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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Favorite Landscape Shots

26th November 2008

Two of my favorite shots taken with Fujifilm F31d.

Sunrise at Mt. Kinabalu from Tuaran district, taken while sending my wife to her office

Sunset at Lok Batik wetland, Tuaran while watching Oriental Darter from the distance

I will be off tomorrow for the Sandakan Bird Fair, see you all there and happy birding :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Northern Shoveler Female - Mistaken for eclipse male Garganey yesterday evening

23rd November 2008

Met with CK, Thomas and Karim at the eclipse Garganey site this morning and spent few hours observing the ducks and other birds, at the some time managed to get few digiscoped pictures of the eclipse Garganey which turn out to be my lifer, Northern Shoveler female !!!

Check my posting yesterday.

The shots below taken this morning for comparison between the eclipse Garganey and Northern Shoveler.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31d

Female Northern Shoveler - which mistaken for eclipse male Garganey yesterday

Check this Northern Shoveler at OBI by Niraj Kumar from India click here

Eclipse male Garganey - which mistaken for female yesterday

After checking few guidebooks at home and with the help from CK and Karim, all agreed it is female Northern Shoveler which is much bigger than the eclipse Garganey and it has spatulate bill, totally different from the former.

Reference used:
  • Field Guide To The Birds OF Borneo, Java, Sumatera And Bali by Mckinnon
  • A Field Guide To The Waterbirds Of Asia by Wild Bird Society Of Japan
  • Bird Guide - The Most Complete Field Guide To The Birds OF Britain And Europe
  • Birds Of South East Asia by Craig Robson
  • Online Oriental Bird Images Database

Other birds seen this morning :
  • Oriental Darter
  • Purple Heron
  • Intermediate Egret
  • Juvenile Night-Heron
  • Yellow Bittern
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Wandering Whistling Duck
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Common Moorhen
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Spotted Dove
  • Zebra Dove
  • Asian Koel
  • Plaintive Cuckoo
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Barn Swallow
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Olive-winged Bulbul
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Yellow-bellied Prinia
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Olive-backed sunbird
  • Black-headed Munia
  • Dusky Munia
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

Common Kingfisher

Plaintive Cuckoo

Striated Grassbird


Thomas and Ck

Good birding and new lifer wahahah at my small but beautiful patch :p

Thanks to my birding buddies, Ck, Thomas and Karim hehehe

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Male Eclipse Garganey !

22nd November 2008

Together with my wife, we stopped at one of my favorite patch with lots of Wandering Whistling Ducks late this afternoon and the reward ?

Wahahah male eclipse Garganey with the female ! But it was too far for getting the best pictures with my kit so i have decided to used extreme magnification and this is the best advantage of digiscoping compared with 600mm DSLR lens for record shots :p

The duck was digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82 with 30x eyepiece x 3x optical zoom (24mm in digital format = 108mm in 35mm film format) of my Fujifilm F31d = 3240mm !

Pictures was sharpened with Nikon Capture NX2

Other birds seen around :
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Great Egret

Female on the left and male on the right

Eclipse male Garganey

Wandering Whistling Duck

If weather permitting tomorrow, hope can get better pictures with my friend Ck hehehe :)

Short visit at Bambangan village, Sandakan

16th November 2008

Last minute planned and drove for nearly 2 hours to the village where it was visible last time by boat on the way to Sepilok Laut with Cede and John. According from the map given by the Forestry Department, this village has a small patch of heath forest which is the main habitat for Hook-billed Bulbul, but unfortunately did not hear or seen any :(

We walked along the wooden bridges looking for wader and saw only few common species such as Pacific reef Egret, Common Sandpiper and Little Heron. But surprising, counted more than 15 Chinese Egret around the village feeding at the same time nearby during low tide. That a lot !

And from the hill, 11 Brahminy Kite and single White-bellied fish-Eagle were seen gliding and flying around manupulating the heat from the thermal

Other birds seen:
  • Brown Shrike
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul

The main subject that day hahaha domestic chicken

Some of the bridge not in good condition

John were looking on the hill for the raptors while Cede at the back was doing time lapse with the Fiddler Crab

low tide around 0.02 metres overlooking the Batu Sapi hill

Extensive mudfalt but not many waders that day ...

Back at Kota Kinabalu that evening and i will be back to Sandakan for the Bird Fair, see you there soon :)

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31d

Sunday, November 16, 2008

bornean bristlehead

14th november 2008

My 1st close encountered with this legendary bird at rainforest discovery centre with dennis and alphon hahaha :)

Endemic and uncommon, thanks to alphon @ the beast master !

brown barbet (subspecies) and it does looked like miniature of the bornean bristlehead hehehe

buff-necked woodpecker very cooperative that day :p

female lesser green leafbird digiscoped at the car park area

school childrens with their teachers at platform 1

view of the rainforest from platform 2

the coming sandakan bird fair would be held in rainforest discovery centre from the 29th - 30th november 2008. the two days event will showcase the beauty of the centre at the same time creating awareness among the local visitors regarding birds :)

for more info, click at birdfair official website : and see you there !

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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

wader survey at sepilok laut

12th - 13th november 2008

some of the shots taken during the waders survey recently at sepilok laut :)

the team :
  • cede prudente
  • gary albert
  • john bakar
  • dennis icon
  • hamit
  • kabili (working with sepilok forest reserve)
  • ronnie and
  • myself hehehe :p

visitor building at sepilok laut

cruising through the mangrove

relaxing at the camp ground, sepilok

pro nikon equipments !

me and kabili

john, hamit, dennis and gary

cede prudente

long-tailed macaque

common kingfisher

banded kingfisher

ruby-cheeked sunbird

near full moon taken from sepilok laut visitor building

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

Monday, November 3, 2008

tabin - sabah greatest wildlife sanctuary

3rd november 2008

launching of official book for tabin wildlife reserve officiated by the honorable datuk masidi manjun, minister of tourism for sabah and invited guests came from various organizations including government departments and travel agents at hyatt hotel this morning.

with the launching of this book, we are hoping to get more visitors to come and enjoy the natural attractions offered by the reserve such as birding in the rainforest, trekking for mammals such as bornean pygmy elephants, sun bear and wild orang utan or relaxing in the vicinty of the lodge while admiring the beauty of the forest around.

with total 260 birds has been recorded in the reserve, this is one of the best place for photographers getting the best image from tabin due to the more lights that penetrates the forest because best place for birding is along the access road where it lies between the plantations and secondary forest.

read my short report regarding birding in tabin tabin here

written by wendy hutton and cede prudente as the photographer

wendy giving short speech

hand prints from mud volcano made by the invited guests

the tabin team

the book is available in local stores and before heading to tabin wildlife reserve, do not forget to get a copy for your reading pleasure :)