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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Whitehead's Trogon...

30th August 2013

My best shot so far of this elusive endemic Trogon at the mountain yesterday evening with Andrew and Ron.

Taken with Nikon D300s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x ~ All Rights Reserved ©

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birding With Bernard Family

19th-21st 2013

Spent few nights at Mt. Kinabalu with them and the journey started to Tambunan Rafflesia Centre in a great morning and saw a pair of Whitehead's Spiderhunter feeding at one of the flowering tree along the roadside together with the non-stop Bornean Leafbird. No response from the Long-tailed Broadbill then continued to Kinabalu National Park for the next few days exploring trails and the surrounding beauty of its landscape.

One afternoon were spent around Poring Hot Spring Substation and managed to get scope view of the Gold-whiskered and Red-throated Barbet, Violet Cuckoo, Crested Jay, Sunda Cuckoo Shrike and many more. But the Whitehead's Trogon and Broadbill proved to be difficult these time. Despite searching on its usual locations, no sign whatsoever and only on the final afternoon, saw the Trogon perched quite close to the ground at Silau-Silau Trail. That was an excellent closing!

Images taken with Nikon D300s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x ~ All Rights Reserved ©

Digiscoping the Bornean Swiflet

Waiting for the Everett's Thrush

Pale-faced Bulbul

The endemic Mountain Wren Babbler

Female Raffles' Malkoha

Buff-necked Woodpecker

I will be heading to Sepilok for another Bornean Bristlehead mission by next week. Plus, if I can get another lifer; Large Frogmouth as heard by John last time at one of the forest reserve nearby...

Happy birding!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Best of Tabin Wildlife Reserve 2013

29th July - 2nd August 2013

Spent few nights at Tabin Wildlife Lodge with a good friend of mine, John from Adelaide on a 5 weeks birding holidays and my birding buddy, Eugene to get his last 10 birds of Borneo for Borneo 400 club!

Images were captured with Nikon D300s + 300mm 2.8 VR II + TC1.4x and Digiscoping with Swarovski STX 95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 and 18.5mm. Lights in the evening with Fenix TK45 and TK35 torches. ~ All Rights Reserved ©

Eugene photographing the Oriental Darter at one of the small pond on the roadside. Check his website at

 Oriental Darter aka Snake bird.

The first day started with a fast moving Bold-striped Tit-Babbler plus Crimson Sunbird and Collared Kingfisher on the way to the reserve. Wallace's Hawk Eagle feeding on Rat also added more excitement for both John and Eugene.

 Juvenile Wallace's Hawk Eagle

Upon arrival at the lodge, saw Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and the famous Black & Yellow Broadbill including Plain Sunbird feeding at one of the fruiting tree next to the restaurant and Grey & Buff Woodpecker. There were many Bulbuls seen along the walkway between the River and Hill Lodge too. During the Dusk and Nights Drive, saw Leopard Cat, Malay Civet, Wild Boar and Sunda Frogmouth (brown morph). The Reddish Scops Owl were responding to my playback on each night but a bit far to be seen.

Paradise Gliding Snake found by the Housekeeping staffs at Eagle's Nest Lodge.

The pattern on the head quite interesting. It is a mildly venomous snake.

Scarlet-rumped Trogon

Eugene waiting for the Blue-headed Pitta

Pig-tailed Macaque on the lookout...

Oriental Pied Hornbill, the commonest and near human species out of 8 Hornbills found in Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Crested Serpent Eagle sitting proudly without bothering us!

Colugo aka Flying Lemur found by Eugene just in front of the Eagle's Nest Lodge one evening. What a treat!

Barred Eagle Owl, a rare Owl and my best shot so far.

Sunda Frogmouth (brown morph)

I was also lucky to get a lifer on the final evening with the help of Wang Kong and Rafel, both were excellent bird guides based in Tabin Wildlife Lodge

Waited for more than 1 hour to get this secretive Blyth's Frogmouth into a view!

Striped Wren Babbler were very cooperative as usual for pictures and videos.

Driving back to the lodge with John and Rafel

It was dry without rain at the reserve and by mid day, the heat was really affecting everyone as seen on the picture above at Bora access road, resting for a while

Key species seen:
  1. Great-billed Heron
  2. Storm's Stork
  3. Helmeted Hornbill
  4. Blue-headed Pitta
  5. Black & Crimson Pitta
  6. Bornean Banded Pitta
  7. Blyth's Frogmouth
  8. Sunda Frogmouth
  9. Barred Eagle Owl

Tabin is getting better now. From the rooms to the food served for their customers, it has the reputation to become one of the best birding place in Sabah. More birds were found and new trails explored by dedicated guides that works with Tabin Wildlife Lodge. Based on records, you can get more than 60 birds in the morning for few hours. Plus good lights at the reserve also a bonus for wildlife and bird photographers. All I need is to get more clients to visit Tabin for my future birdwatching tours. Good birding!

Eid Ul-Fitr festival is around the corner and I will be away after that for few days at Mt. Kinabalu.

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