Trip Report Endau-Rompin National Park Malaysia

To: "Birding Australia" <>
Subject: Trip Report Endau-Rompin National Park Malaysia
From: "Chris Coleborn" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 19:32:03 +1000
Hello All,

In June 2008, I had the opportunity with some friends to visit Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor, Malaysia. We entered the Park via Kahang and stayed in bungalows at Kampung Peta. Several hour's drive from Kahang. Due to the condition of the track, one can enter only by using 4WD vehicles, The track traverses rubber and oil palm plantations before entering the dense jungle of Kampung Peta. This Kampong is the most remote Orang Asli (aboriginal) settlement in Johor. The National Park is made up of a lush, pristine tropical lowland rainforest and is the second largest national park in the Peninsula after Taman Negara. It is mostly hilly and the watershed of several rivers. There is considerable variety of endemic flora, and the endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros, Elephant, Tiger, Tapir, Beaded Pig, Gibbons, Dusky-Leaf Monkey etc are to be found here as well as many species of birds - about 260 recorded.

Some of the deepest rainforest jungle of South East Asia is to be found here. Walking along jungle paths covered by the canopy of towering trees, many estimated at hundreds of years old, though hot, sticky and battling leeches, was to experience a habitat increasingly rare in S-E Asia today.

While nearly all the friends I was with were not birdwatchers, and made birdwatching difficult, I still managed over the two days I was there to see 53 species of birds, some new and fascinating for me. I reckon one would need three days to really enjoy the birds here. Trips into the Park from Kahang can be arranged at a reasonable cost via the National Parks people, who arrange 4WD vehicles, accommodation etc.

Travelling along one of the rivers in a hired canoe and driver, I enjoyed good sightings of Crested Honey-buzzard, Green Imperial Pigeon, Black Hornbill, Hill Myna & Blue-throated Bee-eater, flying and roosting among the trees by the river bank. Over the water Dollarbird, Grey-rumped Treeswift & Silver-rumped Swift hawked and competed. The Silver-rumped Swifts with their vivid white rump showing how aptly named they are.

Along the jungle trails and in clearings, Red Junglefowl, Thick-billed Pigeon, Raffles' Malkoha, Green Iora, Lesser Green Leafbird, Horsfield's Babbler, White-rumped Shama, Grey-chested & Grey-headed Flycatchers were some of the bird species I enjoyed seeing.

In a large open area around the bungalows, I was enthralled by a brilliant gold and black bird, about the size of our Regent Bowerbird. I could not believe my eyes when an incredibly scarlet and black bird also flew into the trees to join it. It was my first encounter with a flock of strikingly contrasting female and male Scarlet Minivet, and with them several Ashy Minivet. Other notable birds for me in this habitat were Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Scaly-crowned & Chestnut-winged Babbler and various species of Bulbul such as Olive-winged, Cream-vented, Red-eyed, Finsch's, Yellow-bellied and Buff -vented as well as Common & Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Golden-bellied Gerygone and Orange-bellied Flowerpecker. Flocks of Blue-rumped Parrot could be enjoyed flying over and roosting and feeding in some of the nearby trees. There were some flowering plants near the huts where great sightings of Little, Spectacled and Grey-breasted Spiderhunter were to be had, and heart-stopping views of flocks of Sunbirds, Purple-naped & Purple-throated - living, shimmering jewels. In some grass I had good sightings of White-rumped and White-bellied Munia.

Other birds seen in the area were Lesser Tree Duck, White-breasted Waterhen, Spotted Dove, Peaceful Dove, Greater Coucal, White-throated Kingfisher, Pacific Swallow, Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo, Oriental Magpie Robin, White-vented Myna, & Eurasian Tree-Sparrow. One night a Reddish Scops-Owl
was seen.

Chris Coleborn


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