Bird Watching at Kuala Baram Wetlands

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Bird Watching at Kuala Baram Wetlands

In July 2019, I was fortunate enough to do some bird watching at Kuala Baram Wetlands in Miri, Sarawak. This is one of the few birding locations in Miri where many locals and visiting birders head to.

The Kuala Baram Wetlands is located about 40 minutes from Miri and requires a vehicle to get here. There is no public transportation, and usually, birders will engage a local guide for this.

Bird Watching at Kuala Baram Wetlands

Collared Kingfisher Miri Sarawak
A Collared Kingfisher was spotted at the Kuala Baram Wetlands.

The biggest question on your mind is what kind of birds are found at Kuala Baram Wetlands, and, so you know, the water birds and migratory birds attract the birders.

Kuala Baram Wetlands’ total size is also a whopping 600 hectares of marshland, making this place quite large, and you can easily spend half a day bird watching here. As the marshlands are located just by the main road, birders can easily park their cars and do bird watching or bird photography.

Birds of Kuala Bara Wetlands
Birds were seen at the Kuala Baram Wetlands.

The area consists of sandy beaches, brackish marshes and coastal scrub, an area of prawn ponds, oil palm and fruit tree plantations, while further inland, you will find freshwater lakes and open scrub as a result of extensive forest clearance. eBird includes a list of 173 bird species at Kuala Baram as of August 2023. (Updated)

Kuala Baram Wetlands Road
The nice and long road along the Kuala Baram Wetlands.
Wetlands Kuala Baram Miri
Huge warnings and notices have been erected at the Kuala Baram Wetlands to warn poachers.

Conservation Efforts at Kuala Baram Wetlands

Over the years, there has been a lot of talk about protecting the wetlands here, and this matter has been brought to the Miri council and even the forestry department.

However, there have been many complications leading to no action taken. The Kuala Baram Wetlands belongs to a private owner, and nothing can be done unless the owner takes action.

Because of this, local poachers come in the day to illegally trap fish, ducks and birds as and when they like. The Miri MNS has been very upset about the lack of enforcement on this matter.

Even though I was there in July 2019, I saw two groups of poachers setting up nets and harvesting their catch in the late morning. Hopefully, the Miri City Council or someone in Sarawak Forestry will take some action to harm the birds and other wildlife there.

Kuala Baram Wetlands
A beautiful view of the Kuala Baram Wetlands.

Best Time to Visit Kuala Baram Wetlands

The year-end is the best time due to the rising water levels at the wetlands, attracting many migratory birds from November to January.

However, it is also noted that the months from August to April are also an excellent time to do bird watching at the Kuala Baram Wetlands.

Kuala Baram Wetlands Bird Photos

Below are some of the birds spotted at Kuala Baram Wetlands during my bird watching trip here, and I only had about two hours of birding.

Wandering Whistling Ducks Miri
A couple of Wandering Whistling Ducks swimming in the wetlands.
Egret Bird Kuala Baram Wetlands
An Egret bird was seen in the Wetlands.
Oriental Darter Kuala Baram Wetlands
An Oriental Darter was seen at the Kuala Baram Wetlands.
Birdwatching Kuala Baram Wetlands
A Blue-throated Bee-eater with a freshly caught dragonfly.
Wandering Whistling Ducks Miri
A group of ducks and other birds at the wetlands.
Kuala Baram Wetlands Birds
An egret flies low in the wetlands.
Paddyfield Pipit Kuala Baram Wetlands
A Straited Grassbirdwas spotted on the electric cables along the road.
Wandering Whistling Ducks at Kuala Baram Wetlands
The Wandering Whistling Ducks were spotted at the Kuala Baram Wetlands.
Wandering Whistling Duck
The much sought-after Wandering Whistling Duck at the wetlands.

Kuala Baram Wetlands Bird List Report

Below is a bird list from me during my birdwatching at Kuala Baram Wetlands in July 2019. Hopefully, this list will come in handy for anyone planning to visit this place.

  1. Asian Brown Flycatcher
  2. Asian Glossy Starling
  3. Barn Swallow
  4. Black-Winged Stilt
  5. Blue-throated Bee-eater
  6. Chinese Egret
  7. Collared Kingfisher (many of them)
  8. Common Sandpiper
  9. Cattle Egret
  10. Greater Sand-Plover
  11. Little Green Pigeon
  12. Grey Heron
  13. Hill Myna
  14. Intermediate Egret
  15. Lesser Coucal (roadkill)
  16. Little Egret
  17. Marsh Sandpiper
  18. Moorhen (sp)
  19. Oriental Darter
  20. Paddyfield Pipit
  21. Spotted Dove
  22. Swiftlet (sp)
  23. Scaly-breasted Munia
  24. Yellow Bittern
  25. Yellow-Vented Bulbul
  26. Wandering Whistling-Duck (*Star Bird)
  27. White-bellied Sea-Eagle
  28. White-breasted Woodswallow
  29. Wood sandpiper
  30. Whiskered Tern
  31. Zebra Dove

The list above was made in just two hours of bird watching at Kuala Baram Wetlands, and I am sure it could reach around 40 or 50 birds if I had spent more time here.

Anyway, to share that this place is a great place to do birding if you are in the Miri area and have at least four to five hours of free time.

Where is Kuala Baram Wetlands
A map shows where Kuala Baram Wetlands is located in Sarawak.

Where are the Kuala Baram Wetlands?

Kuala Baram Wetlands is located just 40 minutes from Miri City in Sarawak. It is also very close to the Brunei checkpoint and border.

The location is quite convenient as there are no attractions or anything important found in the area; hence it is peaceful and quiet.

How to go to Kuala Baram Wetlands?

The best way to get here is via a vehicle from Miri City. Only one tour operator offers a unique Miri Birding Tour to several places.

If you want to self-drive, rent a car in Miri and take a nice slow drive in the morning to the wetlands. There is no public transport available to this location.

How to go to Kuala Baram Wetlands
A map showing how to go to the Kuala Baram Wetlands in Miri.


For anyone interested in bird watching at Kuala Baram Wetlands, contact Wilson Chiam of Brighton Tours. He is probably the only tour company to arrange this trip for you. Wilson also does other bird watching locations around Miri; hence he is your best option in Miri, Sarawak.

And you can also check out my other bird watching places in Sarawak, which I have been writing about over the years.

Visiting the Kuala Baram Wetlands was exciting, considering Miri is not very well known as a bird watching destination. Hopefully, this article can increase the number of bird watchers coming to Miri, Sarawak.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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