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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Friday, December 28, 2007

where is the lesser adjutant ?

28th dec 2007

while browsing at one of local photographer blog last night, i stumbled upon one picture that really opened my eyes wide !

he got the lesser adjutant at likas wetland centre yesterday hahaha as few of my friends was chasing this bird at the same place last week hoping to get good pictures, but unfortunately not very lucky that day.

so birded at the centre this morning and while waiting at the hide for the lesser adjutant to appeared, saw another lifer, grey-faced buzzard flying very low and then perched on a bare tree without leaves. quite far even with my 30x eyepiece so i took few pictures of the buzzard that lasted for half and hour before it flew off again.

a winter visitor from NE asia

karim and andrew

this is jordan who photographed the lesser adjutant yesterday and a nice chap hehehe :)

main attraction for today as this common kingfisher despite the name, is difficult to get decent pictures hahaha :p

wrapped up in the afternoon hopefully would be able to see the adjutant next week after my tours ...

digiscoped with nikon ED82, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

Sunday, December 23, 2007

somewhere out there ...

23rd dec 2007

not in the mood for birding, when i woke up this morning around 5am, suddenly it came to my mind about broad-billed sandpiper and red knot that was found by fellow birders last month at kota belud.

so drove this morning while listening to rock music at the same time enjoying the mists that covered along the way from my parents house to the paddy fields, what a nice feeling ...

when i arrived, sun was blocked by thick clouds but mt. kinabalu stands proud from the distance and it reminds me of someone whom i missed so much and far away from me :0

went back home after few hours looking on the field but still unlucky with the sandpiper and knot, maybe next time as what i normally whispers to myself hahaha :p

quite far from the main road, few of these purple swamphen seen feeding together with watercocks and white-breasted waterhens.

digiscoped with nikon ED82, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

bird list for migratory species only

black-winged stilt numbering more than 100
kentish plover
long-toed stint
wood sandpiper
grey wagtail
whiskered tern
white-winged tern
barn swallow
common greenshank
grey heron
marsh sandpiper <--- nearly mistaken as a ruff ! little ringed plover peregrine falcon common moorhen happy birding and digiscoping !

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

what a nice life !

8th dec 2007

came back from mt. kinabalu yesterday with a group of 35 members from another state in west malaysia, negeri sembilan or in english means, the ninth state which is lies on the south west of the peninsular and took about 45 minutes drive from the city of kuala lumpur.

stayed at sinisan homestay, visited the kinabalu national park and then at sabah tea :) had much fun and laughters and enjoyed my time together with them.

then went birding again this morning at lok kawi beach together with andrew and to my surprised, many red-necked stint today !

dedicated to mtpn group, thanks guys :D

greater sand plover

pacific golden plover

common ringed plover (uncommon for Borneo)

ruddy turnstone standing on the rock while red-necked stint was busy preening themselves ...

taken with nikon ED82, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

then before i left, another agent called and booked me 4 birding trip next february with a group from japan, yahoo !

happpy birding and digiscoping :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

nice and warm day

3th december 2007

technology really helps birders especially when we saw lifer around the city :) andrew and sinooorita found and photograped bar-tailed godwit at tg aru water village opposite sutera harbour resort in the morning during low tide.

so went this morning and start shooting with them and saw the godwit not far from where i parked my car hehehe. walked slowly towards the bird and less than 50 metres, done ! captured live view and many shots of the bar-tailed godwit and few other waders too.

but found out, most of my shots wasnt sharp enough and some of them was overexposed ...

enjoy the pictures !

some of the great, little and chinese egrets gathering on the edge of the water

houses built on stilts where mixed tribes lives there

andrew taking pictures of the pacific golden plover together with the bar-tailed godwit

this grey-tailed tattler was heading towards me so i couldnt resist taking few frames of it even though it is really difficult to take pics while panning and focusing at the same time on the scope ...

one of my favorite shot today :p little-green heron less than 10 metres !

new addition to my list this year, bar-tailed godwit hahaha :)

thanks to andrew and karim today had much fun shooting under the blue sky

happy birding and digiscoping :o

taken with nikon fieldsc0pe ED82, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

Sunday, December 9, 2007

1st winter black-headed gull

8th december 2007

been looking for the black-headed gull since last year, i went to tg. aru water village opposite the sutera harbour resort. there was fire the engulfed the village last october few days before the Eid festival after ramadhan.

saw 2 1st winter gulls perched on the stilts on the 4th december together with great, chinese and little egrets, many whiskered terns and pacific reef egret.

then andrew sani came and start shooting with his new toys; 40D with 100-400mm IS L lens !

digiscoped with nikon fieldscope ED82, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

happy birding !

