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

Monday, April 29, 2013

Common Flameback ~ Female

28th April 2013



I normally see this beauty at Peat swamp and Mangrove forest found in Sabah. But with land conversion and reclamation for commercial purposes causing the loss of habitat for Common Flameback together with the rare Greater Flameback (not seen one yet). 

This one was taken at Klias Peatswamp Field Centre yesterday with CK and Jonathan in search for the rare Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker.

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ ISO 400 at 30x = 2430mm




From this side, it could be mistaken as the Olive-backed Woodpecker




Happy birding!

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Interesting Behavior Of Watercock

26th April 2013



After the rain stopped, I went to Indai village for another try of the Striated Grassbird. Scanning the recently harvested paddy field produced only the usual species such as Pied Triller, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Black-headed and Scaly-breasted Munia including Black-backed Swamphen with juveniles Cinnamon and Yellow Bittern.

Then from a distance, silhouette in flight against the grey sky (without binocular), I thought it was the rare Chestnut-winged Cuckoo (not supposed to be here at the time of the year). But the obvious frontal shield and by the time it landed on the ground, the striking Watercock in breeding plumage, the height of the crest has increased since last week. It was seen standing above the small scrubs providing opportunity to get a short videos instead of pictures because of the poor light.

Videoscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ 58x = 4698mm



2 minutes video and click on Full Screen then HD option for better quality or click watch at YouTube


My 1st time seeing this bird calling for mating. The female was around too but very shy! The audio output from Nikon V1 is great and possible to extract the audio for playback.

Happy birding!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Baya Weaver

23rd April 2013



On my last visit, there were only 8 nests and few birds flying in and out. Yesterday was different. Counted 21 active nests and 2 were still under construction by the non-stop moving males. 1st recorded in Sandakan few years ago then slowly it expanded to Sipitang, a small town in the South then last year, saw few in Tuaran at my local patch.

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ ISO 200 at 30x = 2430mm



The female



The male were busy with nest building ...


 

The distance from my scope to the trees with 21 active nests of the Baya Weaver. Look at the LCD on the camera showing the nest.


I will continue to monitor this place and hope can see juveniles after the breeding season.

Happy birding !

This post is Supported with Sandakan Foto

Monday, April 22, 2013

Yellow-bellied Prinia

20th April 2013



The Nikon V1 has been a good match with the Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO adapter for recording video in Full HD plus the extreme reach it has in documenting birds and wildlife behavior such as the video below :

Videoscoped with Swarovski STX + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ 30x = 2430mm !


Yellow-bellied Prinia, common garden birds in my place but quite difficult to get good shots of it because it is a skulker and smaller in size. Click watch in YouTube and HD mode for better view.


This is the advantage when using Nikon V1 with its 2.7x cropped factor for Digiscoping / Videoscoping with our spotting scope. The audio output is excellent too !


Happy birding !


This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Watercock ...

20th April 2013



In a quest for a green background of the Striated Grassbird, a short drive to Kg. Indai only produced a head shots of the secretive Watercock in breeding plumage at the marshes. Other birds seen at the paddy field:
  • Oriental Darter
  • Great Egret
  • Purple Heron
  • Wandering Whistling Duck
  • Black-shouldered Kite
  • Common Moorhen
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Pied Triller
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Striated Grassbird
  • Yellow-bellied Prinia
  • Black-headed Munia
  • Scaly Munia and
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ ISO 400, 1/160s at 30x = 2430mm



 The red shield is much longer than the Common Moorhen with love shape. Watercock is a resident species belongs to the Rails family but only seen occasionally during the breeding season. Nocturnal bird ...



Old picture taken in 2011 at Penampang paddy field. It was rescued from the dinner pot !



In other places, this is considered a delicacies as reported at Bird Ecology Study Group © Two Watercocks In Hand Worth One In Bush…


Happy birding !

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto

Friday, April 19, 2013

Slow Shutter Digiscoping ...

18th April 2013



I was looking for the Striated Grassbird against green background yesterday but did not find any so went home and saw this Oriental Magpie Robin perched at one of the tree before it flew and landed on top of the barbed wire post against smooth background. I managed only to get few frames because it was near sunset and the Robin were under shade of the Banana leaves.

I'm happy with the result and the huge 95mm objective diameter of the Swarovski STX 95 scope really helped in gathering the last light when required !

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ ISO 400, 1/13s at 30x = 2430mm



Oriental Magpie Robin, common garden bird found in Sabah with 4 endemic subspecies



Happy birding !

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blue-eared Kingfisher With Big Fish !

27th March 2013




With tips from friend, got this one on video in the afternoon. The fish appeared to be much bigger than the size of its bill !

Blue-eared Kingfisher is a common resident in Borneo and one of the best place to see them would be at Kinabatangan River.

Videoscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon D300s


Happy birding !

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster )

13th April 2013



Mostly found on the East Coast of Sabah especially along the mighty Kinabatangan River. But there are small population scattered on the West Coast and could be seen near with human settlement. One of those place is at Mengkabung - Timbuk wetland, Tuaran district about 45 minutes drive North from Kota Kinabalu.




Known as a Snake Bird, due to its hunting behavior and webbed feet, the head and neck will appeared after submerged for awhile, while the rest of the body remained underwater. Diets mainly fishes and crustacean. They are found in Asia and America.

The video below was recorded late afternoon yesterday. Other birds seen such as Brahminy Kite, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Little Egret, Common Moorhen, Wandering Whistling Duck and Stork-billed Kingfisher

Videoscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ 30x = 2430mm





Happy birding !

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Brown Shrike

12th April 2013



Surprised to see this visitor from North Asia still around (saw 2 birds), as the other migrant birds has flew back to its origin for breeding ...

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ ISO 400, 1/80s at 30x


With smooth background !


Plus I'm loving the reach from the Swarovski STX 95. I seldom shoot above 1500mm with my previous scopes (shimmer heat, air quality, vignetting etc). But with the above combo, vignetting is not a problem (30mm built in lens in the TLS APO adapter). Every time I point the scope towards my subject, everything looks much closer than before. The 2.7x crop factor from the fast Nikon V1, it is much easier to Digiscoped nowadays, from my point of view ...


Happy birding everyone !

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yellow-vented Bulbul

10th April 2013



It was only about 300 metres from home and luckily it was still on the same perched when I arrived on the same spot I saw earlier while driving back home with wife and daughter. This Bulbul is one of the common birds seen around my place together with Collared Kingfisher, Asian Glossy Starling and Eurasian Tree Sparrow plus the White-breasted Wood Swallow.

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 ~ ISO 200, 1/200s at 30x = 2430mm



With green background, the bokeh is smooth produced from the scope at 30x. My best shot of this bird so far !

I haven't done any serious birding this year due to the family matter. Will try my best to get the shots of the rare Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker at Klias soon with the gang.

Happy birding !

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto