Bird Watching at Paya Indah Wetlands

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Paya Indah Wetlands Bird Watching

If you have wondered what bird watching at Paya Indah Wetlands is like, let me share my recent experience in mid-April 2021 when I went there to explore.

For those who do not know, Paya Indah Wetlands is located in the district of Dengkil, which is in Selangor and quite near to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KLIA.

Bird Watching at Paya Indah Wetlands

With 1,111 acres of wetlands (456 hectares), this is one of the best kept and maintained wetlands in this part of Malaysia. It is also divided into three main areas: the Conservation & Research Zone, Educational Zone and Recreational Zone.

The main park area consists of multiple lakes, including a massive crocodile pond, a hippopotamus pond (Nile hippo or Hippopotamus amphibius), water lily ponds, fishing ponds and an ecology pond. The animal ponds are well secured and fenced up for safety too.

Night Heron Black Crown Paya Indah
A beautiful Black-crowned Night Heron seen at the wetlands.

These ponds attract a wide species of shorebirds or water birds that congregate around them for food and nesting. Towards the end of the year, you have the opportunity to spot some beautiful migratory birds that come from the north due to the winter season.

An observation tower or lookout tower was built in 2011, located near the Aeon Woodlands but is currently closed for unknown reasons. It is about three to four stories tall and provides an amazing 360-degree view of the wetlands.

How Many Birds Are There At Paya Indah Wetlands?

In total, there are an estimated 244 bird species identified at Paya Indah Wetlands, with most of them spotted around the peat swamp forest. A survey team did this in 2019, which is quite recent.

The bird species include your everyday common birds like bulbuls, robins, myna’s, crows, doves, pipits, egrets, raptors and the ever-popular White-throated Kingfisher. However, I have an updated list of the 244 birds and will publish it in another article when I have time.

Paya Indah Wetlands Birds
A Red-wattled Lapwing seen running around Paya Indah Wetlands.

Other birds spotted at Paya Indah Wetlands are;

  • Purple swamphen
  • Purple Herons
  • Lesser whistling ducks
  • White-breasted waterhen
  • Olive-backed sunbird
  • Ashy Tailorbird
  • Brown Shrike
  • Red-wattled lapwing
  • Swinhoe’s snipe
  • Yellow-vented bulbul
  • White Pelican
  • Painted Stork
  • Manchurian Cranes
  • Common Peacock

Birding Hotspots around Paya Indah Wetlands

There are several areas where you can spot a good number of birds and have been identified as birding hotspots below;

  1. Palm Street – Around 47 species of birds has been spotted in this area.
  2. Tasik Typha – 66 species of birds was spotted in this area.
  3. Road Passing Dataran Serandau – 41 species of birds spotted here.
  4. Road to Hot Air Balloon Platform – 37 species of birds spotted here.

Again, the best time to observe the birds is in the mornings, late mornings and evenings from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm. However, throughout the day, there are chances to spot birds, but not as many as the peak times.

Paya Indah Pied Fantail Bird
A Pied Fantail bird spotted on a tree.

Additional Information for Paya Indah Wetlands

This place is a perfect nature getaway from the city or anyone looking to bring their family for a nature outing. The entire place provides almost full facilities except for food and drinks.

There is accommodation provided in the chalets, but it looks quite rundown; therefore, I would not recommend planning an overnight trip here. When I visited in April 2021, I saw a family enjoying a picnic near one pond.

Many other activities can be down here besides bird watching like;

  • Cycling (bike rental available there, or you can bring your own bikes)
  • Fishing (Check with park office)
  • Camping (Check with park office)
  • Trekking (Check with park office)
  • Canoeing (Check with park office)
  • Guided tours (Check with park office)

Because of the Covid19 lockdowns in Malaysia, much of the facilities are on hold, and it is best to call the centre and check with them about any of the activities above before going there.

Selangor White-throated Kingfisher
A White-throated Kingfisher spotted at Paya Indah.

Flora and Fauna Statistics of Paya Indah Wetlands

  • 244 species of birds
  • 20 species of reptiles and amphibians
  • 12 species of mammals
  • 14 species of fish
  • 120 species of trees
  • 40 species of plants
  • 40 species of herbs, shrubs, and non-woody plants
Paya Indah Egret Birds
An Intermediate Egret feeds on a lizard.

