Fraser’s Hill is a great birding destination for beginners. A combination of cool climate, species diversity and easily accessible birding locations means birding here is easy and relaxing. It’s possible to bird anywhere on Fraser’s Hill; nevertheless, there are a few birding locations around Fraser’s Hill that deserve mention.
This article series aims to provide useful information on these birding hotspots for birders, especially first-timers to Fraser’s Hill.
Birding locations around Fraser’s Hill
The three locations detailed below are easily accessed by car from the town centre. These locations are not far apart; subsequently, you can easily combine two of these in half a day. However, if time permits, it is much better to give half a day to fully explore each of these locations. For example, you can bird at Telekom Loop in the morning, and explore Jalan Mager/Richmond in the afternoon. Alternatively, instead of driving, you can also access the locations by foot, although this will take longer.
Fraser’s Hill Birding Location 1 – Jalan Mager, Jalan Richmond & Jalan Padang
This road starts off the first junction to the right as you arrive at Fraser’s Hill. Jalan Mager is flanked by a hillslope on one side, and a stream on the other. Both sides are heavily vegetated; therefore, it’s a good place to look for shy birds like the Rusty-naped Pitta, Streaked Wren-Babbler and Lesser Shortwing.
Jalan Richmond continues to the left after the Sri Berkat Resthouse. There are several bungalows along the road, each of them decorated with many flowering plants. Birds that can be found here include the Streaked Spiderhunter, Malayan Laughingthrush, Blue Nuthatch, Red-headed Trogon and even the elusive Large Scimitar-Babbler. The far end of Jalan Richmond is where the Malayan Partridge feeding station is located.
Another interesting spot along this section is Jalan Padang, which is the road heading opposite of Jalan Richmond. At the end of this road is the Ministry of Defence Training Facility (PLATIH) which is off-limits to the public. However, a path to the right of the entrance leads you to an open field. This is a great location to spot the Brown Wood-Owl and Grey Nightjar at night.
The entire section is around 1.1km long. I usually start from the town (more parking space) and walk all the way up and down. Alternatively, you can also drive and park near the partridge feeding station, although parking space there is limited. If you plan on birding at night, bring along adequate lighting as the road is almost pitch black at night (except near the bungalows).
Fraser’s Hill Birding Location 2 – Silverpark Resort to Jalan Lady Maxwell, and Jalan Valley.
This entire section is a great birding location at Fraser’s Hill. Most of the common Fraser’s Hill birds can be seen here. During a recent visit in 2023, a fig tree was fruiting near the Silverpark Resort; consequently, this attracted many fruit eating birds such as barbets and bulbuls.
Other birds that can be seen along this section include the Lesser and Greater Yellownape, Long-tailed Broadbill, Red-headed Trogon, Black-and-Crimson Oriole and Sultan Tit. Uncommon species such as the Pygmy Blue Flycatcher can also be spotted here.
The feeding station located near Hemmant’s trail exit is ever-popular with photographers. It frequently attracts the White-tailed Robin, Blue Whistling-Thrush, Buff-breasted Babbler and Large Niltava. Additionally, there’s another feeding station a few minutes walk away along Jalan Valley. This feeding station is great for the Lesser Shortwing and Pygmy Cupwing.
There is a convenient layby near Hemmant’s Trail exit suitable for parking. From there, you can walk towards the Silverpark resort (300m), Jalan Valley feeding station (300m), or the far end of Jalan Lady Maxwell (700m). This is also the perfect place to start exploring Bishop’s or Hemmant’s trail.
Fraser’s Hill Birding Location 3 -Telekom Loop
An all time favourite location for many birders visiting Fraser’s Hill. This ‘loop’ is made up of Jalan Girdle and Jalan Peninjau, with the Telekom Malaysia building giving the loop its name. The entire loop section is around 3.5km long, and takes between 2 – 3 hours to circumnavigate depending on your ‘birding speed’.
Most of Fraser’s Hill bird species can be encountered here. Notable species include the Black Laughingthrush, Speckled Piculet, Green-billed Malkoha, and the Red-headed Trogon. ‘Bird waves’ are also quite frequent here. Additionally, there is a small ‘garage’ near Stephen’s Place which is home to a colony of Plume-toed Swiftlets. Interestingly, several species of lowland birds have been observed here recently such as the Dusky Broadbill, Banded Broadbill and the Sooty Barbet.
There are several ways to bird this loop. Usually, I would park at a layby near the start and follow the loop clockwise. (Jalan Girdle, then Jalan Peninjau). On the other hand, you can also drive along the road, stopping when bird activity is detected. Please note that the loop is a one way road and starts from Jalan Peninjau; moreover, there is very limited parking space along the loop.
The start of the loop is about 1.65 km from the town centre, accessible via Jalan Lady Guillemard.
In summary, these three birding hotspots are conveniently located and provides an easy birding experience. Accordingly, these are some of the most popular birding locations at Fraser’s Hill. Part 2 will explore locations located at a slightly lower elevation.
To find out more about the birds you may see at these locations, check out the articles linked below: