RFI Kuching Malaysia

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: RFI Kuching Malaysia
From: "David Adams" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 17:53:22 +0800
On 7/26/07,  <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I have a business trip coming up in late August that will allow me two days 
> for birdwatching after my meetings are finished in Kuching.
> Does anyone have a suggestion where I dhould aim for to get the best possible 
> chance for endemics, hornbills and woodpeckers.


Greetings from Kuching! My wife and I are in the area for a week (for
a somewhat involved and totally uninteresting set of reasons) and have
been to a few spots that may be of interest. I see that you've already
been given links to the relevant groups. Unfortunately, there aren't
nearly as many trip reports or descriptions for Sarawak as there are
for Sabah. I have more notes at home and can send them along in a few
days. A few quick notes:

* Kuching itself is quite a nice little city. We saw a Banded
Woodpecker right in Reservoir Park.

* We booked two nights in the hostels at Bako National Park. (North of
the city, 40 minutes by bus and then about 20 by uncovered boat.) They
were to a pretty low standard. There have been unseasonally heavy
rains and the trails got a bit messy. There was a Red-Crowned Barbet,
Hill Mynas, Proboscis Monkeys, Silver Leaf Monkeys, Ashy Tailorbirds
and plenty more.

* We bookd two nights at the Matang Wildlife Centre section of Kubah
NP (it had space) in a larger house and it was quite good. The
wildlife enclosures themselves are small and depressing, but we were
there for the trails. There were Red-Crowned and Yellow-Thoated
Barbets (name may be wrong on that second one, my notes aren't in
front of me), Black Magpies (a real treat), a party of small
woodpeckers we didn't see well enough to identify in failing light
that I suspect were Rufous Woodpeckers, three kinds of Malkoha (sp?)
and much more. The real stars of the show, however, are the Prevost
squirrles. Matang is great for squirrels, we saw five different kinds,
three of them quite easily. Kubah and Matang are about 1 hour (or
less) from Kuching. You can hire a cab/van or hire a car. We got a
small car for 100 R/day.

* We rented a car and had a bit of a drive and in the open country saw
stacks of doves, Stork-Billed Kingfishers, Long-Tailed Parakeets, and
Blue-Throated Bee-Eaters.

Note that if you're going to stay in the forest department
accommodation it's all booked through Sarawak Forestry. They're very
nice on the ground and have an on-line booking system. I've found it's
often best to start with an email/on-line and then call to clear up
any final details. Also, consider bringing your own sheets, towels,
toilet paper, and mosquito nets to any of the Sarawak Forestry places.

You can go eveywhere I mentioned as day trips from Kuching but I doubt
normal day trips hit the ideal hours for birding. There is also a
river cruise available for the Kuching Wetlands NP that sounds good.
Look around on-line for "The Complete Kuching Guide 2007" (or a name
close to that - it's roughly a 80 page PDF) as it has some details
about various parks of interest.

Sarawak is a lovely place and very under-birded, as far as I can tell.

If you want a field guide, bring along Robson's "Birds of SE Asia".
MacKinnon seems impossible to find now and the plates in Robson are
almost always better.

Sorry, no suggestions on Hornbills. We're basically average birders,
don't know the birds of SE Asia at all well, and are a bit lazy. With
all of that, we still ended up seeing heaps! If you're after specific,
Bornean endemics, the reports all seem to focus on Sabah. Oh, I did
get a very nice report regarding Sarawak that suggested going into the
highlands on a day trip or by staying at the big resort up there. I
didn't manage to organize that in time for this trip, but it sounds

 David Adams
 Wallaga Lake 2546 NSW

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