My Binoculars and Spotting Scopes Supported by Swarovski Optik

12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Review of Swarovski Modular Spotting Scopes

94 species of birds in 1 day at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Birding with Fred and Charlie

15th - 30th May 2017

Charlie and Fred spent around 15 days in Sabah for wildlife sound recording. The journey started from Kota Kinabalu International Airport then to Mt. Kinabalu for a few days exploring the national park. Visited Sayap and Poring Substation then another few rainy nights at Gunung Alab Substation, Tambunan. While at Tambunan, it rained most afternoon, so activity were done only in the morning and one evening for the nocturnal species. Missed the Whitehead's Broadbill and Spiderhunter but great recordings for other montane birds especially the Whitehead's Trogon

At Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley, one of the best place in the country for lowland wildlife, we got the Bornean Pygmy Elephant and Pitta species. They are currently at Bakalan, Sarawak with Yeo before flying back to Australia.

Key species heard:
  • Whitehead's Trogon
  • Bornean Spiderhunter
  • White-necked Babbler
  • Bornean Barbet
  • Mountain Serpent Eagle
  • Bornean Gibbon

Images taken with Swarovski Optik and Nikon. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ashy Drongo

Indigo Flycatcher

Bornean Barbet

Red-naped Trogon

Charlie and Fred at Tambunan Tower


Buffy Fish Owl 

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge

13-14th February 2017

Short visit at Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge for a familiarization trip with the gang last February. It takes around 1 hour 45 minutes drive from Lahad Datu town to the lodge.

Birding were done along the existing trails plus a night drives for nocturnal wildlife. The view at the highest point, offered a great chances of seeing Raptors and Hornbills in flight plus great room and food too.

Thanks a lot to Ann from Borneo Refugia for the trip. For more info, please visit their Facebook page  Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge and official website

Images taken with Swarovski Optik and Xiaomi Mi Note. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

John, myself, Gary and Khairul

John and Khairul at the View Point Trail

Whipped Snake

View Point at Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge

Refreshing dip at one of the waterfall nearby the lodge

Long walkway from the entrance to the restaurant and rooms

Observing the migratory Dark-sided Flycatcher on top of the snag with Swarovski STX95

Large Frogmouth

Good birding.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Birding with Harry and Nenita

9th - 13th October 2016

Spent a few days at Sepilok and Kinabatangan River for endemics of Borneo before they continued to Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Species list was around 180 by the time they left Tabin. Currently they are at Mt Kinabalu for more birds with friends.

Key species seen:
  • Storm's Stork
  • Grey-headed Fish Eagle
  • Japanese Sparrowhawk
  • Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
  • Blyth's Frogmouth
  • Rufous-collared Kingfisher
  • White-bellied Woodpecker
  • Blue-headed Pitta
  • Giant Pitta
  • Bornean Bristlehead

Images taken with Nikon and Swarovski Optik gears. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Wallace's Hawk-Eagle

Mouth of Simud Hitam Cave at Gomantong


 Waiting for the Bornean Bristlehead at Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sepilok

Saw the Black & Crimson Pitta at the bottom of the at RDC

Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike

 Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Morning cruise at Menanggul tributary, Kinabatangan River

Bornean Bristlehead in the morning at Kinabatangan River

 The biggest White-bellied Woodpecker in Sabah 

Fellow bird guide Hazwan with his clients on the way to Tenegang 

Happy birding!

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

BIMP-EAGA Birding Workshop

31st August - 2nd September 2016

Participants from Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan under the initiative of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) to discuss the current issues related with birding and also to seek out solutions. Dr. Ron, Cede Prudente, CK Leong, David Hogan and Alim Biun were the speakers during the workshop sharing their field expertise.

It was a nice treat by staying at Le-Meredian Hotel plus great food and excellent view of the South China Sea. Next workshop would be in Palawan, Philippines.

Images taken with Xiaomi MiNote and Swarovski Optik. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Swarovski CL 10x25

Day trip at Mt Kinabalu

Gear testing courtesy of Canon Sabah overlooking the South China Sea. We got the House Crow too hahaha

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Birding With Alpine Bird Tour Japan

4th - 8th August 2016

Led by the well know bird guide from Japan, Ken Tanaka, luck seems to be on the side of this particular group while birding at Mt. Kinabalu. We saw the commonly heard Crimson-headed and Red-breasted Partridge on the Power Station Road and a pair of Whitehead's Trogon. Their favourite bird of the trip was the Black & Yellow Broadbill at Sugud, Penampang!

Last stop at Tanjung Aru, the Blue-naped Parrot still around with Asian Palm Swift and also the uncommon Grey Imperial Pigeon feeding together with the Green Imperial Pigeon at one of the fruiting tree.

Images taken with Swarovski STX95 and ATX65 with Nikon D3s + 300mm 2.8 VR II and Xiaomi MiNote. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


This Mountain Blackeye came quite close on the ground at Timpohon Gate

The Red-breasted Partridge


Snowy-browed Flycatcher

Little Cuckoo-Dove

White-breasted Waterhen

Bornean Mountain Ground Squirrel

Bornean Green Magpie


Morning birding at Likas Lagoon

Selection of green vegetables at Kundasang town


Along the busy road at Tambunan Rafflesia Centre

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Birding with Jay and Amy

8th - 23rd June 2016

They were on a 2 months birding trip in Asia and started the journey in Sabah, Borneo. Few days at Danum Valley Field Centre then to Kinabatangan River and the trip ended in Kota Kinabalu. We missed some of the endemics such as Mountain Serpent Eagle, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Bornean Barbet, Fruithunter and Bornean Leafbird plus the Bare-headed Laughingthrush despite trying it on the usual spots for a few times.

They are currently in Thailand then to West Malaysia and last at Sulawesi. Good luck!

Images taken with Nikon D3s + 300mm 2.8 VR II, Swarovski Optik STX65 and Xiaomi MiNote. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mountain Barbet on the road side at Tambunan


 Watching the Buff-rumped Woodpecker through the Swarovski STX65 spotting scope at Klias Peatswamp Forest


One way to ID Nest-Swiftlet at Gomantong Cave is with the Swarovski STX65 spotting scope. We managed to get the Edible, Black and Mossy Nest-Swiftlet.


Whitehead's Broadbill on the side of the road at Kinabalu Mountain Lodge


Another excellent finding by Jay for the Collared Owlet at Kinabalu Park HQ. Together with Osman from Borneo Eco Tours


Lesser Adjutant


Took extra boat ride to see the Bornean Pygmy Elephant at Batangan area


Super tame Blue-eared Kingfisher


Misty morning at Menanggul river with the Great Egret


Bornean Mountain Ground-Squirrel


Female Proboscis Monkey jumped with its baby to the other river bank at Kinabatangan


Orang Utan was seen almost daily while at Danum and Kinabatangan River


Bearded Pig near the Oil Palm Plantation at Tenegang river

Daily chores of the Pig-tailed Macaque


Sunda Bush-Warbler, one of the skulkers at the mountain


Golden-naped Barbet, one of the common endemic at the mountain


A party of 5 Bornean Green Magpie were enjoying its lunch of an unknown snake


Record shot of this shy Mountain Wren-Babbler

Happy Ramadhan and birding everyone.

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