My Binoculars and Spotting Scopes Sponsored by Swarovski Optik

12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rufous-collared Kingfisher

26th May 2009

Thanks to Chai for the info of the Rufous-collared Kingfisher at Lok Kawi Park. Today I went there with Karim and less than few minutes waiting, suddenly the male flew past us and landed exactly in front of me :p

Enjoy the pictures and digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter and Fujifilm F31D

This particular male was seen at one time perched only a metre from Karim !

Female was a bit shy for the camera. Hope can get better angle next time hahaha :p

Good birding :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nikon Photography Workshop 20th - 21st June 2009

In conjuction with Sandakan Fest 2009, Sandakan Foto and Nikon Malaysia will be conducting a Nikon Photography Workshop for the public. Talks will be conducted by experts in their respected fields and details of the program as shown below :

Location : Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok, Sandakan

Dateline for sign up : 13th June 2009 (Saturday)

20th June 2009 Workshop A
  • 0830 - 0930 hrs : Registration & Tea Reception (RDC Balcony)
  • 0900 - 1700 hrs : Basic Digital Photography by Kelvin Chan (Kuala Lumpur)
  • 1200 - 1300 hrs : Lunch (Lakeside Pavilion)
  • 1500 - 1530 hrs : Tea Breal (RDC Pavilion)
  • Registration Fee : RM 25 (With Voucher RM 25 Redeemable at Sandakan Foto)
  • Limited Participants : 50

20th June 2009 Workshop B
  • 0830 - 0900 hrs : Registration & Tea Reception (RDC Corridor)
  • 0900 - 1200 hrs : Introduction To Landscape Photography by John Kong (Kota Kinabalu)
  • Nature Photography by Cede Prudente (Sandakan)
  • 1200 - 1300 hrs : Lunch (Lakeside Pavilion)
  • 1300 - 1700 hrs : Post Production With Capture NX2 by John Kong (Kota Kinabalu)
  • 1500 - 1530 hrs : Tea Break (RDC Corridor)
  • Registration Fee : RM 40 (With Voucher RM 20 Redeemable at Sandakan Foto)
  • Limited Participant : 30
  • Prerequisite For Participants : Laptop with Nikon Capture NX2 installed & few own images to work with

21st June 2009 Workshop C
  • 0830 - 1000 hrs : Photography Business by Jollence Lee
  • 1000 - 1030 hrs : Tea Break (RDC Balcony)
  • 1030 - 1200 hrs : Nikon Creative Lighting System by Mr Kavid Yan (Nikon Technical Support)
  • 1200 - 1300 hrs : Lunch (Lakeside Pavilion)
  • 1300 - 1700 hrs : Portrait Photography by Mr Kelvin Chan (Kuala Lumpur)
  • 1500 - 1530 hrs : Tea Break (RDC Balcony)
  • Registration Fee : RM30.00 (with Voucher RM20 Redeemable at Sandakan Foto)
  • Limited Participants : 40
  • Prerequisite : Nikon DSLR with optional speedlight (Hands-on
    models shooting at 3-4pm to be held at the RDC Pavilion)

21st June 2009 Presentation And Demonstration
  • 1530 - 1700 hrs : Bird Watching Equipment : Digiscoping & Binoculars by Jason Reyes (Kota Kinabalu)

See you there :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blackberry Bold 9000 For Birding

22nd May 2009

Blackberry Bold 9000 which is good with emails especially for birders on the move and at certain area where I need to access the Internet with only GPRS coverage, the speed is unbelievable hahaha much better than other operators I have used last time.

What I like about this Blackberry is:
  1. Big screen for browsing the Internet and replying emails.
  2. QWERTY keypads which is good for typing hahaha :p
  3. Faster Internet connection especially with GPRS.
  4. Wireless capability. (Twitter and Facebook updated daily while birding at Borneo Rainforest Lodge recently).
  5. Connected for 24 hours with Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Goggle Talk, Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo ! Go services.
  6. Blackberry Messenger which is free among Blackberry users around the world !

For birding, this device is capable to delivered my need because:
  • As a backup for my Ipod Video with included 1G memory card (up to 8G). Adding bird songs from my laptop into the memory card is easy with card reader.
  • 2 mega pixels camera and good for landscape shot.
  • Good quality recording from the Voice Notes recorder for a short distance birds.
  • Wire free from my Blackberry using bluetooth to my Philip speaker via Bluetooth dongle by
  • Using the built in 3.5mm stereo input for connecting my Philip speaker with Blackberry in case my bluetooth dongle is out of battery while on the field.

Blackberry Bold 9000 connected with my portable Philip Speaker via 3.5mm stereo input

Blackberry Bold 9000 transmitting sounds with bluetooth to my portable Philip Speaker via Bluetooth dongle from

The results:
  1. Impressive recording from the Voice Note recorder using the built in mic and sound from the speaker.
  2. Much better sound from my Blackberry connected either via bluetooth dongle or with the 3.5mm input to the Philip speaker.

Well done Research In Motion company, you are the best ! Good tool for birders.

More info regarding Blackberry smartphones, check this websites:

For those who need my Blackberry PIN for inquiry regarding birding tours and etc in Borneo, kindly email me at

Happy birding everyone :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Digiscoping with Nikon Fieldscope ED50 and FSB-U1

4rd - 10th May 2009

Irene from Sandakan Photo passed me the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 together with a new universal adapter FSB-U1 from Nikon Malaysia when I was in Sandakan last week hehehe as I've been eyeing this scope after trying it last year during the Sandakan Bird Fair and impressed with the sharpness and colour renditions the little scope delivered.

Nikon Fieldscope ED50
with 13-40x MC II zoom eyepiece while cruising along Kinabatangan River.