Lakes at Paya Indah Wetlands

For those who love lakes and ponds, there are an amazing 11 lakes found around here which are;

  • Tasik Driftwood
  • Tasik Teratai
  • Tasik Typha
  • Tasik Telipok
  • Tasik Palma
  • Crocodile Lake
  • Tasik Resam
  • Tasik Kuning
  • Hippo Lake
  • Tasik Sendayan
  • Tasik Rusiga

 

Location of Paya Indah Wetlands
The location of Paya Indah Wetlands in Dengkil, which is near KLIA. Map from Google.

Where is Paya Indah Wetlands?

These beautiful wetlands are located around the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KLIA area but not in the immediate vicinity. It is actually part of the Dengkil and Banting area, which is part of the Kuala Langat district in Selangor.

For your added information, the translation of Paya Indah Wetlands to English means Beautiful Swamp Wetlands. This place was originally a tin mining pond from 1983 to 1997.

Directions to Paya Indah Wetlands
After passing Dengkil town, you will see this sign on the left.

How to go to Paya Indah Wetlands?

From KL Sentral or Petaling Jaya, it only takes around 50 to 60 minutes to drive to Paya Indah Wetlands, considering that it is not peak or rush hour. And the best way is, of course, by using Waze to calculate the fastest route here.

If you leave during rush hour, it can take anywhere from 60 to 80 minutes to drive here. Usually, anyone planning to visit Paya Indah Wetlands will leave early in the mornings, about 6.30 to 7.00 am, and traffic is perfect.

  • From Petaling Jaya or PJ using the LDP – You need to get on the LDP Highway (E11) and head towards Puchong and then connect to the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway (29) and then turning off at Jalan Banting-Seminyih (B18). Pass Dengkil town and look for the sign to Paya Indah Wetlands.
  • Petaling Jaya or PJ Using the Elite Highway – You need to get on the Elite Highway (AH2) and head towards KLIA. Please do not turn into KLIA but pass it and exit at Bandar Serenia Toll’s next turnoff. After the toll, turn left and head towards Dengkil (21) and left again when you reach an intersection. This is road 31, which goes into Dengkil, then pass the town and look for the sign to Paya Indah Wetlands.
  • Kuala Lumpur – Get on the Maju Expressway or MEX (E20) by heading South towards Sungai Besi or Seremban. You then connect to the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway (29) and then turning off at Jalan Banting-Seminyih (B18). Pass Dengkil town and look for the sign to Paya Indah Wetlands.
  • From KLIA or KLIA2 – If for some reason you have many hours (at least 4-6 hours) to burn while waiting for your flight, you can make special arrangements with a taxi or ride-hailing service to send you to Paya Indah for a quick round of bird watching. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to drive to the wetlands; therefore, you need to plan your time well for this.
Paya Indah Wetlands How to Go
Google Maps showing the driving directions to Paya Indah Wetlands from KL.

Paya Indah Wetlands
Department of Wildlife and National Parks
KM 4, Jalan Dengkil – Banting
43800 Dengkil, Selangor

  • Tel: 03-87687616/8726
  • Website: https://www.wildlife.gov.my/index.php/en/public/2016-05-10-02-34-43/2016-05-10-02-41-01
  • Admission is Free
  • Register at the security gate at the entrance
  • Open daily: 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
  • Fridays: 8.00 am – 12.00 pm and 2:45 pm – 6.00 pm
  • GPS Coordinates: 2.8603798,101.6287688
Wetlands Discovery Hub Paya Indah
The Wetlands Discovery Hub building.
Entrance to Paya Indah Wetlands
The main entrance to Paya Indah Wetlands.

Conclusion

Overall, I have to say Paya Indah Wetlands is still a fantastic place to do bird watching, and because of the environment that is well-taken care of by the department of wildlife and parks, the place is thriving with birds and flora.

Anyone who plans to do bird watching at Paya Indah Wetlands would highly recommend this place because it is easygoing and not stressful in any way except for the weather.

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