My Binoculars and Spotting Scopes Supported by Swarovski Optik

12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Review of Swarovski Modular Spotting Scopes

94 species of birds in 1 day at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Friday, December 30, 2011

Digiscoping Images at Nikon Vision Japan Website

30th December 2011

Some of my pictures has been published by Nikon Vision Japan at Nikon EDG microsite : at Digiscoping Gallery. This is one of my best achievement  as a bird guide and photographer. Thanks for the supports from my family, best friends and Tee from Nikon Malaysia with Irene from Sandakan Foto.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s edited with Nikon Capture NX2

I will be testing the new Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR soon and hopefully with Nikon V1 mirrorless camera and do not forget to check my upcoming Birding & Digiscoping Workshop for January 2012 at

Happy birding and thanks for everyone who followed and enjoyed my blog for year 2011. See you in 2012 !

Friday, December 23, 2011

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

22nd December 2011

Common winter visitor to Kota Kinabalu city mostly around Tg. Aru water village opposite Sutera Harbour golf course and fish market. The number estimated for this season was 20 and it mixed up together with Whiskered Tern and Great Egret while feeding.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s

With Whiskered Tern


Happy birding and merry Xmas to all my readers !

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birding & Digiscoping Workshop 2012

I will be conducting field trips at Kinabatangan River from January until early April 2012 depending with booking with Minimum of 6 persons and Maximum is 12 persons per trip. The main reason why I chose Kinabatangan River because of the combination between birds and mammals plus great scenery along the river especially at Menanggul tributary.

This workshop is OPEN throughout the year except in December.

Bird guide :

Azahari Reyes @ Jason aka horukuru's profile :

Working as a bird guide based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah since 2006 with clients mostly from UK and Japan. An invited spoke person for Nikon EDG products under Nikon Malaysia and been involved in various bird surveys with Sabah Forestry Department and photography workshops mainly by Nikon Malaysia and Sabah Park.

Pictures has been published in Sepilok Bird Book, Nikon Vision Japan website and promotional materials by Sabah Tourism Board mostly related with bird watching activities. In the process of publishing photographic bird book and coming up with photo exhibitions in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.

Been to Philippines, Indonesia and England as an exhibitor for the bird festivals promoting birding market for Sabah under Sabah Tourism Board at the same time, took the opportunity to know more about birds on those places.

Member of Borneo 400 Club and specialized in Digiscoping ~ Capturing pictures through scope with DSLR and compact camera.

Preferred Nikon equipments for birding and photography and Apple for pictures editing.

References :

Below is the program for 3 Days 2 Nights : EX - SUKAU

DAY 1 :

1200.            : Arrival of participants at Sukau Greenview Bed & Breakfast for registration and lunch.

1400 - 1530  : Basic Birdwatching covering in identification, sounds, behavior and usage of equipments; Binocular and Fieldscope subjects.

1530 - 1800. : Cruising along Menanggul River for Black Hornbill, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Blue-eared Kingfisher and many more. Mammals such as Proboscis Monkey, Orang Utan and Long-tailed Macaque provides opportunity for pictures too.

1830 - 1930  : Dinner

1930 - 2100. : Check list of birds and mammals. End of Day 1. (Lunch and Dinner)


0630 - 0900  : Morning cruise for more birds and wildlife. Back to the lodge for breakfast.

1000 - 1200  : Digiscoping and Bird Photograph, Bird Recording and birding / photography ethics on the field.

1230             : Lunch.

1530 - 1800 : Cruising along Menanggul River for Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Lesser Fish Eagle, Black-naped Monarch and many more. Mammals such as Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Silver Leaf Monkey and Monitor Lizard provides opportunity for pictures too.
1830 - 1930  : Dinner

1930 - 2030  : Night cruise for nocturnal animals such as Leopard Cat, Malay Civets and Buffy Fish Owl.

2045 - 2145  : Check list of birds and mammals. End of Day 2. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)


0630 - 0900  : Morning cruise for birds and wildlife. Back to the lodge for breakfast.

0930 - 1030  : Check list of birds and mammals.

