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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grey-streaked Flycatcher

30 March 2009

Busy with work, met with Ben and Karim at Sugud Forest Reserve yesterday morning after sending my brother to the airport.

When I arrived, they were busy shooting a very tame Red-bearded Bee Eater and by the time I've set my kit, the bird was gone ! What the heck ...

But it did returned in the afternoon and only managed to get record shot of this beauty

Hohoho :p

Because of the breeding season at this moment, less birds seen, mostly heard from the distance. Found this Grey-streaked Flycatcher after I missed the Red-bearded Bee Eater earlier.

It might be gone anytime now back to its breeding place ...

Can anyone guess this person ? Find the answer here

I will be off to Tabin Wildlife Reserve this Friday with another birding group from Finland. Hope can see the Clouded Leopard while on night drive after 3 unsuccessful trips at Danum Valley Forest Reserve !

Happy birding everyone :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Common Moorhen Chicks

22nd March 2009

With migration season coming to the end, I stopped for few minutes at my favorite patch to check for any uncommon migratory birds around the lake. Nothing special except for single Chinese Pond Heron assuming breeding plumage and another 2 Pond Heron sp. preening and enjoying the late sun ...

Then these chicks emerged from the tall grasses together with the parents and it was my first time I saw the juvenile and it looked a bit similar like the juvenile White-breasted Waterhen except it has a small red colour on its crown.

Hehehe hope the new ones will get through !

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn and Fujifilm F31D

Patiently waiting for food from the parents

Pied Triller

Striated Grassbird

Yellow-vented Bulbul

Pond Heron sp.

Almost sunset taken from the paddy field nearby

Happy birding !

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blue-throated Bee Eater Territory

20th March 2009

Visited one of the empty lot around Likas and seen at least more than 10 Blue-throated Bee Eater perched on the electric cables and few trees around it. Suspected they are breeding now because the plot itself is covered with sand soil, good place for the birds.

Some of the shots taken on different days and digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31D

After the rain

Winter visitor to Borneo

The owner of the lot has covered it with blue zink, sign of new building is going to be construct soon ...

Happy birding everyone and thanks to Eugene for the birds hehehe :p

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Birding With Sander And Ben

16th March 2009

Had fun with Sander and Ben birding for a day around Kota Belud, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu and Lok Kawi with Tanjung Aru Beach. Seen 24 out of 33 target species for Sander and the main highlight was 2 Little Egret (race nigripes has black feet), 1 Temminck's Stint and my lifer, Red-legged Crake hahaha seen at Tempasuk Paddy Field.

Birds seen :
  • Purple Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Pacific Reef Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Intermediate Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Javan Pond Heron (assuming breeding plumage)
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Rufous Night Heron
  • Yellow Bittern
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Wandering Whistling Duck
  • Osprey
  • Black-winged Kite
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Red-legged Crake
  • White-browed Crake (Sander missed this)
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Common Moorhen
  • Purple Swamphen
  • Grey Plover
  • Pacific Golden Plover
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Kentish Plover
  • Malaysian Plover
  • Lesser Sand Plover (assumming breeding plumage)
  • Greater Sand Plover (assumming breeding plumage)
  • Grey-tailed Tattler
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Common Greenshank
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Terek Sandpper
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Temminck Stint
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Black-winged Kite
  • Oriental Pranticole
  • Whiskered Tern
  • White-winged Tern
  • Little Tern
  • Pink-necked Green Pigeon
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Spotted Dove
  • Zebra Dove
  • Blue-naped Parrot
  • Lesser Coucal (immature)
  • Glossy Swiftlet
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Barn Swallow
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Pied Triller
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Magpie Robin
  • Oriental Reed Warbler
  • Straited Warbler
  • White-breasted Wood Swallow
  • Brown Shrike
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Brown-throated Sunbird
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Dusky Munia
  • Black-headed Munia
  • Scaly-breasted Munia
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Mt. Kinabalu

Ready for next planting

Whiskered Tern

Ben Wisla and Sander Pietrese

Lok Kawi Beach

Collared Kingfisher

By the way, Sander Pieterse is the administrator for xeno-canto website specialized in Bird Songs throughout Asia and South America. Their website is a good reference for birders searching for specific bird songs for research purpose ec

Check the website at

They are currently at Tambunan Rafflesia Centre searching for montane species and if time permitted, I will be joining them on the 24th at Poring Hot Spring for the Hose's Broadbill.

