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Peter Ericsson | profile | all galleries >> Birds of Malaysia >> Birds of Sepilok and Kinabantangan, East Malaysia (Borneo) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Birds of Sepilok and Kinabantangan, East Malaysia (Borneo)

Sepilok, Kinabantangan, Sabah, Borneo 21-28 of July 2011.

By Peter Ericsson
pkknjj@yahoo.com


Prior to this trip I had been to Sabah 3 times. Each time I only visited Mt Kinabalu as I fell in love with the mountain. Thus I post phoned a visit to the low land rainforests of Sepilok and Kinabantangan until now.

I pre booked my tickets with Airasia quite some time back. Flew Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Sandakan and back for 200$US.
The flights went well and I found myself at Sandakan around 8:30pm.
A half hour taxi ride driven by an elderly gentleman took me to Sepilok B&B some 400m from my birding spot: Rainforest Discovery Center.

The B&B has an older section and a newer. It is run more as a hostel then anything and I would best classify it as adequate as the personnel were friendly but rather untrained. Breakfast is a cup of coffee and two slices of bread plus a banana if you are lucky. Eggs have to be bought. Breakfast served 7 am.


Wi Fi is free and there are cold Tiger beers available howbeit twice as expensive as
in Thailand at 7 Ringit per can. The closeness to RDC makes up for any lacks though and I would use the place again if on my own but would choose other lodging if bringing a group. Rooms were clean.

I google earthed the Sepilok area before I left home and it showed the RDC being at the Northern edge of a larger forested area. I enjoyed 2 and a half days of absolutely
great birding, walking the many trails in a varied landscape. It felt like magic land and as I look over the birdlist I can only marvel at the diversity and beauty of what I saw in this rather small area.

I had booked a tour with 'Nature Lodge' to see the wildlife along the Kinabantangan river a couple of hours drive from Sepilok.
It was recommended by a friend who is an avid birder. The place was run superbly.

Pick up on time, welcome drink and instructions clear. 2 nights stay, 4 boat rides, one morning walk, 2 night walks, all meals and great rooms (I had their best room). The food was very good, rooms clean and spacious, guides dedicated.

There was a great network of trails adjacent to their grounds. They also had a long boardwalk surrounding their property from where I saw several good birds.
Only drawback with a trip like this is that one has to share the boat with general
tourists and so evidently one ends up spending too much time on monkeys. I was told they would give us our own boat if we were a company of 4-5 or one could rent a boat alone as well.

The wildlife along the river was as good as it gets. I never counted on the Bornean
Ground Cuckoo as I believe that requires help from a couple of well known
guides. I had views of 6 Hornbill species, Lesser Adjutant, several Storm’s Stork,
and of course Orang Utan, Proboscis monkeys, Silver Langur, Small-clawed Otter,
Bearded Pig, crocs, Pygmy and Black Squirrel, just to name a few.

I extended my tour with another day as I enjoyed myself so much.
Then I went back to Sepilok and the B&B for another afternoon and morning at the RDC.

Light wasn’t very good throughout the trip with most days being gloomy so I struggled a bit to get clear pictures.

There were a good amount of birders at the RDC, many from Thailand but also Jason Bugay from KK and Robert Hutchinson from BirdtourAsia.
At the Sepilok B&B there were several groups of students so it was good I had booked in advance.

Anyone interested in a tour to Borneo should check out this offer http://www.birding2asia.com/tours/Borneo.html .

Here is my list.

