Malaysia-Peninsula and Borneo - 16 May - 11 June, 2010

Published by Greg Roberts (friarbird.roberts AT

Participants: Greg Roberts


Much of the trip to the peninsula was not bird-related but with the opportunity of returning to a region covered during an extensive visit in 1985, Frasers Hill and Air Hitam Dalum near Penang were visited.

At Frasers Hill we stayed at the Shazhan Inn between 19 and 22 May. Efforts were concentrated on the Bishop’s Trail and Telekom Loop. I walked down to The Gap one morning but intensive playback at key sites failed to produce Marbled Wren-Babbler. The only lifer at Frasers was Rusty-naped Pitta but 25 years after the first visit, it was still a very enjoyable site.

At Air Hitam Dalam, visited on June 10, local birder Tan Choo Eng kindly took me to the reserve, where I scored my second new pitta, with Mangrove Pittas flying around in response to playback.

On June 11, I visited Kuala Gula south of Penang, where Milky Storks have been reintroduced. They are free-flying and nesting but are still being fed; a few wild birds remain in the area.

On Borneo, I had a week at the Danum Valley Field Centre from May 24 to May 31 after flying from Kuala Lumpur to Lahad Datu. Conditions here were very hot and humid and the birding was tough-going, but some excellent species make it worth the effort. My efforts were focused on the Waterfall Trail, the Sungui Parut Trail, the grid trails and the entrance road. Note that the old Elephant and Rhino Ridge trails are in such a state of disrepair that they should be avoided, if they can be found at all! Even the grid trails are not maintained well and caution should be exercised to avoid getting lost.

Having been to Mt Kinabalu previously, I visited the Croker Range near Tambunan between May 31 and June 4. I stayed at the handily located if basic Gunung Alab Resort, concentrating on the road a couple of kms east and west of the Rafflesia Reserve.

Species Lists

[]=heard only; * = lifer; + seen on both the peninsular and Borneo. Common names follow Clements’ Checklist.

