2 / 5 / 11 - 23 August

by Dáni Balla

This year’s tour combined with all the extensions gave the most comprehensive tour ever done in Malaysian Borneo. Starting with the pre-tour extensions aiming to see the once ‘near-mythical’ Bulwer’s Pheasant and Bornean Peacock-Pheasant from different hides, where recently they become more reliable, these mega-specialities became early highlights of the tour. Following the ‘hide sessions’, classic birdwatching started on the Sarawak extension, collecting the specialties of the region and we were successfully rolling up our target list seeing Dulit and Bornean Frogmouth, Dark Hawk-Cuckoo, Philippine Cuckoo Dove, Mountain Serpent Eagle, Malaysian Blue-banded Kingfisher, Golden-whiskered, Red-crowned, Mountain, Bornean and Brown Barbets, Olive- and Orange-backed Woodpeckers, Hose’s Broadbill, Blue-banded Pitta, Black-and Crimson and Black Oriole, Spotted Fantail, Crested Jayshrike, Bornean Treepie, Rail-babbler, a great selection of Bulbuls including Penan, Hook-billed, Charlotte’s, Bornean and Cream-eyed, Pygmy and Hume’s White-eye, Rufous-fronted Babbler, Black-throated and White-necked Babbler, Pale and Dayak Blue Flycatcher, Chestnut-naped Forktail, Bornean Leafbird, Bornean and White-head’s Spiderhunter just under a few days. After the extensions, during the classic Borneo tour, which goes through the birding hotspots of Sabah, we picked up Pittas including the Blue-headed and Black-crowned, Hornbills of all kind including Rhinoceros, Helmeted and White-crowned, Whitehead’s Trogon, Whitehead’s Broadbill, Bornean Bristlehead, Fruithunter to name the colourful ones besides Great Argus, Storm’s Stork, a large set of Babblers including Bornean Wren, Mountain Wren, Striped and Bornean Black-capped, Mountain Black-eye, Sunda Owlet and a beautiful Barred Eagle-Owl.
We have to mention our encounter with Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Bornean Orangutan, Maroon Leaf-Monkey, Proboscis Monkeys and Horsfield’s Tarsier as they were also unforgettable highlights of our tour.

This year’s tour was the first which offered pre-extensions aiming to see the once mythical Bulwer’s Pheasant and Bornean Peacock-Pheasant. On the Bulwer’s Peacock-Pheasant extension, we drove up to Trus Madi, where an entomology camp was our base for two nights. On our day of arrival, we immediately sat in one of the superb hides here and found White-crowned Shama, Dayak Blue Flycatcher and a female Bornean Banded Pitta turning up. After sunset we tried for the endemic Bornean Frogmouth and successfully lured one onto an open branch.

The next morning, we drove back to the hide and waited with excitement. It did not take too long for the star to appear – a male Bulwer’s Pheasant was walking in front of us only a few meters away. Not a single guidebook gives back the shining pearls on its back and the glowing, iridescent rufous colours of its chest as the slightest amount of light hits it. Fabulous moments. As waiting patiently, we had the Bornean Banded Pitta turning up again and surprisingly a pair of Bulwer’s Pheasant appeared soon after. The male had a less pronounced tail, a good sign that it was definitely a different individual together with its hen. It was amazing to see how well they blend into the forest regardless of their stunning appearance. Mid-day birding around the camp was fruitful as we had amazing views of Bornean Leafbirds and Cinereous Bulbuls. Afternoon we went back to the same hide in hope for something bigger to appear. We were lucky. It is hard to describe a fully grown Great Argus as it appears completely open in front of us. A dream bird for many birders – probably all – and suddenly it is calmly feeding literally meters away from us. Later it was a night for celebration especially after spotlighting a Bintourong and Bornean Striped Civet on a fruiting fig tree a few hundred meters from the camp.

Next morning, we tried another hide, where we had a glowing male Bornean Banded Pitta stealing the show, however a Malayan Civet in daylight was also a strong contender in the ‘bird of the day’ game. The hide had constant activity as an industrious Short-tailed Babbler pair was building their nest nearby, thus collecting nesting material and stealing mealworms were keeping them busy. A calling Rail-Babbler refused to come closer, unlike a singing White-necked Babbler which popped out for a few seconds from the dense vegetation and a Bornean Black-capped Babbler which was hard to spot due to the angle from the hide. We left the camp in the middle of the day and had enough time to stop in the Crockers Range for a short birding. We found Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush and Bornean Forktails as a warmup for the upcoming trip. The following morning, we tried a hide higher in the Crockers Range and were successful seeing a superb pair of Crimson-head Partridge, while Sunda Laughingthrush was appearing together with Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush and a neat little Snowy-browed Flycatcher before heading back to Kota Kinabalu ending the extension.

