Sunda Teal

Sunda Teal by Ck Leong

The Sunda Teal Anas gibberifrons is a super rare duck previously only known from Kalimantan.  I would also mention here the Indonesian island of Sulawesi being the other location nearest to where I saw these ducks, at a disused (prawn farming) pond at the Tinagat beach near to the town of Tawau in south-east Sabah.  This duck has been making sporadic visits to this area since the beginning of this year.  On my visit here in October, I was rewarded with a flock of 14 birds!

Thanks to Kok On Ku, fellow birder and photographer who led me to this great spectacle.

Blue-winged Pitta

Blue-winged Pitta by Ck Leong

The Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis is a winter visitor to Borneo but this particular individual could have stayed over from earlier in the year.  It was discovered in early July in scrub forest near to a housing area in Kota Kinabalu.  Always a favourite with birders and bird photographers, it attracted a lot of attention while at the same time adding more discussion to whether this lends to possible local breeding.

Copper-throated Sunbird

Copper-throated Sunbird male

Copper-throated Sunbird male

Copper-throated Sunbird female

Copper-throated Sunbird female

The Copper-throated Sunbird Leptocoma calcostetha has a preference for coastal and mangrove vegetation.  Elsewhere you would find it difficult to see this bird.  Its behavior is typical of sunbirds with their speedy flight, moving rapidly in search of nectar and invertebrates.

Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike

Black-winged Flycatchershrike by Ck Leong

The Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus is a common bird of the local forest.  It prefers the upper canopy when hunting for insects.  They are usually seen in pairs, the male having an all black upperpart while the female is dark brown.  

Red Junglefowl

Red Junglefowl by Ck Leong

This Red Junglefowl, the ancestor of the domesticated chicken, has been busy since introduced as a pest control in the late 90’s in the oil palm plantations around the Lahad Datu area of Sabah.  Since then I have seen it, alone or in flocks, in both commercial palm cultivation and in forest, in various places along the east coast of Sabah.  We don’t know the genetic purity of the original birds introduced here but they were most likely derived from West Malaysian sources.  Still it is always nice to see one of these birds in the wilds of Sabah.