|Panti -road in|
Panti is a wonderful and very much assesible place for newbies and veteran birders alike.
Recently, in anticipation of its official opening by either the Mentri Besar (State Minister) or Sultan of Johor- the Johor Forestry Department have done improvements to the dirt road into the Suaka Burung Panti ( Panti Bird Reserve). Driving right into the reserve with a normal sedan car is a breeze with the dirt roads smoothen.
Things to note before heading there.
1) You need a permit.
(Yup you heared me). Most actually don't do this, but the Forestry Department of Johor has ad-hoc rangers driving thru there to check whether you have the necessary permit to access. Most of us don't and getting a permit is not that simple as well. My personal opinion is the idea is great, but make it simplier to get one, either by setting a visitor centre (that is open over there) or a online submission form for such purposes.
I got another number which you can try: Pejabat Hutan Daerah Johor Selatan 07-2243048
Birdwatchers need to eat too ! lol. You can pick up some of this in Kota Tinggi itself. There is a market at Jalan Jaffar (pretty close to Hotel Seri Kota) where you can top up your stomach at 6 in the morning. If you intend to bird watch all morning and take a break during the hot afternoon, there is a mid-point place between the forest reserve and kota tinggi where you can feast on Bak Ku Teh. (please book in advance to avoid disappointment, if you going on a Saturday...yup, you heared me, BOOK !)
The place is called:
Kiong Kee Bak Kut Teh
Batu 8, Jalan Mawai, Kota Tinggi.
Tel: 07-8821290 or H/P: 019-7479416
3) Getting there:
Making your way there is simple enough: from Singapore, follow Highway 3 towards Kota Tinggi. After hitting past Kota Tinggi, you will drive for another 7-8 km (i think) till you see two World War II bunkers on each side of the road, on a hill. The Panti Bird Reserve sign, is on your left.
Turn into the road on your left immediately after this bunker and you are in the reserve proper.
View Kota Tinggi - Panti Bird Reserve in a larger map
Not clear enough? Read Wong Chor Mun's blog ! It's brilliant and should be clear enough. She also have info on the permit matter.
This were the birds i managed to identify:
1) Chestnut belled Malkoha (both male and female)
2) Raffles Malkoha (both male and female)
3) Brown Barbet
5) White bellied Woodpecker (flight mode)
6) Laced Woodpecker *
7) Black Hornbill ( 8-9 in flight mode)
8) Scarlet Rumped Trogon
9) White Troated Kingfisher
10) Fork Tailed Swift
11) Creasted Serpent Eagle (Malayensis)
12) Asian Fairy Bluebird
13) Greated Green Leafbird (both male and female)
14) Blue winged leafbird
15) Greater Racket-tailed drongo
16) Crow billed drongo
17) White rumped Sharma
18) Common iora
19) Green iora
20) Scarlet Minivet (both male and female)
21) Jungle Myna
22) Black headed bulbul
23) Cream vented bulbul
24) Ashy bulbul
25) Hairy backed Bulbul
26) Thick billed Spider hunter
and finally, dinner. We headed back to Kota Tinggi. Nearby Hotel Sri Kota, there are many simple shops that you can try. Prices are reasonable too.