Great Egret,
Cattle Egret,
Black-crowned Night-Heron,
Cinnamon Bittern,
Striated Heron,
White-breasted Waterhen,
*Milky Stork (pair nesting Kuala Gula; several semi-domesticated about village),
[Ferruginous Partridge – road between Frasers & The Gap],
Chesnut-necklaced Partridge (1 at Danum; Nature trail),
Grey-breasted (Malayan) Partridge (pair with chicks & single bird at Frasers),
*Great Argus (calling commonly at Danum; 1 female on road, males on Waterfall & Sungui trails),
Crested Fireback (seen several times at Danum),
*Bulwer’s Pheasant (Danum; 1 male crossing Sungui trail),
*Crested Partridge (2 at Danum; Waterfall trail),
*Red-breasted Partridge (Croker; 1 seen below Rafflesia, many calling),
[Crimson-headed Partridge (Croker at new Gunung Alab substation)],
Crested Serpent-Eagle (Danum),
Oriental Honey-Buzzard (Croker),
Brahminy Kite,
White-bellied Sea-Eagle,
*Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle (Danum; 1 on entrance road, 1 on Sungui trail),
*Jerdon’s Baza (1 at Danum over field centre),
+Little Cuckoo-Dove (Frasers & Crocker),
*Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove (2 at Croker),
Green Imperial-Pigeon (Danum),
Thick-billed Pigeon (Danum),
Pink-necked Pigeon (Air Hitam),
Zebra Dove (Penang),
Emerald Dove (Danum),
Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot (Danum),
[Mountain Scops-Owl – several heard at Frasers and along the road to The Gap; 1 heard at Crocker],
[Reddish Scops-Owl – several Danum],
Buffy Fish-Owl (1 at Danum),
Greater Yellow-nape (Frasers),
Lesser Yellow-nape (Frasers),
Grey-and-buff Woodpecker (Danum),
Buff-necked Woodpecker (Danum),
*Buff-rumped Woodpecker (3 at Danum),
Maroon Woodpecker (Danum),
Banded Woodpecker (Air Hitam),
Common Goldenback (Air Hitam),
Laced Woodpecker (Air Hitam),
Speckled Piculet (Frasers),
Rufous Piculet (The Gap),
Red-beared Bee-Eater (The Gap & Danum),
Asian Koel,
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo (Danum),
Banded Bay Cuckoo (Danum),
*Malaysian (Hodgson’s) Hawk-Cuckoo (1 at Danum; Sungui trail),
Chesnut-breasted Malkhoa (Danum),
Raffle’s Malkhoa (Danum),
Little Bronze Cuckoo (Danum),
Short-toed Coucal (Danum),
+Greater Coucal (Danum & Air Hitam),
Lesser Coucal,
+House Swift,
+Silver-rumped Swift,
Brown-backed Needletail (Frasers),
+Glossy Swiftlet,
Edible-Nest Swiftlet,
Whiskered Tree-Swift (Danum),
Fire-tufted Barbet (Frasers),
Black-browed Barbet (Frasers),
Brown Barbet (Danum & Crocker),
Red-throated Barbet (Danum),
Yellow-crowned Barbet (Danum),
Gold-whiskered Barbet (Croker),
Golden-naped Barbet (Croker),
*Mountain Barbet (common at Croker),
*Bornean Barbet (10+ at Croker in fruiting tree 2km east of Rafflesia),
Wrinkled Hornbill (2 at Danum),
Rhinoceros Hornbill (Danum),
Black Hornbill (Danum),
*Helmeted Hornbill (calling commonly at Danum but only 1 seen, on Sungui trail),
Blue-banded Kingfisher (1 at Danum),
Blue-eared Kingfisher (Danum),
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Danum),
Collared Kingfisher,
White-throated Kingfisher,
[Ruddy Kingfisher (Air Hitam 1 heard)],
*Rufous-collared Kingfisher (1 at Danum; Waterfall trail),
Red-headed Trogon (Frasers & The Gap),
Red-naped Trogon (1 at Danum),
*Cinnamon-rumped Trogon (1 at Danum; Waterfall trail),
*Rusty-naped Pitta (a pair just after first stream crossing on Bishop’s trail, Frasers),
Banded Pitta (at least 5 seen at Danum on Waterfall trail),
*Mangrove Pitta (at least 1 in flight at Air Hitam seen several times),
Blue-headed Pitta (3 seen at Danum on Sungui trail),
*Blue-banded Pitta (1 at Danum on Waterfall trail taped in – 400m before falls),
*Black-headed Pitta (Danum; 1 seen off entrance road, 1 on Waterfall trail- many heard),
Black-and-red Broadbill (Danum),
Asian Fairy-Bluebird (Danum),
Dark-throated Oriole (Danum),
Black-and-crimson Oriole (Croker),
Fruithunter (2 at Croker 2km west of Rafflesia),
+Oriental Magpie-Robin,
+Chesnut-naped Forktail (The Gap & Danum),
White-rumped (White-crowned) Shama (Danum),
Rufous-tailed Shama (Danum),
+Pacific Swallow,
Red-rumped Swallow (Frasers),
Lesser Green Leafbird (Danum),
Bornean Leafbird (several Croker),
Green Iora (Danum),
Common Iora (Air Hitam),
Bornean Bristlehead (seen on 4 days at Danum – access road and Waterfall & Sungui trails),
+Black-crested Bulbul (Frasers & Crocker),
+Ochraceous Bulbul (Frasers & Crocker),
Stripe-throated Bulbul (Frasers),
Mountain Bulbul (Frasers),
+Yellow-vented Bulbul (Danum & Penang),
Straw-headed Bulbul (Danum),
Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Danum),
Red-eyed Bulbul (Danum),
Yellow-bellied Bulbul (Danum),
Black-headed Bulbul (Danum),
Cream-vented Bulbul (Danum),
Buff-vented Bulbul (Danum),
Olive-winged Bulbul (Danum),
Hairy-backed Bulbul (Danum),
Streaked Bulbul (Danum),
Ashy Bulbul (Croker),
Flavescent Bulbul (Croker),
Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike (The Gap),
Large Niltava (Frasers),
Rufous-browed Flycatcher (Frasers),
+Little Pied Flycatcher (Frasers & Crocker),
+Verditer Flycatcher (The Gap & Crocker),
Asian Paradise-Flycatcher (Danum),
Grey-chested Jungle-Flycatcher (Danum),
Mangrove Blue Flycatcher (several Air Hitam),
*Bornean Blue-Flycatcher (3 at Danum; Waterfall and Sungui trails),
*Large-billed Blue-Flycatcher (1 at Danum; grid trails),
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (The Gap),
Rufous-winged Philentoma (Danum),
Black-naped Monarch (Danum),
+White-throated Fantail (Frasers & Crocker),
Spotted Fantail (Danum),
Pied Fantail (Danum),
Sultan Tit (1 at Frasers),
Blue Nuthatch (Frasers),
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Croker),
Long-tailed Sibia (Frasers),
Silver-eared Mesia (Frasers),
Blue-winged Minla (Frasers),
Rufous-winged Fulvetta (Frasers),
Mountain Fulvetta (Frasers),
Brown Fulvetta (Danum),
+White-bellied Yuhina (The Gap & Crocker),
Chesnut-crested Yuhina (Croker),
Golden Babbler (Frasers),
+Grey-throated Babbler (Frasers & Crocker),
Buff-breasted Babbler (Frasers),
Chesnut-winged Babbler (Danum),
Scaly-crowned Babbler (Danum),
Sooty-capped Babbler (Danum),
Rufous-crowned Babbler (Danum),
Moustached Babbler (Danum),
Black-throated Babbler (1 at Danum),
Short-tailed Babbler (Danum),
Chesnut-rumped Babbler (Danum),
*White-necked Babbler (1 at Danum),
Ferruginous Babbler (Danum),
Striped Tit-Babbler (Danum),
*Bornean Wren-Babbler (Danum; 1 taped in on Sungui trail),
Streaked Wren-Babbler (1 at Frasers), Striped Wren-Babbler (several Danum),
Lesser Shortwing (1 at Frasers; many calling),
[White-browned Shortwing (Croker)],
Black-eared Shrike-Babbler (Frasers),
White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Croker),
Black Laughing-Thrush (Frasers),
+Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush (Frasers & Crocker),
Chesnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Frasers),
Sunda Laughingthrush (Croker),
Javan Cuckoo-Shrike (Frasers),
Lesser Cuckoo-Shrike (Danum),
Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike (Croker),
Scarlet Minivet (The Gap),
Grey-chinned Minivet (Frasers),
Chesnut-crowned Warbler (Frasers),
Yellow-breasted Warbler (Croker),
+Mountain Leaf-Warbler (Frasers & Crocker),
Sunda Bush-Warbler (1 at new Gunung Alab national park substation at Croker),
Dark-necked Tailorbird (Frasers),
Mountain Tailorbird (Frasers),
Ashy Tailorbird (Danum),
Common Tailorbird (Air Hitam),
Zitting Cisticola (Penang),
Yellow-bellied Prinia (Danum),
Green Magpie (Frasers),
Black Magpie (1 at Danum),
Bornean Treepie (Croker),
Crested Jay (Danum),
+Bronzed Drongo (The Gap & Danum),
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo (Frasers),
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Danum), Ashy Drongo (Croker),
Hair-crested Drongo (Croker),
Black-throated Sunbird (Frasers),
Purple-naped Sunbird (Danum),
Plain Sunbird (Danum),
Crimson Sunbird (Danum),
Temminck’s Sunbird (Croker),
Olive-backed Sunbird,
Streaked Spiderhunter (Frasers),
+Little Spiderhunter (The Gap & Danum),
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (2 at Danum),
*Yellow-eared Spiderhunter (1 at Danum),
*Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter (1 at Croker below Rafflesia),
Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker (Danum),
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Danum),
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Lahad Datu),
Black-sided Flowerpecker (Croker),
*Brown-backed Flowerpecker (2 at Danum; entrance road),
+Everett’s White-eye (Frasers & Crocker),
Black-fronted White-eye (Croker),
*Pygmy White-eye (small party at Danum on entrance road),
Paddyfield Pipit (Frasers),
Tree Sparrow,
Dusky Munia (common Borneo),
Scaly-breasted Munia (Penang),
+Common Myna,
Jungle Myna,
Hill Myna (Danum),
+Asian Glossy Starling,
House Crow,
Large-billed Crow (Frasers),
Small-billed Crow.

