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A Report from

Sabah and South Thailand, July 23rd to August 23rd, 2008,

Geoff Dobbs

Sunrise, Mt Kinabalu: Rock Hostel in foreground


The aim of this trip was to get as many of the Sabah endemics as possible, and to get three species of Pitta in southern Thailand on the way back, with some of the other Southern Thailand birds. The overall budget was about £1800 including flights.

The final tally for Sabah was 296 species, including 35 endemics

Mountain Serpent-eagle, White-fronted Falconet, Crimson-headed and  Red-breasted Partridge, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Whitehead’s Trogon, Mountain, Golden-naped and Bornean Barbets, Whitehead’s and Hose’s Broadbills, Black-and-crimson, Blue-banded and Blue-headed Pittas, Bornean Treepie, Bornean Bristlehead, Bornean, Black-throated and Mountain Wren-Babblers, and Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrushes (the latter recently split from Chestnut-capped), Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Black-breasted Fruit-Hunter, Bornean Whistling-Thrush, Everett’s Thrush, Bornean Stubtail, Friendly Bush-Warbler, Eyebrowed Jungle-Flycatcher and Bornean Blue-Flycatcher, Bornean Whistler, Bornean Spiderhunter, Yellow-rumped and Black-sided Flowerpeckers, Pygmy White-eye, Mountain Black-eye and Dusky Munia.

Four additional, as yet unofficial endemics were also seen: Bornean Leafbird, Bornean and Cinereous Bulbuls, and Bornean Black Magpie. Also White-crowned Shama amd Bare-headed Laughingthrush, which are now generally treated as subspecies.

Whitehead’s Spiderhunter was the main dip.

Virtually all the accommodation was booked in advance over the internet. This included the hostel in the Danum Valley Field Centre, the hostels at Mount Kinabalu and Poring Hot Springs, the trip to Sipadan Island, with Scubajunkie, and accommodation in Tambunan, Kota Kinabalu, and the Morakot in Thailand.

To get Borneo Ground Cuckoo on the Kinabangan River, four days were booked with Robert Chong, who already had a booking from two Swiss birders, Jacques and Jean-Michel Erard. This was longer than needed if the cuckoo is seen quickly, but I decided to join them to keep costs down, to ease in to the trip and acclimatize, so my itinerary and flights had to be adjusted so that I could meet up with them. They had a 5 day package, and were still one day ahead of me. Robert offered a 4-day £75/day all inclusive package including transport. Robert put in a great effort, (as the cuckoos weren’t co-operating) providing two or three boat trips per day, excellent food and company.

This was by far the most expensive part of the trip, as I chose not to stay at the luxury Borneo Rainforest Lodge, but spend a longer time at the much cheaper hostel at the Danum Valley Field Centre. As there is a good guide at BRL who has the best birds staked out and knows all the calls, and if you can get him booked in advance, it is probably better to stay there if tight for time. However, if time is not such an issue, or wanting to spend longer in the forest, on a tight budget or a single birder, (BRL charges for double cabins) the DVFC is still a good option.  Transport can be arranged, I think 300 RM, for a day trip from DVFC, and again, if shared, this may be a good idea.

As I had already booked the cheapest flight I could find, which was from Heathrow with Qatar Airways to Singapore, then with Malaysia Airlines to Kota Kinabalu and then on to Sandakhan, my change of plans to meet up with Robert earlier meant canceling the onward flight from Singapore (got full refund) and flying to Sandakhan via Kuala Lumpur with the much cheaper Air Asia.  Although a pain in check-ins etc, this saved a whole day and about £60. If doing this trip again, I would fly straight to Kuala Lumpur and get onto the Air Asia network: like Ryannair but more reliable. The luggage allowance is 15 kg with Air Asia, so I repacked to carry on more hand luggage, but the excess charges were minimal anyway.


Kota Kinabalu

Trekkers Lodge Kota KinabaluTrekkers Lodge Kota Kinabalu picture 2

Trekkers Lodge Accommodation type: Hostel Prices from around $5 

46 Jalan Pantai (behind the Sugar Bun Fast Food Place)
Tel.  00 60 88 213888 
Internet station, Safe deposit box, Hot water showers, Travel & tour information, Mini library, Laundry services, Luggage storage, Air ticket confirmation, Kitchen, Satellite TV in lounge

Mount Kinabalu NP

I stayed in Rock Hostel, B+B

Rock Hostel twin Share is RM 350 per night, including an all you can eat buffet breakfast (that is excellent and available from around 0630 in the cafe) You can submit a Reservation request Form from the website, but I never got an answer. I then rang Head Office and got an e-mail back from Lurrine: It may be best just to ring Information and Reservations

Information & Reservations
Lot G15, Ground Floor
Wisma Sabah
88000, Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia
Tel :  (60 88) 303 917  / 303 916 / 303 915
Fax : (60 88) 317 540 / 310 118
Email :

Travellers wanting a cheaper alternative stay outside the NP by the main road. You have to walk in each day, which is not very far: one place is right outside, and is a cheap alternative for evening meals. I sometimes ate here in the evenings, but can’t remember the name.

One place is Rose cabin but not sure how far away this one is.

Advertises as from $2, incl TV etc (no TV in the hostel)

Poring Hot Springs

Caught taxi outside gate (waited about 4 minutes) to Ranau and another taxi to PHS (35RM)

I also booked the Serendip Hostel through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges above, with Lurrine, at same rate as Rock Hostel, and was able to amend booking at Mount Kinabalu Office very efficiently on their computer system. It is older and more primitive, but I almost had it to myself on first night. Includes all you can eat buffet breakfast at Rainforest café. There are a few cheap hotels/hostels outside the gate that would probably be cheaper, perhaps also more comfortable, and I ate there in the evenings.

Sepilok    really called Labuk B+B, run by Robert Chongs’s wife, Ann.   Double Room RM65, excellent. contact or

Tel 0198435017 (annie’s mobile) or 089 533190, tel/fax 089 533245,

Short walk to RDC: Rainforest Discovery Centre where 4 Bristleheads seen within 5 hours of arrival in Borneo. Also even closer to the Orang Utan rehabilitation centre for non-birders.

Kinabatangan River

There are a number of lodges, (maybe 11 on this now overcrowded river) but Robert Chong specializes in getting his customers Bornean Ground Cuckoo, through imitation of the calls, although hey do respond also to tape. I saw one bird on his trails.
e-mail Robert Chong at

My Package from Robert Chong, with Jacques and Jean- Michel the “Swiss birders” a day ahead of me, was to be: arriving Sandakan July 26th morning from Kuala Lumpur, with pick-up at the airport to take me to the Kinabatangan on morning of July 26th (Swiss birders left fot the lodge midday on 25th).

My package for three days three nights birding total all inclusive cost was RM1280.00 that included: 

  1. Transfer from Sandakan airport to Kinabatangan
  2. Accommodation for three nights at KJC
  3. All meals
  4. Maximum of 6 boat cruises over 3 days
  5. guiding service. 

Note: NOT included here is any side trip to Gomantong Cave.

Terms of Payment: In Malaysian Ringgit (CASH) on arrival. No deposit required.

In reality, arrived a day early, on 25th, as result of  flying up to KL to get early morning Air Asia flight to Sandhakan, rather than wait for the pm flight next day from Singapore to KK) , and spent first night at Labukk B+B (paid for beers only). As the Swiss birders had seen Bristleheads in the morning, decided to go for them first to get them in the bag, and then go to the camp on 26th, to spend three nights at Kinabatangan, including 8 boat cruises and a free side trip to Gomantong for the above price.

Danum Valley Field centre.

I stayed in the hostel.  RM 42. night, plus RM 25 entry. There are two very basic, single sex hostels next to each other: they have two double bunks per compartment, with a curtain as a door, with washing facilities, washer,drier, wireless internet. I found it fine, as I was sole occupant of my compartment, and everyone else behaved impeccably, keeping absolutely silent after 9, and generator goes off about midnight. Bit of a walk to the canteen/restaurant.  Small shop sells cheap leech-socks and some chocolate.

For a couple, you may want a resthouse or chalet.

A Resthouse Room is RM 95, sleeps 2: VIP Chalet RM 172 per room
Transport RM 40 each way from Lahad Datu
Full board RM40, or pay for each meal at the end, in cash, on honesty system:  Breakfast RM12, lunch RM 10, Dinner RM 18.
The Office at Lahad Datu may accept other forms of payment.

Mr. Jimmy Omar
Manager, Danum Valley Conservation Area
Tel (Direct line):  +60 (0)89 841100 

Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC)
Tel (general office):  +60 (0)89 841101 
Fax (general office):  +60 (0)89 841102 

DVFC (Lahad Datu Office):
Tel:  +60 (0)89 881688 
Fax: +60 (0)89 881392

Plan your visit for Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

“If you are coming using our project vehicle transfer requests at RM40.00 per trip (Lahad Datu <> DVFC) from our Lahad Datu town office, please note that our vehicle is scheduled only on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday [leaves about mid-day?]. If you are travelling on other days, a vehicle could be chartered at RM300.00 per trip. If you are travelling in your vehicle, please communicate to us the registration number of the vehicle to enable us to apply/issue the vehicle entry pass.”

Minibus left DVFC about 8 a.m. and dropped me off at the Minibus station for Semporna.

I found the waterfall trail to be the most productive, especially the upper trail (not the one along the river) although traditionally people have worked the grids. Just where the trail drops to the waterfall was a stake-out for Blue-banded Pitta. Also Black-throated Wren-Babbler by fallen log at start of trail after it leaves Nature Trail and Great Argus leks along this trail.

Check the logbooks for recent sightings, but no a very complete records. Resident naturalists may also have gen.


Booked day trip to the island with Scuba Junkie, paying for snorkel and flippers and landing permit. Access is restricted to the beach, extending further to the left, with many Green Turtles off –shore and breeding on this side of the island. There is a military presence to prevent possible guerilla attacks from the Philippines, and no accommodation on the island. There is a trail through the centre.

Access is restricted unless permission sought in advance from the National Parks: a contribution of RM 100 and some cigarettes may work.

Easy minibus to Semporna from Lahad Datu, next day on island, and transport to airport for Air Asia Flight back from Tawau to Kota Kinabalu. (Flight  £12, departs 10.45 a.m., Scuba Junkie run cheap airport shuttle, airport about 1 hour away).