My current digiscoping kit now which is lighter than the big brother, Nikon Fieldscope ED82.

After tested it heavily on rain and shine, the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 lived up to its reputation as being the best compact scope at this moment which is waterproof up to a metre when immersed underwater, fogproof and uses ED glass to minimized colour fringing.

Using the 13-40x zoom eyepiece with the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 allowed me to get lots of details on 40x max, even though the field of view is a bit narrow, but for IDing birds from the distance, the scope did not disappointed me hehehe :)

Check this website regarding comments and reviews of the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 at Bird Forum;

My only concern with this little scope is the tripod mount which looked like a cheap plastic. There are few birders who had a problem with broken tripod mount and discussions regarding this is available here;

The scope is selling less than RM 2500 body only and the weight without eyepiece is around 460g and came along with its stay on case. Light carbon fibre tripod is a nice combo with this scope :)

Meanwhile, the new universal adapter FSB-U1 which I tested on the field needs to be improved in order for Nikon to get their share in universal digiscoping adapter market with other brands such as Swarovski, Kowa and SRB-Griturn;
  1. The hinge is a bit loose when I swung out the adapter. Feel a bit unsecured while carrying the scope in case you knock on something i.e tree trunk or branches.
  2. It swings out for 90 degree only to the right which is a bit troublesome for left sighted birders. They won't be able to use the adapter and it would be much better if it swings out to 180 degree like my SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter.
  3. Only usable with Nikon DS eyepiece and the eyepiece sleeve is not changeable. So if you are using your Zoom or MC eyepieces for viewing, you need to purchase the DS eyepiece to start digiscoping.
  4. Pricey for local Malaysian market, selling for more than RM 1000. If the price around RM 500 - RM 600, I will buy it first !

Best things about this adapter is;
  1. Quality materials used for making this adapter.
  2. Feel heavy which is good to minimized vibrations as seen from my digiscoped pictures.
  3. Can used it while raining too without worrying it will get rusty.
  4. I setup my Fujifilm F31D camera on the adapter took me less than a minute hehehe. Adjusting the vertical and horizontal knobs is easy and fast. Once I got the exact centre for my camera lens on the eyepiece, it stay put forever.
  5. No vignetting at all with my Nikon DS16x eyepiece on the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 (24x on Nikon Fieldscope EDIII and 30x on my Nikon Fieldscope ED82).

Overall I like this universal adapter and useful for birders who preferred to view and shoot at the same time rather than the fixed adapter which required to unscrew the adapter to view through the eyepiece.

Highly recommended !

For those who are interested, this scope and adapter is available at

Sandakan Foto (S) Sdn Bhd
Labuk Road: Ground Floor, L12, Block C,
Bandar Kim Fung, Batu 4,

Tel : 089-238728
Fax :089-216728

Look for Irene, and you will get discount for the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 if you mentioned my name :)

Price list:
  • Nikon Fieldscope ED50 = RSP RM 2358
  • Nikon DS16x eyepiece = RSP RM 1108
  • Nikon DS27x eyepiece = RSP RM 1258
  • Nikon MC II Zoom eyepiece = RSP RM 1428
  • Nikon universal adapter FSB-U1 = RSP RM 1238

90 degree position without the camera

On the Nikon Fieldscope ED82

Few images taken with the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 and FSB-U1 :)

Bornean Blue Flycatcher

Hooded Pitta

Red-naped Trogon

Rhinoceros Hornbill

Happy birding folks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bornean Bristlehead Mission

28th April - 1st May 2009

Stayed at Sepilok Nature Resort for few days together with John and his wife Carol. John's mission of this trip was for the Bristlehead which proved to be too difficult this time at Sepilok Forest Reserve than usual.

On Tuesday when John arrived, one of the Ranger on duty during the feeding time of the Orang Utan saw 8 Bornean Bristlehead nearby the Platform A in the morning. Earlier before, Gabili saw Giant Pitta trapped among the fallen logs under the walkway !

Spent early morning until evening at Rainforest Discovery Centre and heard it responding to the call once late Wednesday from the Trogon Tower, but could not see the it. Another day passed by without the bird ...

On the very last day this morning, decided to walk along the Bird Trail together with James who accompanied us and luck was on our side when we heard the bird calling from the canopy of Menggaris tree on the way back to the platform.

So we walked as fast as possible to the platform and exactly at 0800 hrs in the morning, saw 3 Bornean Bristlehead with perfect view through my scope after intense search and waiting since last Tuesday. The hard and smart work paid off hahaha :p

It was one of my best trip so far and managed to record new lifer for me, the Rufous-tailed Shama singing nearby the old Bird Tower at Sepilok and total species seen was 99 birds altogether.

John need to complete another 17 families :)

Some of the shot during the trip digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope ED82, SRB-Griturn adapter and Fujifilm F31D from the Bristlehead and Trogon Tower :)

Female Rufous-collared Kingfisher

5 Slender-billed Crow looking after their nest

Oriental Pied Hornbill

Grey-capped Woodpecker

Crested Serpent Eagle with its meal, Bronze-backed Snake

Red-eyed Bulbul seen daily

Purple-throated Sunbird

Black-headed Bulbul

Dusky Broadbill

Violet Cuckoo quite vocal these time

Green Imperial Pigeon at the same perch every morning

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter

One of the nest of this Black-naped Monarch and has 2 chicks now hehehe and thanks to Alphon

Wild Orang Utan

Rufous-tailed Shama :p

This is John enjoying the view of his dream bird !

I will be off again this Sunday to Kinabatangan River, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley Forest Reserve until the 10th May.

Happy birding folks !