1. Chestnut-necklaced Partridge - heard at Kinabantangan
2. Storm’s Stork – lifer seen 4 times along the river
3. Lesser Adjutant – seen twice at KB
4. Black-crowned Night Heron – seen in flight at KB
5. Purple Heron – two birds seen at KB
6. Little Egret – 1 seen
7. Intermediate Egret – several at the river and the ox lake
8. Great Egret – a couple along the river
9. Rufous-bellied Eagle – one adult at KB
10. Changeable Hawk Eagle – one pale morph at KB
11. Wallace’s Hawk Eagle – one perched at KB
12. Jerdon’s Baza – a couple along the river
13. Crested Serpent Eagle – common along the river
14. White-breasted Waterhen – seen near the B&B
15. Spotted Dive – common
16. Emerald Dove – seen twice at KDC
17. Cinnamon-headed Pigeon – lifer 2 seen in flight over canopy of RDC
18. Pink-necked Pigeon – a few flocks seen at the RDC and surroundings
19. Green Imperial Pigeon – common at KB
20. Long-tailed Parakeet – daily flocks at Kinabantangan Nature Lodge
21. Violet Cuckoo – a lovely male seen snatching insects from the canopy walkway
for prolonged times.
22. Plaintive Cuckoo – heard often
23. Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo – heard at the RDC
24. Banded Bay Cuckoo – heard at KB
25. Greater Coucal – commonly heard
26. Chestnut-bellied Malkoha – only Malkoha seen, RDC
27. Glossy Swiftlet – common at RDC
28. Edible Nest Swiftlet – swiftlet with pale rump should have been this one at RDC
29. Black-nest Swiftlet – dark rumped swiftlet seen at KB
30. Silver-rumped Spinetail – 1 seen drinking water at RDC
31. Diard’s Trogon – one male showing well on a few occasions at RDC
32. Red-naped Trogon – lifer - ¬¬ a pair seen at both the RDC and the KB
33. Collared Kingfisher – common in secondary growth
34. Chestnut-collared Kingfisher – 1 female taped in at RDC
35. Ruddy Kingfisher – 1 at RDC
36. Blue-eared Kingfisher – a few along the river
37. Stork-billed Kingfisher – a few along the river
38. Banded Kingfisher – a pair taped in at the Bristletower
40. Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (black-backed) – seen well at the RDC
41. Blue-throated Bee-eater – a few at RDC and KB
42. Red-bearded Bee-eater – heard at RDC
43. Dollarbird – seen twice in secondary growth
44. Bushy-crested Hornbill – group of 3 seen at KB
45. Wreathed Hornbill – pair in flight across the river
46. Wrinkled Hornbill – a few groups along the river
47. Rhinocerous Hornbill – seen well twice
48. Pied Hornbill – common
49. Black Hornbill – common
50. Blue-eared Barbet – 1 seen at RDC, heard often
51. Brown Barbet – seen a couple times at RDC
52. Olive-backed Woodpecker – heard frequently at RDC but unfortunately not seen
53. Maroon Woodpecker – 1 at RDC
54. White-bellied Woodpecker – seen a few times at RDC
55. Crimson-winged Woodpecker – 1 seen at RDC
56. Orange-backed Woodpecker – a group of 3 seen extremely well on two days at
RDC
57. Buff-rumped Woodpecker – 1 at RDC, 1 at KB
58. Buff-necked Woodpecker – 1 RDC, 1 KB
59. Grey and buff Woodpecker – a pair at the Bristlehead tower on my last morning.
Such lovely birds that I hadn’t seen for years.
60. Black-red Broadbills – seen at both places, pretty common in the right habitat
61. Black-yellow Broadbills – the most common of the Broadbills….seen at both
Places
62. Banded Broadbill – 1 seen at close range at RDC
63. Black-headed (black-crimson) Pitta – lifer and my main target bird, love them
Pittas….seen at RDC and photographed at Kinabantangan Nature Lodge
64. Hooded Pitta – heard at RDC , seen at KB
65. Green Iora – seen RDC
66. Common Iora – seen RDC
67. Lesser Green Leafbird – RDC
68. Fiery Minivet – flock at RDC, haven’t seen for years so a nice one
69. Lesser Cuckoo Shrike – 1 female along the Kingfisher track at RDC
70. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch – seen at both places, quite different colors from the Thai
Version
71. Asian Fairy Bluebird – 1 seen at both places
72. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo – a few at RDC
73. Black Magpie – a flock of 4 at RDC, very different looking from the Thai
version…surely a split one day.
74. Slender-billed Crow – a few at RDC, lovely call
75. Crested Jay – 1 at RDC, very different from Thai version, brown, smallish, not as
loud, must be a future split
76. Bristlehead – lifer – saw a flock of 4 on two different days, birds way up high,
very happy to have this one under the belt.
77. White-breasted Woodswallow – common in suitable habitat
78. Pacific Swallow – common
