B2A's year 2018 ; photo review
Amazing to note I’m actually home to put this page together. As usual I’ve been busy with travel in the last year. Time goes fast when one trip flows into another and the past year went in an instant. Or should I say the last 10 years? Indeed we did celebrate our 10th anniversary last June with a trip to the fantastic rainforests of Tawau Hills National Park on Borneo. Other highlights were the new Sri Lanka tour and another sweet and smooth Taiwan tour. Borneo featured heavily in 2018 with 4 Sabah tours on top of both personal and family trips to Sarawak. Lesser Sundas, Thailand, West Papua… it was an excellent year. Hope this photo report may give some impressions.
The Philippine Eagle and Japanese Night-heron are top birds photographed by Pete Simpson on the Mindanao leg of the tour.
Hello Brown Wood Owl at Surrey Tea Estate... nice to reconnect with the same species in exactly the same spot 18 years
after my first trip to the island. And what a superbly close encounter with a Sloth Bear it was!
Dowitcher notable sightings. The main tour in March was very enjoyable again with so many superb observations. I post
a little proof with Taiwan Blue Magpie my favourite endemic, and the Flamecrest goes on the list with the cuties.
as we had such close encounters with the Black-faced Spoonbills on the Taiwan tour this year.
birding at the Borneo Highlands. The Spectacled Spiderhunter on the left got rated some good stars on the Internet
Bird Collection website. It was only afterwards I realized how few Crested Partridge (wild birds) photos seem to exist.
Kinabatangan River. And nice indeed to photo them in display. Just meters away, below eye-level; a Whitehead's Broadbill!
When at my parent's I usually go for short walks in the woods behind the house where there is a resident pair of
Black Woodpeckers. Yes, a childhood bird. I use this opportunity to post what I think is one of my most
rewarding shots ever. A pair with 2 baby girls. Taken when I found a nest a few years back.
in between. From the tour in June again photos from the Kinabatangan River and some excellent opportunities happily taken.
The Banded Civet on the night walk behind our lodge was a lifer mammal for me and a pair Bat Hawk
came circling so low above our boat that it wasn't hard to improve on any shots I may have taken previous.
3 participants to Mount Silam near Lahad Datu and Tawau Hills National Park, both in Sabah, Borneo.
I post 4 photos from this trip. Above left is the Bornean Gibbon, a difficult one to photograph and no doubt this is my
best shot so far. They are scarce in most of the easy accessible places, very wary and lightning fast. Happy with this
lucky shot indeed. Above right an incredibly close encounter with a Green Broadbill on Mount Silam. What a colour!
Below left on stake-out a drab looking rarity with a fun sound, the Malaysian Honeyguide.
Below right; as expected I couldn't resist posting another Red-bearded Bee-eater, such a beauty.
Sound recordings from the July Borneo tour;
On the left the song of a Bornean Ground Cuckoo on the Kinabatangan and next the song of 3 Bristleheads from Sepilok.
for looking weird and special. The male Bornean Banded Kingfisher was taken at very close range from the
canopy walkway at Sepilok and the only reason it stayed was that is was still almost dark in the very
early morning; A challenging shot handheld with the shutter speed on 1/8 sec.!!
Maroon Langur, Giant Flying Squirrels, Tarsier... for me personally some of the less spectacular mammals
are no less interesting. Above a Malayan Civet and a Sunda Stink Badger (Skunk) from Kinabatangan.
different from other places in Asia. The critically endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoos were
well enjoyed on Komodo Island. Flores and Timor were brilliant and we had a good run on
Sumba with good sightings of all endemics. Above right is a photo of the Sumba Hornbill.
left my camera in the car... so I got another chance in August indeed. One of the closest encounters with
Orangutan was also from the August trip. Here a mother and baby photographed at Gomantong caves.
only lifers (birds) for the year. Birds of Paradise of course are the main target and we did very well.
Left Red Bird of Paradise and right Wilson's Bird of Paradise, both from Waigeo - Rajah Ampat.
Also from West Papua my best sound recording of the year; The powerful calls of the Black Sicklebill at Arfak Mountains.
fortunate to connect again with one of the icons of SE Asia birding, the Malaysian Rail Babbler. On another morning's
sneak off session I found a nice Siberian Thrush at Kubah NP, a bird with only a handful of records on Borneo.
first ever photo so quite happy with this. "Frogging" seems to be quite popular in Sarawak and if you take
a look at the beauty above it's easy to know why. This is a Black-spotted Rock Skipper found at a waterfall.
mammal for me while waiting for the Rail Babbler to come out. And Eye-browed Wren-Babbler, my first photos of it.
too far from Manila. Philippine Fairy Bluebird isn't easy to photograph so this is another happy shot.
We also made a quick stop at Angono for the Philippine Eagle Owls on the daytime stake-out.
year with a colony twice as big. I've got over a 100 birds now in the garage (and double the poe on the car ;-)
thanks to all our clients, guides, drivers, guests, colleagues, friends, family...everyone ; Thank You!
We are ready for another 10 years! Very best wishes for 2019 to all.