Wednesday, 27 January 1982

30 Years ago: 25-27 January 2012, Templar Park, Malaysia

Monday 25th January 1982:  Templar Park, Malaysia
Bat Hawks [!] at first light and sparingly until 10:30.  Tried the jungle trail but it was pretty dead with Black and Red Broadbill from main trail looking set to be bird of the day.  Returned to drinks stalls and restaurant meeting Steve Gantlett on the way.  Ordered fried rice and got greasy noodles (rubber bands) - eugh!  Colin saw a pitta on the return.  While I was looking for it he saw it again (or possibly another) and thought it was Blue-winged.  Getting really desperate I went in around the back and disturbed it, seeing a short flight out of the corner of my eye.  I got onto it but only the undertail and lower upper back.  I relocated it 20 yards further on and got excellent views for 2-3 minutes.  It was a Hooded.  Brilliant, but was it the same bird that Colin had seen?  After this I was a bit uninterested for the rest of the day.  We saw the Bat Hawks again [!] and slept in the same place.  It was no cooler.

Birds seen included:  Bat Hawk/Peregrine 2 (same), Barred Button Quail 1 in flight, *Banded Bay Cuckoo 2, Drongo Cuckoo 3, Large-tailed Nightjar 2, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 10, *Blue-throated Bee-eater 8, White-breasted Kingfisher 1, Black Hornbill 2, Crimson-winged Woodpecker 1, *Black and Red Broadbill 2, *Hooded Pitta 1, Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike 1, Ashy Minivet 4?, Lesser Green Leafbird 1, *Yellow-crowned Bulbul 1, Grey-cheeked Bulbul 1, White-eyed Bulbul 3, Red-eyed Bulbul 6, Grey-bellied Bulbul 1, Scaly-breasted Bulbul 3, Fairy Bluebird 6, Striped Tit-Babbler 1, Arctic Warbler 1, Everett’s White-eye 2, Spectacled Spiderhunter 1, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker 1, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker 2, Baya Weaver 2, White-rumped Munia 6.

Bat Hawk stringing site, Templar Park
the limestone hill dominating Templar Park

butterfly on my bag ...

... it was quite spectacular from above

Peacock Pansy at Templar Park
Tuesday 26th January 1982:  Templar Park and return to KL, Malaysia
Woke up with a really stiff neck.  Bat Hawks [!], Black and Rhinoceros Hornbills from the ‘camp site’.  Dave and I headed for the car park/Dreamlake end of the park while Colin and Steve went the ‘pitta’ way.  Violet Cuckoo and Grey & Buff (Noddy) Woodpeckers by far the best for us.  Lots of locals were appearing.  Rejoined the others at 12:30, they had seen Black-backed Kingfisher.  We all went to get bus back to KL but there was only room for 3 on the first one despite my initially getting onto the lower step.  I stepped back off it to reposition and the bus drove off!  I got the next bus 20 minutes later and rejoined the others who were waiting for me at the bus station in KL.  We walked to Coliseum Cinema but the hotel there was closed for Chinese New Year.  We ended up back at City Hotel, M$18 for 4.

Birds seen included: Lesser Whistling Duck 2, Bat Hawk/Peregrine 2 (same), Barred Button Quail 1, *Violet Cuckoo 1 male, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha 2, Greater Coucal 1, Grey-rumped Treeswift 7, White-whiskered Treeswift 3, Large-tailed Nightjar 2, Blue-throated Bee-eater 1, White-breasted Kingfisher 3, Black Hornbill 1 male, *Rhinocerous Hornbill 3, Grey and Buff Woodpecker 2, Richard’s Pipit 6, Ashy Minivet 4?, Yellow-crowned Bulbul 1, Grey-bellied Bulbul 1, Stripe-throated Bulbul 1, Hairy-backed Bulbul 5, Olive-winged Bulbul 4, Tiger Shrike 1, Arctic Warbler 1, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter 3,  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 5, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker 1, Scaly-breasted Munia 15.

