Sabah – the land that the wind blew

Scarlet-rumped Trogon
Black-crowned Pitta
White-crowned Shama

I had the chance to visit the distant state of Sabah, across the South China Sea in the island of Borneo. It was rainy season and a strong wind had been overwhelming the capital city just before I arrived. Luckily there was a break in the dangerous weather so I got to enter the jungle safe and dry.

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It was not as easy birding as I had imagined, but the harvest was more than satisfactory. Among the birds I was able to photograph were:

  • Scarlet-rumped Trogon (Harpactes duvaucelii); male and female on separate occassions
  • Black-crowned Pitta (Erythropitta ussheri) that presented itself very late, almost at dusk
  • White-crowned Shama (Copsychus stricklandii)
  • Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei)
  • Temminck’s Sunbird (Aethopyga temminckii)
  • Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus)
  • White-chested Babbler (Trichastoma rostratum)
  • Scarlet minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus) and Grey-chinned Minivet (Pericrocotus solaris)
  • Dusky Munia (Lonchura fuscans)
  • Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
  • Diard’s Trogon (Harpactes diardii) female only.
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
  • Blue-eared barbet (Psilopogon duvaucelii)
  • Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) including the pair that came too close to focus

Ordinary site, good find

This picinic site close to home has been a popular birding site among local birders for quite some time. A couple of weeks ago word spread that trees have been cut down for some reason. I made a short drive to this place last week and found out later apparently this was no threat to our birding pleasure, it was normal pruning up activity by the local villagers.

Actually this clearing turns out all the better – I can now spot birds farther into the shrubs than before.


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