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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best Birds and Wildlife Images In 2012

29th December 2012

As we are approaching the end of year 2012, below is some of my best images taken during my tours with clients all over the world. Thanks a lot for choosing Sabah as your birdwatching destination and spending your time here with me and hope to see you all again in the future. Looking forward for year 2013 !

Total birds seen for year 2012 was 377 species and areas of visit were at :
  • Mt. Kinabalu
  • Crocker Range
  • Sepilok Forest Reserve
  • Kinabatangan River
  • Tabin Wildlife Reserve
  • Tawau Hills Park
  • Tempasuk, Tuaran and Penampang paddy field
  • Lok Kawi and Tg. Aru Beach

Images taken with Nikon D300s, D700, 300mm 2.8 VR II, 80-400mm VR and Digiscoping Nikon Fieldscope EDG85

Chestnut-crested Yuhina, the commonest endemic found at the mountains in Sabah.

Copper-throated Sunbird photographed at Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok with John and Linda Mckean. It was tiring and fun at the same time tying to get a decent image of this fast moving bird !

Rufous-collared Kingfisher, a must see forest Kingfisher at Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok. A pair was seen quite close on the trail with The Synders early October

Whitehead's Pygmy Squirrel, one of the smallest Squirrel in the world and only found in Borneo

I have been dying to get a flight shot of this Lesser Fish Eagle and opportunity arise while cruising at Tenegang tributary with Bobby and Tracey last June. 

White-browed Crake, a shy creature but posed for me during one of my bird survey in Tuaran district with its immature. 

 Oriental Darter at Kinabatangan River

Small number of Chinese Egret arrived in Sabah during the winter migration from September - April. This one taken at Lok Kawi Beach

 My Japanese birdwatchers Y Bird group loved this Banded Broadbill so much !

Only found at Greater Sunda Islands and luck was on my side with Bjorn when this Black-capped White Eye perched lower than usual at Mesilau Substation


Wandering Whistling Duck ~ The only resident Duck in Sabah taken at Tempasuk paddy field, Kota Belud, the best place for migratory birds

Together with Ian Ewing, while waiting the Bornean Banded Pitta at Crocker Range, a group of Pygmy White Eye came and go at one of the fruiting tree.

Osprey scanning for preys at Tempasuk paddy field

Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush another common endemic found at Mt. Kinabalu. My favorite picture and capture with John Lobel in July

 Another surprise at Tawau Hills Park during the Sabah Park Biodiversity Expo last December, this Mangrove Blue Flycatcher was seen hunting close to the ground and very tame !

You don't see this Crimson-headed Partridge in the open very often !

And this Red-breasted Partridge ! Siew Lin even managed to get a video ..

 Purple-naped Sunbird on top of Ginger flower

Playing hide and seek at Menanggul tributary, Kinabatangan River with John Seymour. Bird of the trip ! ~ Buffy Fish Owl

 Whitehead's Trogon in panoramic mode

My best image of Whitehead's Broadbill with Tim recently ! It stayed in the open and managed to get some video recording through my lens for few minutes

Perfect blue sky on the way to Oxbow Lake at Kinabatangan River, there were at least 8 endangered Storm's Stork flying low that day with Dave Irving

Bornean Pygmy Elephant at Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Capture from the truck along Tomanggong Road with John and Linda Mckean. This is my favorite shot for 2012 ...

Proboscis Monkey, one of Sabah's specialty. You can see them at Klias - Garama and Kinabatangan River

Waited for 10 minutes before this magnificent Helmeted Hornbill flew above us at Oxbow Lake with Daniel and Arlief. What a view !

Happy birding everyone.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Best of Mt. Kinabalu

16th - 20th December 2012

Spent few nights with Tim and Andrew at Mt. Kinabalu and Sepilok recently and during the trip,  saw around 116 birds with key species such as Mt. Serpent Eagle, Whithead's Trogon, Bornean Bristlehead and pictures shown below. But dipped on Rufous-collared and Banded Kingfisher at Rainforest Discovery Centre due to the non-stop rain on the 20th December.

Images taken with Nikon D300s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x

Everett's Thrush ~ Highlight of the trip and saw 3 birds at the same time !

 Whitehead's Broadbill came to the open !

Snowy-browed Flycatcher along the Summit Trail at Mesilau Substation

Shot from Trogon Tower at RDC, this colourful Red-bearded Bee Eater is the only resident Bee Eater here

Juvenile Blue-throated Bee Eater

Tim currently at Kinabatangan River with his wife. Hope they'll manage the rainy weather for wild Orang Utan and Bornean Ground Cuckoo

Happy birding !

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sabah Park Biodiversity Expo 2012

6th - 9th December 2012

Some of the images taken during the expo held at Tawau Hills Park recently organized by Sabah Park. One of the main program was the Bird Race and Bird Photography Race and saw winners from the previous teams Little Bitter and Maliu Basin that competed at Borneo Bird Festival last October.

Total birds seen and heard was over 100++ recorded by the competing teams and Marshall in charge. One of the highlight was the sighting of Mangrove Blue Flycatcher and caused debate among birdwatcher that day between Large-billed Blue Flycatcher (LBBF)or Mangrove Blue Flycatcher (MBF). The evidence of female MBF and sound checked both by Jollence and Andrew Siani, confirming it was a MBF instead of LBBF !

Seen perched low near the ground ...

Other activities such as daily Traditional Dancing by ethnics from Tawau town, Traditional Games also indoor exhibition by Sabah Park, Wildlife Department, Yayasan Sabah, University Malaysia Sabah and Sandakan Foto.

Sandakan Foto, my favorite shop for camera stuff, binoculars and scopes. The only shop that supports the development of birdwatching and nature related event in Sabah !

Images taken with Nikon D700, D300s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x and 24-85mm

Booth by Bugis ethnic

Booth by Iban community

Nescafe provided free coffee for visitors

By Murut group

Minority Tidung group only found on the Southwest of Sabah

Bajau community

Coverage by National Radio & Television, Tawau branch throughout the event

Some of the tallest Dipterocarp trees seen from Kinabalu Avian Club & Borneo Bird Club / Sandakan Foto booth where visitors came and tested some of the Sport Optics on display by Nikon Malaysi. The tallest tropical tree in the world is found here ~ 88.32 metres !

Before the photo session of the Bird Race committee together with Irene from Sandakan Foto (right)

From left to right : Alim Biun, Puan Rimy, Gary (Borneo Bird Club President), Hamit, John Bakar, Mirwan, Jollence, Andrew Siani and yours truly (Kinabalu Avian Club President) at BoBC / KAC booth

Presenting my picture of Purple-naped Sunbird to Mr. Ariffin Johari, Park Warden for Tawau Hills Park during the closing ceremony 

I will be on tour with Andrew this coming Sunday to Mt. Kinabalu and Sepilok Forest Reserve and back to Kota Kinabalu on the 20th December. I will be back to Tawau Hills Park with the gang next April for more bird survey. Hope to see the endemic Bornean Bristlehead as seen at the Natural History Gallery !

Happy birding !