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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Birding with Cheema and the gang

20-29th April 2019

Spent a week with the group of bird photographers from India and visited the usual birdwatching hot spots; Kinabalu Park HQ, Sepilok Forest Reserve, Kinabatangan River and the awesome Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Their main target was Pitta and Kingfisher and the mega Bornean Bristlehead (dipped) plus it was quite a struggled to get some of the endemics at Mt. Kinabalu due to the current dry spell...

Images taken during the trip with Huawei P10 Mate Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Think Tank Photo it is!

Canopy walkway leading to Bristlehead Tower at Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok

View of Mt. Trusmadi at the far distance, the 2nd highest peak in Sabah Borneo

Mt. Kinabalu...

Misty morning at Kundasang

Huge area of paddy fields at Tempasuk Plain, Kota Belud, one of the best places to watched migratory birds from September-April every year

Sunrise at Kinabatangan River...

Shooting the Lesser Fish Eagle at Tenegang tributary, Kinabatangan River

My favourite section at Simud Hitam Cave, Gomantong Caves

Happy birding everyone. For more info on my birding and bird photography tours in Sabah, please visit my other birding blog at

Friday, April 12, 2019

Silam Coast, Semporna and Maliau Basin Trip

19-27th March 2019

8 days trips on the East Coast of Sabah started in Lahad Datu town, the main gateway for visitors to Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley. I went to Silam Coast mainly for the White-vented Whistler and also Black-naped Fruit-Dove, but unfortunately, no birds were seen there. Then up to Semporna town around 2 hours drive mainly for the Bohey Dulang, Tatagan, Mantabuan and Sibuan Island. The trip ended for a few days at Maliau Basin. Total distance in kilometres is around 950km loop via Tawau Kalabakan Keningau road.

Images taken with Huawei P10. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Waterbirds counting at Lahad Datu Fish Market with the Swarovski BTX95. Few Chinese Egrets here

View from the top of Silam Coast Conservation Centre (SCCA)

Waiting for the Black-naped Fruit Dove

Ariel view of the Silam Camp which happened to be one of the earliest settlements for Filipino migrants in Sabah in the 50s mainly for the timber industry

Tatangan Island with the Bajau Palao aka Sea Gypsies

On top of Bohey Dulang Island at Semporna! The hike was around 45 minutes in a 700m long from the base. Tour operator such as Pakej Budak Merah for the trip is highly recommended. RM 150 (malaysian and additional RM 30 for non malaysian) for 4 island hopping including permit, snorkeling gears and lunch 

Great view of the Mantabuan Island which is famous for visitors

One of the fine beach at Sibuan Island, the last point before back to Semporna Town

Enjoying the view of the rainforest at Maliau Basin with Swarovski Optik EL 8x32

Cemented access road leading to the Canopy Walkway and Camping Ground 

The new section of Canopy Walkway at Maliau Basin

Taking landscape pictures #digiscoping with Swarovski STX95 at Maliau Basin Observation Tower. I saw the endemic Bornean Falconet at one of the tree nearby!

Awesome sunset at Tambunan Valley on my way back home...

I will be on tour from the 20-29th April with a group from India. Happy birding!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Birding with Anders Family

21-25th February 2019

Short family trip to Sabah with a combo of birds, mammals and a bit of island escapade at Mabul by Anders. We started the trip at Mt. Kinabalu for some of the montane endemics such as Whitehead's Broadbill and Kinabalu Serpent Eagle then went to Poring Hot Spring substation for the Rafflesia Flower before continuing the journey to Kinabatangan River and then to Danum Valley.

At the river, a single bull of Bornean Pygmy Elephant was the highlight followed by a decent view of the smallest Raptor in the world, White-fronted Falconet were seen feeding on its prey near the Tenegang tributary.

Images taken with Huawei P10 Mate Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Awesome view of Mt. Kinabalu in the morning! 


