A nature walk with Donna (USA) near to Kuala Lumpur

Donna is an avid birder from the USA

By Keong

When Donna from USA contacted me for a birding trip…my heart sank because this is one skill that I have not acquired (yet). But I know of a place, not far from the heart of Kuala Lumpur that is usually bustling with birds in the early morning of the day. So, I suggested that to Donna and she feels that it fits nicely with her itinerary. So…here I am, with a visitor from the USA on a birding trip.

Its a short 45 minutes drive from KL to this nature walk location, near Gombak. I picked Donna up from her hotel at 6am. First stop is breakfast naturally. We found a cool store on the way, had some fried bihun, some home made ‘tapai’ (fermented glutinous rice) wrapped in rubber tree leaves and packed non other than ‘roti canai’ for lunch.

We arrived before sunrise. Enough time for me to get my kit together. Yes, I never walk without my minimum kit in the bush. They are important to my safety as well as to my guest’s safety. Donna was excited and she soon wondering around with her binoculars in hand.

Donna captivated by her surrounding

I brought along a few books on birds for Malaysia. Donna shared a good lot of birding knowledge with me and together we were able to identify some of the birds we manage to spot. They include Pacific Swallows, several bulbuls and probably the highlight of the day was a Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo! What magnificent and beautiful bird that is.

After a good 1 hour scouring the area spotting for birds, we decided to go for a walk. The area is blessed with a combination of vegetation. Though it is a secondary jungle, there were interesting plants like the Terap, Senduduk, Bat Plant and Fish Tail palm. All which has its own story which later I tried to bring together with a demonstration of the fire piston (you’d have to come out with me to find out about this!)

A good variety of Senduduk along the trail

One of the flowering bat plant we manage to spot

Mid way through our walk, we stopped by a small stream for a break. I made some tea while we both chatted and simply absorbed in the beauty of the area.

Preparing some hot tea by the river

One of the unique creatures along the trail


The tea really got my appetite going. So, we thought its a good enough place to have our roti canai. I think it is safe to say that Donna absolutely love the roti. The dal curry that came with was absolutely fantastic. So good that one of nature’s winged creatures decided to share some with Donna.

This winged beauty decided to try out some of our dal curry

This beauty was obviously attracted to the sweat on my nose

Personally, I am extremely happy to have spent a wonderful day with Donna on this jungle trail. It is a great place to enjoy nature yet so close to the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I think it is safe to say that she is delighted with the number of birds she saw, plus the opportunity to taste some of the local food. Thank you Donna for the opportunity!

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