My Binoculars and Spotting Scopes Sponsored by Swarovski Optik

12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Monday, June 29, 2020

Frog's mouth galore at Sayap Substation

26-28th June 2020

My 2nd overnight visit to Sayap Substation, Sabah Parks with John, Adrian and Roger for the Bornean Frogmouth, Bonaparte's Nightjar and the elusive Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler. But luck was not on my side again this time. On the first evening, while looking for the Frogmouth and Nightjar, we saw at least five different species of nocturnal frogs in different sizes.

It was a good birding on Saturday morning with Mt Barbet, Whitehead's Broadbill and Hill Blue Flycatcher. Then rain came late in the afternoon continuously until we left on Sunday morning after breakfast that causes flash floods at few districts in Sabah including Kota Belud itself!

By the way, I got the Pin-tailed Parrotfinch as my lifer for Borneo number 514 :D

Birds list for Sayap Substation and Tempasuk Plains:
  1. Wandering Whistling Duck
  2. Black-crowned Night Heron
  3. Cinnamon Bittern
  4. Javan Pond Heron
  5. Purple Heron
  6. Great Egret
  7. Little Egret
  8. Brahminy Kite
  9. Black-shouldered Kite
  10. White-browed Crake
  11. Buff-banded Rail
  12. Watercock
  13. Common Moorhen
  14. Black-backed Swamphen
  15. Black-winged Stilt
  16. Common Sandpiper
  17. Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo
  18. Whiskered Treeswift
  19. Glossy Swiftlet
  20. Edible Nest-Swiftlet
  21. Rufous-backed Kingfisher
  22. Mountain Barbet (E)
  23. Banded Woodpecker
  24. Whitehead's Broadbill (E)
  25. Bornean Leafbird (E)
  26. Scarlet Minivet
  27. Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike
  28. Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike
  29. Black & Crimson Oriole
  30. Ashy Drongo
  31. Bornean Treepie (E)
  32. Pacific Swallow
  33. Rufous-tailed Tailorbird
  34. Ochraceous Bulbul
  35. Cinereous Bulbul
  36. Bornean Bulbul (E)
  37. Yellow-vented Bulbul
  38. Yellow-bellied Warbler
  39. Grey-throated Babbler
  40. Erpornis
  41. Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush (E)
  42. Oriental Magpie-Robin
  43. Bornean Forktail (E)
  44. Hill Blue Flycatcher
  45. Verditer Flycatcher
  46. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
  47. Black-naped Monarch
  48. Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
  49. Bornean Flowerpecker (E)
  50. Olive-backed Sunbird
  51. Temminck's Sunbird
  52. Bornean Spiderhunter (E)
  53. Little Spiderhunter
  54. Dusky Munia
  55. Pin-tailed Parrotfinch
  56. Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Images taken with Swarovski Optik and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Bailey's bridge is common throughout the state


Comfort is essential while camping!

My trusted gear for night birding; Swarovski Optik EL 10x32 Fieldpro and Nitecore P30 torch

Taking pictures of the unID frog

UnID frog

Juvenile Horned Frog

Horned Frog

Back view of the Horned Frog

UnID frog

Looking at the Western Plateau of Mt. Kinabalu with Swarovski Optik STX95

Adrian and Roger along the access road

Kg. Sayap is one of the producer for sweet Pineapple in Sabah!

John and Adrian on the ridge while looking for raptors


Crested Agamid, seen from the Nikon V1 screen through the Swarovski Optik STX95

Lunch time while waiting for the rain to stopped


Top, middle and bottom pictures view of the hill forest around the substation

It was still raining heavily on Sunday morning 

Spot where John spotted the Pin-tailed Parrotfinch on the right side of the road

Great Mormon

Crested Agamid Lizard

Bornean Bulbul seen daily 

 Female Bornean Flowerpecker on the Medinilla fruits 

On rescue mission with KB4WDC 


 Tempasuk Plain with Mt. Kinabalu at the background

Happy birding everyone!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

RTM Old Telecommunication Field

21st June 2020

There were at least 30 to 40 species of birds seen and heard on this particular location especially the Eastern Grass Owl (dipped) after trying for several days and nights. It is also one of the best place to photographed the majestic Mt. Kinabalu in the morning!