Shooting the Bornean Green Magpie at Silau-Silau Trail, Kinabalu

World Heritage Site, Mt. Kinabalu

One of the section inside the famous Gomantong Cave

Sunrise at Kinabatangan River

Cruising on the boat is the best mode for birding at the river for mammals, birds, reptiles and many more

They are currently at Danum Valley for those exotic Pittas, Trogons, Hornbills, Flycatchers and the rainforest itself.Happy birding!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Glossy Ibis

13th December 2018

There were 4 or 5 records for Sabah and last year it was found in Papar paddy field and surprisingly, another one was found at Penampang paddy field recently by a group of local birders. This species is a resident in Kalimantan and seeing it again among the white colour Egrets is amazing caused another excitement for those who have missed it last year!

Digiscoping with Swarovski STX95. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Happy birding and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone !

For more info on my birdwatching tours in Sabah, please visit my blog at

Monday, November 26, 2018

Tempasuk Plains, Kota Belud

25th November 2018

I was hoping for the vagrant Spot-billed Duck and rare Green Sandpiper which were spotted a few weeks ago, but after several hours scanning the area, luck was not on my side. The best thing is, I have found the strength of the BTX module by Swarovski Optik, which allows for comfortable long usage scanning with two eyes without causing any strains which I do encountered sometimes on the spotting scope.

Default power with the 95mm objective module is at 30x. But if I need more power, the ME 1.7x magnification extender, can gets me to 60x without sacrificing a lot on the sharpness and contrast from the glass itself. The module also comes with adjustable forehead rest too.

 List of birds seen:
  • Wandering Whistling-Duck
  • Spotted Dove
  • Zebra Dove
  • Watercock
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Black-bcked Swamphen
  • Common Moorhen
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Pacific Golden Plover
  • Kentish Plover
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Common Greenshank
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Temminck's Stint
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Common Snipe
  • Oriental Pranticole
  • Whiskered Tern
  • Yellow Bittern
  • Cattle Egret
  • Eastern Great Egret
  • Purple Heron
  • Little Egret
  • Chinese Pond Heron
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Black-winged Kite
  • Eastern Marsh Harrier
  • Eurasian Kestrel
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • White-breasted Woodswallow
  • Striated Grassbird
  • Oriental Reed Warbler
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow

The spot for the Spot-billed Duck, Garganey with Cotton Pygmy-Goose

Elephant's Grass is taller than my Toyota Land Cruiser!

Mt. Kinabalu at the background



Tempasuk, one of the important wintering ground for bird from North Asia from September-April

Happy birding everyone!

For more info on my birding and wildlife photography tours around Sabah and Sarawak, please visit my blog at

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My Sound Recordings at Xeno-Canto

20th November 2018

I have uploaded a few bird calls recorded in Sabah during my birding trips with Sennheiser ME66/K6 mic with Tascam DR-44WL. This is the link If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Some of the birds with the call below. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (C)

Mountain Serpent Eagle (endemic)


Rufous-collared Kingfisher

Red-bearded Bee-Eater

White-crowned Hornbill

Bornean Bristlehead (endemic)

Hook-billed Bulbul

Mountain Wren-Babbler (endemic)

Striped Wren-Babbler

Happy birding!

For more info on my birding tours in Sabah, please visit my other blog at

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Danum Valley

22-26th October 2018

Spent a few days with friends from Pontianak at Danum Valley Field Centre. Mainly for wildlife and landscapes. It didn't disappoint everyone with a daily visit to the Global Atmosphere Watch Tower to watched the sunrise and amazing view of the misty rainforest of Sabah, Borneo! We also managed to get a close shots of the North Grey Gibbon, Orang Utan, Red Leaf Monkey, Black and Crimson Pitta and many more.

Images taken with Swarovski Optik STX95 and Nikon. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Orang Utan

Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Morning coffee while enjoying the view of the rainforest

Recording the North Grey Gibbon calls in the morning at the tower with Sennheiser ME66/K6 and Tascam DR-44WL mounted on the Swarovski Optik Professional Tripod Head (PTH)

Undisturbed primary rainforest of Danum Valley is managed by Yayasan Sabah together with Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon

A visit to the tower is a must to for sunrise and sunset

Friendly Whiskered Tern captured at the bridge

For more info on my birding, wildlife and landscape tours, please visit