Wednesday 27th January 1982:  Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara (Kuala Tahan), Malaysia
Left hotel at 08:30 after a breakfast of 2 cold fried eggs.  Walked to bus station and got taxi sussed to Jerrantut for M$12 each taking 2 hours 20.  Hung around cafe there for an hour or so trying unsuccessfully to get through to the Thai Airlines Office in KL.  Taxi to Kuala Tembling, 30 minutes, M$3 each.  From here it is a boat ride to Taman Negara.  Arrived at Taman Negara after an excellent 3 hour journey, with shallows, sand banks and a small rapid to negotiate.  The set up at Taman Negara is amazing and even has (expensive) western food.  Appears very well organised, although one of the main trails is closed.  Managed 2 new woodpeckers before dark!  Very much looking forward to our stay, which we anticipate being one of the highlights of the trip, and celebrated our arrival with beef steak in the restaurant (my pre-vegetarian days).

Birds seen included: Lesser Fishing Eagle 1, White-bellied Sea-Eagle 1, Emerald Dove 1, White-breasted Kingfisher 6, Black-capped Kingfisher 1, Stork-billed Kingfisher 1, Southern Pied Hornbill 2, Rhinoceros Hornbill 1, *White-bellied Woodpecker 2, *Orange-backed Woodpecker 1 and Yellow-crowned Bulbul 6.

journey upriver to Taman Hegara

mostly a very tranquil river

but not always

journey to Taman Negara, the closer we got the better the surrounding forest looked

first view of Taman Negara HQ, our home for the next three weeks

Sunday, 24 January 1982

30 years ago: 22-24 January 1982, Kuala Selangor

Friday 22nd January 1982: Tana Rata to Kuala Lumpar and Kuala Selangor, Malaysia

Left Tana Rata at 08:00 on bus to Tapah (M$2.40). Arrived at 10:00 where very efficiently led through the back of cafe where got tickets to KL (M$7) and fried eggs on toast. Bus arrived at 10:15 and in KL by 13:15. Dave and Colin left to sort out Thai flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu leaving me with gear in bus station. Wrote some postcards. Colin phoned Taman Negara office but out to lunch until 14:45. When finally got through confirmed that could pay with travellers cheques which was just as well as they got to a bank just as it closed. Waited around and at 16:15 decided to get a bus to Selangor. Bus (no 141) arrived at 17:05 and got to Selangor just after 19:30. The bus was very crowded and scenery was boring - endless palm trees (date & coconut) along the road. All hotels quite expensive. Eventually got 3 of us in a double room for M$9.

Birds seen included: Mountain Imperial Pigeon 1, Bronze-winged Jacana 1, White-breasted Waterhen 1, White-bellied Swiftlet 100, White-breasted Kingfisher 6, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 20, Black-naped Oriole 3, Brown Shrike 4, Streaked Spiderhunter 1, Indian House Crow 30, Large-billed Crow 10.

Saturday 23rd January 1982: Kuala Selangor, Malaysia

An excellent start to the day with lots of bright photographable species behaving well. Morning walk on bank adjacent to river but hidden from it by mangroves. Back into Kuala Selangor to bank where changed £80 despite them professing not to do foreign exchange on a Saturday. Visit to Post Office then back on the bank around the mangroves. This time completed a long circuit, returning along the road seeing Red-winged Crested Cuckoo on way. Cloudy but very hot, though good birding despite this. Spent last 90 minutes of light on river bank watching little terns fly by and counting 174 roosting Common Sandpipers on moored boats. Chicken chop with potatoes and peas for tea again - good but expensive. Heat really getting to Colin today, I didn’t find it too bad thanks to the clouds.

Birds seen included: Green Heron 15, Yellow-billed Egret 20, Grey Heron 10, Black Baza 3, Brahminy Kite 15, White-bellied Sea Eagle 2 resting on TV mast, Crested Serpent Eagle 3, White-breasted Waterhen 2, Pacific Golden Plover 9, Terek Sandpiper 5, Common Sandpiper 174, Little Tern 16, Whiskered Tern 1, Zebra Dove 30, *Pink-necked Green Pigeon 2, *Red-winged Crested Cuckoo 1, *Chestnut-bellied Malkoha 1, Greater Coucal 2, Black-nest Swiftlet 1, Asian Palm Swift 5, White-breasted Kingfisher 4, Black-capped Kingfisher 4, White-collared Kingfisher 10, Stork-billed Kingfisher 1, Common Kingfisher 2, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 6, Dollarbird 3, Coppersmith Barbet 1, Common Goldenback 1, Richard’s Pipit 20, *Pied Triller 2 males, Ashy Minivet 2, Common Iora 2, Zitting Cisticola 15, Yellow-bellied Prinia 2, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler 1, Arctic Warbler 2, Flyeater 1, Oriental Great Reed Warbler 2, *Ashy Tailorbird 30, Pied Fantail 6, *Mangrove Whistler 3, Brown-throated Sunbird 4, Black-naped Oriole 12, Brown Shrike 4, Jungle Myna 2, Pegu Sparrow 4, Chestnut Munia 4, *White-breasted Wood Swallow 3.