“For the day trips we leave from Semporna around 8am and are out for the whole day. To snorkel Sipadan will cost RM160 plus rm40 for the Siapdan permit-this includes boat transfer permit and equipment!! The Sipadan permit will be an extra RM40 per day-this we must apply for you in advance as there is a daily quota. We also have a SCUBA JUNKIE hotel here in Semporna: Standard rooms start at RM40, Ensuite RM50 per night while VIP rooms costs RM60 per night. ALL rooms includes aircon, satellite TV, DVDs, Hot shower, FREE internet use etc Dorms start at RM15 (with aircon and FREE Internet and hot showers) All rooms (including the Dorm) come with a FREE FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST!! (Sausage, eggs, omelet, hash browns, baked beans, toast, tea/coffee, fruit juice and fresh fruit!). Please book this in advance as we are full most nights!”

Tambunan Rafflesia Centre

In the hills just a few hours from Kota Kinabalu. Best site for Mountain and Bornean Barbets, and reliable also for Red-breasted Partridge, Whitehead’s Spiderhunter and Fruiteater, and Black-crested Bulbul (split by some as Bornean) and Cinereous Bulbul.

Can be reached from Mount Kinabalu or PHS by minibus from Ranau, but would need to change at Tambunan. Probably have to go into Tambunan, as buses leaving there for KK, which go past the Centre and later Gunung Emas, tend to be full. Alternative is to go via KK, then to Gunung Emas or to hire a car in KK, which makes it easier to get to the Rafflesia centre for dawn. .

The best place to stay is at Gunung Emas Highland Resort, which is a few km before the Raffesia Centre, rather than Tambunan, as there are good birds around Gunung Emas itself. Barred Eagle Owl seen by Jacques for instance.

Birding is along the road either side of the Centre: there is nothing really there, it doesn’t open until 8, there are no accessible trails inside, or a café, so bring all food.

I was able to leave luggage there during the day, after my driver left at 8. Can hitch to it downhill from Gunung Emas, or arrange a lift, as need to be at the Centre for dawn, when road quiet and birds most active. I booked a taxi for 2 hours for 40RM, then got minibus back to KK after about 30 minutes or more (many were full)l.


To keep weight down, I took just the two:

MacKinnon J; Phillips K., A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali; Oxford University Press 1999 and Lekagul and Round: A Guide to the Birds of Thailand Saha Karn Bhaet Co. Ltd. 1991. I took this rather than Craig Robson’s Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia as I have previously annotated my copy.

On my MP3 I took relevant files from the Birds of Asia, and was able to download further clips from  using the wireless network at DVFC.

Trip Reports: a number of reports were used, including the 2006 and 2007 Birdquest reports by Craig Robson, and those from Birdtour Asia from Rob Hutchinson and James Eaton for the most up-to-date information. The trip report from Birdtours from Moira and Graeme Wallace covering Thailand and Sabah was also helpful

A young Orang hundreds of feet up above the Hostel, DVFC, dig-scoped


23rd July: Train 0640 Beverley to London Kings Cross, then to Heathrow T3 for flight at 1505 with Qatar Airways via Doha to Singapore. This was the cheapest flight I could find, and had originally booked onward on the daily Malaysian Airways flight at 1330 to KK on 25th (see below). However, it was quicker and cheaper to use Air Asia to get to Sandahkan to meet up with the Swiss birders via KL, and would recommend flying straight to KL rather than Singapore.

24th July: Arrive 1350 in Singapore in T3, left luggage in T1 and took bus to Orchard Road for shopping, returning to T1 for Air Asia flight at 2120 to Kuala Lumpur arrive 22.30: and booked into local barely adequate but fairly cheap airport hotel  $30

Singapore bus window birds: Spotted Dove, White-breasted Kingfisher, House Crow, Common Myna

25th July:  Air Asia flight from KL for about $48 at 0715 to Sandakan arrived 1000.

Pre-arranged pick-up from airport to comfortable Labbuk B&B run by Mrs Chong, who then dropped me off at Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) by 11.30. The Swiss birders had seen Bristlehead there that morning. Birded to 3 pm when a heavy shower for about an hour, but sheltered by the Hornbill tower. Returned by walking back for 6.30 pm and pleasant dinner.

Birds seen included: Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Little Green Pigeon, Violet Cuckoo, Red-billed and Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Diard’s Trogon, Asian Black Hornbill, Checker-throated Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Black and Red Broadbill, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Black-and-crimsonPitta ussheri,

Black-and-crimson Pitta: J Erard                                      Orang Utan: GD

Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, Lesser Cuckoo-Shrike, Lesser Green Leafbird, Puff-backed Bulbul, Bornean Black Magpie (aterrimus race may be potential split), Bornean Bristlehead (5 by Hornbill Tower, and by path leading down path behind the tower to the road), Striped Wren-babbler, Bold-striped Tit-Babbler (bornensis race split from Striped Tit-Babbler by some), White-bellied Yuhina, Malaysian Honeyguide, Pied Fantail, Hill Myna, Purple-throated Sunbird, Dusky Munia.

26th July: a.m. walked pre-dawn to Rainforest Discovery Centre where birded 6 a.m. to about 8.30. Walked the 2 km back for breakfast then 9:30 pick-up to go to Kinabatangan Lodge, last part of journey by canoe. Meet Robert Chong: spent afternoon on the trails and an evening boat trip to the nearest tributary where Ground Cuckoo usually seen (previous week), then after dinner, a night cruise.

Birds seen a.m. RDC included : Green Imperial and Pink-necked Pigeons, Red-bellied Malkoha, Red-naped Trogon, Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Maroon Woodpecker, White-crowned Shama, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, and 5+ Bristleheads  again, right by the Hornbill Tower.

Birds seen pm at Kinabatangan, pm and night river trip included:

Oriental Darter, Purple Heron, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Bornean Ground Cuckoo (in afternoon on trail by riverbank leaving south from jetty), Buffy Fish Owl (7), Blue-eared Kingfisher, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Hooded Pitta (flew across river), White-Chested Babbler, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Malaysian Blue Flycatcher, Crimson Sunbird, Spectacled Spiderhunter,

Also Malay Civet, Orang Utan, Proboscis Monkey, Long-tailed Macaque, Saltwater Crocodile

27th July:  Kinabatangan Lodge: morning boat trip: excellent food, comfortable accommodation, good company: good value. A.m. on the small tributary, Sungai Menanggol where again drew a blank on the Ground Cuckoo. There were none seen throughout our stay, so my sighting the previous day, of a bird we subsequently heard on two occasions, was to be my one and only, and my Swiss friends dipped.

Birds seen included: Lesser Adjutant, Lesser Fish-Eagle, White-fronted Falconet (pair), Long-tailed Parakeet, Red-naped Trogon, Wreathed, Asian Black, Oriental Pied and Rhinocerous Hornbills, Banded Woodpecker, Black and Red and Black and Yellow Broadbills, Black-Capped babbler, Striped Wren-Babbler, White-crowned Shama, Ashy tailorbird, Plain and Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds.

Orang Utan (3), Silver Leaf Monkey, Bornean Pygmy Elephant (20)

We asked Robert to take us to the Gomantong Caves where we stayed to dusk, returning in the dark.

Birds seen included: Bat Hawk (2), Crested Serpent Eagle, Edible-nest, Black-nest, Mossy-nest and Glossy Swiftlets, Gray-rumped Tree-Swift, Oriental Pied, Rhinocerous and Helmeted Hornbills, Red-throated Barbet, Black-and-crimson Pitta (h), Horsfield’s Babbler. Also Orang Utan (3), Pig-tailed Macaque, Maroon Langur, Bornean Gibbon

28th July: Kinabatangan Lodge: a.m., boat trip, p.m.

Birds included Storm’s Stork (6), Great Argus (h), Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo, Banded Bay and Plaintive Cuckoo, Raffles Malkoha, Bushy-Crested, Wrinkled, Asian Black, Oriental Pied, and White-crowned (h) Hornbills, White-bellied Woodpecker, Dusky Broadbill, Hooded Pitta, Giant Pitta (fem.), Green Iora, Purple-naped Sunbird.  Also Orang Utan (2)

Giant Pitta: J Erard                                                         Buffy Fish Owl: GD

29th July: a.m. last boat trip

Birds seen included: Storm’s Stork (2), Lesser Adjutant (3) Lesser Coucal

Storm’s Stork: GD                                  Kinabatangan River

Then Robert’s driver took us to the main road junction. From here we got a taxi for about £30 between us to Lahad Datu. We were dropped off at the DVFC/BRL Offices (next door to each other). Lunched at a nearby Chinese restaurant, then Jacques and Jean went to BRL and I had to hire the pre-booked and expensive jeep to DVFC (300RM, as not a Mon, Wed or Friday when there is a bus for 40RM). Probably could have got a lift with some English students returning to the hostel, but unfortunately had to honour my booking.

After check-in, bought leech socks (there were only a few leeches but enough to make these a worthwhile investment) and walked up the steep track to the hostel. A late afternoon downpour prevented me getting the Black-and-crimson Pitta calling just behind the hostel. Met Simon Mitchell, a young Yorkshire birder who I knew from some records he had submitted to me (as County Recorder) in the past, who was spending his summer holiday assisting with bird ringing. Fortunately I had not upset him by rejecting any of his records, and he was very helpful in letting me know where the Blue-banded Pitta had been seen recently, and lending me his Ipod with some additional calls. He was also able to pass on some good information from a recent Belgian group, including lekking Malaysian Honeyguides. In return I helped with a morning’s ringing.

Bird seen: Bat Hawk

30th July:   Night DVFC     Waterfall Trail 0600 to 1500 then around centre

Birds seen included:  Lesser Fish-Eagle (1), Great Argus (2), Blue-rumped Parrot, Moustached Hawk Cuckoo, Silver-rumped Swift, Red-naped and Scarlet-rumped Trogons, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Rhinocerous and Helmeted Hornbills, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Blue-banded Pitta (1), Blue-headed Pitta (2),  

Blue-headed Pitta: J Erard                        Blue-banded Pitta: J Erard (BRL)

Black-and-crimson Pitta (1,+ sev. heard), Greater Green Leafbird, Crested Jay, Bornean Bristlehead (2), Ferruginous, Short-tailed, Horsfield’s, Black-capped, Moustached, Sooty-capped, Scaly-crowned, Rufous-crowned, Striped Wren-, Chestnut-winged Babblers, Bold-Striped Tit-Babbler, Brown Fulvetta, White-crowned Shama, Spotted Fantail, Rufous-winged Philentoma, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Red-throated and Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds, Dusky Munia.

31st July: Night DVFC: Waterfall trail all day, upper a.m., lower p.m.

New birds and highlights included: Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Plaintive Cuckoo, Wreathed Hornbill, Blue-eared Barbet, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Blue-banded Pitta (2), Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, Chestnut-rumped Babbler, Chestnut-crowned Forktail, Rufous-chested Flycatcher, Yellow-vented and Thick-billed Flowerpeckers.

