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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Tempasuk Paddy Fields, Kota Belud Update

 30th September 2020

Below is the list of waterbirds seen at the above in the early migratory season together with Oliver:

  • Great Egret
  • Intermediate Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Javan Pond Heron
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Oriental Pranticole
  • Pacific Golden Plover
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Asiatic Dowitcher
  • Common Redshank
  • Common Greenshank
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Red-necked Phalarope
  • Common Snipe
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Little Stint
  • Temminck's Stint
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Whiskered Tern
  • White-winged Tern

Images taken with Swarovski Optik STX95. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is a common passage migrants to Kota Belud


Wood Sandpiper

Little Ringed Plover


Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Red-necked Phalarope

From left to right: Wood Sandpiper (left and bottom right), Black-winged Stilt juvenile and adult and Common Greenshank (middle)

White-winged and Whiskered Tern

Pacific Golden Plover

Scanning for the juvenile Little Stint with Mt. Kinabalu at the background with Ali and Oliver

My setup Swarovski STX95 + TLS APO + Nikon V1 mounted on Swarovski Optik PTH gimbal head and Fotopro carbon fibre tripod

Good sealed road around the paddy field

Shooting the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper!

Happy birding and stay safe everyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Tempasuk Paddy Fields and Kuala Abai Mudflats, Kota Belud

16th September

A few hours at Kota Belud in hoping for some rarities during the Malaysia Day celebration, 4 suspected Little Stint with one among the Red-necked Stint and the other three flew nearby but didn't allow for prolonged view to get the right ID by Oliver. But the crown and overall plumage colour suggested it was the bird that I have been looking for years. But I need to see it longer before deciding for another lifer this year.

Other waterbirds seen:

  • Oriental Darter
  • Purple Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Chinese Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Pond Heron sp
  • Wandering Whistling-Duck
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Common Moorhen
  • Black-backed Swamphen
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Oriental Pratincole
  •  Pacific Golden Plover
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Greater Sand Plover
  • Whimbrel
  • Common Redshank
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Grey-tailed Tattler
  • Terek Sandpiper
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Whiskered Tern
  • Gull-billed Tern (24 birds)


Images taken with Huawei Mate 10 Pro. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The famous Kota Belud Mee Soup, next to the multipurpose hall in town with chicken feet in black soy sauce!

Besides binoculars, spotting scopes is a must have tools for waders watching on the coast


My favourite combo, the Swarovski BTX95 spotting scope. My eyes never felt tired scanning those waterbirds for hours! 

Happy birding everyone and stay safe!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Live Birding on Location: Asia

 1st September 2020

As the world still in the dark in regards of the pandemic Covid-19, Swarovski Optik, Austria came up with ideas of gathering a well known birders in different continents, by showcasing the local birds at places of interest via social media (Facebook and Youtube).

For Asia region, 16 birders from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Borneo (myself and Andrew), Sri Langka and India were selected for the live stream. It was fun and great experience for the team despite experiencing minor glitches during the show.

Luckily, it only rained at Tanjung Aru Beach after the live ended. We managed to get the Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-rumped and Blue-naped Parrot with other birds for the viewers.

Below are the links for the live birding:


Images taken with Swarovski Optik and Huawei. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Blue-naped Parrot feeding on the ornamental palm oil fruits

The level of vignetting at 30x with Swarovski Optik STX95 scope through the Variable Photo Adapter VPA. It is easy to use as well removing the black circle with photo editor

With Andrew at Prince Philip Park, Tanjung Aru Beach. It is about 15 minutes away from downtown Kota Kinabalu. Famous for the sunset, it is also considered one of the best place for garden birding in Sabah with more than 80 species of birds has been recorded such as Collared Kingfisher, Java Sparrow, Rosy Starling, Gull-billed Tern, Chinese Egret and Oriental Pied Hornbill

Happy birding and stay safe everyone!