Sunday 24th January 1982: Kuala Selangor, departure to KL and Templar Park, Malaysia
Up early in the hope of finding Mangrove Blue Flycatcher. No luck but an excellent Slaty-breasted Rail a good substitute. Had to go back to hotel to clear out room, then up to the lighthouse although loads of locals there as Chinese New Year. Got 14:20 bus back to KL were an efficient change and at Templar Park by 17:30. Wrongly informed in restaurant shack there that closed on 25th so stocked up with 4 hard boiled eggs, 5 pieces of cake and 3 ‘green spots’. Walked up to limestone cliff to watch Bat Hawks fly around from 19:20 onwards [much to our embarrassment it is likely that these were actually dark race Peregrines!  The distance, no telescope and previous reports seem poor excuses.]. Slept on site (first night ever in bivy bag). Very hot I almost melted.

Birds seen at Kuala Selangor included: Green Heron 4, Brahminy Kite 10, White-bellied Sea Eagle 2, *Slaty-breasted Rail 1, White-breasted Waterhen 4, Common Sandpiper 75, Pink-necked Green Pigeon 1, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha 2, White-breasted Kingfisher 2, Black-capped Kingfisher 3, White-collared Kingfisher 1, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 5, Coppersmith Barbet 4, Laced Woodpecker 3, Common Goldenback 2, Magpie Robin 11, Eye-browed Thrush 1, Yellow-bellied Prinia 2, Arctic Warbler 3, Ashy Tailorbird 10, Flyeater 1, Mangrove Whistler 3, Pied Fantail 2, Black-naped Oriole 10, Brown Shrike 6, Scaly-breasted Munia 25.

Birds seen at Templar Park included: Lesser Whistling Duck 1, Bat Hawk/Peregrine 2, Red-winged Crested Cuckoo 1, *Malay Bronze Cuckoo 2, Greater Coucal 1, Large-tailed Nightjar 1, *Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike 1, Brown Flycatcher 1, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 1.

Dave birding along the river at Kuala Selangor

Kuala Selangor mangroves, January 1982
mud skipper at Kuala Selangor
Green Heron

Brahminy Kite on nest
Crested Serpent Eagle at Kuala Selangor

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

White-collared Kingfisher, Kuala Selangor

White-collared Kingfisher, Kuala Selangor

White-breasted Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

Oriental Yellow-vented Bulbul
Pacific Swallow
Scaly-breasted Munia at Kuala Selangor

butterfly at Kuala Selangor

Thursday, 21 January 1982

30 Years ago: 16-21 January 1982, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Saturday 16th January 1982:  Cameron Highlands (trail 9a)    
Another bad nights sleep.  Too hot in a sleeping bag but too cold out of it with nose running for a while.  Up at 07:00, birding by 07:30 on trail 9 (once we had found it) walking down until 12:00 then retracing our steps to get back to Tana Rata at 16:00.  I then walked down the road to try and find trail 10, with little success but saw several birds.  Rained for 30-45 minutes from 15:00 otherwise sunny with cloudy periods.  Lots of birds seen.  Cooked food here looks really bad - will stick to bread.

