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, July 23, 2018

Rare Birds of Borneo

4-22th July 2018

Robert and wife decided to spent their wedding anniversary in Sabah for the 2nd time after 2009 visit and this time to clean up some of the Bornean specialty which they missed last time such as below:
  • Roulroul
  • Bornean Peacock-Pheasant
  • Crimson-headed Partridge (Kinabalu)
  • Red-breasted Partridge (Kinabalu)
  • Dulit Partridge
  • Storm's Stork (Kinabatangan River)
  • Bornean Falconet (Nesting at one of the eye level tree at Danum Valley)
  • Jerdon's Baza
  • Mountain Serpent Eagle (Paya Maga)
  • Large Green Pigeon (Feeding with the other Green Pigeon at Danum Valley)
  • Barred Eagle-Owl (Tabin Wildlife Reserve during the Dusk Drive)
  • Eastern Grass Owl
  • Reddish Scops Owl (Klias)
  • Large Frogmouth
  • Dulit Frogmouth (Bakalalan)
  • Sunda Frogmouth (Dipped at Tabin Wildlife Reserve)
  • Bornean Frogmouth (Bakalalan)
  • Malaysian Eared Nightjar
  • Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo
  • Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo
  • Bornean Swiftlet (Kinabalu)
  • White-throated Needletail
  • Cinnamon-rumped Trogon (Showed well at last at Tabin after failed to locate the bird at Danum Valley!)
  • Rufous-collared Kingfisher (Gomantong Cave)
  • Bornean Banded Kingfisher (Sepilok)
  • Blue-banded Kingfisher (Tabin)
  • Wrinkled Hornbill (Danum Valley)
  • Yellow-crowned Barbet (Danum Valley together with the Large Green Pigeon)
  • Red-crowned Barbet (Scope viewed at Klias)
  • Bornean Barbet (Tambunan)
  • Mountain Barbet (Tambunan)
  • Hose's Broadbill (Paya Maga)
  • Whitehead's Broadbill (Final evening at Kinabalu with the helped from Hamit!)
  • Giant Pitta (Excellent called by Rafel at Tabin)
  • Blue-banded Pitta (A pair came from the hill at Tabin)
  • Bornean Banded Pitta (Paya Maga)
  • Blue-headed Pitta (Danum Valley)
  • Bornean Leafbird (Paya Maga)
  • Malaysian Honeyguide
  • Black Oriole (Paya Maga)
  • Bornean Bristlehead (A bit disappointing and missed it at Danum, Kinabatangan River and Sepilok)
  • Black & White Bulbul
  • Puff-backed Bulbul (Danum Valley)
  • Hook-billed Bulbul (Replied a few times and managed to get a good recording of this bird, but it didn't come into view at Klias)
  • Cinereous Bulbul (Tambunan)
  • Pale-faced Bulbul (Kinabalu)
  • Scaly-breasted Bulbul
  • Bornean Bulbul (Tambunan)
  • Friendly Bush Warbler
  • Bornean Stubtail (Kinabalu after the Everett's Thrush)
  • Temminck's Babbler (Kinabalu)
  • Rufous-crowned Babbler (Danum and Tabin)
  • Grey-breasted Babbler
  • Bornean Wren-Babbler
  • Black-throated Wren-Babbler (Sang and showed well at Tabin)
  • Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler (Paya Maga)
  • Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler (Danum)
  • Rail Babbler (Paya Maga)
  • Bornean Bald Laughingthrush (Kinabalu)
  • Bornean Ibon (Paya Maga)
  • Everett's Thrush (Kinabalu)
  • Chestnut-capped Thrush
  • Chestnut-naped Forktail
  • Rufous-tailed Jungle Flycatcher (Bakalalan)
  • Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher
  • Grey-chested Jungle Flycatcher (Danum Valley)
  • Dark Blue Flycatcher
  • Large-billed Blue Flycatcher
  • White-browed Shortwing
  • Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker (Klias)
  • Brown-backed Flowerpecker (Sepilok)
  • Copper-throated Sunbird (Sepilok)
  • Whitehead's Spiderhunter (Kinabalu)
  • Pin-tailed Parrotfinch

At Danum Valley Field Centre, it was a bit quiet and tough than usual with the only Blue-headed Pitta seen. Missed the Bornean Bristlehead a day before by other group. Not even the common Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo were heard! But the great momentum started again at Tabin Wildlife Reserve with excellent view of Blue-banded and Giant Pitta then the Cinnamon-rumped Trogon!

At Paya Maga, they cleaned up most of the hard to find endemics and rare birds in Sabah such as Rail Babbler, Hose's Broadbill and Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler.

Images taken with Swarovski Optik spotting scopes and Huawei P10 Mate Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Morning at Danum Valley

Little Spiderhunter

Bornean Colugo

Blue-throated Bee Eater

Misty morning at Danum Valley Field Centre

Leaf Insect sp.

