This was a family holiday, and our first visit to Fraser’s for over a year, which is a long gap for us! We had a couple of good friends along with us, and Tim was keen to be initiated into the thrills and spills of birding! Overall though, this was a very low key, relaxing visit, not really a birding trip.
A pair of Large Scimitar-babblers also put on a good show (well – good for this skulking species!). I explained to Tim that going birding with me was a bit of a handicap for a novice birder, since I tend to favour dull brown skulkers over the bright, colourful species which are easy to see!
We did see some colourful birds though! I remember when Orange-bellied Leafbirds were difficult to see at Fraser’s Hill, back before the introduction of bottlebrush trees. Now it would be hard to miss them!
I was surprised to find a couple of late migrants still about. This singing male Brown Shrike was not what I expected to see on the highest branch of the tallest tree in the forest canopy! What race is it? Maybe confusus?
Tim’s sharp eyes located this tree lizard on a vine on the Pine Tree trail. It’s a newly-described species, Acanthosaura titiwangsaensis – Titiwangsa Horned Tree Lizard.
Having ticked off Large Scimitar-babbler before Chestnut-backed, and Malayan Whistling-thrush before Blue, Tim’s first wren-babbler was Marbled! Not great photos, but we were treated to a breathtaking vocal performance by a pair duetting. This is the fifth time I’ve had the opportunity to photograph this species. The previous four times were in 2009, 2010 (here and here) and 2011.
The view from my family’s Silverpark 5th floor apartment gave good opportunities for balcony views of Rufous-bellied Swallows and House Swifts.
I’d have been happy taking photos of these all day! Sadly, I missed a flyby needletail, which whizzed below my viewpoint so fast I didn’t get chance to identify it to species.
Our last bird of the trip – a Collared Owlet responding to my whistled imitation of its call.
There were a few no-shows – I can’t remember ever missing Mountain Leaf-warblers before, and the silence of the barbets was deafening – I guess because it’s the breeding season – but overall, Fraser’s delivered the goods yet again!