Birds, birds, birds… The tweeting, crackling, barking and other melodious songs of the avian fauna are some of the most delightful and fascinating sounds to the ears of avian lovers and birdwatchers in the world.
Peninsular Malaysia has more than 600 species of birds, and they can be found spread across the lowlands, highlands, islands and beaches.
Pahang, being the state with extensive pristine jungles in the lowlands, and cool highlands and montane forests, plus miles of coastal beaches and mangrove forests, has therefore many popular locations for bird-watchers to watch birds and enjoy them.
Of course the birds of Pahang can be found anywhere, with common birds found in the gardens, town parks and edge of forests, and other open habitats.
Common birds in the gardens and town areas include the oriental magpie robin, yellow vented bulbul, eurasian tree sparrows, olive-backed sunbirds, common tailor birds and many more.
However, the rarer ones can only be found at sites such as deep in the forests of the national and state parks, at highlands such as Fraser's Hill, Cameron Highlands and Bukit Tinggi, and along the coastal beaches and islands off the coast of Pahang.
With the birds living in different habitats, we can only expect different species from the sites. Some species found in the hot and wet lowlands are not found in the cool highlands, for example.
And birds that need different food materials will be found mostly at locations that supply them the food form. For instance different species of birds like flowerpeckers, kingfishers, eagles, gulls, and herons, search for and eat different foods from each other.
So, if you wish to spot a particular bird or specie, you have to know its habitat and surroundings, its usual food materials, and its favorite hideouts and nesting peculiarities, etc.
Like humans, birds need water to drink, so where there are rivers, streams, ponds or lakes, you'll be sure there will some kind of species that will come to drink or get their meals from them.
And you have to know too whether the bird is resident or migrant to the location.
Certain months will see more migrant birds escaping the cold winter months in their respective countries, and they will be gone with the advent of summer, but always to come back again the next year.
As mentioned above, birds can be found everywhere in Pahang.
Take a look at the nearby trees, bushes and foliage, and most times some common birds, like flycatchers and flowerpeckers, will come to get insects, caterpillars, fruits and even nectars from the flowers of the trees.
The following locations, however, are the popular sites that most birders and bird-watchers go to to watch or photograph birds in the state.
Recreational and Public Parks
Taman Pertanian Ahmad Shah, Taman Bandar and Taman Teruntum (all in Kuantan), and the public recreational parks in the various towns in Pahang, are all good sites to watch or capture in camera many varieties of the birds of Pahang.
In fact, I have captured many of my avian lifers just at the forested fringes of these recreational parks during weekdays when there are not many people walking around to disturb them.
Take a look at the birds' gallery in my other website (http://www.malaysia-wildlife-and-nature.com) for more images on Malaysian birds.
Fraser's Hill, Cameron Highlands, Bukit Tinggi (Berjaya Hills) and Genting Highlands are the favorite sites to see montane birds of Pahang such as the streaked spiderhunter, long-tailed sibia, large niltiva, chest-nut capped laughing thrush and the silver-eared mesia.
Taman Negara (National Park) in Jerantut, Endau State Park, and Kenong-Rimba Park, in the Krau Wildlife Reserve, are all famous sites to spot or capture (in camera) and watch rare and endangered birds of the Sunda endemic species, like the Malaysian peacock-pheasant, garnet pitta, Malaysian rail-babbler, amongst others.
Coastal Areas and Beaches
Pahang has miles and miles of coastal beaches facing the South China Sea, and a few islands, notably Tioman Island, and islets, off-shore. There, besides the familiar lowland species, you might also find bird species like egrets, herons, plovers and stilts during certain seasons.
The Malaysian Tourism Board has designated the country as a birding destination for tourists, and for sure, the many varieties of birds in Pahang will be among the favorite locations for bird-watchers and avian lovers all over the world.
And in fact every year there is an annual international bird race held at Fraser's Hill that is very popular not only with local bird lovers but also foreigners.
So don't forget to bring along your binoculars or cameras and long lens when you come to Pahang.
Or just bring a sketch-book and pencil, or brush and water-colors, and draw or paint that avian beauty you just saw.
But most of all, enjoy!
As always, from me...