Good birding !

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

11th March 2009

A bit busy at home for proper birding until Sunday, on the way from the Airport, stopped for a while at Tanjung Aru before picking up my lovely wife from her office. Dave saw and digiscoped Caspian Tern during their Advanced Waterbird Census Course in Miri, Sarawak recntly, hoping to see who knows it might be flying to Sabah as well hahaha :p

Dark clouds from the distance ...

Usual birds seen and heard, nothing special except this cooperative Collared Kingfisher allowed me to get few frames

Before it flew and perched here ...

Green Imperial Pigeon against the gray sky and can you guess the bird on the background ? Click on the picture for bigger image hehehe

Happy birding everyone :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Pair Of White-fronted Falconet

5th March 2009

Climax from yesterday's trip with Ben and Karim, White-fronted Falconet perched exactly on the same big death tree where Ben photographed last week hahaha and as a bonus, not only 2 but 3 birds with the single one perched not far from the other pair :)

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31D

It feed on Dragonflies and smaller birds

This Falconet considered the smallest in the world and found only in the northern part of Borneo Island. In the south of Borneo, this species being replaced by the Black-thigh Falconet which is found in mainland Malaysia and other countries too.

Short video

Ben :p

View of Kota Kinabalu city and surrounding villages around Penampang seen from Sugud

Happy birding !

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Close Up Shots Of Rufous Night Heron

3rd March 2009

After paying a visit to the Brown Booby at Wetland Centre, went to Sembulan again hoping for getting clean shots of the Black-crowned Night Heron with Ben and Karim. But this is what I've got hahaha :p

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifim F31D

A bit far

Best of digiscoping hehehe when the subject is really close ! This Rufous Night Heron taken around 8 metres away from where I was standing under a small shelter with my friends.

Black-crowned Night Heron with nesting material on its beak. It perched for a while before flew to another direction.

Always blocked by branches ...

Happy birding my friends :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Close Up With Brown Booby

3rd March 2009

My friend Eugene alerted me last nite by posting picture of Brown Booby at Flickr and it was found by the local on the sea near Kota Kinabalu struggling its life to survive from drowning ! So this morning, I went there with friends to see the condition of the bird.

Slow moving Booby while Denis and Karim took pictures of it

Tag no. 351

Brown Booby digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31D

One of its hind toe on the left is gone and lack another skin on its webbed right foot. On its left leg, huge size tag by unknown resource. Could anyone help to find the origin of this bird where it had been tagged ?

This Booby considered the commonest species in Greater Sundas Island compared with the other three species namely the Red-footed, Masked and Abbott's Bobby and the nearest breeding colonies are on Tubbataha Island in the middle of Sulu Sea, 150km southeast of Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Philippine and been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Probably this bird flew from there ?

More pictures of this bird can be seen at Birds Of Borneo database in Flickr. Click here.

Happy birding and thanks to Ben, Karim, Denis and Eugene and staffs at Wetland Centre for the company this morning :)

Update :
  • This bird was tagged at Tubbataha Island, Palawan few years ago according from Terry, the officer from the island.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Crested Goshawk In Action !

2nd March 2009

Series of shots of this nice looking Crested Goshawk captured today along the access road to the secret patch hahaha :p

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31D

I'm done !!! How about you ?!

The list is getting better now with more than 65 birds seen so far since last January with friends. Hope can get 100 species then next action will follow :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dalit Beach

1st March 2009

Supposed to go and stay overnight at Teluk Usukan Resort with friends for birding, but could not make it last minute. I have to go next time probably next week ?

So i paid a quick visit to Dalit Beach where I used to go picnic with my grandparents, uncles and aunties when I was living with them in primary school. Lots of changes after with the Rasa Ria Resort was built few years ago. But what I like, the beach itself still in pristine condition hehehe no rubbish at all !

Nice weather for swimming

Walked around and saw 2 Lesser Frigatebird circling above the small hill where the resort is running an awareness program with few Orang Utan for their visitors. Other than that, single Yellow Wagtail with lots of Barn Swallow, Spotted and Zebra Dove and Collared Kingfisher calling from the bush.

Along the beach, I saw at least 25 Kentish Plover, 4 Red-necked Stint and 20 over Lesser and Greater Sand Plover. Some of them is in breeding plumage and few juvenile around too.

Pictures not very good due to the shimmer heat from the sand. Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31D

Greater Sand Plover

Kentish Plover

Happy birding !