Friday, November 30, 2007

new species again !

30th november 2007

weather has been bad recently where sabah was hit with two typhoons and didnt have chances to take pictures. then 2 nights ago met with ck, dennis and jollence talking about new adobe photoshop CS3.

then i asked them is there another possibilities that new bird might be blown off from its route to sabah, and they replied; "yes". hahaha then went birding the next day planned looking for the common kingfisher but didnt have the chanced to digiscope.

and today after sending my mum to the office, i drove again to my old patch, tuaran beach resort or known as sabandar bay resort where i used to work as a resident bird guide together with jollence few years back.

saw the common kingfisher, but too dark and again the peregrine falcon in flight then perched on the telecommunication tower same like yesterday. managed to get good pics of peacefull dove, white-breasted wood-swallow and juvenile yellow bittern.

on my way back home, stopped by at one of the marsh area and saw small flocks of pacific golden plover and suddenly one unidentified bird flew in and landed just in front of me and guess what ?

hahahahahahahahahaha my lifer, grey-headed lapwing (vanellus cinereus) !

juvenile yellow bittern

taken with nikon fieldscope ED82, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

happy digiscoping !

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

some of my latest digiscoped pictures

26th november 2007

concentrated at tuaran rice fields and saw crow-billed drongo perched on the electric wires together with the spotted-necked dove and crested myna but unfortunately the drongo was fast and couldnt get picture of it, so this is few decent pictures of other birds :)

happy digiscoping !

little egret

common greenshank

striated grassbird

black-winged kite

Friday, November 23, 2007

digiscoping adapter

22rd november 2007

after waited for few months, at last my universal adapter arrived from srb-griturn 4 days ago and only today had chances to try it out at one of the popular beach, tg. aru where normally locals go 4 fresh coconuts, and picnic around the beach on weekends :)

birds can be seen around tanjung aru such as house swifts, java sparrows and green imperial pigeons. and i managed to get very good pictures of this blue-naped parrot after few rejected pictures being deleted from the card hahaha :o

nikon fieldscope ED82, DS30x eyepiece, srb-griturn adapter and fujifilm f31d

happy birding and digiscoping !

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

tambunan rafflesia reserve

13th november 2007

after being informed by dennis that he might saw sapphire flycatcher at tambunan rafflesia centre the day before with his wife, decided to investigate with dennis hahaha as the weather has been perfect and drove for an hour from small town of penampang (majority kadazan dusun tribe lives there) and arrived around 0720 hrs in the morning :)

few minutes later saw the sapphire flycatcher ! but then it came out to be 1st winter black and white flycatcher which is a common winter visitor for sabah around the mountains hehehe so hanged around for few hours and managed to see quite exciting number of birds mostly endemics for borneo :p

all time favorite:

bornean bulbul
ashy bulbul
mountain barbet
grey wagtail
asian brown flycatcher
1st winter black and white flycatcher
1st winter mugimaki flycatcher
dark-sided flowerpecker
chestnut-crested yuhina
mountain serpent eagle (flew very low on blue sky !)
whitehead's spiderhunter
temminck's sunbird
mountain imperial pigeon

this is the area where the best of borneo endemics can be seen easily hahaha

winding road from kota kinabalu to the centre

as usuall dennis busy with his office :p

take note that this is the area where birders would come and search for mountain leaf bird yellowish colour, bornean and mountain barbets, whitehead's spiderhunter together with the black-breasted fruit-hunter.

more info send me email :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

latest update !

