Articles from December 2010

Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush

Here’s another very noticeable bird of the Bornean mountains, the Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush Rhinocichla treacheri.  It forages in small groups, mainly in the lower to mid level canopy.  It also joins up with Sunda Laughingthrush or other mixed feeding flocks.  A Bornean endemic.

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha

I haven’t seen the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Rhopodytes sumatranus for the longest time now.  During the 90’s, it was still common enough around the secondary forest outside of Sepilok.  There must be a serious decline in the population of this bird so much so it is now classified as (IUCN) near threatened.  So I was thrilled to see this individual (one of a pair ) while on a recent outing to the peat swamp forest of Klias, south of  Beaufort.  Its habits are as other malkohas, taking short flights from tree to tree and disappearing quickly into the foilage.

Bornean Whistler

The Bornean Whistler Pachyecephala hypoxantha is a common bird of the mountains here.  When at Mt Kinabalu this is probably one of the easiest endemic birds you will encounter.  When it is perched, it likes to tilt its head this way and that while looking out for insects.

Brown Boobook

I have never been lucky with day time roosting owls in Borneo.  So on a night (around 9pm) outing at the Klias Peatswamp Forest in Beaufort 3 days ago, I had to take my chance with this Brown Boobook Ninox scutulata borneensis.  It was moving back and forth from tree to electric wire, at times feeding on insects.  Early the next morning I could still hear its hoot whoo whoop so I suppose this is its hawking area.

Digiscoped with Swarovski ATS65 HD and Sony DSC W7.

Thanks very much to Andrew who held the torch light with one hand while trying to get his shots with the other hand.


A blue ribbon day for migrant ducks.  Today at a small fish pond in Tuaran, fellow bird guide Thomas and I spotted a small group of visiting Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula feeding amongst the locals.  The residents, Wandering Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna arcuata and Common Moorhens Gallinula chloropus, have always been seen here.  More joy to follow when a female Garganey Anas querquedula joined the group.  Not to be outdone, two pairs of Northern Shovellers Anas clypeata with their big spatulate bills came out of the reeds.  No Daffy but it was already a grand day.

Tufted Duck 2 males with 1 female

Tufted Duck male eclipse

Tufted Duck & Wandering Whistling Duck

Garganey female

Northern Shoveler male eclipse

Northern Shoveler & Garganey

The locals, Wandering Whistling Ducks