1st Aug: Night DVFC: ringing at site 2km down road to BRL from the fork, consisting of medium-height re-growth, with low canopy

Birds included (T= trapped): Chestnut-necklaced Partridge, Greater Coucal, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Helmeted Hornbill (3), Rufous Piculet (T), Banded and Maroon Woodpeckers, Large Woodshrike, Fiery Minivet, Hairy-backed (T), Yellow-bellied (T) and Puff-backed Bulbuls (T), Bornean Black Magpie (2), Bornean Bristlehead (2), Striped Wren-Babbler (T), Grey-headed Babbler (T), Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker (T), Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Large-billed Blue-Flycatcher (dipped on Bornean Blue-Flycatcher caught at other ringing site!).

Also Moon Rat, Malay Civet, Orang Utan

2nd Aug: Night DVFC: Grids in this order: W0-N10-N5-W10-N0-S5-W5/S5-Centre

Targets were Wren-babblers and spent most of day taping:

Birds included: Crested Fireback, Chestnut-necklaced Partridge, Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-backed (but black-winged) Kingfisher, Rufous, Crimson, Olive-backed, Buff-necked and Grey and Buff Woodpeckers, Banded and Green Broadbills, Blue-headed and Black-and-crimson Pittas, Black and White Bulbul, Bronzed Drongo, Malaysian Honeyguide (displaying male), Bornean Bristlehead (2 more…getting blasé now!), Bornean Wren-Babbler (2 at N5), Black-throated Wren-Babbler (1), Chestnut-capped Thrush, Malaysian Honeyguide (W10/N3), Grey-chested Jungle-Flycatcher,

3rd Aug: Night DVFC:  Grids: W0-W10 then Rhino Ridge a.m. all day.

Birds included:   Banded Pitta, Finsch’s Bulbul, Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler, White-crowned Forktail (frontalis), White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher and Grey-headed Flycatchers, Bornean Spiderhunter (race pars split from Gray-breasted modesta which probably does not occur in Borneo).

4th Aug: Up before dawn to find the Crested Firebacks on the Nature Trail and a last look for Bornean Blue-Flycatcher which was proving annoyingly difficult. Decided to save money and leave a day early to use the standard minibus that left about 8.30 a.m. for Lahad Datu. The minibus dropped me off in the bus station, where a minibus taxi straight to Semporna was available after a short wait, but I decided to stop on the way at Tawau as not booked in at Semporna until following night.

Birds seen included: Crested Fireback (distinctive race nobilis a potential future split) (3), Malayan Night-Heron by bridge at dawn, Short-toed Coucal by entrance road, Brown-backed Needletail (4). Also Malay Badger trotting across the bridge and over the Heron at dawn.

5th Aug: a.m. local birding, but essentially a wasted day. Travelled to Semporna. Stayed at Semporna City Inn which, although a comfortable Chinese Hotel, is in the middle of town away from all the tourists. Caught up with e-mails at the hotel, re-confirmed Sipadan day at Scuba Junkie and ate in a nearby steakhouse.

6th Aug: stayed City Inn. Pulau Sipadan day with Scuba Junkie: cost about £60 including snorkel and flipper hire and lunch.  Booked Scuba Junkie’s airport shuffle for 7th. £6.

Birds recorded (all): Lesser Frigatebird (200+) plus many too distant to identify, Striated Heron, Pacific Reef Egret, Great Egret, Brahminy Kite, Tabon Scrubfowl (2+), Black-naped Fruit-Dove (3), Pied Imperial Pigeon (300), Grey Imperial Pigeon (6), Metallic Pigeon (5), Emerald Dove (3), Nicobar Pigeon (2), Collared Kingfisher, Pacific Swallow, Slenderbilled Crow, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Golden-bellied Gerygone (Flyeater), White-vented Whistler (5+), Plain-throated Sunbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Tree Sparrow. Rufous Night-Heron and Chestnut Munia in Semporna

7th Aug: 8 a.m. airport shuttle. Flight (£12) at 1045 from Tawau to KK arriving 1135, Taxi straight to the Mt Kinabalu minibus stand, and arrived Mt Kinabalu by 2 p.m. Pre-booked Rock Hostel for about £9/night, and find this includes an all you can eat breakfast. Walked up Kilau View trail and down Silau Silau and got a good soaking in a late afternoon downpour. Ate an “all you can eat” buffet in the café for about £8

Birds seen included: Golden-naped Barbet, Short-tailed Magpie, Green Magpie, Cave Swiftlet in gate, Palm Swift, White-browed Shortwing, Grey-throated Babbler, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Sunda Laughingthrush, Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, Bornean Whistling-Thrush, Yellow-breasted Warbler, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Sunda Bush Warbler, Eye-browed Jungle-Flycatcher, Indigo Flycatcher, White-throated Fantail, Temminck’s Sunbird

Decided to do the Summit Trail straight away in case I needed to do again or the weather deteriorated. Booked a guide and permit for next day (essential), declaring myself as a birdwatcher who only wanted a one day permit: no problem but the guide is compulsory. The guy seemed to understand my needs, and in the event, got myself a guide from a nearby village who was interested in birds (found Pygmy White-eye).

8th Aug: Stayed in Rock Hostel

Dawn walk towards café seeing two Whitehead’s Broadbill on route, that had been feeding on small green fruit in trees below the road on left Met my guide at 7 a.m. and took the first taxi to Timphon Gate where we were let through early, and trekked straight up the mountain almost to Laban Ratu, only being passed by porters carrying doors and refridgerators, but the weather was deteriorating rapidly. Got to the trail junction with bamboo clumps where Island Thrush and the Parrotfinch are often seen, but met by 50 mostly Japanese hikers on their way down all having a rest and talking, so we pushed on up. Friendly Warblers could be heard singing from this point onwards. I should have explored the bamboo clumps on the way up as it was raining on the way down. Later walked all the way down via lower Silau Silau in the afternoon but saw little except Bornean Treepie.

Birds seen included: Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Whitehead’s Broadbill (2 near Hostel), Grey-chinned Minivet, Flavescent Bulbul, Ashy and Hair-crested Drongos, Bornean Treepie, Mountain Wren-Babbler (4), White-browed Shrike-Babbler, White-crowned Forktail (borneensis), Black-breasted Fruithunter (3),

Fruithunter: J Erard                                                      Friendly Warbler: GD

Friendly Bush-Warbler (3), Little Pied Flycatcher,  Bornean Whistler, Black-sided Flowerpiercer, Mountain Black-eye (20+), Pygmy White-eye (2)

Ate in the more expensive Restaurant to celebrate a big day, treating myself to a tough steak and listening to Simon and Garfunkel on panpipes played by guys in some traditional native clothing: very confusing after a celebratory beer.

9th Aug: Stayed in Rock Hostel

Started as yesterday, breakfast in café about 6.30 (says opens at 7 but always got in early) then first taxi up to the Power Station, then walked down Liwagu trail, up Mempelling, down and across to Kiau View raptor watchpoint, then down Silau Silau.

Birds included: Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle, Red-breasted Partridge heard near Kiau View,  Crimson-headed Partridge (Mem), Mountain Scops Owl (h), Whitehead’s Trogon (2) (lower Mempelling),

Whitehead’s Trogon: GD                                                   Pitcher Plant: GD

Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, Black and Crimson Oriole (upper L), Mountain Wren-Babbler (upper L), Everett’s Thrush (upper L), Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Black-capped White-eye (upper L).

10th Aug: Stayed Rock Hostel: Early breakfast, no lunch, a good evening meal in the cheap café. Walked up road to Kiau View where an Island Thrush on the lawn by the shelter, then down Kiau View, bus up to Timphon, down Bukit Ular and down Mempelling

Birds included:  Mountain Serpent-eagle (KV), Crimson-headed Partridge (Mem), Bornean Leafbird (viridinucha split by some from Blue-winged) (KV), Flavescent Bulbul (T Gate fence), Temminck’s Babbler (opp. Convention Centre by ditch), Bornean Stubtail (Mem), Bare-crowned Laughingthrush (calvus split from Black by some), Island Thrush (KV…not expected as very low, but watched for 10 minutes and photo), Mountain Black-eye (BU), Bornean Whistling-Thrush (top of BU).

11th Aug:  Stayed Rock Hostel. As yesterday but started before 7 a.m. taxi to Timphon Gate for dawn walk down Bukit Ular Trail then down road to Kiau Gap, then down Silau Silau, up Mempelling then back down Mempelling, up Silau Silau and down road back to Hostel.

Birds included: Crimson-headed Partridge (2 BU), Mountain Serpent Eagle (1 KV), Everett’s Thrush (1 Mem), Pygmy Blue-Flycatcher (Mem), Bare-crowned Laughingthrush.

12th Aug: Early morning walked up to Kiau View, then down trail to entrance gate, in for breakfast, and returned to Hostel to pack, then checked out.

Birds seen included: Eyebrowed Jungle-Flycatcher, Pygmy Blue-Flycatcher (KVT), Velvet-fronted Nuthatch with bright red legs (from balcony while packing).

Walked out gate to main road, waited on the roadside for about one minute before a passing taxi stopped that took me to  Ranau (20RM)  then another taxi to Poring Hot Springs (bargained down to 35RM), where stayed at pre-booked Serendip Hostel (same price as Rock Hostel, about £8/9 night. This was basic, but adequate, and included a pleasant buffet breakfast in the Rainforest café across the bridge inside. Then, ignoring time and common sense, I headed straight up the Langanan waterfall trail in the heat of day and sweated up the very steep trail, which does level out a bit after the scramble past the bat caves, and made it all way to the falls, searching for Hose’s Broadbill seen a month previously at about 3.1km. Didn’t see a lot although picked up a bit in late afternoon.

Birds seen included: Ashy Bulbul (3), White-crowned Shama, Bornean Blue-Flycatcher (one just before bat caves).

Ate in one of the café/guesthouses outside the gate: excellent value, and would be a good place to stay. All three TVs along the street had Badminton at the Olympics on.

13th Aug: Stayed again in Serendip Hostel and ate again outside the gate in the evening. Straight after breakfast (but not dawn) went up the waterfall trail, returning mid-afternoon and spent evening birding around the hostel. Paid to see a Rafflesia in the village: probably over-priced, but if the money helps, not worried. A local taxi driver offered a cheap lift next morning to Ranau, but wanted to leave early in order to drop his wife off at the rice fields for harvesting. Didn’t fancy another waterfall climb so agreed.

