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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Friday, October 31, 2008

black-collared starling at last !!!

31st october 2008

after waited for few days at penampang paddy field where denis saw it for the first time with thomas, late this afternoon with karim, we saw 10 black-collared starling exactly at the same plot and few of them seen perched at nearby banana trunks and smaller trees.

probably new species for sabah after buff-banded rail which was seen last year in october at tempasuk rice field by karim :)

and according to clive mann in brunei, they found a single bird at Wasan, Brunei, 5 Oct 1991. Elkin, J., Mann, C.F. & Ozog, A.C. 1993. Forktail 8: 155-156. further info please contact him at and oriental bird club

the birdlife database indicates this bird as a vagrant for borneo :)

hehehe october seems to be a good month for getting new species for sabah :p

thanks to denis !

black-collared starling

and some of the pictures i took in the morning at likas lagoon this week :o

cattle egret

juvenile common moorhen

oriental reed-warbler

juvenile yellow bittern

purple heron

changeable hawk-eagle (pale morph)


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

happy birding everyone :p

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

latest update at penampang paddy field

29th october 2008

it has been interesting weeks at this area with more uncommon birds mostly migrant has been spotted by my friends recently. latest additions and hopefully more to come;
  • common kestrel
  • oriental pranticole
  • ruff
  • red-necked phalarope
  • chestnut-cheeked starling and
  • a pair of black-collared starling !!! found by denis and thomas foo yesterday and they managed to record a short video with pictures too :o

the black-collared starling is not recorded in borneo (so far that i know) and this probably a new record for the island :)

more paddy fields were ploughed with machines today

small pond next to the paddy field were i saw the common kingfisher perched this afternoon

pink-necked green-pigeon

domestic duck

megalith used by the farmer to marked boundary of their lands

this would be another alternative for birders who wanted to go birding at paddy field because the journey from kota kinabalu city to penampang takes around 20 minutes drive compared with papar and kota belud paddy field which takes at least an hour drive.

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

happy birding !

Saturday, October 25, 2008

birding with troy shortell

21-24th october 2008

spent few days birding with troy who took 6 months off from his job to get as many as possible birds of asia including australia. borneo was his last destination for endemic species which he missed last time after sumatera, java and sulawesi. equipped with the latest nikon camera D700, he managed to get lots of pics during his trip and including rare pictures that has been added into oriental bird images database as a new addition for the club. click here to view his pictures

troy's target birds;
  • mountain serpent eagle
  • white-fronted falconet - no luck at poring hot spring and kiansom waterfall
  • red-breasted partridge - heard only
  • crimson-headed partridge - heard only
  • black-bellied malkoha
  • dulit frogmouth
  • orange-breasted trogon
  • cinnamon-rumped trogon
  • blue-banded kingfisher
  • rufous-collared kingfisher
  • bornean barbet - heard near langanan waterfall together with mountain barbet
  • checker-throated woodpecker - troy got it while birding alone at silau-silau trail
  • hose's broadbill
  • blue-banded pitta - wahahahaha my new lifer !!! saw it on the way back to the hot spring from the waterfall even though waited for an hour that morning. david saw a pair on the next day :)
  • bar-bellied cuckoo-shrike
  • black-breasted fruithunter - thanks to my friend andrew for the tip at power station
  • scaly-breasted bulbul
  • black oriole
  • white-browed shortwing (bornean sub-species) - while waiting for everett's thrush
  • temminck's babbler (bornean sub-species) - got it on the last day at kinabalu national park
  • moustached babbler (bornean sub-species)
  • everett's thrush - heard it on the 1st morning but saw it on the last day. troy got the pics
  • kinabalu friendly bush-warbler - no respond at mesilau sub-station
  • pygmy blue-flycatcher
  • white-tailed flycatcher - half way before the waterfall
  • whitehead's spiderhunter - same place like last time, but better view !
  • pygmy white-eye
  • mountain blackeye - 3 birds seen above my head at timpohon gate
  • tawny-breasted parrotfinch

