For anyone who wants to try a birding location just out of Kuala Lumpur, you can do some birdwatching in Melaka as an overnight trip or possibly a day trip.
Melaka is a UNESCO World Heritage City located about a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and is home to Malaysia’s unique history dating back several centuries.
Birdwatching in Melaka
As for me, I regularly visit Melaka but only for a quick overnight trip, leaving me not much time to do any birdwatching here. However, in December of 2021, I finally made that effort to put in an extra day for my visit.
As it was my first time doing Birdwatching in Melaka, I selected some locations not too far away from the main city area and ended up mainly at the local paddy fields or rice fields around here.
To my surprise, several species were spotted, and from this experience, I would easily recommend birding in Melaka and exploring the local food and heritage here.
Birdwatching Locations in Melaka
Below, you can find a list of possible birdwatching locations around Melaka and most of them I am yet to visit. But the data is collected from various websites and blogs from birders who have been there.
Batang Tiga Paddy Fields
The Batang Tiga paddy fields in Melaka are probably one of the most popular birdwatching locations. They are highly popular among the local bird clubs and societies from the peninsular.
According to eBird, there has been a record of 151 species spotted at Batang Tiga Rice Fields since 1992, but there has not been any bird count done in recent years.
And for beginner birders, the logistics of this place make it the most desirable birdwatching location in Melaka.
Pulau Gadong Paddy Fields
One of the lesser birding locations in Melaka is around the Pulau Gadong paddyfields. This is because many ricefields have been developed over the last 20 years, leaving very few paddyfields.
The best way to locate some of the remaining fields is to drive along Jalan Pulau Gadong (M7), and you will see some ricefield patches on either side. Here, you must carefully park your car, get down and scout the area on foot.
If you are lucky, you should do some basic birding at Pulau Gadong, namely shorebirds or general city birds. You can also head to the Malim Jaya area, as there are several paddyfields around Jalan TBP or Taman Balai Panjang Indah, off the AMJ highway here.
Sungai Rambai Paddy Fields
Located just by the Johor-Melaka border, Sungai Rambai paddy fields are probably one of the best places to do some serious birding as the area is massive. Judging from Google Maps, the paddy fields span around eight kilometres across, which is just an estimation.
However, as for exact locations, I am unaware of any, but you should start spotting birds from the smaller roads that lead into the rice fields once you get here. Make sure you choose the broader roads for safety purposes if driving.
Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary
Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve is one of the last pristine coastal rainforest areas on Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast. It is also home to one of Malaysia’s unique birding events, Raptor Watch.
More people are beginning to do birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve due to the popularity on social media and news coverage of the raptor event that has become popular in recent years.
Raptor Watch is undoubtedly a popular event held yearly in the first week of March and attracts many volunteers and spectators to this place.
Other Areas Around Melaka for Birdwatching
As Melaka is relatively new to birding, you can also explore several other areas, and I have yet to visit some of these places. I have also spoken to a few people, and they have recommended some of the other locations below;
- Sungai Udang Paddyfields
- Jalan Teruna Jaya, Bukit Rambai
- Jalan Tanjung Kling, Tanjung Kling Paddyfields
- Hutan Rekreasi Sungai Udang
- Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest
- Pengkalan Bird Sanctuary, Alor Gajah
As Melaka is still considered one of the relatively new places for birdwatching, several birders have been coming here on their own to explore some of the locations. I have even seen some personal blogs where foreign birders have visited some birding places.
Overall, I had the pleasure of visiting several of the paddy fields around Melaka and experienced some solo birdwatching for the first time here. I will be back again to explore other places when I have the time.