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

To: Laurie Knight <>
Subject: Review: Craig Robson 2008/14 Birds of South-East Asia Second Edition [Helm Field Guide]
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:20:10 +0000
Laurie has asked me to attach this photo that was supposed to go with his 
previous email.[image1.jpeg]

Sent from my iPad

On 21 Apr 2018, at 6:27 pm, Laurie Knight 
<<>> wrote:

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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