Bird lists (will be updated in the future):
  1. Wandering Whistling Duck
  2. Purple Heron
  3. Great Egret
  4. Cattle Egret
  5. Oriental Darter
  6. Brahminy Kite
  7. Black-shouldered Kite
  8. White-breasted Waterhen
  9. Little Tern
  10. Spotted Dove
  11. Zebra Dove
  12. Pink-necked Green Pigeon
  13. Greater Coucal
  14. Large-tailed Nightjar
  15. Glossy Swiftlet
  16. Edible Nest-Swiftlet
  17. Collared Kingfisher
  18. Blue-throated Bee-Eater
  19. Common Flameback
  20. Sunday Pygmy Woodpecker
  21. Common Iora
  22. Pied Triller
  23. Long-tailed Shrike
  24. Pacific Swallow
  25. White-breasted Woodswallow
  26. Yellow-bellied Prinia
  27. Yellow-vented Bulbul
  28. Asian Glossy Starling
  29. Oriental Magpie Robin
  30. Striated Grassbird
  31. Pied Fantail
  32. Orange-backed Sunbird
  33. Copper-throated Sunbird
  34. Olive-backed Sunbird
  35. Brown-throated Sunbird
  36. Black-headed Munia
  37. Paddyfield Pipit
  38. Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Images taken with Swarovski Optik STX95 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Long-tailed Shrike, subspecies of bentet, locally common on the East Coast of Sabah and has expended throughout the state


Spotted Dove

Excellent habitat for the Eastern Grass Owl which was seen early in the morning by others


Some building in progress

Morning view of Mt. Kinabalu

Happy birding!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Kg. Indai Paddy Field

9th June 2020

I was hoping for the Long-tailed Shrike here, but upon arriving at the same spot where I saw a pair yesterday, one flew off and the other one was quite a distance for a good pics tru the scope. There were some activity by the farmers too, a few plots has been ploughed with the machines and medium sizes group of Little, Great and Cattle Egret was tailgating around the farmer.

Plus saw two nests still under construction by the Baya Weaver just next to the main road!

Birds seen:
  • Purple Heron
  • Little Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Buff-banded Rail
  • Watercock
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Common Moorhen
  • Plum-toed Swiftlet
  • White-breasted Wood-Swallow
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Pied Triller
  • Long-tailed Shrike
  • Zebra Dove
  • Spotted-necked Dove
  • Striated Grassbird
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  •  Black-headed Munia
  • Eurasian Treesparrow

 Images taken with Swarovski Optik STX95 + Nikon V1 and Huawei 10 Mate Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Paddy field

Olive-backed Sunbird

Pied Triller

 Baya Weaver

Black-headed Munia

Long-tailed Shrike

Happy birding!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Birding at Bukit Payung Wetland

6th June 2020

Spent a few hours with the gang yesterday for the uncommon resident Ruddy Kingfisher at the same time managed to get a few sound recordings such as Collared Kingfisher, in flight Great Egret and juvenile Ashy Tailorbird begging for food from the parents. The Kingfisher itself came in the open only after I left and it was a lifer for Khairul hahaha after more than 15 years trying!

Birds seen and heard:
  • Oriental Darter
  • Lesser Adjutant
  • Purple Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Brahminy Kite
  • White-bellied Fish-Eagle
  • Whiskered Tern 
  • Little Tern
  • Pink-necked Green Pigeon
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Ruddy Kingfisher (heard)
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher 
  • Blue-throated Bee-Eater
  • Common Flameback
  • Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
  • Green Iora
  • Pied Triller
  • Germain's Swiftlet 
  • Plume-toed Swiftlet
  • Pacific Swallow
  • White-breasted Wood-Swallow
  • Olive-winged Bulbul
  • Ashy Tailorbird
  • Oriental Magpie Robin
  • Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
  • Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
  • Brown-throated Sunbird  
  • Dusky Munia
  • Black-headed Munia

Images taken with Swarovski Optik STX95 + Nikon V1 and Huawei P10 Mate Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Part of the Mengkabung River

Mangrove forest

It is important to have a spotting scope for a long distance observation (Swarovski Optik STX95 with TLS APO 30 adapter for Digiscoping with Nikon V1)

Plenty of death trees here and saw many birds perched on top and some of it were chased by others too!

Low tide around 1630 hrs with Mt. Kinabalu among the clouds after the rain

Fiddler Crab

This White-breasted Wood-Swallow looks pretty but aggressive against the Collared Kingfisher!

Great Egret

Sound recording of the juvenile Ashy Tailorbird at Xeno-Canto

Stay safe everyone during this pandemic COVID-19.

Happy birding!