10th november 2007

after several times birded this week at tempasuk for the buff-banded rail, saw it flew within few second exactly at 1734 hrs today with sinooorita when we almost left that place for dinner hahaha luck on my side again :p

on the 8th november, ck and dennis went to tempasuk early morning and they not only managed to see the buff-banded rail but another lifer for them, juvenile ruddy-breasted crake ! it's a winter visitor for borneo island but secretive similar like the other rails and coots :)

today species seen;

buff-banded rail - been chasing this bird since the 2nd of november !
common kestrel
grey wagtail
little egret
great egret
cattle egret
oriental pranticole
wood sandpiper
purple heron
wandering whistling duck
black-winged kite
black-crowned night heron
juvenile cinnamon bittern
white-winged tern
black-headed munia
scally-breasted munia
eurasian tree sparrow
spotted-necked dove
peaceful dove
white-breasted wood-swallow
barn swallow
pacific swallow
yellow-vented bulbul
straited grassbird

below is not very good picture of common kestrel taken few days ago hand held camera to the eyepiece :0

more birds seen but couldnt remember hahaha :0 happy birding !

Thursday, November 1, 2007

buff-banded rail

31st october 2007

tempasuk in kota belud produced another surprised with the finding of new species for borneo island including malaysia. photos taken by fellow birder cum photographer, sinooorita.

very distinct supercilium and red bill but could be confused with water rail that has greyish face

nice pictures for identification of this rail

a birder from west malaysia indicates that this bird might be smuggled in from the philippines but most of us here in borneo agreed that this is vagrant and need to be documented properly when we see it again next time hahaha :)

comparisons between this species with water rail can be done through oriental bird images

thanks david bakwell in penang and kuching birding group as well steve pryor from oriental bird club for responding through emails and hope to see this bird again soon after the rain stopped !

Sunday, October 28, 2007

good instinct for new species !

27th october 2007

after a visit to my fiance's colleague open house for the eid festival, took her to kota belud, but this time to another village where i saw my 1st big flocks of oriental pranticole with her last year and guess what ?

hahaha saw eastern march harrier perched on the ground at the paddy field ! had a good views from the scope at the same time enjoying the afternoon breeze with my love one hehehe :p

my little car that takes me anywhere with 6 litres of petrol for rm 10 can run for 100km with aircond on :)

area where we saw the eastern marsh harrier

flocks of little egret, black-winged stilt, white-winged and whiskered tern and few other sandpipers and plovers with stints

my future birder

well smile for the camera :o

another 2 months before the next harvest

mt. kinabalu from the distance

Friday, October 26, 2007

small reunion of birders

26th october 2007

the night before met with ck and osman at local mamak restaurant discussing about a trip to kota belud as we normally busy with our tours, so hanging out birding with others guides seems to be 'rare' nowadays as we normally guides birding groups for birders around the world hahaha :p

so chose kota belud about 50km up north from kota kinabalu city and it is one of the main producer for rice in sabah and one of the favorite birding ground for myself as migratory waders normally seen congregating at the paddy fields.

left at 0430 hrs together with denis who mostly works in the office but managed to squeezed in with the rest of the members for a wonderful morning and full with fun.

reason for this trip was a verbally report about seeing grass owl by one of the guide together with his birding group few months ago. but we didnt see any ...

mt kinabalu amazes me each time i looked at it ...

hut uses by farmers for resting during mid day

another plots now been grown with paddy

new road leading to another town of kudat where the rungus tribe lives

nice view hahaha :p

ck with his gun :)

demonstrating to osman about digiscoping while poisoning him the advantages of spotting scope hahaha

viewing a peregrine falcon at one of the electric post

not sure what happened to denis ? hehehe

fantastic morning with birds and good breakfast then drove back to kk :o

Monday, October 22, 2007

another vagrant hahaha

21th october 2007

tuaran district is located at the north west of sabah with estimated populations of 80k consists of tribes of dusun lotud, bajaus, chinese and other minority ethnics. it takes about 30 minutes drive from kota kinabalu city and this area would be alive on sunday with the open market held every sunday and one of the nicest place to watch sunrise from the might mt. kinabalu :)

on the 9th october went for short birding at the field and saw another vagrant passage migrant, single 1st winter red-necked phalarope !

pictures of the phalarope can be seen at under nature and wildlife category taken by my friend, sinooorita

favorite feeding area for waders such as common greenshank and long-toed stint

other side of the road dry paddy field for zebra and spotted-necked dove

nice houses belongs to the farmers

plastic bags used as a scare crows