My Binocular and Spotting Scope Supported by Swarovski Optik

My photographic equipments and website supported by Sandakan Foto

14 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

94 species of birds in 1 day at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Friday, April 11, 2014

KK Rugby League 2013 1st Leg

5th - 6th April 2014

There were 8 competing teams from Kota Kinabalu for Division I and II and opening match was between Sabah Warriors vs Osca then followed by KK Shark vs UiTM Barbarians on Saturday. It was raining on Sunday, so quite a classy games between Kepayan Tigers vs Karamunsing Monsters and Pride vs UMS Rafflesia. 2nd legs would commence from the 12th-13th April.

Images taken with Nikon D3s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x and D300s + 24-85mm

Sabah Warriors (10) vs Osca (36)

Karamunsing Monsters (00) vs Kepayan Tigers (29)

Penjara Pride (00) vs UMS Rafflesia (10)


Good rugby!

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Swarovski EL 8x32 Swarovision Binocular Review

8th March 2013

I have been using these binocular since February 2013 from dusk to dawn at different type of habitats in Sabah and Palawan Island. When I first laid my eyes on it, I could not believe what I was seeing. The contrast, sharpness and wide Field of View (FOV) is unbelievable.


I preferred 8x32 binocular because I am addicted with wide Field of View!

I had tried few time the predecessor Swarovski 8x32 EL against my Nikon 8x32 SE and HG L with my previous clients and I did not get the Wow feeling. But the new Swarovision EL 8x32 is totally a different game for the 8x32 range. I compared it with the Nikon 8x32 SE porro for few days, which many were praising for its 3D effect and excellent wide FOV in Birdforum, the Swarovision wins in:
  • Much wider FOV and I did not get the tight view compared with the Nikon 8x32 SE
  • Better colour rendition and contrast
  • Well balance ergonomic and weight distribution
  • Eyecup is the best I have used so far. You can unscrewed the eyecups to clean the eyepiece lens too
  • Genius strap system allowing for fast adjustment without removing the strap from the binocular

As I was used with fast focusing by Nikon, it takes me a while to get adjusted with Swarovski's focusing system. It is a bit slow than Nikon. Plus the rolling ball as reported by other users in Birdforum, it took me only few days to get used with it then after that, it wasn't a problem anymore for my eyes.

Overall, I like these binocular so much! The price is worth the value with 10 years warranty and excellent after sales service by Swarovski as reported in Birdforum.

Honestly, it replaced my beloved 8x32 SE as the main binocular for my birdwatching tours.

For more info, please visit Swarovski Optik website at or download this PDF file

Discussions at Birdforum:

I will be using the Swarovski EL 10x42 Swarovision in April onwards and will post my 1st impression at Birdforum.

Thanks to Richard Kramer and Dale Forbes at Swarovski Optik, Austria for the trust and opportunity in using your excellent products.

Happy birding everyone.

*These is based on my usage from the 8th February 2013 until the time of writing.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Leisure Birding At Palawan Island

14th - 18th February 2014

I have been hearing a lot of stories regarding Palawan, the closest island and shares almost similar species with Borneo plus some of the exotic endemics such as Palawan Tit, Palawan Peacock Pheasant, Palawan Blue Flycatcher and Palawan Hornbill.

During my 5 days at the island, saw my target birds, the Palawan Tit and Palawan Peacock-Pheasant. Then most of my time were spent looking at other birds and enjoying the scenic views and the hospitality of its people plus the impressive level of cleanliness of the place itself!

Based on trip reports and previous visit by John, we went to Sabang and Iwahig Prison Farm. The cruise on the Palawan Underground River was superb and I enjoyed the commentary by the boatman! It was good to be a tourist too hahaha :D

Birds seen:
  • Palawan Peacock-Pheasant
  • Purple Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Kentish Plover
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Common Greenshank
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Black-winged Stil
  • Oriental Honey-Buzzard
  • Philippine Serpent Eagle
  • Rufous-bellied Eagle
  • Crested Goshawk
  • Oriental Praticole
  • Whiskered Tern
  • Spotted Dove
  • Emerald Dove
  • Black-chinned Fruit Dove
  • Green Imperial Pigeon
  • Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo
  • Chestnut-breasted Malkoha
  • Palawan Frogmouth
  • Brown-backed Needletail
  • Bue-eared Kingfisher
  • Oriental Dwarft Kingfisher
  • Dollarbird
  • Palawan Hornbill
  • Red-headed Flameback
  • Philippines Cockatoo
  • Blue-headed Racquet Tail
  • Blue-naped Parrot
  • Hooded Pitta
  • White-breasted Wood-Swallow
  • Common Iora
  • Fiery Minivet
  • Black-naped Oriole
  • Spangled Drongo
  • Black-naped Monarch
  • Blue Paradise Flycatcher
  • Slender-billed Crow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Palawan Tit
  • Black-headed Bulbul
  • Grey-throated Bulbul
  • Palawan Bulbul
  • Rufous-tailed Tailorbird
  • Pin-striped Tit-Babbler
  • Ashy-headed Babbler
  • Dark-sided Flycatcher
  • Philippine Magpie Robin
  • White-vented Shama
  • Palawan Blue Flycatcher
  • Palawan Flycatcher
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Yellow-throated Leafbird
  • Palawan Flowerpecker
  • Pygmy Flowerpecker
  • Brown-throated Sunbird
  • Lovely Sunbird
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Copper-throated Sunbird
  • Pale Spiderhunter
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
And few more unable to ID birds! One particular wader I was not so sure here Let me know if anyone know the bird.

Images taken with Nikon D3s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x and Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ All Rights Reserved ©

Palawan Bulbul

Palawan Blue Flycatcher female

Palawan Tit

Palawan Peacock Pheasant

Oriental Praticole

Waterbirds at Iwahig Farm

My favorite Buena Vista Viewpoint and spent one afternoon here and managed to get the Lovely Sunbird, Pygmy Flowerpecker, Slender-billed Crow etc

Together with Romy, a native to Palawan and has been in birdwatching industry since the 80's together with the late Tim Fisher

White-vented Shama

Blue-headed Racquet Tail

Black-chinned Fruit-Dove

Crested Goshawk

One of the endemic, Yellow-throated Leafbird

 Excellent view of Palawan Frogmouth

The trip was made possible by MASwing, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines flies 3 times a week from Kota Kinabalu - Puerto Princesa since last November. More info at I Stayed at Tropical Sun Inn just around the corner of the famous Tiki Bar with the gang.

More info about trip to Palawan in the future, drop me an email. Highly recommended :D

Happy birding folks!

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