore many different sections of the forest in search of such delights as Great Argus, Crested Partridge, Malayan Peacock-pheasant, Crested Fireback, Black-thighed Falconet, Jambu Fruit-dove, Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-rumped Parrot, Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot, Violet, Asian Drongo, Banded Bay and Plaintive Cuckoos, Raffles's, Black-bellied, Red-billed and Chestnut-breasted Malkohas, Brown-backed and Silver-rumped Needletails, Grey-rumped and Whiskered Treeswifts, Red-naped, Diard's and Scarlet-rumped Trogons, Rufous Piculet, Crimson-winged, Checker-throated, Banded, Buff-rumped, Buff-necked, Great Slaty, White-bellied, Maroon and Orange-backed Woodpeckers, Banded, Rufous-collared, Rufous-backed and Blue-banded Kingfishers, Black and Rhinoceros Hornbills, Blue-winged, Hooded, Garnet and Malayan Banded Pittas, Black-and-Yellow, Black-and-Red, Green, Dusky and Banded Broadbills, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Rufous-tailed Shama, Dark-throated Oriole, Rufous-chested Flycatcher, Rufous-winged and Maroon-breasted Philentomas, Black-capped, Grey-headed, Chestnut-rumped, Short-tailed, White-chested, Horsfield's and Ferruginous Babblers, Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler, White-crowned and Chestnut-naped Forktails, Dark-necked and Rufous-tailed Tailorbirds, Large Wren-babbler, Brown Fulvetta, Black Magpie and Crested Jay. If we are very lucky then we could even have a chance encounter with a Malaysian Rail-Babbler. Night birding can also be productive with Malaysian Eared Nightjar, Oriental Bay Owl, Reddish Scops-Owl, or even a Large, Gould's or Javan Frogmouth possible.
Day 10 Taman Negara – Bukit Tinggi
We will spend the morning birding at Taman Negara trying to connect with any species still missing from our lists before driving to Bukit Tinggi. Night at Bukit Tinggi.
Day 11 Bukit Tinggi - Kuala Lumpur - End of Tour - 27th March
Our primary focus here will be finding the elusive Mountain Peacock-Pheasant, which, in recent years, has been visiting a small feeding station set up by local photographers. There are plenty of other great birds here including Blyth's Hawk-Eagle, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Orange-breasted Trogon, Banded Kingfisher, Banded Broadbill, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Scaly-breasted Bulbul and others. From here we will drive to Kuala Lumpur International Airport for our late evening flight back to the UK and conclusion of a wonderful tour.