1130 - 1230  : Check out and end of workshop. (Breakfast)

Things to bring :

1. Binocular with minimum configuration of 7x42, 8x32, 8x36, 8x42, 10x32 or 10x42 to maximized viewing of birds and wildlife. Compact binocular such as 8x25 and 10x25 can be used but you will get less Field of View and brightness while birding in the rainforest. Binocular for rental during the river cruise is provided for RM 10 per cruise.

2. DSLR and compact camera with zoom or telephoto lens; 70-200mm, 70-300mm, 300mm and above. Compact camera will be use for demo on Digiscoping. If none of the above, just binocular is fine.

3. Flash and torch lights for night cruise. Subject to weather condition.

4. Poncho or raincoat with hat or cap, sun lotion and sunglass for protection while cruising on the boat. Do not forget to bring insect repellent for mosquitos etc.

5. Proper walking shoes and sandal with long shirts and pants.

6. Laptop etc

What is included :

1. 6 private river cruises at Menanggul river with bird guide and maximum of 8 persons for each boat.

2. All meals at Sukau Greenview Bed & Breakfast with free flow of coffee and tea.

3. Fan room based on Twin Sharing for 2 persons at Sukau Greenview Bed & Breakfast

What is not included :

1. Travel insurance

2. Items of personal nature

3. Alcohol and soft drinks

4. Transportation from place of origin to Sukau Greenview Bed & Breakfast and back

For more info about Sukau Greenview Bed & Breakfast click here

Hope to see you there !

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) In Action !

12th December 2011

A short visit to Ranganan - Timbuk wetland in Tuaran where it hosted the vagrant Pied Avocet 2 weeks ago, I got this shots of fighting Wood Sandpiper. Only few frames were in focus because I was shooting from the car and a bit higher on the ground. Plus their actions was so quick !

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s



That's really hurt !

Happy birding !

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

8th December 2011

Saw this in Corby, England last year and a vagrant in my place and seen once at Pulau Tiga by Chris Kehoe. It was seen at Penampang paddy field by CK Leong in the morning before I arrived for the Blue-tailed Bee Eater.

Some of my friends were so lucky to see this few times at the same place with perfect pictures hahaha and I managed only a record shot despite searching for it the last few days in rain and shine !

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s

The flight pattern of this bird resembled like a Cuckoo

A the mountain now be back tomorrow afternoon. Will try again for the Starling ...

Happy birding !

Friday, December 9, 2011

Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus)

7th December 2011

Another vagrant appeared at Penampang paddy field after Pied Avocet in Tuaran. It was by coincidence were looking for the Blue-tailed Bee Eater seen by Winston the day before, failed to locate the Bee Eater, this pretty looking juvenile as seen hoping on the ground looking for food at the Lady's Finger Ocra orchard.

Common winter visitor to Hong Kong and similar fate like the Pied Avocet. Check my posting below. 1st record for Sabah and probably Borneo :)

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s

Happy birding !

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pied Avocet (Recurvirosta avosetta)

3rd December 2011

Upon seeing this bird posted at Facebook, I rushed to the site at Mengkabong village, Tuaran and saw single bird busy feeding together with Wood Sandpiper, Wandering Whistling Duck and Common Moorhen.

The next few days, it became a hit among birders and photographers as far as Sandakan plus few visiting birders from Japan and Canada. A first record for Sabah, it was out of its range as the nearest wintering ground for this bird is at Hong Kong.

Thanks to Jiun Loong Lai for finding this mega bird and with the increasing numbers of birders cum digiscopers/photographers, Sabah is getting more and more interesting sighting of rare birds especially during the migratory season from September - April compared with few years ago where it was only a handful of enthusiasts.

The best lifer for this year !

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s


Happy birding !

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grey-headed Lapwing (vanellus cinereus)

22nd November 2011

My best friend Roy saw it at Penampang paddy field last Sunday morning causing another excitement among the gang and they rushed to the site within 1 hour but I couldn't make it that day. Met with Ron and Roy yesterday at the same site and saw this pretty looking vagrant for North Borneo hunting for small shells at the paddy field. My last sighting was in Tuaran, 30th November 2007 together with Karim heheh. Refer to this post

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s


I will do a summary of latest rare and vagrant species that has shown up at Penampang on my next posting. Happy birding !

