Day 6, Taman Negara to Bukit Fraser - 29 November 2016A shorter post as most of the day was spent travelling.
We got up really early this morning (4:30 am). Wilbur was keen to take us to look for Owls and Frogmouths on the trail to Lubok Simpon and I was certainly up for that too. We heard a Sunda Scops before entering an area of jungle just off the campsite but owls were otherwise thin on the ground. We stopped and turned our lights off and in the inky darkness we could hear our first Frogmouth, a Blyth's (split from Javan), calling close by. It eventually got closer and as we turned our lights on it we had great views although not particularly easy to photograph.
The boat trip over, we packed our gear into the ferry boat and headed back across the Tembeling River to Kuala Tahan to start the journey to Bukit Fraser. As good timing would have it, it was now raining quite steadily and continued to do so for the rest of the four-hour journey. At least we didn't feel that we were missing out on valuable birding/herping time in the car.
Bukit Fraser...Bukit Fraser (or Fraser's Hill as it is also known - named after Scottish gold prospector Louis James Fraser), is a hill station located about 2 hours NNW of Kuala Lumpur. It's altitude makes it considerably cooler than the steamy lowland regions of Taman Negara and KL, which makes it a popular retreat with both local and international visitors. It also happens to be a great place for birding and hosts the annual Fraser's Hill International Bird Race. Indeed 298 species have been recorded in the vicinity including some very scarce endemics. Reptiles are present too with several good snakes possible.
We arrived in Bukit Fraser around 3:30pm having driven the long and tortuous road which ascends from The Gap to the small Hill Station. If this doesn't leave you feeling queasy, nothing will.
Just outside the town we met up with our new guide Andrew Sebastian from Jungelwalla and said our goodbyes to Wilbur and Azri, who'd been such great company for the last 5 days.
|Bukit Fraser is a charming retreat in the central Highlands|
|One of the larger hotels in the town centre|
|Back to front: Myself, Nigel Marven and Andrew Sebastian|
in front of the Fraser's Hill clock.
|Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo|
|Malayan Partridges...in the rain|