A quick update for the last week.
Arrived early Tuesday morning to a very warm and humid Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after a long but reasonably comfortable flight with Malaysia Airlines. MA provided the most generous red wine serving that I've had to "force" myself to drink in recent flights - it was a good start!
Birding KL was limited to a morning in Bukit Namas (a small wooded area below the KL tower). It was good visit with crippling views of a hunting crested goshawk - eventually it caught a rather large snake near to where we were standing!
Other birds in the urban areas included black shouldered kite, black-naped oriole, asian glossy starling and numerous common and white vented myna.
On the motorway north to the Cameron Highlands (approx 3.5 hours north of KL) we saw numerous white-throated kingfisher (all perched on telegraph wires on the roadside, quite unlike "our" kingfisher in the UK!), several small flocks of little egret and many swiftlet sp.
Our hotel in the Cameron Highlands is conveniently located near to several of the jungle trails - great birding opportunities are on offer, but it's hard work. Glossy swiftlet are bundant outside the hotel and both silver-eared mesia and black-throated sunbird feed on the slope behing our room
Our first full day saw us ascend Gunung Brinchang - a colossal 6'666 ft mountain covered in jungle, moss forest and tea plantations. Birding at the top gave us encounters with large nitava, white-throated fantail, golden-throated barbet while further down fire-breasted flowerpecker, little pied flycatcher and mountain fulvetta entertained.
Today has seen me hike "track 4", taking in Parfit waterfall and some jungle near to the hotel. The first walk through was very limited birdwise, but we saw some great plant-life as pointed out by the hotels resident guide.
Towards the end of the walk the guide made comment about the birds that he saw on the stream that looked like oriental magpie robin and suggested I took a look later in the day: I did that and was pleased to see that his odd omr's were in fact slaty-backed forktail. Result!!
Birding out here is great but hard work (especially when you are not sure of the bird calls and song...) However it is full of surprises - even this evening on our walk into the nearby town to get some bottled water - four gorgeous blue nuthatch in a roadside tree - stunning...
We move back to the coast tomorrow - hopefully I'll be able to provide an update from there too.