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)

18th November 2011

Another lifer and vagrant found at Penampang paddy field while searching for the Northern Shoveler with Jordan recently. There were 2 birds flying around mixing with Pacific and Barn Swallow, Glossy with Nest-Swiftlet sp. The obvious rump colour caught my attention while looking at the Nest-Swiftlet sp. in flight which looked like the Himalayan Swift.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s


Happy birding !

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunda Bush Warbler

19th November 2011

One of the Greater Sunda endemic found at high elevation and at North Borneo, it is mainly found above 1600mm from sea level. One of the best place to see them at Timpohon Gate, the starting point for climbers at Mt. Kinabalu.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s

500mm ~ cropped for composition edited with Nikon Capture NX2

Happy birding !

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)

14th November 2011

After a week recovering from car accident two Saturday ago causing deep cut on my right palm, went to Tanjung Aru beach with Joe and Alven this afternoon for the Brown Shrike which was seen by others last weekends.

The feeling was awesome looking at this common winter visitors from North Asia through the viewfinder especially when you were shooting with your best friends side by side hahaha. I will be back again hopefully tomorrow to get more images with videos if possible.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapte on Nikon D300s

750mm ~ Cropped 33% edited with Nikon Capture NX2

Happy birding and thanks to Alven for pointing out the exact location of this beauty !

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birding With Andrew & Anthousa

27th October - 2nd November 2011

Had a great time birding and watching wildlife for a week with Andrew and Anthousa, both hailed from Canada, they used this opportunity on their way back to their hometown to enjoy some of the best spots in Asia for holidays after spending 2 and a half years studying in Australia.

A group of Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Storm's Stork seen twice in flight, Bornean Bristlehead at Sepilok and Fruithunter were some of the highlight seen recently and a total of 140 birds recorded on this trip despite the rain occurred in the morning and afternoon.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 via Nikon FSA-L2 DSLR Photo Adapter on Nikon D300s

What a luck !

A pair seen on my final morning along Power Station road


My second sightings of baby Orang Utan in the wild ...

My favorite boatman, Aliu

Andrew & Anthousa getting ready for morning cruise

Misty morning along Kinabatangan river


Menanggul river in the mist ...

One of my favorite bird !

Happy birding !

Monday, October 24, 2011

3rd Borneo Bird Festival 2011

14th - 16th October 2011

It was a huge success with more than 3000 visitors came during the recent Borneo Bird Festival aka BBF at Rainforest Discovery Centre, one of the best place to see the endemic Bornean Bristlehead, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Great Slaty Woodpecker and many more !

Had a great time with the gang displaying some of the bird and mammal pictures for visitors at the same time, we received a good response in regards with Digiscoping ~ The uses of spotting scope coupled with compact or DSLR camera via adapter by explaining to them the benefits etc in capturing images and videos while birding.

Thanks to Tee Nikon Malaysia, Irene from Sandakan Foto, Roy and Winston from Celcom Malaysia and Brian Erwin at Think Tank Photo for the sponsors.

Some pictures are courtesy of Jollence Lee from Borneo Geographic © All Rights Reserved

Ben setting up for Nikon booth

My room at Hotel Ramai with the gang !

Obon Recycle booth selling high quality recycled products

Section dedicated to the late Chien, Seng and Isnadil ...

Tee from Nikon Malaysia unboxing the new Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR

Sabah Park booth

Setting up materials for display at BBC @ Keting2 booth

Kadaiku from Sri Pelancong Sabah

Renowned photo journalist David, Noredah and Diana from Sabah Tourism Board, one of the main organizer for BBF

Sandy testing the new VR scope !

Sandakan Foto / Nikon Malaysia ready for action !

The latest Nikon V1 / J1 mirrorless camera and I want it !

My best buddy Tee from Nikon Malaysia ...

BBC @ Keting2 booth at Day 1


Think Tank Photo, one of the sponsor for the booth and preferred brand for photography and birding by the gang 

Alphon and Gary, Borneo Bird Club president

Think Tank Photo bags on display

The supportive wives !

 Ron explaining quality pictures taken with Digiscoping and Lens

From left to right; Dennis, Jollence, Ghaffar and Azami

See you all next year !