79. Rufous-tailed Tailorbird – common at KB
80. Ashy Tailorbird – common at KB
81. Dark-necked Tailorbird – seen once
82. Yellow-bellied Prinia – seen once, heard often
83. Black-headed Bulbul – seen at KB
84. Puff-backed Bulbul – a pair at RDC, hadn’t seen it for years
85. Olive-winged Bulbul – common
86. Yellow-vented Bulbul – common
87. Cream-vented Bulbul – common, Bornean race has red eyes, hard to tell from
Red-eyed.
88. Red-eyed Bulbul – common in secondary growth
89. Spectacled Bulbul – 1 bird at RDC
90. Streaked Bulbul – a pair at RDC
91. Hairy-backed Bulbul – 2 at RDC
92. Yellow-bellied Bulbul - heard at KB
93. Buff-vented Bulbul – 1 at RDC
94. Black-capped Babbler – seen at both places
95. Short-tailed Babbler – 2 at RDC
96. White-chested Babbler – readily seen at both places
97. Ferruginous Babbler – 1 at RDC
98. Sooty-capped Babbler – a group of 4 came in to bath at RDC, only my 2nd ever
sighting
99. Scaly-crowned Babbler – 1 at RDC
100. Crimson-winged Babbler – common at both places
101. Bold-striped Tit Babbler – lifer, very different from the Thai Tit Babbler
102. Javan Myna – a pair
103. Common Myna – common
104. Hill Myna – common at RFC
105. Asian Glossy Starling – common
106. Oriental Magpie Robin – common, better called ‘black-bellied magpie robin’
107. White-crowned Shama – lovely endemic bird seen at both places
108. White-crowned Forktail – seen daily at RDC
109. Malaysian Blue Flycatcher – lifer - twice at KB
110. Verditer Flycatcher – RDC
111. Asian Paradise Flycatcher – 1 white phase at KB
112. Pied Fantail – common
113. Black-naped Monarch – seen at both places
114. Purple-throated Sunbird – once at RDC
115. Olive-backed Sunbird – common
116. Crimson Sunbird – the most common sunbird
117. Purple-naped Sunbird – once at RDC
118. Plain Sunbird – 1 at RDC
119. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird – seen at both places
120. Little Spiderhunter – seen at both places
121. Yellow-eared Spiderhunter – seen once
122. Chestnut Munia – very common at RDC
123. Eurasian Tree Sparrow - common
Great Egret
Great Egret
Lesser Adjutant
Lesser Adjutant
Storm's Stork
Storm's Stork
Storm's Stork
Storm's Stork
Oriental Darter
Oriental Darter
Crested Serpent Eagle
Crested Serpent Eagle
White-breasted Waterhen
White-breasted Waterhen
Edible Swiftlet?
Edible Swiftlet?
Diard's Trogon
Diard's Trogon
Red-naped Trogon
Red-naped Trogon
Red-naped Trogon
Red-naped Trogon
Red-naped Trogon
Red-naped Trogon
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Banded Kingfisher
Banded Kingfisher
Black Hornbill
Black Hornbill
Black Hornbill
Black Hornbill
Black Hornbill
Black Hornbill
Pied Hornbill
Pied Hornbill
Pied Hornbill
Pied Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Rhinocerous Hornbill
Rhinocerous Hornbill
Wreathed Hornbill
Wreathed Hornbill
Brown Barbet
Brown Barbet
Brown Barbet
Brown Barbet
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
White-bellied Woodpecker
White-bellied Woodpecker
Banded Broadbill
Banded Broadbill
Black-red Broadbills
Black-red Broadbills
Black-headed Pitta (Black-crimson)
Black-headed Pitta (Black-crimson)
Black-headed Pitta (Black-crimson)
Black-headed Pitta (Black-crimson)
Black-headed Pitta (Black-crimson)
Black-headed Pitta (Black-crimson)
Hooded Pitta
Hooded Pitta
Fiery Minivet
Fiery Minivet
Fiery Minivet
Fiery Minivet
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Black Magpie
Black Magpie
Slender-billed Crow
Slender-billed Crow
Crested Jay
Crested Jay
Bristlehead
Bristlehead
Bristlehead
Bristlehead
Rufus-tailed Tailorbird
Rufus-tailed Tailorbird
Red-eyed Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Puff-backed Bulbul
Puff-backed Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Olive-winged Bulbul
Olive-winged Bulbul
Cream-vented Bulbul
Cream-vented Bulbul
Cream-vented Bulbul
Cream-vented Bulbul
Black-capped Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Bold-striped Tit Babbler
Bold-striped Tit Babbler
White-chested Babbler
White-chested Babbler
White-chested Babbler
White-chested Babbler
White-chested Babbler
White-chested Babbler
Sooty-capped Babbler
Sooty-capped Babbler
Sooty-capped Babbler
Sooty-capped Babbler
Javan Myna
Javan Myna
Glossy Starling
Glossy Starling
Magpie Robin
Magpie Robin
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama
Malaysian Blue Flycatcher
Malaysian Blue Flycatcher
Crimson Scarlet
Crimson Scarlet
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter