Articles from December 2011

Mugimaki Flycatcher

Mugimaki Flycatcher male

End of the year is on us and happily for the birders some migrants continue to stay with us.  Up on higher elevations, the Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki displays its hunting ability from low perches.  Away from its Northern Asian breeding grounds, it is usually silent.  See you next year.

Red-billed Starling

It got better.  While celebrating our encounter with the European Starling over breakfast, we got news of another starling at the same area in Penampang.  The light rain didn’t hamper procedure and the bird was a cracker.  A Red-billed Starling Sturnus sericeus.  It was feeding on an Okra plot and later flew to a banana plant.  Joy for all those with photo gear.

This starling is the first record of the species in Borneo.  Thanks to Eugene and the gang.

European Starling

This morning’s outing to the rice paddies of Penampang didn’t go according to plan – it went way over.  While scanning for migrant shrikes (there were 2, the Brown and the Long-tailed Shrike), something much larger caught my attention.  Wait, it looks like a… yes a European Starling!  It may be very common in Europe and mainland Asia, even considered as a pest, it may be able to mimic speech or holler Mortimer or whatever else it is capable of.  What matters is that there is a lone European Starling in my scope, only the 2nd record for this bird in Borneo.  It does not get better than this.

Pied Avocet

Ok, they may be common elsewhere but this particular Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avocetta is a mega for birders and birdwatching in Borneo!  Today at a small mangrove area in Tuaran, north of Kota Kinabalu, we had the second authenticated sighting of this bird in Borneo.  It was last seen in January 2009 in Kuching, Sarawak.  This wader has such striking black and white features when in flight and when feeding in the mud, the side-to-side movement of its upturned bill is wonderful to watch.  Enjoy!