Anyone who has been following this blog over the years will know that my wife’s family makes an almost annual pilgrimage to Fraser’s Hill every Chinese New Year. Even though none of them are mad on birds, they all love the cool climate, beautiful scenery and quiet walks, and I – well, who am I to disagree with the wishes of the majority?
As a result of these frequent visits, I have seen all the regularly occurring resident birds there except 2 (Long-billed and Ferruginous Partridge) or 3 (Eyebrowed Wren-babbler has been seen on the hill quite regularly in recent years). This makes getting ‘lifers’ more and more challenging, but I still love the forest and the climate up there.
Migrant flycatchers were seen here and there – Mugimaki Flyatchers (top) were quite numerous, but I only saw one Blue-and-white Flycatcher. I’m not sure if this is the newly split Zappey’s Flycatcher or the nominate taxon.
Verditer Flycatchers are common residents, but they’re impossible to resist when they pose like this (female top and male bottom)!
It wasn’t all birds of course. Himalayan Striped Squirrels are small in size but big in cuteness!
I also came across ‘Bobby’ the semi-tame Siamang. I first encountered him in 2011 (see here), so it was good to see him apparently keeping well!
Not sure about these. They seemed to be behaving like migrants, but looked very like the Germain’s Swiftlet of the lowlands, plumage-wise. Are they a little longer-winged? I’m not confident enough to call them Himalayan for sure.
I spent a couple of mornings walking the Old Road up from the Gap, and was rewarded both days with great views of Collared Babbler (formerly White-hooded). Some of these (like the upper bird in this shot) had extensive white markings on the lesser coverts, which is supposedly a feature of White-hooded but not Collared (Robson 2008).
Best of all was an unexpected encounter with a Ferruginous Partridge. It was too close (about 8 feet away!) and too fast for a photo, so I took a picture of where the bird had appeared and captured the memory using a bit of photoshoppery and a sketch. So now there are only two resident species at Fraser’s Hill which I still haven’t seen!