One of the core areas for birdwatching in Melaka is at the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, located by the state border of Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.
Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve is also one of the last pristine coastal rainforest areas on Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast. It is home to one of the unique birding events called Raptor Watch.
Birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve
Though this forest reserve is a beautiful place, there are not many birders that come here, and even if they do, it is usually bird photographers seeking a particular bird.
Hopefully, with the digital age now, more people will be exposed to birdwatching locations around Melaka, and this article provides some insight into this forest reserve.
If you come here from February to April, the spring migration of raptors to Tanjung Tuan allows visitors to witness the soaring and thermaling of thousands of migrant raptors on their journey back to their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. This is also known as Raptor Watch, which takes place over a weekend here.
During the raptor migrating season, you can expect to see raptors like the Black Baza, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Grey-faced Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle, as well as the Chinese Goshawk and Japanese Sparrowhawk.
What birds are seen at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve?
You can easily spot the common birds seen at most rainforests, but this place being a coastal rainforest, there are occasions that migratory species may be spotted around here.
I do not have a complete bird list for Tanjung Tuan, and the simple list below is taken from several birders who shared what birds were spotted when they visited. If anyone has an updated list, I would appreciate it if you could share it with me.
Tanjung Tuan is about 1.5 hours away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The area of 607,000 square metres has been designated as an Important Bird Area (MY12) and declared an important site for birds by the National Geographic Society.
From Kuala Lumpur, it is about 104 km and takes about 90 minutes to drive one way here using the North-South Expressway. However, I would estimate around 100-110 minutes to be safe. Use Waze or Google Maps to get here is you are going on your own.
Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve Address: Jalan Pantai, Tanjung Tuan, 71050 Melaka
Open: 7.00 AM to 6.00PM
Tel: 018 211 7191
Melaka Forestry Department
Tel: 06 231 6095
PERHILITAN Tanjung Tuan
Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Melaka
Aras 18, Menara Persekutuan,
Hang Tuah Jaya, 75450 Ayer Keroh, Melaka.
For anyone who plans to explore birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, I would recommend going on a weekday as fewer people are around the area.
There will definitely be many more people who come here for hiking and trekking on weekends, sometimes in large groups that can be noisy. However, if you have no choice, go early in the morning when they open.