my new lifer, little grebe at sukau

red-throated barbet

white-tailed flycatcher female

whitehead's trogon

other birds seen;
  • cattle egret
  • chinese egret - single bird feeding at tanjung aru beach
  • great egret
  • little egret
  • brahminy kite
  • black eagle - in flight near along telupid - ranau road
  • crested serpent eagle
  • white-breasted waterhen
  • pink-necked green-pigeon
  • green imperial-pigeon
  • mountain imperial-pigeon
  • rock pigeon
  • little cuckoo-dove
  • spotted dove
  • zebra dove
  • blue-naped parrot
  • large hawk-cuckoo
  • oriental cuckoo - heard
  • plaintive cuckoo - heard
  • chestnut-breasted malkoha
  • raffles's malkoha
  • greater coucal - heard
  • glossy swiftlet
  • silver-rumped swift
  • little swift
  • asian palm-swift
  • collared kingfisher
  • gold-whiskered barbet - heard
  • golden-naped barbet
  • blue-eared barbet - heard
  • maroon woodpecker
  • buff-necked woodpecker - heard
  • crimson-winged woodpecker
  • banded woodpecker - my lifer hehehe
  • banded broadbill - heard
  • black and yellow broadbill - heard
  • whitehead's broadbill
  • banded pitta - hopping on the trail at poring
  • barn swallow
  • pacific swallow
  • black-winged flycatcher-shrike
  • sunda cuckoo-shrike
  • fiery minivet
  • grey-chinned minivet
  • lesser green leafbird
  • flavescent bulbul
  • yellow-vented bulbul
  • red-eyed bulbul
  • ochraceous bulbul
  • grey-cheeked bulbul
  • ashy drongo
  • bronzed drongo
  • hair-crested drongo
  • greater racket-tailed drongo
  • asian fairy-bluebird
  • crested jay - quite common at poring
  • short-tailed magpie
  • bornean treepie
  • velvet-fronted nuthatch
  • short-tailed babbler
  • sooty-capped babbler
  • chestnut-backed scimitar-babbler
  • mountain wren-babbler
  • grey-throated babbler
  • chestnut-rumped babbler - heard
  • chestnut-winged babbler
  • fluffy-backed tit-babbler - heard
  • brown fulvetta
  • chestnut-crested yuhina
  • white-bellied yuhina
  • chestnut-hooded laughingthrush
  • sunda laughingthrush
  • white-browed shrike-babbler
  • magpie robin
  • white-rumped shama
  • white-crowned forktail
  • bornean whistling thrush
  • yellow-breasted warbler
  • artic warbler
  • mountain leaf-warbler
  • bornean stubtail - heard
  • ashy tailorbird
  • eyebrowed jungle-flycatcher
  • asian brown flycatcher
  • indigo flycatcher
  • snowy-browed flycatcher
  • little pied flycatcher
  • hill blue flycatcher
  • white-throated fantail
  • pied fantail
  • bornean whistler
  • white-breasted wood-swallow
  • long-tailed shrike
  • grey wagtail
  • asian glossy starling
  • common myna
  • crested myna
  • plain sunbird
  • brown-throated sunbird
  • purple-naped sunbird
  • olive-backed sunbird
  • crimson sunbird
  • temminck's sunbird
  • little spiderhunter
  • thick-billed spiderhunter
  • spectacled spiderhunter
  • streaky-breasted spiderhunter
  • black-capped white-eye
  • eurasian tree sparrow
  • dusky munia

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

happy birding :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

kota kinabalu wader identification workshop

17-19th october 2008

some of the shots taken during the waders identification workshop by david bakewell and attended by participants throughout borneo island with the exception from kalimantan.

areas covered during the workshop at lok kawi beach, penampang paddy field, tanjung aru water village and likas mudflat. weather was good during the 3 days workshop and seen some of the uncommon birds for borneo such as common ringed plover, pacific reef-egret (white morph) and several chinese egret.

other birds seen;
  • whiskered tern
  • little egret
  • great egret
  • cattle egret
  • little heron
  • red-necked stint
  • long-toed stint
  • wood sandpiper
  • common sandpiper
  • marsh sandpiper
  • black-winged stilt
  • great knot
  • pacific golden plover
  • lesser sand plover
  • greater sand plover
  • ruddy turnstone
  • grey-tailed tattler
  • whimbrel
  • brahminy kite
  • white-bellied fish-eagle
  • peregrine falcon
  • black-winged kite
  • striated grassbird
  • collared kingfisher
  • black-headed munia
  • eurasian tree sparrow
  • yellow-vented bulbul
  • asian palm-swift
  • spotted dove
  • zebra dove

class session at ums

pacific golden plover

grey-tailed tattler

1st day outing at lok kawi beach and dave expaining how to identify waders on the field

from left to right, denis,karim, cede, kenneth, hamit and myself hahaha (photo credit by hamit)

checking waders at penampang paddy field

thanks to all participants for making this workshop possible, and had a great fun knowing other birders hehehe hope we will meet again in the future and wait for the next workshop !

