Rainbow Bee-eater

rainbow-bee-eater by Ck Leong

On November of 2013, I was visiting Maratua Island off East Kalimantan when I first hear about this beautiful bird.  The Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus is a bird of Australia which flies north during the Austral winter towards eastern Indonesian islands.  I had previously seen it on the island of Sulawesi and I was really hoping to see it again.  But I missed the last sighting on Maratua island that year by about one week.  But luck returned to me this July when a group of these wonderful birds were sighted in the Silam Coast Conservation Area near to Lahad Datu on the east coast of Sabah.  It was a first for this species in Sabah and I was very thankful for this opportunity to visit it again.

Large-tailed Nightjar

Large-tailed Nightjar by Ck Leong

The Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus Macrurus is the commonest nightjar in Borneo.  You will be able to hear its tok tok calls in various kinds of habitat from grassland, secondary forest to cultivated areas and even in urban areas.  Add off-shore habitat as well as I found this particular individual on a small island off Kota Kinabalu.  Always nice to see a nocturnal bird in the day!

Roseate Tern

Roseate Tern by Ck Leong

There are few records of the Roseate Tern breeding along the coast of Borneo.  However since last year, this bird has been observed in breeding plumage on a small rocky outcrop just off the Layang-layangan beach on the west side of Labuan island.  I was able to visit this location in June this year and saw that indeed these birds were breeding here.  There was a small colony of this species together with Bridled and Black-naped Terns.  I had been hoping to see this tern for a long time and it was a wonderful moment.  Thanks to my birding friends from Labuan.

Bornean Swiftlet

Bornean Swiftlet by Ck Leong

The Bornean Swiftlet Collocalia dodgei is found in the mountains of Borneo.   It is not uncommon for it to live together with the more common and very similar Glossy Swiftlet.  The Glossy is found in a wide variety of habitat from coastal to montane forest.  In flight both species show its white belly but the Bornean has a dark green sheen to its upper feathers while the Glossy display a dark blue gloss.

Banded Bay Cuckoo

Banded Bay Cuckoo. Crocker Range National Park, Sabah.  06 May 2016

Banded Bay Cuckoo. Crocker Range National Park, Sabah. 06 May 2016

From the few occassions when I was able to spot the Banded Bay Cuckoo, I consider myself to be real lucky this time to be able to get a photo of this bird.  As in previous sightings, the bird was calling from the edge of (disturbed) forest.  If you are not familiar with the call, look for dark eye stripe and pale supercilium with dark eye ring.