22nd December 2011, 08:02 PM
22nd December 2011, 08:17 PM
Careful of floods. Read the news.....
22nd December 2011, 09:17 PM
4th January 2013, 02:35 PM
Re: Tips to Fraser Hill, please
Someone asked me so I decided to write the following, my personal experience of birding at Bukit Fraser (Fraser Hill) Malaysia.
Getting there: I drove from Singapore. Three points to note:
1. Your GPS will most likely ask you to drive through KL. But KL traffic is no joke. Forget it. Stick with the highways (E1 if possible) to Ipoh till you pass KL and let the GPS figure it out after you get past KL.
2. The climb up to Fraser Hill from Kuala Kubu Bahru is more than an hour on winding hill road. It is no where near the quality of the road at Genting. So do not attempt it at night!
3. Near the top, there is a one way road up and there is a different one way road down. The road down is a new road and was not in my GPS. So heed the road signs instead. As a guidepost, you will first pass a school (I think the only one at Fraser Hill).
Accomodation is basic. I stayed at the Shahnaz Inn. But I was told that Puncak Inn at the town center (i.e., the "clock tower") is new and much better.
Birding at Fraser Hill: the place is a birding paradise. Throughout the day, you can see birds everywhere so keep a lookout. But the following are the special highlights:
1. First get an online map of Fraser Hill. I suggest: http://kyspeaks.com/photos3/fraser_full_map.gif
2. The Holy Grail is Jelai Highland Resort. Do bear in mind that there is a "Bangelo Jelai" - that's a different place (see later). I just realize that the search result on Google Maps for "Jelai Highlands Resort" is completely off. It should be around GPS coordinates: 3.712939, 101.73331. At Jelai Highlands Resort:
a. Get there by 7am latest. The bird wave is from 7am to about 8.30am.
b. You need your fastest lens - not your longest. I used a 70-200mm f2.8 till about 7.30am on cropped (APS-C/DX) mode. Then switched over to a 300mm f4 for the rest. The birds are 3-5m away. A 500mm may be too long. Plus you will be shooting handheld coz there is so much action that there is no time to use a tripod. In fact, I survived the whole of Fraser with my 300mm f4.
c. I used flash for the early part of the morning but I don't like the colour cast.
d. Focus on Feeding Station 1 and 2. Station 1 is the one nearest the car park entrance. All the action is in the bushes behind the feeding station.
e. Plan on doing at least 2 mornings - coz you may not be lucky the first time round.
f. Bring some roti or fruits to feed the birds. Don't worry, the birds that are there are already used to feeding.
g. The prize catches: Green magpie, sultan tit.
h. In the late afternoon, say 4pm, come again. Less concentrated than the morning but there will be some and the light should be better (provided there is no fog).
For all other times, try the following:
3. At Bangelo Jelai (GPS 3.715959, 101.731998), you can get quite close to the Black-throated Sunbird.
4. The Telekom loop (GPS 3.714197, 101.746134): this is a one way loop that goes around a few telekom towers. Many tall tree. Look for fruiting trees, and streams of water. Friends got lucky here. I did not
5. Silver Park Apartments (GPS 3.716478, 101.736531): there is a security guard at the entrance of Silver Park Apartments. Just smile and drive past him. Look for car parks bordering forested area. One major one is near the entrance, actually.
6. Singapore House (GPS 3.708705, 101.739627): the challenge here is the tall trees. Here you may need your longest lens.
7. I also tried the waterfall (GPS 3.721499, 101.714816): you will be told that the road is closed due to a landslide (or may be it is repaired by the time you read this). But I (and several others) were able to drive all the 4km down to the waterfall. There is one dangerous part of about 5m that you have to be really really careful but otherwise it is ok - just remember to horn round the corners. However, perhaps it was the time that I was there, I found no birds The slaty forktail was suppose to be there.
8. Another place suggested to me which I failed to check out was the Smokehouse (GPS 3.717912, 101.730244). Perhaps you can go take a look.
9. There are also walking trails through the jungle (look out for the Rompin Trail, the Mager Trail, Bishop Trail, and Maxwell Trail).
In summary, it was one of the most shiok birding trip I have so far (but bear in mind, I am a newbie). ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!***