Articles from November 2008

Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail by Ck Leong

Our little piece of marshland in Tuaran continues to attract visiting waterfowl. This male Northern Pintail Anas acuta seems to be quite at home amongst a group of Wandering Whistling Ducks. It only started feeding about two hours after sunrise. Later a brief visit by a couple of otters brought the whole duck community to a standstill. We were so captivated by the feeding industry of the Pintail that we quickly forgot about the Garganey and Northern Shoveler which were spotted earlier. Wonderful, these ducks.

Red Throated Flycatcher

Red Throated Flycatcher by Ck Leong

This has been a bumper year for this visitor to Borneo. Previously I have only seen the Red Throated Flycatcher Ficedula parva in Thailand and North Vietnam. Back in Sabah this year I have seen the bird at three different locations, the latest near the Power Station at Kinabalu Park. On all occasions, the bird was quick to react and never called. The breeding male with the conspicious red throat has never been recorded in Borneo, perhaps leading to many birders overlooking it. But it’s there!

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush by Ck Leong

A winter visitor! This Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius was not at all worried by my presence when I chanced upon it last week. The bird is seen here almost every winter, preferring it seems, our western coastal areas. On all the previous occasions I have seen this bird, I never hear it call or make any kind of sound. This one was no different. Rather it was quite happy to make its presence known by perching on this tree stump. Good hunting!

Weekend Thriller

Pied Triller by Ck Leong

Ann Marie and Dev took a weekend off their busy schedule in Langkawi and came over to Kota Kinabalu for some birding. We spent time at Kinabalu Park and several areas around Kota Kinabalu. The last bird for the trip was this striking Pied Triller Lalage nigra. In Sabah, this is common in coastal habitat and casuarina trees. Elsewhere it ranges from South Thailand through to Sulawesi and the Philippine islands.

Fly A Kite

Black-Shouldered Kite by Ck Leong

We just have to admit that it is so much easier to see the Black-Shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus now than say 20 years ago. Unfortunately this expansion of both range and number could be due to increased cultivation and turning of forest into scrub and grassland. Whatever it might be, it is always a joy to see this bird hovering and gliding in its search for prey. A friend once told me that these kites have evolved from a previous generation of owls. Comments?

Black-Shouldered Kite by Ck LeongBlack-Shouldered Kite by Ck LeongBlack-Shouldered Kite by Ck Leong