Birds seen included:  Black Eagle 1, Changeable Hawk Eagle 2, Blyth’s Hawk Eagle 2, Barred Cuckoo Dove 4, *Little Cuckoo Dove 2, Mountain Imperial Pigeon 3, Drongo Cuckoo 1, White-bellied Swiftlet 75, Fork-tailed Swift 100, *Fire-tufted Barbet 5, Mountain Minivet 15, Mountain Bulbul 14, Blue Whistling Thrush 1, *Malay Whistling Thrush 1, *Mountain Tailorbird 6, *Mountain Leaf Warbler 3, Yellow-bellied Prinia 1, Large Niltava 2, *Pigmy Blue Flycatcher 2 males, Ferruginous Flycatcher 2, *Mugimaki Flycatcher 1 female, White-throated Fantail 14, Golden Babbler 11, *Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush 7, Red-headed Laughingthrush 2, *Silver-eared Mesia 20, Black-eared Shrike Babbler 8, Blue-winged Minla 16, Long-tailed Sibia 9, *Mountain Fulvetta 20, Streaked Wren Babbler 1, *Blue Nuthatch 5, Black-throated Sunbird 10, *Black and Crimson Oriole 4, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo 12, Green Magpie 1.

Sunday 17th January 1982:  Cameron Highlands/Gunong Jasar (trail 10)  
Slept better.  Up at 07:10 and birding by 07:25.  Climbed trail 10 to top of Gunong Jasar (5565 ft) where sat for a bit before coming back down.  Omelette for tea.  Dave gripped me off with Red-winged Crested Cuckoo down the road, will try for it tomorrow.  Sat under a fruiting tree for 2 hours trying for good views of Siberian Thrush but they didn’t perform.

Birds seen included:  Blyth’s Hawk Eagle 1, Crested Serpent Eagle 1, Mountain Imperial Pigeon 6, Brown Needletail 2, Fire-tufted Barbet 6, Golden-throated Barbet 3, Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker 1, Asiatic House Martin 2, Ashy Bulbul 7, Siberian Thrush 1 immature male and 1 female, Eye-browed Thrush 75, Mountain Tailorbird 1, Mountain Leaf Warbler 10, Large Niltava 1, *Rufous-vented Niltava 1 male, Pigmy Blue Flycatcher 1 male, Mugimaki Flycatcher 3 females, Little Pied Flycatcher 3, White-throated Fantail 8, Golden Babbler 6, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush 2, Silver-eared Mesia 4, Black-eared Shrike Babbler 3, Blue-winged Minla 15, Chestnut-tailed Minla 4, Long-tailed Sibia 4, Mountain Fulvetta 9, Black-throated Sunbird 15, Everett’s White-eye 2, Black and Crimson Oriole 1.

Monday 18th January 1982:  Cameron Highlands (trails 10 and 11)  
Down the road early for cuckoos but not early enough as a lorry load of locals cutting the grass verges got there first.  Back to supermarket in Tana Rata for food and onto trail 11.  Very few birds indeed although Colin did well watching 12 Siberian Thrushes for 30 minutes until just before I joined him!  Saw even less on the way back.  Finding the birding very hard but no point in thinking about moving on as we can’t get to Taman Negara before 27th.

Birds seen included:  Barred Cuckoo Dove 2, Mountain Imperial Pigeon 15, Fire-tufted Barbet 1, Siberian Thrush 1 immature male and 2 females, Eye-browed Thrush 15, Mountain Tailorbird 7, Chestnut-crowned Warbler 1, *Yellow-breasted Warbler 4, Mountain Leaf Warbler 6, Large Niltava 4, Mugimaki Flycatcher 1 male and 3 females, Little Pied Flycatcher 1, White-throated Fantail 10, Golden Babbler 5, Red-headed Laughingthrush 5, Silver-eared Mesia 19, Black-eared Shrike Babbler 1, Blue-winged Minla 11, Long-tailed Sibia 19, Black-throated Sunbird 14, Black and Crimson Oriole 4.

Tuesday 19th January 1982:  Cameron Highlands/Gunong Beremban (trails 8 and 3) 
Birding from 07:30 to 19:45.  Down trail 9 and turned off up trail 8.  Steep climb through thick forest to Gunong Beremban (6041 ft).  Back down trail 3 and then 2 mile walk down road after detour across the golf course.  Birding better but still not seen Blue Nuthatch since first day and would really be freaking if hadn’t seen it at all.

