Articles from September 2009

Black-backed Swamphen

Black-backed Swamphen by Ck Leong

This morning’s trip to the paddy fields of Kota Belud produced a pleasant surprise – a whole party of feeding swamphens, something which I had previously witnessed only in India. We saw about 10 Black-backed Swamphen Porphyrio indicus with at least 1 juvenile from our spot at the side of the road. The birds were constantly on the move, flicking their tails at the same time. Once only known from south Borneo, their spread has been quite remarkable. Not that I am complaining.

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Asian Brown Flycatcher by Ck Leong

They are back! Today we welcomed the first of the northern Asian migrant flycatchers back to our warm shores. On a very good morning of birding at the Penampang hills just outside of Kota Kinabalu, we found this energetic Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica hawking for passing insects from this nice perch. This bird has never disappointed us, returning year after year. You get the nice feeling that Mother Nature is always around.

Grey-cheeked Bulbul

Grey-cheeked Bulbul by Ck Leong

When in the upper reaches of hill forests, care is the order of the day when it comes to this Grey-cheeked Bulbul Alophoixus bres with the quite similar Ochraceous Bulbul. Our Grey-cheeked Bulbul displays a white throat, often puffed out, and yellow underparts while the other Bulbul has a similar white throat but with buff underparts and cinnamon vent.

Collared Kingfisher

Collared Kingfisher by Ck Leong

With 50 subspecies, the Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris must be one of the most polymorphic of all bird species. It also ranges across an immense geographical area from the Red Sea to the Samoan islands. In Borneo, this resident bird is found over an impressive altitudinal range from sea level to 1500m, just outside of Kinabalu Park. In urban areas, it has adapted extremely well, seen in gardens and on electrical or telephone cables. Whatever the habitat, the bird’s harsh calls can be heard throughout the day.