When August 2015 Weather: Lovely Cool 20C, a little rain and mist
Leica Q, Nikon P900, SonyA55/70-400mmG
After 5 days of intense conferencing in KL, my birding pals and I spent 3-4 days recovering by birding in Fraser’s Hill(FH), a renowned birding location 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur. As there were 7 of us with tons of camera gear, we hired a 10 seater van with a driver who accompanied us for the 3 nights; not cheap but made moving around much easier. We stayed at Stephen’s Place(SP), formerly known as Buona Vista, an old bungalow which I had visited many times previously. Stephen Hogg, a renowned BBC and NG wildlife photographer now runs this establishment as a bed and breakfast. More on Stephen’s Place in my next blog post.
The first morning, Stephens had suggested we take a walk on the Telecom loop or Girdle Road, which Stephen’s Place is on. We did the higher part of the loop on the paved road and clambered back up to SP where there is a concrete reinforcement of a previous landslip. With stops for birding, we took about 2 hours….After breakfast, we took the van to Jeriau Waterfalls where other visitors had spotted the red headed Trogon the day before and silver breasted broadbills were supposed to be. After a late lunch we went back to SP and birded in the garden and took a short walk on the lower Telecom Loop towards the clock tower which is the center of FH. The nice thing about FH is that you can bird anywhere, the birds around SP were plentiful and we hardly had time to process our earlier pictures as we were shooting most of the time, even when back at the bungalow!
The next day we visited the previously famous Jelai Resort Hotel where the lights in the morning attracted moths which in turn attracted many species of birds turning it into a veritable buffet of bird watching. Sadly, Jelai has now been abandoned and left dilapidated. Nevertheless, I remembered that there were still good bird sightings there, so we spent a very fruitful morning there. A great place still to visit for the beginning birdwatcher as you are guaranteed to see lots of birds up close. We then birded on the road opposite the end of the Hemmant trail and finished off on the lower telecom loop. Here are the pix….
FH is an iconic location for birding and birders from the world over gather here for good reason….the diversity and beauty of the birds, the easy access to the birding locations, the cool fresh air, the flora and outstanding scenery.
I had hoped to see the Red headed trogon…and I managed to catch a brief glimpse of as it flew in the distance but could not shoot….alas the silver breasted broadbill, green magpie and red bearded bee eater continued to elude me…
For your visit, you can do no better than stay at Stephen’s Place on the Telecom Loop itself, a prime birding area. Highly recommended.
Great narrative and pictures, Ron!