232 species, 27 lifers


Orangutan (seen daily at Danum on a total of 9 occasions; twice an animal was seen building a night nest; only once was more than a single animal seen [mother and a well-grown young]),
Bornean Gibbon (seen several times at Danum),
Long-tailed Macaque,
Pig-tailed Macaque (Danum),
Banded Leaf-Monkey (Frasers),
*Hose’s (Grey) Leaf-Monkey (several groups at Danum),
Red Leaf-Monkey (common Danum),
Common Tree-Shrew (Danum),
*Binturung (1 at Frasers crossing Bishop’s Trail),
*Small-toothed Palm Civet (1 at Danum),
Common Palm Civit (1 at Danum),
*Malay Badger Mydaus javanensis (1 while spotlighting at Danum),
Bearded Pig (Danum),
Sambar Deer (Danum),
Common Muntjac (Danum),
*Bornean Yellow Muntjac (1 at Danum),
Red Giant Flying-Squirrel (1 at Danum),
*Slender Squirrel Sundasciurus tenuis (Danum),
Jentink’s Squirrel Sundasciurus jentinki (Croker).
Bornean Black-banded Squirrel Callosciurus orestes (Croker),
*Plain Pygmy Squirrel Exiliscorus exilis (Danum),
Prevost’s Squirrel Callosciurus prevosti (Danum),
*Horse Tail Squirrel Sundasciurus hippurus (Danum).