Review: Craig Robson 2008/14 Birds of South-East Asia Second Edition [He

To: Koren Mitchell <>
Subject: Review: Craig Robson 2008/14 Birds of South-East Asia Second Edition [Helm Field Guide]
From: Laurie Knight <>
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 17:03:27 +1000
Yes, Mun did take us to a riverine park behind a shanty town east of KL where 
there is a fishbowl for the kingfisher and an elevated log to put meal worms on 
for the flycatchers and robins.  We walked around the wall to follow a track - 
no guards to be seen.

The Malayan Partridges tend to turn up at the Frasers Hill stakeout around mid 
morning and mid afternoon.  This time there were about half a dozen adults and 
4 or so chicks.  

Some of the stakeouts are beside the road - look for logs placed in odd spots 
[they put the meal worms on top of the logs].  The Frasers Hill barbet site 
literally had stake out for rock melons 

Regards, Laurie

> On 21 Apr 2018, at 4:41 pm, Koren Mitchell <> wrote:
> Hi Laurie and all,
> I'm currently living in Kuala Lumpur, and I use both Robson and "A Field 
> Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore" by Allen 
> Jeyarajasingam (illustrations by Alan Pearson).
> I concur with your opinions of Robson, but unfortunately the other guide is 
> no improvement. It has many of the same faults - no distribution maps, plates 
> separate from descriptions, species listed in inconsistent order. I suspect 
> that this last issue is because both books are second editions, and so much 
> has changed both taxonomically and with species new to Malaysia.
> Furthermore, I find the illustrations in Jeyarajasingam to be too 
> brightly-coloured and simplistic, for lack of a better word, compared with 
> Robson. I find myself frequently just doing Google searches for photos to 
> confirm IDs. There are a couple of photographic guides that show the "common" 
> birds, but generally much better photos are available online.
> I just wish that someone would publish a "Where to find birds in Malaysia" 
> book or web site. As you found on your trip, the practice of putting out food 
> at particular spots to attract birds seems to be quite common here, but 
> unless you know local birders or hire a guide, you will never find out 
> exactly where these spots are. I tried to find a "well-known" spot where 
> Mountain Peacock-Pheasants and Ferruginous Partridges come for food, but I 
> didn't know the key information, which is that you need to pay the guards to 
> let you drive up the road early in the morning. Another "well-known" spot, 
> where a water dish with little fish placed under a convenient perch attracts 
> rufous-backed kingfishers, I found out about by running into some local 
> birders/photographers nearby, who kindly took me there (and told me about 
> paying the guards at the other place).
> I'm not sure why birders here are so protective of their "special spots" - 
> possibly partly because of the widespread illegal bird trade.
> For anyone who is planning to come to Malaysia in the future and wants to do 
> any birding around KL, I'm happy to show you a few nice spots.
> Regards, Koren

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