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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, August 7, 2013

The Best of Tabin Wildlife Reserve 2013

29th July - 2nd August 2013



Spent few nights at Tabin Wildlife Lodge with a good friend of mine, John from Adelaide on a 5 weeks birding holidays and my birding buddy, Eugene to get his last 10 birds of Borneo for Borneo 400 club!

Images were captured with Nikon D300s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x and Digiscoping with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 and 18.5mm. Lights in the evening with Fenix TK45 and TK35 torches. ~ All Rights Reserved ©



Eugene photographing the Oriental Darter at one of the small pond on the roadside. Check his website at www.cheahewejin.com



 Oriental Darter aka Snake bird.



The first day started with a fast moving Bold-striped Tit-Babbler plus Crimson Sunbird and Collared Kingfisher on the way to the reserve. Wallace's Hawk Eagle feeding on Rat also added more excitement for both John and Eugene.



 Juvenile Wallace's Hawk Eagle



Upon arrival at the lodge, saw Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and the famous Black & Yellow Broadbill including Plain Sunbird feeding at one of the fruiting tree next to the restaurant and Grey & Buff Woodpecker. There were many Bulbuls seen along the walkway between the River and Hill Lodge too. During the Dusk and Nights Drive, saw Leopard Cat, Malay Civet, Wild Boar and Sunda Frogmouth (brown morph). The Reddish Scops Owl were responding to my playback on each night but a bit far to be seen.


Paradise Gliding Snake found by the Housekeeping staffs at Eagle's Nest Lodge.



The pattern on the head quite interesting. It is a mildly venomous snake.



Scarlet-rumped Trogon



Eugene waiting for the Blue-headed Pitta



Pig-tailed Macaque on the lookout...



Oriental Pied Hornbill, the commonest and near human species out of 8 Hornbills found in Tabin Wildlife Reserve



Crested Serpent Eagle sitting proudly without bothering us!



Colugo aka Flying Lemur found by Eugene just in front of the Eagle's Nest Lodge one evening. What a treat!



Barred Eagle Owl, a rare Owl and my best shot so far.



Sunda Frogmouth (brown morph)



I was also lucky to get a lifer on the final evening with the help of Wang Kong and Rafel, both were excellent bird guides based in Tabin Wildlife Lodge


Waited for more than 1 hour to get this secretive Blyth's Frogmouth into a view!



Striped Wren Babbler were very cooperative as usual for pictures and videos.



Driving back to the lodge with John and Rafel



It was dry without rain at the reserve and by mid day, the heat was really affecting everyone as seen on the picture above at Bora access road, resting for a while


Key species seen:
  1. Great-billed Heron
  2. Storm's Stork
  3. Helmeted Hornbill
  4. Blue-headed Pitta
  5. Black & Crimson Pitta
  6. Bornean Banded Pitta
  7. Blyth's Frogmouth
  8. Sunda Frogmouth
  9. Barred Eagle Owl


Tabin is getting better now. From the rooms to the food served for their customers, it has the reputation to become one of the best birding place in Sabah. More birds were found and new trails explored by dedicated guides that works with Tabin Wildlife Lodge. Based on records, you can get more than 60 birds in the morning for few hours. Plus good lights at the reserve also a bonus for wildlife and bird photographers. All I need is to get more clients to visit Tabin for my future birdwatching tours. Good birding!

Eid Ul-Fitr festival is around the corner and I will be away after that for few days at Mt. Kinabalu.

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto


2 comments:

Folkert said...

Great shots - the frogmouths are getting me a little jealous! Hope Eugene got a bit closer to the magic 400.

Azahari Reyes @ Jason a.k.a horukuru said...

Ah he needs only 1 more at Tabin but the final morning he was having problem to walk due to his old injury...