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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Sunday, March 30, 2008

no whitehead's trogon but i got ...

30th march 2008

drove up to kinabalu national park this morning for the whitehead's trogon, hoping to get record shot of this elusive bird. after walking for few hours, called it a day but managed to get few pics of different species that resides at mt. kinabalu especially the giant squirrel !

bird list :
  • whitehead's spiderhunter
  • bornean treepie
  • bornean whistler
  • bornean whistling thrush
  • bare-headed laughingthrush
  • chestnut-hooded laughingthrush
  • crimson-headed partridge
  • red-breasted partridge
  • ochraceous bulbul
  • indigo flycatcher
  • little pied flycatcher
  • yellow-breasted warbler
  • sunda bush warbler
  • mountain leaf warbler
  • mountain tailorbird
  • oriental cuckoo (heard)
  • large hawk-cuckoo (heard)
  • golden-naped barbet
  • hair-crested drongo

at last white-crowned forktail's picture :p

this sunda bush warbler has lovely tunes

still my favorite indigo flycatcher

little pied flycatcher

my best encounter with giant squirrel !

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

Friday, March 28, 2008

whitehead's spiderhunter

27th march 2008

no booking for tours yet, met ck at the tufted duck site in the morning then drove up to kinabalu national park for a day birding together with dennis who were staying overnight at one of the resort near the HQ.

main mission today, to get as many pics as possible of the whitehead's broadbill, spiderhunter and trogon ! hehehe :p

my record shot of this whitehead's spiderhunter :p

lovely little black-sided flowerpecker and it started raining when i took this pic

saw 3 whitehead's species today but only 2 with decent shots. fantastic birding with quality birds around the HQ.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

walaaaaa my tufted duck :p

25th march 2008

hahaha another luck yesterday at tuaran district while i was busy taking pictures of the javan pond heron and wandering whistling ducks, found single female tufted duck which is half asleep and it was pretty dark around 1815 hrs. and my camera ran out of battery so left early this morning and arrived at the site around 0600 hrs.

scanned with my scope but couldn't see the tufted duck, but saw stork-billed, collared and common kingfisher, intermediate egret, purple heron and yellow bittern with the wandering whistling duck busy preening and bathing on the water.

then out of nowhere, saw 1 duck being chased by another duck and by looking through my scope, hehehe got it now and captured few shots and videos available at youtube

this duck breeds at north palaeartic and winters at south east asia. more pics at

female tufted duck and has yellow iris

white vent and pointed upward of its tail

where is the male ?

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

Friday, March 21, 2008

whitehead's broadbill

21st march 2008

have been observing this pair since early this month at kinabalu national park and today had chance to captured it on video and few photos too hahaha together with laura and collin from england :p

endemic to borneo island

didnt see may birds today compared with yesterday but laura said; "it's not the quantity but the quality we had today hehehe" :)

bird seen and heard today :
  • mt. wren babbler
  • bornean whistler
  • bornean whistling thrush
  • eyebrowed thrush (visitor)
  • golden-naped barbet
  • chestnut-hooded laughingthrush
  • chestnut-crested yuhina
  • bornean treepie
  • grey-throated babbler
  • crimson-headed partridge (heard)
  • yellow-breasted warbler
  • mt. leaf warbler
  • sunda bush warbler
  • white-browed shrike-babbler (heard)
  • blue and white flycatcher (visitor)
  • dark-sided flycatcher (visitor)

Friday, March 14, 2008

bob's mission of bornean endemic

9th - 14th march 2008

had a wonderful trip with bob for a week where birding started at kinabalu national park for 3 days which is the best place for bornean endemics then flew to sandakan city on the 11th march and stayed at tomanggong lodge ( searching for hornbills and bornean ground-cuckoo. last 2 days spent at rainforest discovery centre for the bornean bristlehead and black and crimson pitta.

one of the highlight for the trip at kinabalu national park was a 10 minutes view of the everett's thrush at bukit ular trail on the 10th march. saw it hopping along the trail and the light was good enough to enable us to see the whole part of the bird before it faded off the trail. other species seen; a pair of whitehead's broadbill, bornean treepies, sunda bush warbler.

