17-31 October 2016.
Mount Kinabalu, Sepilok Forest Reserve, Crocker Range NP,
Kinabatangan, Tawau Hills
An 'out of season' trip in Borneo may still produce a
number of fantastic bird sightings and good photographic
opportunities as I hope to show in this photo report. I
would not call this trip 'complete' as only limited time was
spent on Mount Kinabalu and Danum Valley was not visited.
The lowlands had low bird activity and even less bird
song. Young fledged birds were in evidence. This is
rather normal as obviously this was post-breeding season. I
would like to note April through to September usually are
the best months for a birding trip to Sabah. That said,
birding on Mount Kinabalu was still pretty good on this
occasion with some nice flocks and bird activity experienced
Whitehead's broadbill come true. Asia's iridescent vivid green 'Cock of the Rock' would often make it as bird of the trip just on the usual backlit 'belly shot'. Yes, this fellow is usually found pretty high up in the canopy. This male was following a bird-wave which also had Maroon Woodpecker in it. No sound recordings were used.
This is just the result of an extraordinary bit of luck at a seldom visited location in the Crocker Range.
Ah, and... this IS what it looks like!! Both the current Borneo field guides picture this Broadbill with some
errors; eye-ring, iris colour, feet colour, obvious wing bars, secondaries colour...
Barred Eagle-Owl, KinabatanganBornean Green Magpie, Mt. Kinabalu
took some work to track down at Sepilok Forest Reserve.
This Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Oriental Dwarf) was also at Sepilok, at the Rainforest Discovery Center and close to the canopy walkway. This gem is actually quite common in good forest but not always easy to photograph.
smartly sit at the forest edge and it was no wonder we had the usual thing going on in the grounds; fly-over at rocket speed, perched distant at best. I kind of started wondering about getting good close-up shots. Also because 90% of photographs of this species on the internet are taken in captivity. I would want them photographed in the wild... a distant dream started lingering. I gave up on the resort's grounds and instead walked on closer to a Rambutan plantation and forest edge location. And then it happened, the unexpected!
Buff-necked Woodpecker, SepilokGreater Racket-tailed Drongo, Sepilok
Island Palm Civet, KinabatanganSlow Loris, Sepilok
At a gully in primary forest at Sepilok only poor light comes through to the forest floor but with the full frame
camera it worked out well. Note; not lured with worms neither played sound recordings for getting this.
Raffles's Malkoha, a femaleAshy Tailorbird, Sepilok
so we must share some of the same passion...
out in small groups. Walking the well maintained forest trails at Mount Kinabalu National Park may get you
to run into the squeaks and chatters of 5+ of these cuties.
Bornean Green Magpie, Mt. Kinabalu HQRaffles's Malkoha, the male, at Sepilok
Buff-rumped Woodpecker, maleBornean Forktail, Silau silau trail at Mt. Kinabalu