Birds seen included: Little Cuckoo-Dove, Red-billed Malkoha, Silver-rumped Swift, Rhinocerous Hornbill, Gold-whiskered, Red-throated and Bornean Barbets, Green Broadbill (2) km 1.8, Whitehead’s and Hose’s Broadbills both at km 2.7 , Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Blue-banded Pitta (one flew across ravine below/before bamboo zone, Ashy Bulbul (a possible split as Cinereous?), Black-and-crimson Oriole, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, Chestnut-naped Forktail, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Temminck’s Sunbird, Little, Spectacled and Bornean Spiderhunters, Yellow-vented, Orange-bellied and Yellow-rumped Flowerpeckers, Dusky Munia.

14th Aug: early morning around the hostel, looking in a fruiting tree across the pitch in front of hostel which was excellent for Barbets shortly after dawn, then on the canopy walkway as soon as it opened at 7.30, followed by a pleasant breakfast in the rainforest restaurant. My taxi driver wanted to leave early but it was about 9.50 by the time I was ready. From Ranau took a minibus to Tambunan for an insignificant amount of RM.. 

Birds at Poring included: Gold-whiskered, Red-throated, Yellow-crowned and Blue-eared Barbets, Banded Broadbill.

Stayed in the Tambunan Village Resort which is near the junction with the road to KK that goes past the Rafflesia centre and later Gunung Emas.  Explored around the area, but very little habitat and realized later I should have traveled on to Gunung Emas Highland Resort (which had Barred Eagle Owl in the grounds). There was little to do. Booked a vehicle for 5.45 start to the Rafflesia Centre for 40RM.

Birds seen Common Sandpiper, Red-crowned Barbet, Chestnut Munia

15th Aug: driver set off on time, and we arrived at the Rafflesia centre at 0630, about 15 minutes too late. The gates were locked, but lots of bird activity opposite and on the uphill side opposite the gates. It was clear that an even earlier start would have been helpful. The driver was happy to follow me up and down the road, although I spent more time downhill. When the centre opened, I left my luggage and paid the taxi driver off. There were no trails open inside, so it was back to roadside birding, which got progressively slow. The way to work this site is to get there very early and bird along the road. Traffic steadily builds up. Centre staff can show you a different type of Rafflesia to the ones found at Poring Hot Springs.

Birds seen included: Red-breasted Partridges were calling both sides of the road, and I taped one out that crossed the road and scurried into the forest, Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle (2), Mountain Barbet, Bornean and Gold-naped Barbets, Bornean Leafbird, Bornean Bulbul (distinctive race montis a potential split from Black-crested), Grey-cheeked and Cinereous Bulbul, Black and Crimson Oriole, Bornean Tree-pie, Grey-throated Babbler, Sunda and Chestnut-headed Laughingthrush, White-browed Shrike-babbler, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Bornean Whistler.

Despite trawling with the tape for Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, no sign so pm took about an hour to get a minibus to Kota Kinabalu, and stayed in the Trekkers Lodge. Evening visit to the pools at Likas Bay.  The Swiss team got the Spiderhunter above the Rafflesia Centre.

Birds seen included: Purple and Striated Herons, Eastern Cattle, Pacific Reef, Great and Little Egrets, Wandering Whistling Duck (2), Wood Sandpiper (1), Little Tern (4), Pied Triller (2), Striated Grassbird, Black-sided Flowerpiercer, Dusky and Scaly-breasted Munias.

16thAug: Taxi to airport for flight 1035 with Malaysia Airways to Singapore. Arrived 1250 and took MTR to budget hotel in Geylang, and after dropping off luggage, straight to the Botanical Gardens at the north end of Orchard Road.

Walked straight to the waterfall in the Ginger Garden, where after some incredulity that I was in the right place, got past the wedding photographer, bride and groom posing in front of the falls and on third pass found a Red-legged Crake just yards from the wedding that scurried along the path behind the falls. Also Koel, Philippine Glossy Starling.

17thAug: Taxi to the Budget terminal and flight with Tiger Airways to Phuket at 0815 arriving 0855. Pre-booked hire car of a small pick-up through Auto Europe was £109 for a week, which included a free up-grade to a larger Toyota Hilux. Drove north over the causeway and then down to Phang Na. Typhoon damage had closed the walkway by the reserve on the left before the visitor centre, so explored the track on the right before this that comes out after the visitor centre. However, the boardwalk south of the town and junction on the right on the main road to Krabi was open as I found out later.

Birds seen included: Germain’s Swiftlet, Brown-winged Kingfisher, Mangrove Pitta. Dipped on Streak-breasted Woodpecker. Also seen: Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Black-and-yellow and Red-and-black Broadbill, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Dusky Crag Martin, Ashy Tailorbird, Pied Fantail

Then drove one through Krabi and followed easy directions to arrive at Khao Nor Chuchi at pre-booked Morakot about dusk, and in time for dinner. Only person staying, and shown to lovely bungalow. This was a great place to stay for only about £8 plus food.

18th Aug: Night Morakot

Birds seen included: Crested Goshawk, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Thick-billed Pigeon, Spotted Wood Owl, Collared Scops-Owl, Gould’s Frogmouth (several also calling) Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Gold-whiskered and Red-throated Barbets, Green Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Blue-winged Pitta, Grey and Forest Wagtails, Fiery Minivet, Common and Great Ioras, Blue-winged Leafbird, Black-crested, Puff-backed, Buff-vented, Red-eyed, and Hairy-backed Bulbuls, Puff-throated, Black-capped, Moustached, Short-tailed, White-chested, Ferruginous, Buff-breasted and Chestnut-winged Babblers, Striped Tit-Babbler, Flyeater, Common and Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Fulvous-chested Flycatcher, Pied Fantail, Black-naped Monarch, Rufous-winged Philentoma, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Brown-throated, Ruby-cheeked and Olive-backed Sunbirds, Little Spiderhunter and Thick-billed Flowerpecker

After an enjoyable day in the field, looking for Gurney’s, but failing, decided to cut corners and rang Yothin (the girls at Morakot have his number) to discuss the location of foraging Gurney’s (not on territory at this time of year) and when he said he had one reasonably pinned down, decided to employ him at his very expensive rate of £80 per half day the following morning.

19th Aug: Breakfast at 0545, met Yothin at 6 and straight out looking for Gurney’s.  They are calling at this time of year, but one soon responded to playback of an alarm call while we were by the vehicle. However, it was to take nearly three hours of patience and skill to get into position to actually see the bird.

New birds seen: Crested Serpent-Eagle, Gurney’s Pitta, Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher, Grey-cheeked and Cream-vented Bulbul, Abbott’s Babbler, Large Wren-Babbler, Dark-throated Oriole

After lunch, drove easily down to Trang where booked into a hotel near the centre, then on to the Botanical Gardens for a walk round the trails, and an evening owling for Barred Eagle Owl but no calls were heard and no nightjars either (site for Great Eared). Returned to Trang where spent an enjoyable evening drinking with a group of expats and assorted teachers.

Birds included: Brown-streaked Flycatcher, also Red-wattled Lapwing, Whiskered Tree-swift, Blue-winged Pitta (a pair feeding one well-fledged young on the lawns, like blackbirds), Lesser Green Leafbird, Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo, Abbott’s Babbler, Common Iora, Scarlet Sunbirds

20th Aug: drove north to Khao Sok NP, calling in on the way (slightly off route) at Krabi first and took a boat out from the pier for a couple of hours:

Birds seen included: Lesser Whistling-Duck Wood Sandpiper (1), Whimbrel (50), Malaysian Plover (1), Greater Sandplover (60), Lesser Sandplover (40), Common Sandpiper (1), Terek Sandpiper (20), Redshank (1), Red-necked Stint (10), Asian Dowitcher (1), Common Tern, Little Tern.

Then on to the Dam on the lake to look for Oriental Hobby. This was soon accomplished, with a bird flying around the car-park on the hill overlooking the lake, chased by Large-billed Crows, then drove on to the NP entrance.

Stayed in the cheapest accommodation, at 600bht, a little rustic room on stilts in an orchard, which was both adequate and charming, and watched Usain Bolt in the Olympics at the main house/cafe. Evening along the waterfall trail, but rain curtailed all birding.  Birds seen included Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker on nest from room window.

21st Aug: up very early (3 a.m.) for owling along the trail, but noise of water or just wrong time of year? None heard, but some early hornbills seen in the half-light of dawn by the reserve entrance. On way back to the accommodation, heard a White-crowned Hornbill in a private oil palm grove opposite the laundry/massage shop and walked in to get excellent views at last (only heard in Sabah).

Birds seen included: Crested Honey-buzzard, Vernal Hanging-Parrot, White-crowned Hornbill, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Red-throated, Blue-eared and Red-browned Barbets, Grey Wagtail, Greater and Lesser Green Leafbirds, 8 species of Bulbul including Streak-eared Bulbul, Fairy Bluebird, Abbott’s Moustached and Chestnut-winged Babblers, White-rumped Shama (3), Chestnut-naped Forktail, Blue Whistling-Thrush, Spectacled and Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, Orange-bellied and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, White-rumped, Scaly-breasted and White-bellied Munias

Then drove down to Phang Nga for the mangrove boardwalk by the junction, adding Ruddy Kingfisher to the trip list, and also saw White-chested Babbler, Pied Fantail and Mangrove Whistler, but still no woodpeckers. Decided to go to Phuket for a planned evening twitch for Bay Owl near the airport and a day relaxing on the beach and laundry when not looking for the woodpecker, but rain set in late afternoon.

22nd Aug: after a week of glorious weather, it rained all day from dawn to dusk. No beach, no birding, so had to adopt Plan B and read/write up notes/check out what tourist attractions. Stayed Seekha Boutique Hotel in Patong. Rang car hire to arrange early drop-off of vehicle.

23rd Aug: returned pick-up at airport at 8 a.m. for flight at 0925 arriving at 1210 at Budget terminal, transfer to T3, left luggage and another day in Singapore before returning for 0320 flight on 24th via Dohar to LHR arriving 1315

Dips on this trip: churlish to list them, as overall more than happy with nine species of Pitta plus bonus of broadbills and generally high strike rate!

Bulwer’s Pheasant: now occasional on most remote ridges in Danum valley, but never know!!
Barred Eagle Owl: missed at Trang, did not know about Gunung Emas.
Oriental Bay Owl: Thai birders have stake-outs
White-fronted Scops Owl: not calling at stake-out near Khao nor Kuchi
Reddish Scops Owl: none calling at DVFC according to resident naturalists: may have better chance at BRL.
Bornean or Dulit Frogmouth: no sites appear to be known at places visited
Javan Frogmouth: sites included BRL (not visited), Gomantong (left as gate shuts at 6 p.m.) and sites in Thailand (very rare now at KNC, although tried both nights).
Streak-breasted Woodpecker: should be easy in mangrove habitat or KNC but no show
Whitehead’s Spiderhunter: Rafflesia Centre: should have tried harder
Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch: in bamboo clumps on the summit trail Mt Kinabalu: where the two paths join looked good: again, but area was crowded with hikers, light drizzle on way back down.

