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, December 16, 2009

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

15th December 2009



It was a bit late when I arrived at Penampang paddy field for the Great Bittern yesterday. Denis and Karim with 2 other friends has been there since in the morning. Sky was a bit dark too and decided to check if any Sand Martin around as I have seen this species at Kota Belud and Tuaran district last time.

And yes ! There were a single Sand Martin perched on the electric cable mixing together with the Pacific and Barn Swallow hehehe. No Great Bittern for me but a lifer for the gang :)

Other key species seen here:
  • Common Kestrel
  • Great Bittern
  • Buff-banded Rail
  • Slaty-breasted Rail
  • Ruddy-breasted Crake
  • Watercock
  • Dunlin
  • Temminck's Stint
  • Black Drongo
  • Black-collared Starling

Record shots and digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, FSA-L1 adapter and D300s.






Penampang paddy field.




Rare winter visitor and only in small number seen in Sabah.



Good comparison between Sand Martin and Barn Swallow and the latter is a common winter visitor arriving in big numbers.



Barn Swallow.



Wood Sandpiper.


As a celebration for the new lifer, I was treated with free lunch hahaha :p and happy birding folks !

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nikon Fieldscope Digital SLR Camera Attachment FSA-L1

19th November 2009



I tested my new camera, the Nikon D300s attached on my Nikon Fieldscope ED82 via Fieldscope Digital SLR Camera Attachment FSA-L1 courtesy from Nikon Malaysia during the recent Borneo Bird Festival in Sandakan and at Lok Kawi beach for the waders.

The reasons why I bought Nikon D300s camera because:
  • It has input for external microphone which is useful in capturing mono and stereo sound from singing birds and other wildlife.
  • Offers 72p at 24 frames per second and running time within 5 minutes in HD.
  • Live View mode suitable to show birders the subjects through the 3 inch screen while recording in video mode at the same time.
  • Captures images both in still and video modes !


Nikon Fieldscope Digital SLR Camera Attachment FSA-L1 with fixed aperture at F13.


The setup and focal length at 1500mm (1.5x crop) with manual focus.



Videos recorded with Nikon D300s camera using built in internal microphone.




Crested Serpent Eagle



Buff-necked Woodpecker


My shooting mode with FSA-L1 is set on Continuous High, ISO between 1250 to 2000 in the rainforest and ISO 200 to ISO 800 on open area like mudflat and paddy field. Thanks to the excellent high ISO capability on Nikon cameras, I could get high shutter speed for moving birds and clean images with this kit even though I was shooting on fixed aperture at F13 !

Recommended for birders who are seeking an alternative to digiscoped with their existing Nikon Fieldscope ED82/ED78/EDIII using Nikon DSLR cameras.

Images below was processed with Nikon Capture NX2 without Noise Reduction.


Crested Serpent Eagle at ISO 2000.


Buff-necked Woodpecker at ISO 2000.


Terek Sandpiper at ISO 800.


Ruddy Turnstone at ISO 800.


Common Sandpiper at ISO 800.


Lesser Sand Plover at ISO 400.


The endangered Chinese Egret at ISO 1EV under 200.


As I am using video head for this setup, I would recommend birders to use straight Nikon Fieldscope ED82 on Wimberley head and carbon fibre tripod to minimized vibration.

Happy birding !

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Aleutian Tern In Flight Mode

18th November 2009


Correction - This is a Whiskered Tern instead of Aleutian Tern corrected by Chris Kehoe :) Thanks a lot my friend hehehe :o

New record for Sabah, first seen on the 11th September 2009 between Sipadan and Mabul Island on the East Coast and photographed by my friend, Wong Tsu Shi. And recently after recovered from my fever, spent few hours around the fish market and at the Waterfront and managed to grabbed few in flight shots of this pretty looking bird mixing with Whiskered and White-winged Tern.

Taken with Nikon D300s and 70-200 2.8 VR lens. Cropped 50% and processed with Capture NX2.


Dark trailing edges to under wing secondaries is the main ID for this bird.













Aleutian Tern (Onychoprion aleuticus) in non-breeding plumage.


Happy birding folks hehehe :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Borneo Bird Festival At Sabah, Malaysia

10th - 15th October 2009



Was a great success due to joint-efforts between the State government through Sabah Tourism Board, a well known NGO- Malaysian Nature Society, Birdlife International and two local bodies, The Sabah Society and Borneo Bird Club together with the volunteers. Visitors came and enjoyed the talks by experts about birds and the rain forest at Rainforest Discovery Centre during the 5 days event.

Some of the shots taken during the festival with courtesy from Jollence Lee as the official photographer during the event.

Equipments : Nikon cameras and lenses.




Setting up the booths.


Arleene (middle) from Sabah Tourism Board and Susan Shahira and Norkatah of Sri Pelancongan Sabah.


Official videographer, Raymond recording some of the pictures on display at Nikon booth.


Tired birder's function !


Comparing the new bird books by Susan Myers and Quentin Phillipps.


Tee from Nikon Malaysia explaining about the usage of binocular.



Chien looking through his gear for something ?


With the author of Birds Of Borneo, Susan Myers together from left to right, Salam, Cede, Hamit, myself, John B., Alphon and Andy.


Susan, Tee and Cede after testing the new Nikon EDG 85 scope.


Nikon booth displaying latest gears for birding and digiscoping and display of photos taken with the gears.

Dan Fiel.


The Honourable Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism at Nikon booth.


Testing the Nikon Fieldscope ED82 with D5000.


VIP Guests at the Borneo Bird Festival launch.


Sabah Society booth selling caps, key chains, t-shirt and etc.


Books on sale at Keruing Cafe.


Susan Myers with Datuk Masidi Manjun.


Press at work.


Lovely staff from Rainforest Discovery Centre.



Future birders at one of the nature trail.


Colouring contest for kids.


Resting for the next talks.


Quentin Phillipps.


Andrew Siani.


The famous Mr. Durai representing Fraser's Hill Park from West Malaysia.


Cede saw the Bornean Bristlehead !


Dr. Robert Ong presenting bird books to me and Cede after the talk about Birdwatching In Sabah.



Morning walk at Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary.


With Mr. Kitajima, assistant general manger for Nikon Vision Japan during the morning walk.



Yes we found the Raffles Malkoha :)



Tee with his favorite shooting position hahaha !


Looking at Long-tailed Parakeet.



Time to shoot !



Breakfast time !


Mr. Kitajima, Assistant General Manager from Nikon Vision, Japan, Irene from Sandakan Foto and Tee.


Noredah, Halimah and Josephine with Zulkifli Mohammed from Tourism Malaysia KL.


I cannot remember what was the discussion about with Noredah hehehe.


Geoff Davidson.


Jollence is the man !


Maps, Noredah and Josephine.


Waiting for the Red Giant Flying Squirrel and it appeared from its roosting tree hole around 6pm.


Denis checking his video of the Flying Squirrel.



From left to right, Dan, John B, John Prudente, Kenneth and Thrope.


Borneo Bird Club booth.


With Irene at the lake.



Sketching session.


Prize giving ceremony for the Bird Photography competition.


Ben Duncan.


Alphonsus aka The Beastmaster.


Last morning walk at Rainforest Discovery Centre.



Staff from Borneo Nature Tours.


Bird guides.


Dr. Robert Ong at the closing ceremony.


See you on the next Borneo Bird Festival :)