when we arrived at sukau river lodge, water was quite high and cruising along resang and menanggul river produced lots of lifers for bob such as 6 storm's storks perched on a same tree, long-tailed parakeets, oriental darter and buff-rumped woodpecker. but the number of birds at menanggul river a bit disappointing in the morning probably because of the floods. by the way, bob got a pair of white-crowned hornbill through the scope late in the evening around 6.30pm in front of the lodge hahaha :p

checked in at sepilok bed and breakfast then continued birding at rainforest discovery centre for the bornean bristlehead. this is a new area for birding frequented by local photographers and digiscopers and has excellent trails and soon it would be linked with sepilok orang utan sanctuary.

bob left sabah to west malaysia for a week birding with weng chun hope he'll get his last helmeted hornbill hehehe :p

total lifers for bob : 89

total endemic seen : 11

total species seen and heard : 144

non bird species seen :
  • orang utan
  • proboscis monkey
  • long-tailed macaque
  • silver leaf monkey
  • red giant flying squirrel
  • pygmy squirrel
  • prevost squirrel
  • plaintain squirrel
  • bornean pygmy elephant

new lounge and departure hall for kota kinabalu international airport

truck load of oil palm fruits

me and jessie

pic taken from viewing platform at rainforest discovery centre

from the left, alex, yin, cede and bob looking at a flock of pink-necked green pigeons

rhinocerous hornbill

white-bellied woodpecker

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

Sunday, March 2, 2008

enjoying bornean endemics within 2 days

28th feb - 1st march 2008

when i received email from alastair who hailed from scotland few weeks ago, it seems impossible to see the main star of borneo i.e whitehead's spiderhunter, broadbill and trogon within the space of 2 days because some of the birds could be found only at certain trails, so it takes at least 3 to 4 nights for getting the most of bornean endemics :p

left kota kinabalu city at 5.30 pm where i met alastair (specialist for south african bird species) at jesselton hotel and drove for 2 hours to kinabalu national park where we checked in to fairy garden resort which is located about 3 minutes drive to the park hq.

then off for the 1st bird, mt. scoop owl was calling less than 5 metres but unfortunately i forgot to bring along my torch !

mt. kinabalu

off to the park the next morning and birding was done around timpohon gate where we saw bornean treepie, chesnut-hooded laughingthrush, indigo flycatcher and ashy drongo. walked along bukit ular trail for the everett's thrush but no luck.

breakfast at fairy garden resort then continued birding along silau-silau, and bukit burung trails where this time saw black and crimson oriole and bornean whistler. it rained during lunch, so decided to search for the dark-sided flowerpecker which were seen feeding nearby the restaurant :p

sunset seen from fairy garden resort and hoping for more birds tomorrow

came back to the headquarters around 8.30pm for the mt. scoop owl where al tried and imitated the called for nearly half and hour but luck wasnt on our side ...

last day for the endemic and had a go again for the everett's thrush at bukit ular trail. heard and al saw the crimson-headed partridge and eventually managed to get a full viewed with the scope, female whitehead's broadbill hahaha :)

left kinabalu national park and headed to kiansom waterfall to see the white-fronted falconet but it was drizzling when we arrived, no sign of the bird then stopped at likas lagoon and produced few more lifers to al such as striated grassbird and white-browed crake and his final lifer was the blue-naped parrot found at tanjung aru beach before i sent him to the airport.

endemic that were heard and seen;
  • bornean treepie
  • chesnut-hooded laughingthrush
  • chestnut-crested yuhina
  • bornean whistling thrush
  • bornean whistler
  • crimson-headed partridge (another pair seen at silau-silau trail before lunch)
  • red-breasted partridge (heard)
  • mt. wren-babbler
  • whitehead's spiderhunter
  • whitehead's broadbill
  • mt. blackeye
  • bornean stubtail
  • dark-sided flowerpecker
  • golden-naped barbet
  • mt. barbet (heard)
with the endemic in al wish list, he managed to see 15 out of 44 endemics of borneo in such a short trip. he'll be back to sabah with his best buddies for another specialty of borneo i.e bornean ground-cuckoo and black-throated wren babbler.

happy birding and digiscoping :)