Many thanks to Jacques Erard for allowing me to include some of his photos.

Geoff Dobbs, Beverley, East Yorks, England,

Species List (Sabah part of trip)

KEY:     DVFC= Danum Valley Field Centre, KK = Kota Kinabalu, KR = Kinabatangan River, MKNP = Mount Kinabalu National Park, PHS = Poring Hot Springs, RDC = Rainforest Discovery Centre (Sepilok), TVR = Tambunan Village Resort,  KNC = Khao Nor Chuchi (Thailand) HBW: Handbook of the Birds of the World

Numbers are only very approximate, and only new birds recorded each successive day at some sites.

Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster   KR two or three each day along the river or on the thermals, two near Semporna 07/8,  

Lesser Frigatebird Fregata arial  Between Mabul and Sipadan 06/6, at least 200 Frigatebirds seen soaring, of which only a handful close enough to ID that were all this species.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea   KR up to four along the river, Likas Bay 15 15/8

Striated Heron Buturoides striatus  KR one on a floating log 28/7, Semporna one 06/8, Likas Bay four 15/8. Also seen s Tahiland, two Phang Nga 17/8.

Eastern Cattle Egret Bulbulcus coromandus Fairly common where cultivation between sites: Sandhakan area 20, Lahad Datau 10, Likas Bay six 15/8

Pacific Reef Egret Egretta sacra   Semporna three 06/8, Likas Bay four 15/8. Also seen s Thailand, 10 Phang Nga and 30+ Krabi

Great Egret Egretta alba   KR up to six seen along river, Semporna one 06/8, Likas Bay 30 15/8

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia  Likas Bay one 15/8

Little Egret Egretta garzetta   Seen at KR, Tawau, Semporna and Likas Bay three 15/8. Also s Thailand at Krabi 20/8

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax  nycticorax  Likas Bay six 15/8

Rufous Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus   Semporna three 07/8 at south end of town near piers

Malayan Night-Heron Gorsachius melanolophus   DVFC one by the small bridge to the Nature Trail at dawn, 04/8

Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus  Likas Bay

Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi  KR five thermalling over river 28/7, two over river and one in the camp, 29/7

Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus   KR two, 27/7, three over river, 28/7, three 29/7

Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata   Likas Bay two 15/8

Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni   KR two soaring 29/7

Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus  KR one 29/7, MKNP one 03/8. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, one 21/8

Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus   Gomantong two 27/7, and one over football pitch in evenings, DVFC

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus One near Gomantong 29/7, two between Semporna and Tawau airport 07/8

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus Gomantong one 27/7, common Tawau 05/8 and Semporna 06/8 and Likas Bay two 15/8. Also common southern Thailand.

White-bellied Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucogastur KR two, 28/7, DVFC one 30/7, Likas Bay two 15/8. Also in s Thailand  two Phang Nga 17/8.

Lesser Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis  KR one 27/7, two 28/7, DVFC one 30/7

Crested Serpent-eagle Spilornis cheela  Gomantong one, 27/7, KR  one, 28/7, DVFC three 03/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, one 19/8

Mountain Serpent-eagle Spilornis kinabaluensis MKNP one Kiau View 10/8 showed well, and again 11/8

Besra Accipiter virgatusMKNP one Kiau View 10/8 

Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus KR one perched close to the lodge 28/7. Also seen s Thailand at KNC (nesting) 18/8

Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis  Rafflesia Centre one 15/8 

Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii   DVFC, two immatures following bird party, 02/8

Changeable Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus limnaeetus  One 25/7 at RDC, one near Gomantong 27/7,

Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus alboniger   MKNP one from Kiau View, 09/08. Two caged at Tambunan Village Resort. Rafflesia Centre one 15/8 

Wallace's Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nanus  KR one 26/7, two 28/7. Also seen s Thailand at KNC two 18/8

White-fronted Falconet Microhierax latifrons  KR on Sungai Menanggol a pair on 27/7

Tabon Scrubfowl Megapodius cumingii  Sipadan two scurried through the densest scrub 06/8 and others heard

Red-breasted Partridge Arborophila hyperythra  MKNP heard Kiau View 09/08 and then regularly but never came into view, Rafflesia Centre one seen running across road and two or more heard15/8 

Chestnut-necklaced Partridge Arborophila charltonii   DVFC heard 01/8, one 02/08

Crimson-headed Partridge Haematortyx sanguiniceps   MKNP heard Kiau View 09/08 and heard regularly thereafter, two across path Mempelling trail 10/8, two by path Bukiy Ular trail 11/8

Crested Fireback Lophura ignita nobilis   DVFC one female 02/8, three 04/8 

Bornean race has rufous legs and belly and cream-brown tail and may be a candidate for splitting

Great Argus Argusianus argus   KR one heard, 28/7, DVFC two on upper waterfall trail 30/7

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus  Sepilok three, KR one, TVR one 14/8, Likas Bay two 15/8

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Likas Bay six 15/8

Black-backed Swamphen Porphyrio indicus: Likas Bay one 15/8

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Likas Bay one 15/8. Also s Thailand at Krabi, one 20/8

Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos  KR three on 27/7, three 28/7, TVR one 14/8, Likas Bay four 15/8. Also s Thailand at Krabi, two 17/8, one 20/8

Little Tern Sternula albifrons Likas Bay four 15/8. Also s Thailand at Krabi, six 20/8

Thick-billed Green Pigeon Treron curvirostra  DVFC eight 31/7.  Also seen s Thailand at KNC 20, 18/8

Little Green Pigeon Treron olax  Sepilok 10+, DVFC  two 31/7

Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vernans  Sepilok, two 26/7, KR two 28/7  

Black-naped Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus melanospila Sipadan at least three 06/8

Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea  Sepilok RDC two 26/7,  KR up to 10/day, DVFC 10+ daily

Pied Imperial-Pigeon Ducula bicolor  Sipadan at least 300 06/8. Many started leaving the island after lunch flying towards the mainland in flocks, best seen from the boat or beach.

Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia  MKNP 5-10 seen regularly each day

Grey Imperial-Pigeon Ducula pickeringii  Sipadan at least six 06/8

Metallic (White-throated) Pigeon Columba vitiensis  Sipadan at least five flew off towards the mainland with Pied Imperials at 2 pm on 06/8

Feral Pigeon Columba livia Common near Tawau and Semporna

Ruddy Cuckoo Dove Macropygia emiliana Rafflesia Centre one 15/8 

Little Cuckoo Dove Macropygia ruficeps  MKNP one 08/8,  three 11/8, PHS one 13/8, Rafflesia Centre six 15/8  

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis Fairly common around habitation: Sepilok 20, Gomantong 10, Semporna, TVR two 14/8, Likas Bay two 15/8. Also seen southern Thailand.

Zebra Dove Geopelia striata  Sepilok, Gomantong, TVR, Likas Bay

Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica  Sepilok one 25/7, KR one 27/7, Sipadan at least three 06/8

Nicobar Pigeon  Caloenas nicobarica  Sipadan at least two 06/8, one flushing up nicely into a tree, but seemed very shy

Long-tailed Parakeet  Psittacula longicauda KR a single flyover 27/7 and another 28/7

Blue-rumped Parrot  Psittinus cyanurus  DVFC three 30/7

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Loriculus galgulus  KR three 28/7

Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo  Cuculus vagans  KR one heard 28/7, DVFC one, 30/7,  heard 01/8 

Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii  KR one heard 28/7, DVFC one heard, 30/7

Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus  KR one heard 28/7, DVFC  heard 31/7and 01/8, PHS one 13/8  

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus  Sepilok:  one 25/7

Raffle's Malkoha Phaenicophaeus chlorophaeus KR two 28/7, DVFC one 02/8, PHS one 12/8 

Red-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus javanicus  Sepilok RDC one 25/7 +26/7, DVFC one 02/8, PHS one 13/8 

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris Sepilok RDC 2, 25/7  

Bornean Ground-Cuckoo  Carpococcyx radiatus  KR camp: one by the river south of camp, 26/7, one heard 27/7

Short-toed Coucal Centropus rectunguis  DVFC  heard and seen by entrance road,  04/8

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis  Several seen and heard incl. Sepilok, KR, DVFC.  Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, one 21/8  

Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis Sepilok one 25/7, KR one 28/7

Mountain Scops-Owl Otus spilocephalus  MKNP one heard 11/8

Buffy Fish-Owl Ketupa ketupa  KR: one flushed 26/7and 6 seen night cruise, also early a.m. along river. One DVFC by basketball courts every evening. 

Giant Swiftlet Hydrochous gigas   MKNP four seen from Kiau View 10/8 and 11/8

Edible-nest Swiftlet Collocalia fuciphaga  White nests common in Gomantong cave.

Black-nest Swiftlet Collocalia maxima  Large numbers at Gomantong cave

Mossy-nest Swiftlet  Reasonable numbers 100+ breeding lower down in cave on ledges

Glossy Swiftlet  Collocalia salangana  Sepilok 20 25/7, common along KR and 100+ Gomantong nesting in cave entrance, PHS presumed this species 13/8 

Cave Swiftlet  Collocalia linchi 30+ Nesting in entrance to MKNP, a different nest to Glossy

Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus  DVFC four flew over Field Centre 04/8

Silver-rumped Swift Rhaphidura leucopygialis DVFC 30+ over the suspension bridge, PHS f our 13/8 

House Swift Apus nipalensis  Some in Kota Kinabalu

Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis MKNP lower slopes, 20 07/8

Grey-rumped Treeswift  Hemiprocne longipennis  Gomantong two 27/7, PHS 40+ 12/8, TVR 20+ 14/8. Also s Thailand, 10 at Phang Nga, 17/8 

Red-naped Trogon Harpactes kasumba  Sepilok RDC one 26/7, KR one heard 27/7, DVFC one 30/7

Diard's Trogon Harpactes diardii  Sepilok RDC two 25/7

Whitehead's Trogon Harpactes whiteheadi  MKNP two coming up from bottom of Liwagu to lower Silau Silau 09/08

Scarlet-rumped Trogon  Harpactes duvaucelii DVFC one 30/7, one 02/8.   Also seen s Thailand at KNC, one 18/8

Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting KR: 1-3 seen on boat trips, one on night cruise

Black-backed Kingfisher Ceyx rithacus  Sepilok RDC one red-backed type with blackish wings 26/7, also one DVFC 02/8. Appears to intergrade in Sabah with Rufous-backed Kingfisher Ceryx rufidorsa  

Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis KR: 1-3 seen on boat trips, one on night cruise

Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris Sepilok two 25/7, Gomantong area two 27/7, Semporna- Sipadan two 06/8, ten on wires between Semporna and airport 07/8

Rufous-collared Kingfisher Actenoides concretus DVFC one 30/7, one 03/8

Blue-throated Bee-eater Merops viridis  Sepilok 20, 25/7, KR 10-20 each day

Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis amictus DVFC heard 01/8 

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis  Sepilok one 26/7, KR six 27/7, three 28/7. Also s Thailand at Krabi, one 20/8

Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus  KR two 28/7. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, ten 21/8

White-crowned Hornbill   Aceros comatus  KR one heard 28/7, DVFC one heard 30/7. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, one finally seen in palm grove opposite Jungle Huts entrance rd. 21/8

Wrinkled Hornbill Aceros corrugatus  KR three 28/7

Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus  KR two 27/7, DVFC two 31/7, two 01/8 

Asian Black Hornbill  Anthracoceros malayanus Sepilok RDC four 25/7, KR two 26/7, one 27/7, 5, 28/7, DVFC six 01/8, two 04/8  

Oriental Pied Hornbill   Anthracoceros albirostris KR four 27/7, 6, 28/7, Gomantong two 27/7. Also s Thailand 10 near Krabi 17/8

Rhinocerous Hornbill  Buceros rhinoceros KR two 27/7, Gomantong two 27/7, DVFC two 30/7, PHS two 13/8 

Helmeted Hornbill  Buceros vigil  Gomantong one 27/7, DVFC two 30/7, two 31/7, three 01/8

Gold-whiskered Barbet Megalaima chrysopogon DVFC one heard 30/7, PHS one 13/8, three 14/8 behind football pitch in fruiting tree.   Also seen s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8

Red-crowned Barbet Megalaima rafflesii  TVR one 14/8. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, one 21/8

Red-throated Barbet Megalaima mystacophanos Gomantong one, 27/7, KR heard 28/7, DVFC heard 30/7, PHS one 13/8 and one 14/8 behind football pitch in fruiting tree.  Also seen s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8, four Khao Sok NP 21/8  

Mountain Barbet Megalaima monticola   Rafflesia Centre three 15/8 

Yellow-crowned Barbet Megalaima henricii: PHS one 14/8 behind football pitch in fruiting tree

Golden-naped Barbet  Megalaima pulcherrima  MKNP one plus others heard 07/8, 08/8, seen well upper Liwagu trail 09/8, Rafflesia Centre two 15/8 

Blue-eared Barbet  Megalaima australis Gomantong one 27/7, DVFC  one 31/7, PHS two 14/8 behind football pitch in fruiting tree. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, 10+ 21/8

Bornean Barbet Megalaima eximia   PHS one 13/8, Rafflesia Centre one 15/8 

Brown Barbet  Calorhamphus fuliginosus Sepilok RDC, one 25/7, KR one 28/7, DVFC three 30/7

Malaysian Honeyguide Indicator archipelagicus DVFC one displaying at a lek where seen previously by other birders, about 300 metres north of where turn to Rhino Ridge W10, on 02/8, and one heard on Nature Trail 04/8

Rufous Piculet Sasia abnormis DVFC two trapped 01/8 

Rufous Woodpecker Celeus brachyurus  DVFC two 02/8 

Crimson-winged Woodpecker  Picus puniceus  DVFC two 02/8, one 03/8

Checker-throated Woodpecker Picus mentalis  Sepilok RDC one 25/7

Banded Woodpecker Picus mineaceus  KR one 27/7 and 28/7, DVFC one 01/8  

Olive-backed Woodpecker Dinopium rafflesii  DVFC  three  02/8 

Buff-rumped Woodpecker Meiglyptes tristis  Sepilok RDC two 25/7  

Buff-necked Woodpecker Meiglyptes tukki DVFC two 30/7, two 02/8

White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis KR two 28/7, DVFC two 03/

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker Hemicircus concretus  KR one 28/7, DVFC  three  02/8

Maroon Woodpecker Blythipicus rubiginosus Sepilok RDC one 26/7, DVFC one 01/8, MKNP one Mempelling Trail 09/08

Orange-backed Woodpecker Reinwardtipicus validus KR  two 26/7, DVFC  two 31/7

Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus  KR two 28/7

Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos  Sepilok RDC 4, 25/7, KR 2, 27/7, 2+ 8/7,   PHS two 14/8 in bathing area. Also s Thailand, two at Phang Nga, 17/8  

Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus  DVFC one 02/8 by coffin turn, PHS one 14/8 from canopy walkway

Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalusSepilok RDC 4, 25/7, KR 2, 27/7, 5, 28/7, DVFC 2-5 daily, PHS three 12/8, two 13/8 around baths, two 14/8 from canopy walkway. Also Also seen s Thailand NgPhang 17/8, KNC heard 18/8, two Khao Sok 21/8  

Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis  DVFC three in grids 02/8, PHS two by Canopy Trail 13/8. Also seen s Thailand at KNC two, 18/8 

Hose’s Broadbill   Calyptomena hosii   PHS one at km 2.7 on Langanan Waterfall trail with other two Whitehead’s on a fruiting tree 13/8 

Whitehead's Broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi  MKNP two between Rock Hostel and café in fruiting tree 08/8, PHS one or two above Bat rocks at km  2.7 at same fruiting tree as a Hose’s and two Rhinocerous Hornbills on Waterfall Trail 13/8 

Blue-banded Pitta Pitta arquata  DVFC one heard 30/7 300 metres before the waterfall, DVFC  two 31/7, one 300 metres before the waterfall before the roped section, and one 50 metres just before the final drop. Two heard 01/8 in an area of forest near the access road to BRL when ringing.   PHS one flew across trail km 2.9 on waterfall trail 13/8

Blue-headed Pitta Pitta baudii  DVFC two W0-W10, 30/7, one 02/08

Giant Pitta Pitta caerulea  KR a female 28/7 came to boat in response to tape then Robert’s imitation

Black-and-crimson Pitta Pitta ussheri  Sepilok RDC one heard, 25/7,  Gomantong one heard 27/7, DVFC heard every day: sightings one 30/7, one 01/8, one 02/8

Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida  KR one flew across river, 26/7, KR two 28/7  (need to get out the boat)

Banded Pitta Pitta guajana schwaneri  DVFC heard on Waterfall trail about 300 metres before end, one on Rhino Ridge 03/8. A possible future split.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica  Sepilok 2, 25/7, a few KR. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP 21/8

Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica  Sepilok 10+, also KR, DVFC, Semporna – Sipdan 10, Semporna-Tawau 300+,  PHS common 12/8, TVR common. Also common S. Thailand e.g. 50 Phang Nga, KNC etc.

Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike Hemipus picatus   MKNP two 09/8, PHS four14/8 from canopy walkway. Also seen s Thailand at KNC 

Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus Sepilok RDC two 25/7, Gomantong two 27/7, DVFC two 01/8,  

Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis  DVFC two 01/8  

Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina larvata  Sepilok RDC one 26/7, MKNP two Liwagu 09/8

Lesser Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina fimbriata  Sepilok RDC two 26/7, DVFC two 30/7

Pied Triller Lalage nigra  Likas Bay two 15/8

Fiery Minivet Pericrocotus igneus  DVFC four 01/8, PHS one 13/8. Also four seen at KNC on 18/8

Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris  MKNP four 08/8, ten 09/8, Rafflesia Centre ten 15/8 

Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus  Sepilok RDC one, 25/7

Green Iora Aegithina viridissima   KR one, 28/7

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia Sepilok RDC three, 25/7, KR 2-4, TVR two 14/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8, also Trang, Khao Sok NP

Lesser Green Leafbird  Chloropsis cyanopogon  Sepilok RDC two 25/7, PHS two 13/8.  Also s Thailand at Trang, six 19/8, two Khao Sok NP 21/8

Greater Green Leafbird Chloropsis sonnerati  DVFC two 30/7, two 02/8. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, four 21/8

Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis  MKNP two Kiau View 10/8, Rafflesia Centre ten 15/8. Treated by some as separate species, Bornean Leafbird) Chloropsis kinabaluensis as throat black in both sexes. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8 (mainland form C. c. moluccensis).

Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus  DVFC , 2-3 near suspension bridge

Black-and-white Bulbul Pycnonotus melanoleucos DVFC one 02/8

Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris   Rafflesia Centre four 15/8 

Another split, as Bornean Bulbul Pycnonotus montis (HBW but not Clements) dark eye and different shaped crest. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8 (flaviventris), four KSNP 21/8

Scaly-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus squamatus   PHS one 13/8, two 14/8 in fruiting tree behind football pitch 

Puff-backed Bulbul Pycnonotus eutilotus   Sepilok RDC four, 25/7, Gomantong two, 27/7, DVFC, DVFC two trapped 01/8, PHS two 12/8.   Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8  

Flavescent Bulbul Pycnonotus flavescens MKNP at least six on Summit Trail, 08/8, one on Power Station fence early a.m.10/8

Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier  Sepilok 2, 25/7, KR, DVFC, Sipadan at least four 06/8, PHS one 12/8,  TVR six 14/8, Likas Bay two 15/8.  Also s Thailand at Trang, two 19/8, four KSNP 21/8 

Olive-winged Bulbul Pycnonotus plumosus  Sepilok 2, 25/7, KR, DVFC

Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex  KR two 29/7. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 19/8

Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus Fairly common Sepilok RDC, KR, DVFC two 31/7, TVR four 14/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8, two Trang 19/8, two KSNP 21/8 

Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythropthalmos DVFC one 30/7

 Finsch’s Bulbul Criniger finschii  DVFC three 02/8

Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus  DVFC one 01/8, MKNP two 07/8. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, two 21/8

Grey-cheeked Bulbul Alophoixus bres  DVFC four 31/7, one 01/8, two 02/8, Rafflesia Centre two 15/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8, two KSNP 21/8

Yellow-bellied Bulbul Alophoixus phaeocephalus  Seen in small numbers at Sepilok, KR,  DVFC two trapped 01/8,  six 02/8,   PHS one 12/8, two 13/8

Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger DVFC one trapped 01/8, two 02/8, PHS two 13/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8 

Ashy Bulbul Hypsipetes flavala  PHS two 12/8,  two 13/8, Rafflesia Centre four 15/8 

Another sometimes split, as Cinereous Bulbul Hypsipetes cinereus (HBW morphological and vocal differences, but not Clements)

Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus  MKNP six on fence by Power Station 08/8,  PHS one 12/8, Rafflesia Centre four 15/8  

Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus   DVFC two 30/7, four 02/8

Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus  MKNP two 08/8,  one 09/8, PHS one 12/8, one 13/8, two 14/8 

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus Sepilok RDC two, 25/7, DVFC four 03/8. Also s Thailand at Trang, one 18/8

Dark-throated Oriole Oriolus xanthonotus  Gomantong 1, 27/7, DVFC one  01/8, five 02/8.  Also s Thailand at KNC, one 18/8

Black-and-crimson Oriole Oriolus cruentus MKNP two upper Liwagu trail 09/8, PHS two 13/8, Rafflesia Centre four15/8  

Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella  Sepilok RDC 2, 25/7, KR one 28/7, DVFC two 31/7, PHS two 13/8.  Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, six  21/8

Crested Jay Platylophus galericulatus coronatus  DVFC two 30/7 (dark brown form)

Short-tailed Magpie Cissa thalassina   MKNP six 07/8, five 08/8

Green Magpie Cissa chinensis   MKNP two 07/8

Bornean Treepie Dendrocitta cinerascens   MKNP three 08/8, Rafflesia Centre two 15/8 

Black Magpie   Platysmurus leucopterus aterrimus   Sepilok RDC 2, 25/7, DVFC two 31/7 Sometimes split as Bornean Black Magpie   Platysmurus aterrimus as Bornean birds lack the white wing patch. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8 (leucopterus)

Slender-billed Crow Corvus enca  Common at Sepilok, KR, Lahad Datu, KK, a few at DVFC, Sipadan two 06/8

Bornean Bristlehead  Pityriasis gymnocephala  Sepilok RDC four by Hornbill Tower, 25/7 and six, 26/7, DVFC two 30/7 at end of Nature Trail, DVFC two 31/7, three 02/8

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis corallipes   MKNP one 12/8 by Hostel

Black-capped Babbler Pellorneum capistratum  KR 2 27/7, DVFC  two 31/7. Also s Thailand at KNC, four+ 18/8

Temminck's Babbler Pellorneum pyrrogenys MKNP one in ditch opposite conference centre 10/8

White-chested Babbler Trichastoma rostratum  KR two +, common and seen daily 26/7, 27/7, 28/7.  Also s Thailand at Phang Nga, four 18/8, two 21/8

Ferruginous Babbler Trichastoma bicolor DVFC one 30/7, four 02/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8

Short-tailed Babbler Malacocincla malaccensis  DVFC four 30/7, four 02/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8

Horsfield’s Babbler Malacocincla sepiarium Gomantong two 27/7, DVFC two 30/7

Moustached Babbler   Malacopteron magnirostre DVFC two 31/7, five 02/8, PHS three 12/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8, two Khao Sok 21/8 

Sooty-capped Babbler Malacopteron affine DVFC two 30/7, four 02/8

Scaly-crowned Babbler Malacopteron cinereum DVFC one 30/7, two 31/7, four 02/8

Rufous-crowned Babbler Malacopteron magnumDVFC four 30/7, two 31/7, four 02/8

Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus montanus  DVFC two 31/7, PHS two 13/8

Bornean Wren-Babbler Ptilocichla leucogrammica  DVFC two 02/8, at about W10/S2 at start of Rhino ridge

Striped Wren-Babbler Kenopia striata  Sepilok RDC 2, 25/7, KR 1 27/7, DVFC one 30/7, DVFC two trapped 01/8, four 03/8

Black-throated Wren-Babbler Napothera atrigularis DVFC one heard near start of Waterfall Trail 30/7, one 02/08 W0/N7 near turn-off to Coffin Trail

Mountain Wren-Babbler Napothera crassa  MKNP four along Summit Trail showed well 08/8, four upper Liwagu trail 09/8

Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps DVFC two 02/8, MKNP one 07/8, four+ 08/8, Rafflesia Centre two 15/8. Also s Thailand at KNC 18/8 

Grey-headed Babbler Stachyris poliocephala DVFC two trapped 01/8, four 02/8, four 03/8

Chestnut-rumped Babbler Stachyris maculata DVFC two 31/7, four 03/8

Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera  Sepilok RDC four, 25/7, KR two+ daily,  DVFC four + daily,  PHS six 13/8, four 14/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, ten 18/8, six Khao Sok 21/8 

Striped Tit-Babbler Macronus gularis Sepilok RDC 2, 25/7, DVFC four 30/7,

Recently split 2006 by N J Collar Bold-striped Tit-Babbler Macronus bornensis (OBC and HBW but not Clements). Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8 (M.c. chersonesophilus)

Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler Macronus ptilosus  DVFC four 03/8 by the suspension bridge, PHS three13/8 and 14/8.

Sunda Laughingthrush Garrulax palliatus  MKNP quite common, seen shortly after arrival 07/8, and regularly feeding early a.m. by Power Station car park, Rafflesia Centre four15/8 

Black Laughingthrush Garrulax lugubris calvus  MKNP three lower Mempelling 09/8, two Silau Silau 11/8: usually with bird parties, can be higher up and less confiding than other Laughingthrushes. Sometimes split as Bare-headedLaughingthrush Garrulax calvus

Chestnut-cappedLaughingthrush Rhinocichla mitratus   A common bird at MKNP, seen soon after arrival on afternoon 07/8, 10+ by the Power Station car park early mornings, Rafflesia Centre four 15/8. Recently split as Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush  Rhinocichla treacheri (HBW but not Clements)

White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis  MKNP two by Power Station 08/8, two again 10/8, Rafflesia Centre two 15/8 

Brown Fulvetta Alcippe brunneicauda   DVFC two 30/7, five 02/8. Also s Thailand two at KNC 18/8

Chestnut-crested Yuhina  uhina everetti  Very common MKNP, from two seen on arrival 07/8, 10+ 08/8, PHS four 13/8,  Rafflesia Centre 30+ 15/8 

White-bellied Erpornis  Erpornis zantholeuca  Sepilok RDC two 25/7

White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana   MKNP one Kiau View trail 07/8, one 08/8, one 09/8

Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis   Sepilok RDC two 25/7, Gomantong two, and several from bus windows, PHS three + 12/8 and 13/8, TVR two 14/8.   Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8, Khao Sok

White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus stricklandii  Sepilok RDC one 26/7, KR 1-2 daily, DVFC two 30/7, two 02/8, PHS two 12/8, four 13/8.  North Borneo race split for a while as White-crowned Shama Copsychus stricklandii (lumped in HBW as intergrades with suavis in Kalinamantan and Sarawak. Not split in Clements) Also Thailand at Khao Sok NP, three 21/8

Rufous-tailed Shama Trichixos pyrrhopygus   DVFC one at bottom of Rhino Ridge 02/8

Chestnut-naped Forktail Enicurus ruficapillus DVFC  two 31/7, two 02/8, PHS one 13/8.   Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, two 21/8  

White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti: DVFC two frontalis  03/8 , MKNP one borneensis 08/8, one 09/8. The two races may eventually be split? Latter is much larger and longer tailed

Black-breasted Fruit-Hunter Chlamydochaera jefferyi: MKNP three (two males) along Summit Trail, 08/8

Bornean Whistling-Thrush Myiophoneus borneensis  MKNP one 07/8, one 08/8, one regularly by stream between Power Station and upper Bukit Ular trail 10/8,11/8

Chestnut-capped Thrush Zoothera interpres  DVFC one N5/W5, 02/8

Everett's Thrush Zoothera everetti MKNP one upper Liwagu trail 09/8, one upper Bukit Ular trail 10/8 and one upper Mempelling Trail entrance 11/8

Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus   MKNP one feeding on worms at dawn on the short grass by the roadside pondok at Kiau View 10/8, photographed: very low altitude for this species

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Flyeater) Gerygone sulphurea  Sipadan one 06/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8

Yellow-breasted Warbler Seicercus montis  MKNP common, seen on arrival 07/8,  10+ 08/8

Yellow-bellied Warbler Abroscopus superciliaris   PHS three 12/8, four 13/8.  Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, a few 21/8

Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus  MKNP quite common, from 07/8,  10+ 08/8

Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris   Likas Bay one 15/8

Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps   Sepilok RDC 2, 25/7, KR 2+ daily, DVFC daily. Also s Thailand ay Phang Nga

Rufous-tailed Tailorbird Orthotomus sericeus  Sepilok 5, 25/7, KR 2+ daily, DVFC daily, PHS one 12/8, three 13/8. Also seen s Thailand at Phan Nga, Krabi, KNC

Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus cuculatus  MKNP two 29/7

Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris  Sepilok, common around field edges, KR, Likas Bay

Bornean Stubtail Urosphena whiteheadi   MKNP hreard most days, two Mempelling Trail and one lower Silau Silau behind arboretum 10/8. Responds well to pishing

Sunda Bush-Warbler Cettia vulcania   MKNP one 07/8, 10+ along Summit Trail lower part, 08/8

Friendly Bush-Warbler  Bradypterus accentor  MKNP three seen along Summit Trail, responding very well to tape and singing in open for several minutes, and others heard. Had to get past the trail junction before finding any

Grey-chested Jungle-Flycatcher Rhinomyias umbratilis  DVFC  two 31/7, one 01/8, one 02/08   

Eye-browed Jungle-Flycatcher Rhinomyias gularis MKNP often near streams such as lower Silau Silau: one 07/8, one 08/8, three 11/8

Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina  Sepilok RDC two 26/7, PHS two 14/8 from canopy walkway 

Indigo Flycatcher Eumyias indigo  MKNP one 07/8, two 08/8, one 11/8

Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra  MKNP two Liwagu trail 09/8, two Bukit Ular 10/8   

Rufous-chested Flycatcher Ficedula dumetoria DVFC two 31/7. Also s Thailand at KNC, one 18/8

Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni  MKNP two along Summit Trail 08/8

White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis concretus  DVFC one on Rhino Ridge, 03/8

Large-billed Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis caerulatus   DVFC one 01/08 on Grids by stream S5

Bornean Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis superbus   PHS one below the bat rocks on the waterfall trail 12/8 

Malaysian Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis turcosus  KR up to three daily from 26/7,  DVFC one 01/8    

Pygmy Blue-Flycatcher Muscicapella hodgsoni   MKNP a young bird on Kiau View seen 07/8 and again 11/8 and 12/8

Grey-headed Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis  DVFC two 03/8 near start of Rhino Ridge,   PHS one 13/8 

White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis  MKNP two 07/8,  six+  08/8, PHS two 12/8,  TVR one 14/8

Spotted Fantail Rhipidura perlata  DVFC two 30/7

Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica   Sepilok RDC 1, 25/7, KR a few daily, DVFC daily, Likas Bay one15/8. Also seen s Thailand at Phang Nga, KNC, Khao Sok NP

Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea Sepilok RDC 1, 25/7, KR a few daily, DVFC, PHS two 14/8 from canopy walkway.  Also s Thailand at KNC, four+ 18/8 

Maroon-breasted Philentoma Philentoma velatum   DVFC two 01/8

Rufous-winged Philentoma Philentoma pyrhopterum  DVFC two 30/7, two 02/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8

Asian Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi  DVFC three 30/7, four 02/8, PHS one 13/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8   

Bornean Whistler Pachycephala hypoxantha: MKNP two along Summit Trail 08/8, Rafflesia Centre one 15/8 

White-vented Whistler Pachycephala homeyeri  Sipadan five or more birds seen 06/8

White-breasted Wood Swallow Artamus leucorhynchus  Fairly common in lowlands: Sandhakan airport, Sepilok, KR, between Semporna and Tawau (20 on wires), MKNP two 11/8

Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis  Common in lowlands: Sepilok, KR, Gomantong, Sipadan, Likas Bay 20 15/8. Also Singapore and s Thailand

Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis Seen near Sandhakan. Also Singapore. S Thailand

Hill Myna Gracula religiosa  Sepilok RDC two 25/7, KR two 26/7,  Gomantong two 27/7, DVFC two 30/7, four 02/8. Also seen s Thailand at KNC and Khao Sok

Plain Sunbird Anthreptes simplex   Sepilok 4, 25/7, KR two + daily from 26/7, TVR two 14/8, Likas Bay two 15/8  

Plain-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis Sipadan three or more birds seen 06/8.  Also s Thailand at KNC, two 18/8, two Khao Sok NP

Red-throated Sunbird Anthreptes rhodolaema  DVFC one 30/7

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Anthreptes singalensis  KR four 27/7, DVFC two 30/7, four 02/8. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, two 21/8

Purple-naped Sunbird Hypogramma hypogrammicum  KR, one 28/7, DVFC  two 03/8

Purple-throated Sunbird Nectarinia sperata  Sepilok one, 25/7

Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis  Sipadan two seen 06/8. Also s Thailand at KNC, four 18/8

Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja   Sepilok four 25/7, KR one 26/7, four 27/7. Also s Thailand at Trang, two 19/8

Temminck's Sunbird Aethopyga temminckii  MKNP one 07/8, two 08/8, PHS two13/8 

Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra Sepilok RDC four 25/7, KR common, DVFC common, PHS two 12/8, ten 13/8.  Also s Thailand at KNC, 10+ 18/8

Thick-billed Spiderhunter Arachnothera crassirostris   Sepilok RDC one 26/7, Likas Bay one 15/8

Spectacled Spiderhunter Arachnothera flavigaster   KR one 26/7, PHS one 13/8.  Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, four  21/8  

Bornean Spiderhunter Arachnothera everetti   DVFC two 03/8, PHS one near hostel car park 13/8 

Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus   DVFC two trapped 01/8

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker Prionochilus xanthopygius  Sepilok one 26/7, KR one 26/7, DVFC one 02/08, PHS one 12/8 and 13/8 

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker Dicaeum chrysorrheum  DVFC one scoped high,  31/7, PHS one 13/8

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma   PHS one 13/8 in bathing area.  Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, two 21/8 

Plain Flowerpecker  DVFC ten 31/7  

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum   Sepilok one 26/7. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok, one 20/8, two 21/8

Black-sided Flowerpecker Dicaeum monticolum   MKNP two+ near Restaurant 08/8

Black-capped White-eye Zosterops atricapilla  MKNP three in trees above cafe 09/8  

Pygmy White-eye Oculocincta squamifrons   MKNP two along Summit Trail 08/8

Mountain Black-eye Chlorocharis emiliae   MKNP 20+ along Summit Trail 08/8, four upper Bukit Ular trail 10/8

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus   Common around major habitation: KK, Semporna, Lahad Datu, PHS 20 13/8, TVR 20 14/8 etc. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, two 21/8

White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra   Sepilok 2, 25/7. Also seen s Thailand four near Khao Sok 21.8

Dusky Munia  Lonchura fuscans   Sepilok 20+, 25/7,  DVFC 20+,  30/7, PHS ten 13/8, Likas Bay 10 15/8  

Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata   Likas Bay four 15/8. Also s Thailand at Khao Sok NP, 20 21/8

Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla jagori   Sepilok 20 25/7, Semporna 20 07/8: TVR 40, 14/8


Moon Rat Echinosorex gymnurus: One on night drive, DVFC

Lesser Tree Shrew Tupaia minor: One, DVFC

Mountain Tree Shrew Tupaia montana: MKNP summit trail and by skip before gate

Bornean Smooth-tailed Tree Shrew Dendrogale melanura: One MKNP.

Long-tailed Mountain Rat Niviventer rapit  MKNP by skip before Timphon Gate

Pencil-tailed Tree Rat sp Chiropodomys major?  KR

Large Flying Fox Pteropus vampyrus: Tawau

Creagh’s Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus creaghi  One near cave entrance, Gomantong

Wrinkle-lipped Free-tailed Bat Tadarida plicata: The most abundant bat at Gomantong.

Long-tailed Macaque (Crab-eating Macaque) Macaca fascicularis: KR

Sunda Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina: KR and Gomantong

Proboscis Monkey Nasalis larvatus: Commonly at KR

Maroon Langur (Red Leaf Monkey) Presbytis rubicunda: Gomantong

Silvered Langur (Silvered Leaf Monkey) Presbytis cristata: KR and Gomantong

Bornean Gibbon Hylobates muelleri: Several seen at DV, also heard KR and Gomantong

Bornean Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus: 5 seen KR, 2 at Gomantong, one at DVFC

Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula:Two foraging on Waterfall trail early a.m., DVFC 30/7

Malay Badger Mydaus javanensis: One DVFC by and later over Nature  Trail bridge

Malayan Civet Viverra tangalunga: One scavenging, KR camp

Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus: DVFC night drive

Asian Elephant (Indian Elephant) Elephas maximus: 20+, KR on two days and 30 on approach road to DVFC. Also near ringing site.

Bearded Pig Sus barbatus: Along river at KR

Lesser Mouse-Deer Tragulus javanicus: Two, DVFC

Bornean Red Muntjac Muntiacus muntjak: One, PHS

Sambar Deer  Cervus unicolor: One seen DVFC night-drive, one Sepilok.

Common (Cream) Giant Squirrel Ratufa affinis: KR, MKNP, PHS canopy walk

Ear-spot Squirrel Callosciurus adamsi: One at Kinabalu

Kinabalu Squirrel Callosciurus baluensis: MKNP

Bornean Black-banded Squirrel Callosciurus orestes: MKNP common

Plantain Squirrel Callosciurus notatus: KR

Prevost’s Squirrel Callosciurus prevostii: KR, PHS, DVFC

Horse-tailed Squirrel Sundasciurus hippurus: DVFC

Jentink’s Squirrel Sundasciurus jentinki: MKNP along the summit trail

Low’s Squirrel Sundasciurus lowii: DVFC.

Bornean Mountain Ground Squirrel Dremomys everetti: MKNP along the summit trail

Plain Pygmy Squirrel Exilisciurus exilis: KR, PHS, DVFC

Whitehead’s Pygmy Squirrel Exilisciurus whiteheadi: MKNP

Red Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista: One spotlighted during night-drive, DVFC

Green Sea Turtle: Chelonia mydas  About 50 off beach at Sipadan 

Water Monitor Varanus salvator  KR, Sipadan

Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus  KR 5-6

Various Skinks

Additional birds seen in Thailand/Singapore

Lesser Whistling Duck Six near Krabi 20/8

Oriental Hobby One over the dam at Khao Sok, 20/8

Red-legged Crake One 16/8 behind the waterfall in the Ginger Garden, Botanical gardens, Singapore

Red-wattled Lapwing Two at Trang Botanical Gardens 19/8

Malaysian Plover Two at Krabi 20/8

Lesser Sand-Plover 40 at Krabi 20/8

Greater Sand-Plover 60 at Krabi 20/8

Whimbrel 20 at Krabi 17/8, 50 20/8

Common Redshank One at Krabi 20/8

Terek Sandpiper 20 at Krabi 20/8

Rufous-necked Stint 10 at Krabi 20/8

Common Tern One at Krabi 20/8

Vernal Hanging Parrot Six at Khao Sok NP, 21/8

Common Koel  Two 16/8 Singapore

Sunda Scops-Owl One in Morakot gardens shortly after dusk, KNC, 18/8,i9/8

Spotted Wood-Owl One flushed from daytime roost, KNC 18/8

Gould’s Frogmouth Two heard KNC 17/8

Brown-winged Kingfisher  One Phang Nga mangroves, 17/8

Ruddy Kingfisher One Phang Nga 22/8

White-throated Kingfisher Common s Thailand

Blue-winged Pitta One plus others heard, KNC 18/8, two adults feeding young on lawns of Trang Botanical Gardens, 19/8

Mangrove Pitta  One Phang Nga, 17/8

Gurney’s Pitta A male seen well with help, KNC 19/8

Germain’s Swiftlet  10 Phang Nga 17/8, presumed this at KNC 18/8

Whiskered Treeswift  Four at Trang Botanical Gardens 19/8

Dusky Crag Martin  20 Phang Nga 17/8, also Krabi

Grey Wagtail One at KNC 18/8, one Khao Sok NP 21/8

Forest Wagtail One at KNC 18/8

Great Iora Two at KNC 18/8

Black-headed Bulbul Four at Khao Sok NP 21/8

Stripe-throated Bulbul  Three at KSNP 21/8

Buff-vented Bulbul  Two at KNC 18/8

Streak-eared Bulbul Two at Khao Sok NP in orchards, 21/8

Large-billed Crow Common in hills of S Thailand

Sultan Tit One KNC 18/8

Puff-throated Babbler Two at KNC 18/8, eigh 19/8

Buff-breasted Babbler Two + at KNC 18/8, 19/8

Abbott’s Babbler Two at KNC/19/8, three at Trang BG, 19/8, two Khao Sok 21/8

Large Wren-Babbler One heard at KNC 19/8

Common Tailorbird Two at KNC 18/8, two Khao Sok 21/8

Blue Whistling Thrush one Khao Sok NP 21/8

Brown-streaked Flycatcher One at Trang BG 19/8

Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher One at KNC 18/8

Mangrove Whistler  Two Phang Nga 21/8

Jungle Myna Singapore

Scarlet Sunbird  Two at Trang 19/8

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter two Khao Sok NP 21/8

Thick-billed Flowerpecker One at KNC 18/8

White-rumped Munia 50+ Khao Sok NP 21/8


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