Birds seen included:  *Japanese Sparrowhawk 1, Changeable Hawk Eagle 1, Blyth’s Hawk Eagle 1, Mountain Imperial Pigeon 2, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon 1, Large-tailed Nightjar 3, White-vented Needletail 1, Fire-tufted Barbet 4, Golden-throated Barbet 1, Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker 3, Mountain Minivet 8, Blue Whistling Thrush 2, Slaty-backed Forktail 2, Dark-necked Tailorbird 1, Mountain Tailorbird 4, Chestnut-crowned Warbler 2, Yellow-breasted Warbler 2, Large Niltava 4, Ferruginous Flycatcher 1, Little Pied Flycatcher 3, *Rufous-browed Flycatcher 1, Snowy-browed Flycatcher 2, Golden Babbler 2, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush 2, Silver-eared Mesia 6, Black-eared Shrike Babbler 5, Blue-winged Minla 2, Chestnut-tailed Minla 4, Mountain Fulvetta 10, Streaked Spiderhunter 2, Black-throated Sunbird 8.

Wednesday 20th January 1982:  Cameron Highlands/Gunong Brinchang 
Got 07:30 bus towards Brinchang with Dave.  Dropped off within 3.5 miles of Gunong Brinchang but took 4 hours to walk it - mostly uphill and steep.  One section through a tea plantation for 1.5 miles was especially dull.  Forest around the road not too good but seeing lots of birds.  Walked back to Tanan Rata as unsure of buses.  Back at hotel find Steve Gantlett has arrived and is going to Taman Negara on the same day as us!

Birds seen included:  Crested Goshawk 1, Black Eagle 1, Changeable Hawk Eagle 1, Crested Serpent Eagle 1, Mountain Imperial Pigeon 6, Green-billed Malkoha 1, Brown Needletail 1, Fire-tufted Barbet 2, Golden-throated Barbet 4, Speckled Piculet 1, Greater Yellow-naped Woodpecker 1 female, Bay Woodpecker 1, Asiatic House Martin 1, Mountain Minivet 9, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler 1, Lanceolated Warbler 1, Dark-necked Tailorbird 5, Mountain Tailorbird 3, Yellow-breasted Warbler 3, Mountain Leaf Warbler 2, Large Niltava 1, Rufous-vented Niltava 6, Mugimaki Flycatcher 5, Little Pied Flycatcher 2, Snowy-browed Flycatcher 1 male, White-throated Fantail 16, Golden Babbler 5, Grey-throated Babbler 8, Red-headed Laughingthrush 2, Silver-eared Mesia 42, Blue-winged Minla 6, Chestnut-tailed Minla 19, Long-tailed Sibia 1, Mountain Fulvetta 12, Streaked Spiderhunter 2, Black-throated Sunbird 23, Everett’s White-eye 7, Brown Shrike 3, Green Magpie 6, White-rumped Munia 6.

Thursday 21st January 1982:  Cameron Highlands (trails 9a, 10 and 11)   
Last day at Cameron Highlands but a good one.  Trail 9a first where excellent views of Siberian Thrush, but still no Black-browed Barbet.  Then trail 11 and 10 from 13:30-19:15.  A good circuit with a few nice bird flocks.  Steep climb from 11 to 10.  My second tickless day so definitely time to move on.

Birds seen included:  Black Baza 1, Mountain Imperial Pigeon 4, White-vented Needletail 3, Red-headed Trogon 4, Fire-tufted Barbet 2, Golden-throated Barbet 2, Pacific Swallow 2, Richard’s Pipit 2, Mountain Minivet 5, Blue Whistling Thrush 3, Siberian Thrush 3 males and 2 females, Eye-browed Thrush 50, Mountain Tailorbird 3, Yellow-breasted Warbler 2, Yellow-bellied Prinia 1, Large Niltava 1, Ferruginous Flycatcher 1, Mugimaki Flycatcher 1, Rufous-browed Flycatcher 2, Snowy-browed Flycatcher 2, White-throated Fantail 7, Grey-throated Babbler 8, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush 2, Red-headed Laughingthrush 3, Silver-eared Mesia 6, Blue-winged Minla 12, Long-tailed Sibia 7, Streaked Wren Babbler 2, Mountain Fulvetta 18, Blue Nuthatch 1, Streaked Spiderhunter 3, Black-throated Sunbird 5, Fairy Bluebird 3, Black and Crimson Oriole 1, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo 6.