 Henry joined the group a few days at Danum Valley

Swarovski Optik spotting scopes at Danum Valley Field Centre

Scanning for the Bristlehead at Danum Valley Field Centre

John Bakar, one of the well known wildlife guides in Danum Valley 

Late afternoon birding at Global Atmosphere Watch Tower, Danum Valley


With Rafel at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

 Menggaris tree at Tabin


Hibiscus, national flower of the nation

Watching the Bornean Barbet with Swarovski Optik STX95 scope at Tambunan

Hamit, who found the Whitehead's Broadbill after several days trying!

Angel's Trumpet

Mt. Kinabalu

Bornean Colugo, halfway before the two branches seen with Swarovski BTX95 spotting scope at Borneo Nature Lodge, Kinabatangan River

Busy Termites at Klias Peatswamp Field Centre

Listen to this soundscape of mixed flock of birds at Klias Peatswamp Field Centre, Beaufort

Happy birding!

For more info on birding and photography tours around Sabah, please check my other blog here

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rainforest of Danum Valley

8th July 2018

Still on birding tours with Ulrike and Robert from Germany. Currently at Kinabatangan River. The pic below were taken from the Global Atmosphere Watch Tower (GAWT) in the morning with Swarovski Optik STX95 spotting scope.

Happy birding!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Birding With Jim

23-26th February 2018

Jim was with me in 2013 for the montane endemics at Kinabalu. After a few years, he decided to try the lowland specialty such as Pitta and Bristlehead. Stayed for a few days at Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge, it was a bit quiet than usual. Managed to get 2 Pitta and Trogon with other species too.

Highlights were:
  • Bornean Banded Pitta
  • Black and Crimson Pitta
  • Large Frogmouth
  • Orange-breasted Trogon
  • Speckled Piculet

View of the tropical rainforest in the morning at Danum Valley Field Centre

My favourite Whiskered Treeswift


Donny were waiting for the Black & Crimson Pitta along the access road at Kawag

Danum River at Field Centre

Birding around the lodge

 Morning view of the tropical rainforest from Global Atmosphere Watch Tower, Danum Valley Field Centre

Jim will be back next time with his wife for the Bornean Bristlehead and Bornean Ground-Cuckoo!

This post is Supported by Sandakan Foto

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Red-throated Pipit

3rd January 2018

After 2 attempts, at last I got the vagrant Red-throated Pipit including the Black-headed Bunting at Penampang Paddy Field. Based on the records, these 2 species were seen many years ago on the other side of Sabah by fellow bird guides.

There were 2 Red-throated Pipit and several Black-headed Bunting. Best time would be early in the morning around 7 AM. Other species could be seen nearby such as Java Sparrow, Striated Grassbird, Chinese Pond-Heron, Black-headed and Dusky Munia (endemic), Black-collared Starling with Purple Heron and many more.

Digiscoping with Swarovski STX 65 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 Preening for a while before foraging for food nearby

The weather is unpredictable at this moment but I will try my best to get a photos of the Black-headed Bunting

Good birding!

For more info on birding and photography tours around Sabah, please check my other blog here

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Super Moon and Blood Moon

31st January 2018

Occurs every 152 years, the Supermoon and Bloodmoon was capture with the excellent Swarovski Optik STX65 spotting scope via Nikon V1 camera from Sabah, Borneo

Super Moon


Blood Moon 

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Sunday, January 21, 2018


21st January 2018

Old video of the rare Bornean Bristlehead capture from one of the highest trees at Danum Valley. It responded to the playback and after a while, 2 birds flew on top and allowed for a few minutes observation with the excellent Swarovski STX 95 spotting scope.

Facts: The only specie on its family and endemic to the island of Borneo, mostly in the lowland rainforest. Based on my records, it does move sometimes with the endemic Bornean Black Magpie because certain notes from the former, the calls resembles like the Bristlehead.

Digiscoped with Swarovski STX 95 at 70x. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018


13th January 2018

Sabah is one of the wintering ground for Garganey and other visiting Ducks from North Asia. This group were found at Tempasuk Plain, Kota Belud, one of the best places in the state to observed migratory birds. Based on the count, it was around 50++ including Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Tufted Duck. I still need to see Mallard hahaha because it is considered a vagrant for North Borneo.

Digiscoped with Swarovsi Optik STX65 at 60x. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For more info on my birding tours around Sabah, please visit

Happy birding!

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Striped Wren-Babbler

12th January 2018

One of my favourite birds found in the lowland rainforest of Sabah, Borneo. This was recorded at Tabin Wildlife Reserve, one of the biggest protected forest in Sabah, about 1 hour 45 minutes drive from Lahad Datu town on the East Coast. For more info on the reserve, check out Tabin's website at

Those planning for birding and wildlife tours around Sabah, please visit my other blog at

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