Articles from October 2012

Bornean Bulbul


The Bornean Bulbul Pycnonotus montis is a montane resident, easier to spot along the Crocker Range and Rafflesia Forest Reserve but rare on Mt Kinabalu.   It is a lively bird, conspicuous by its black crest, elevated when excited.  Its yellow throat distinguishes itself from the Black-crested Bulbul P. melanicterus (black or red throated) with which it was previously subsumed.

Black-naped Monarch

Resident throughout the lowland forests of Borneo, the Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea ranks high for the “cute factor”.  When alert, the nape feathers are raised, producing an elongated head appearance for the bird.  If you spot this bird along a stream on a hot afternoon, you might be rewarded with it diving repeatedly into the water.   The call is not unlike that of the Asian Paradise-flycatcher but at an higher pitch.

Common Hoopoe

Many years ago while visiting the island of Lankayan off the north-east coast of Sabah, a security personnel stationed there described to me what must be the Common Hoopoe.  Since then I have seen this bird on many occasions on my travels on mainland Asia.  But my wait to see the bird on my own shores only ended this morning on Pulau Tiga, an island park south-west of Kota Kinabalu.  It was displaying its normal habits – walking on the ground, probing with its very usable long bill, and when I got too closed, taking off in its characteristic undulating flight.  I did not hear its oop oop oop call from which it got its English name but I wasn’t really listening.  It is not every day one gets to see a rare vagrant.

Special thanks to Chris Kehoe and Osman Saman.