digiscoped with nikon fieldscope ED82, srb-griturn Mk II adapter and nikon 8400

Friday, October 17, 2008

penampang paddy field

17th october 2008

my friend Denis informed me this morning the old paddy field at the new penampang road has been ploughed and irrigated for paddy planting and saw he few waders around too.

when i arrived, it was a bit windy but looking through my scope, i could see few birds such as black-winged stilts around 50 over together with wood sandpiper, marsh sandpiper and barn swallow flying around the field.

this is a good sign for waterbirds that arrives during the migration season which started last month until next april for getting enough supply before procedding to their wintering site and back to their origin for breeding.

the distance to the nearest south china sea is only around 10km so hope more will come to this place in the future :)

paddy field next to the busy road

cattle egret following the machine

flocks of cattle and little egret

black-winged stilt are back now to this place now where it used to be more than 100 birds at one time several years ago

other birds seen;
  • whiskered tern
  • spotted dove
  • black-winged kite
  • brahminy kite

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

happy birding everyone :o

Sunday, October 12, 2008

kota belud paddy field

12th october 2008

took few hours birding at my favorite patch this afternoon hoping to see and picture the common kestrel which i saw last year with karim and also looking for suitable place to conduct field trip for the coming wader workshop by david bakewell next week from the 17-19th october with few participants from west malaysia, sarawak, brunei and from sabah itself :)

nothing special just the common winter visitor and resident species. light was good so took few pictures without cable release and frankly speaking, my hand shakes a lot !

3 different section of paddy fields

wood sandpiper

white-breasted wood-swallow

little egret

yellow wagtail

scaly-breasted munia

birds seen today;
  • purple heron
  • cattle egret
  • striated grassbird
  • long-toed stint
  • little ringed plover
  • black-headed munia
  • white-winged tern
  • yellow-vented bulbul
  • spotted dove
  • marsh sandpiper
  • common greenshank
  • black-winged stilt

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

happy birding !

Friday, October 10, 2008

waders at likas mudflat

10th october 2008

this area was part of the south china sea before the existing roads was built several years ago and one of the nearest place to see some of the migrant that spends their winter here such as pacific golden plover, whimbrel and whiskered tern.

other species seen this afternoon;
  • pacific reef-egret
  • little egret
  • great egret
  • chinese egret - 3 birds !
  • common sandpiper
  • grey-tailed tattler
  • greater sand-plover
  • little heron
  • purple heron
  • collared kingfisher
  • rock dove
  • spotted dove

great egret

pacific reef-egret

flocks of little with great egret feeding

collared kingfisher

hoping more waders will turn up to this place as the illegal settlement nearby was demolished recently by the government, means less disturbance and rubbish that used to float during high tide would be seen in the future.

who knows new species such as white-faced plover or the rarest spoon-billed sandpiper ?

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

happy birding :o

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

birds at nexus karambunai resort

6-7th october 2008

stayed at nexus resort for a night to relax after celebrating Eid ul-Fitr with family and friends and did some digiscoping through the balcony overlooking the pretty south china sea. a bit lazy to walk around the resort and mostly common birds seen such as eurasian tree sparrow, spotted dove, asian glossy starling, collared kingfisher and common iora.

bird seen :
  • brahminy kite
  • collared kingfisher
  • yellow-vented bulbul
  • spotted dove
  • zebra dove
  • house swift
  • common sandpiper
  • white-breasted waterhen
  • magpie robin
  • olive-backer sunbird
  • white-breasted wood-swallow
  • pied triller
  • striated grassbird
  • common iora
  • glossy starling
  • eurasian tree sparrow

one of the bornean endemic, dusky munia

black-headed munia

yellow-vented bulbul preening

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

happy birding :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

happy Eid ul-Fitr everyone

1st october 2008

wishing all readers happy Eid ul-Fitr and thanks for all the supports for my blog :)

scarlet-rumped trogon

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