Birdwatching at Talang

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Talang BirdwatchingIn February 2023, 21 other birders and I went on a trip to go birdwatching at Talang, Negeri Sembilan. This relatively recent birding location is quickly becoming popular with birdwatchers due to its species diversity, relatively unspoiled tropical rainforest, and close proximity to the Klang Valley.

Birdwatching at Talang

The birdwatching areas at Talang are located along a 7 km stretch of well-paved road. The road in question is called “Jalan Talang-Langkap”. This road winds through pristine lowland tropical rainforest, and thus opportunities to see birds abound. One only needs to look for a wide enough road shoulder to park, get out, and start birdwatching!

(Take note that along the road, you will see small shelters resembling bus stops by the road side; these are the “bus stops” mentioned below)

Map for Talang Birdwatching
The birdwatching areas along the Talang-Langkap road.

While you can essentially bird anywhere along the road, 3 areas deserve special mention:

  1. The start of the road, where the bridge crosses a river. This area attracts a mix of forest birds and several common garden species. Listen out for the Indochinese Blue Flycatcher and the Abbott’s Babbler.

    Talang road bridge
    This bridge is the start of the Talang-Langkap road. It also serves as a convenient starting and meeting point!
  2. The area around the third “bus stop” is located towards the end of the stretch. This “bus stop” will be the first one on the left side and the third overall. This area seems quite good for birding.

    Area around third bus stop
    The area around the third “bus stop”. Note the shelter-like structure (“bus stop”) on the left. There’s space to park cars on the road shoulders here.
  3. The lake area is located at the end of the stretch. The road to the lake is particularly good for birds, as a small stream flanks it on one side. (Do note that the road does continue on past the lake, but the birding areas discussed in this article end here.)

What to expect when birdwatching at Talang?

Birdwatching at Talang provides ample opportunities to encounter bird species that frequent lowland rainforests. Birds such as bulbuls, flycatchers, malkohas, babblers, spiderhunters and broadbills are common. Rarer birds such as trogons, hornbills, crested shrikejay and red-bearded bee-eaters have also been seen here.

For our trip on February 2023, notable species seen include:

  1. Blyth’s Paradise-Flycatcher – the brown and the stunningly gorgeous white morph was seen. This was the star bird of our trip!
  2. Finsch’s Bulbul – a relatively plain-looking bulbul but quite uncommon and was a lifer for several participants.
  3. Black-and-Red Broadbill and Black-and-Yellow Broadbill – these colourful birds are always a welcome sight!
  4. Sunda Scimitar-Babbler – previously known as the Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, this bird is more beautiful in real life compared to field guide illustrations.
Talang white morph paradise flycatcher
The male white morph paradise flycatcher from two angles

Visit the eBird website for the full bird list.

And you can also check out my Talang bird list from a previous trip in August 2022.

How to get to Talang?

Talang is located roughly 100 km from Kuala Lumpur, in the neighbouring state of Negeri Sembilan. Depending on traffic, driving time takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The easiest way to get here is to use Google Maps or Waze and search for “Talang Birdwatching Trail”. The app will then take you there via the most optimal route.

Route Kuala Lumpur to Talang
The route from Kuala Lumpur to Talang.

Public transport to Talang is non-existent; therefore, the only way to get here is via your own vehicle (or carpooling/rental).

Birding Caution

Here are a few things to keep in mind when birdwatching at Talang:

  1. Safety – the location is a bit remote; therefore, it is best not to go there alone; you’ll appreciate the company if anything unforeseen happens. Additionally, mobile signal along the road is limited, so ideally, inform others of your intentions to come here beforehand.
  2. Road traffic – the road isn’t busy, but passing vehicles can still present a potential hazard. Please be wary of incoming traffic and bird on the road shoulders where possible.
  3. Trails – there are some jungle trails going off the main road; taking these is not recommended as they are poorly known.
  4. Toilets / Food – No public toilets or F&B outlets are nearby, so prepare accordingly. The nearest facilities would be located along the Seremban to Kuala Pilah road (Jalan Kuala Pilah).
Talang birding areas
The road is quite scenic in some sections.

Conclusion

Birdwatching at Talang is getting more popular for a good reason, with every trip having the potential to see something amazing. Hopefully, this location will bring birders and nature lovers joy for many more years.

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