Gould’s Frogmouth

Gould's Frogmouth by Ck Leong

 

Seeing a frogmouth during the day is always an event every birder will remember for a long long time.  In June this year I had such an opportunity at Tabin Wildlife Reserve to see this nesting Gould’s Frogmouth Batrachostomus stellatus.  It was my first proper sighting of this species and it was so wonderful.  The bird was sitting on the nest which was so tiny and almost unseen, on a low branch about 2 metres off the ground.  I digiscoped this photo from the opposite side of the road.

Thanks to Tabin Wildlife Resort and staff for this great sighting.

Hairy-backed Bulbul

Hairy-backed Bulbul by Ck Leong

Despite its name, I wouldn’t spend too much time looking for the hairlike feathers on the back of the Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger.  Better to look for the pale yellow face around the eye.  This common bird of the lowland forest is also one of the smallest bulbuls here.

Wreathed Hornbill

Wreathed Hornbill male

Wreathed Hornbill male

Last month while at Tabin Wildlife Reserve I saw this male Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus steadily feeding his sealed-in female partner on this huge “Mengaris” Koompassia excelsa tree.  I estimated that the nest-hole would be about 40m above the ground.  I believed this is still the incubation period and the male has a huge effort ahead to feed both the female and the coming chick. Studies done in Thailand have indicated that the Wreathed Hornbill would have a feeding range of up to 10 km2 during this breeding season.  On Mount Kinabalu I have seen this hornbill in flight near the mountain huts at around 3,200m.  More power to you, Mr Hornbill.

Blue-headed Pitta

Blue-headed Pitta male

Blue-headed Pitta male

Here’s one of my all time favorites, the Blue-headed Pitta Hydrornis baudii.  This Bornean endemic is locally common in lowland primary forest but is constantly threatened by habitat loss.  Its behavior is similar to that of other pittas as is its feeding habit.

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker male

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker male

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker female

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker female

The genus Hemicircus has only 2 species including this wonderful Grey-and-buff  Woodpecker H. concretus.  The male displays its scarlet triangular crest with great pomp with the female no less respondent in all grey.  While at Tabin Wildlife Reserve many years ago I observed a pair of them excavating a series of holes on a dead branch.  At that time I had never heard of group roosting of these woodpeckers so I thought it was rather smart of this little birds to make some false cavities to fool would be predators.  And of course I admired their great industry.