The following photos were taken at the Cameron Highlands during our stay but I'm not sure quite when or where.

good forest in the Cameron Highlands

another view overlooking Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands, view down to Tana Rata

Colin & Dave (barely visible half way down on the left) on one of the forest trails, Cameron Highlands

forest trail at Cameron highlands


millipede on the move

Dave birding the roadside in the Cameron Highlands 

pitcher plant at Cameron Highlands

me and distant tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands


Friday, 15 January 1982

30 years ago: 12-15 January 1982, Sussex to Cameron Highlands

The '30 years ago' section of this blog will be a personal account of a six-month birding trip, almost entirely based on diary entries made and scans of slides taken at the time.  Initially the photos included were rather poor digital images of slides taken at the time and projected onto a white sheet of A4 paper, although they came out a bit too orangey.  My father gave me a scanner which is much truer to the originals and by the time the 30 years ago blog is complete all photos should have been scanned. 

Background to the trip.  After spending pretty much as long as possible at University and not greatly enjoying a couple of jobs in between I decided that I needed a 'gap half year' before hopefully settling down.  It was the end of 1981 and I was 27.  Colin Winyard and Dave Mills were similarly minded and we decided to spend up to six months birding in SE Asia and Nepal.  We left the UK in January 1982.

We flew to Kuala Lumpur and spent 5 weeks in Peninsular Malaysia, concentrating on Cameron Highlands and Taman Negara. We met Steve Gantlett in Malaysia by chance and shared his company at Taman Negara. The four of us travelled to Bangkok overland and hired a car for two weeks to visit various sites in the north of Thailand. Colin, Dave & I then flew to Kathmandu leaving Steve to continue on to the Philippines. We spent three months in Nepal, with Nick Preston coming out to join us at the end of the first month. In Nepal we occasionally met up with other British birders we knew including Jon Eames, Dave Farrow, Richard Grimmett, Tim & Carol Inskipp, Rod Martins, Mike Parr, Craig Robson & James Wolstencroft. The number of British birders in Nepal at this time, and the opportunity to compare notes, made it feel a rather special occasion to us.

The first month in Nepal was spent on the Jomson trek and then, with Nick having arrived, we went to Kosi Barrage. I became ill and left the others in E Nepal. After a couple of days back in Kathmandu I flew to Lukla and did the Everest trek on my own. We met up in Kathmandu a month later and I made a fleeting visit to Chitwan, the others having spent a few days there on their way back from the Ilam area. We then did the Langtang/Helambu trek although Colin decided to join Richard and some of the others who were doing it more ambitiously than we intended. Dave, Nick & I had planned a more restricted route (Langtang only) but meeting Colin and the others coming down off Helambu after a very successful time up there we decided to go too and so ended up covering the same ground anyway.

Dave, Nick and I travelled overland to Delhi and then on to Himachel Pradesh, spending a few days around Simla and Manali. In Manali we met up with Craig, James, Jon, Richard & Rod (Colin had returned home). Dave, Nick and I continued on to Ladakh and Kashmir spending a couple of weeks in each. Craig, James & Rod also went on to Kashmir and Ladakh although they visited sites in a different order to us and we only saw them briefly. Dave, Nick and I then returned to Delhi, by bus and train, before flying home.

The blog will be a personal account of the trip, almost entirely based on diary entries made at the time. Looking back I’m disappointed at the amount of time not spent birding (perhaps inevitable on a long trip) and that food and health issues seem to feature much more in this account than the magnificent scenery or the brilliant birds we were seeing. I guess the scenery and birds were rather taken for granted, as was the help given by generally very friendly locals to somewhat obsessive and impatient foreign visitors and also the contributions of my companions and the other birders we met in making the trip so memorable. In this respect I’d like to thank Steve and in particular Colin, Dave & Nick for being such good travelling companions. Without Colin & Dave the trip wouldn’t have got started, without Nick it would have finished a lot sooner than it did.

I personally saw 870 species in the 28 weeks I was away (173 I’d not seen before although quite a few more have been split since then) and the whole trip cost just £1300 - happy days indeed!

The species underlined each day is the one that gave the most pleasure (a combination of the species, the views obtained and its rarity). * indicates first sighting of a new species for me. h = species heard (not seen).  All times are local and on 24 hour clock. Approximate currency values equivalent to £1 at the time of the trip were 4 Malaysian ringit, 40 Thai bhat, 24 Nepali rupees and 16 Indian Rupees.

I found room in my bag for most of this stuff

Monday 11th January 1982: Brighton to Heathrow England
Left home early (19:15) due to icy weather and possible train delays. Met Colin Winyard at Brighton station. As it was the train to Victoria was only 30 minutes late and got tube to Heathrow, arriving at 22:00 (12 hours before check in). Train £2.50 and tube £1.10. At last the trip is underway, the only thing I’ve forgotten to do so far is clean my shoes! Even Colin appears to have everything despite the mad rush to leave.
leaving home in Hove

Tuesday 12th January 1982: Heathrow to Dubai
After a bad nights sleep, things went really well with Dave Mills arriving at 09:30. Checked in on Bangladesh Biman flight to Kuala Lumpur via Dacca on time at 10:00 and proceeded to boarding gate at 11:00. Here things took a rapid turn for the worst - the plane an antiquated Boeing 707 (City of Shah Jalal) not the 747 we were expecting. Crew late arriving and engine casing off on inner right wing (recalling last flight with this airline). Took off at 14:06 and crossed coast over Worthing with excellent views of Brighton and Beachy Head (all very snowy). Landed Rome in dark at 17:06 and took off 18:08 for 5 hour flight to Dubai, cruising at 37,000 ft. Food OK but seating cramped and not able to get much sleep.

we crossed back over Brighton 21 hours after Colin and I had left

snowy Beachy, our last sight of UK for several months 

Wednesday 13th January 1982: Dubai to Kuala Lumpur Bangladesh
Landed in Dubai at 02:18. Dark again and oil flares in Gulf. Took off 03:38, 4 hours to Dacca. Brilliant sunrise, minor nosebleed, poor breakfast and feeling pretty tired. Landed Dacca 09:26, wandered around outside airport before flight to KL at 14:00 which left only 15 minutes late. Getting very hot. Landed in KL 19:30 (after 3:15 flight) just after dark. Changed £20 at airport and got bus (no 47) into town for M$1. Stayed in City Hotel M$15/night for 3.
Birds seen round Dacca airport included: Black Kite 20+, Black-shouldered Kite 1, Brahminy Kite 2, Pied Harrier 1, Asian White-backed Vulture 2, Asian Palm Swift 30, Magpie Robin 1, Common Myna 50, Asian Pied Starling 15, Black Drongo 5, Large-billed Crow 2. Also 25+ Little Swift nesting in KL Airport terminal.
Thursday 14th January 1982: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Got up at 11:30 still feeling really tired after a long but disturbed sleep. Went down to Immigration Office to find it had moved. Very hot out. Back to hotel for Taman Negara booking address. Colin phoned them and we got a taxi there to find the park full from January 23-27 (Chinese New Year). Booked for 3 weeks from 27th. Walked back seeing few birds compared with India/Thailand, arriving at hotel soon after dark. Got maize and pineapple from street stall.
Birds seen included: Black Baza 8, Spotted Dove 3, White-breasted Kingfisher 1, Little Swift 20, Edible Nest Swiftlet 20, Grey-rumped Treeswift 5, Coppersmith Barbet 1, Pacific Swallow 2, Richard’s Pipit 2, Oriental Yellow-vented Bulbul 30, Brown Shrike 3, Black-naped Oriole 2, Asian Glossy Starling 30.

KL January 1982

Friday 15th January 1982: Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands Malaysia
Another poor nights sleep due to noise in lodge. Up at 08:30. Taxi to Immigration Office where got visa extension with no problems. Back into town where changed £40, then collected bags from hotel and got Ipoh bus as far as Tapah for M$7. It took 3 hours but little of note seen on the way. Taxi up to Tana Rata (37 miles for M$7) arriving at dusk but not too late for the first new bird of the trip - White-bellied Swiftlet. Stayed in Tana Rata Hotel (M$8/night for 3). A plateful of fried rice was too much to take.
Birds seen on journey included: Black Baza 2, Black-thighed Falconet 1, *White-bellied Swiftlet 8 at Tana Rata, Grey-rumped Treeswift 100+, White-breasted Kingfisher 3, Dollarbird 2, Brown Shrike 3, Black-naped Oriole 1.