During the special Bornean Peacock-Pheasant extension we visited another hide in the Telupid area of Sabah. The peacock-pheasant is nothing like as reliable as Bulwer’s Pheasant and we have heard of people who sat in the hide without success for three days, but luckily that is pretty rare. We had two days to play with and on one of the days we had multiple Bornean Peacock-Pheasant sightings, both a magnificent male and some females, while on the other day there was not a sniff of one! The little peacock-pheasant is definitely scared of the Bornean Crested Firebacks that also frequent the area and its absence on some days may well be related to aggression by this much larger species. Indeed, we witnessed a male crested fireback chasing off the male peacock-pheasant! Head down it scampered away at high speed to avoid trouble! Seeing a male Bornean Peacock-Pheasant in all its glory, puffing up its crest and neck feathers was really something amazing!
Other great birds during our visit to Telupid included the ‘zany’ but shy Crested Partridge (or Roulroul), White-fronted Falconet and Straw-headed Bulbul.

Birding was concentrated onto all special habitats found in the region. Our group with Yeo, our local guide, started the Sarawak extension where the Klias Peat Swamp Forest Reserve was our first birding spot on the way to the Sabah – Sarawak border. The nice boardwalk provided us easy access into the denser part of the forest where we successfully found our main targets. Hook-billed Bulbuls were benignant and three of them showed themselves for us. We had to work harder for the more sculking Black-throated Babbler until everyone got them. The fruiting trees in the reserve gave us a great opportunity to observe Red-crowned and Blue-eared (Black-eared) Barbets while Greater Green Leafbird, Orange-bellied and even Thick-billed Flowerpeckers were visiting the best ones. We were lucky to find three Scarlet-breasted Flowerpeckers, but unfortunately none of them was a nice male. On the leaf covered forest floor we spotted our first Bornean Black-capped Babbler while on the trees a set of Woodpeckers were seen including Grey-and-buff, White-bellied, Banded, Crimson-winged, Buff-rumped, Buff-necked and Common Flameback. We did a short night birding session where Brown Boobook and Sunda Scops Owl were seen, Oriental Bay Owl heard from the distance and the surprise of the night was a Moon Rat moving aside the boardwalk and leaving its special odour behind.
After crossing the border from Sabah to Sarawak we had a lunch in Lawas and changed to 4×4 pickups for the rest of the extension. A long drive further into Sarawak with the first Black Hornbills seen on the way and we arrived to Ba’kelalan village by night. Before reaching the village, we made a stop in the dark to try Yeo’s spot for Dulit Frogmouth, but no birds were responding, fortunately though we spotted a roosting Malayan Blue-banded Kingfisher at a stream giving a nice ending for the day’s birding.

The following morning, we went back to try again the Dulit Frogmouth and this time we found the bird which silently flew in and landed in the lower canopy above us.
Around Ba’kelalan some excellent roadside habitat gave easy access to the specialties of the area. At the higher elevations we found the endemic Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, Bornean Treepie and Mountain Serpent Eagle. A bit lower the middle elevation forests and roadside habitats gave us Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Dark Hawk-Cuckoo, Scarlet-rumped and Orange-breasted Trogons, a great variety of Barbets including Golden-whiskered, Red-throated and the endemic Bornean and Mountain, the tiny Black-thighed Falconet, an amazing Green Broadbill, Ashy Drongo (of the local endemic form), Penan, Charlotte’s, Cinereous and the beautiful Scaly-breasted Bulbuls, flocks of Chestnut-crested Yuhinas and Pygmy White-eyes, Rufous-fronted and the shy White-necked Babbler, Brown Fulvettas and Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrushes, Bornean Leafbirds, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker and Bornean Spiderhunter. We worked hard to find the other star bird of the area, the Hose’s Broadbill and saw our first individuals perching for short periods and flying by a few times. Crested Jayshrike, which now is placed in its own, monotypic family was also first seen here. Another night birding made us see Malaysian Eared Nightjar and the little Bornean Frogmouth.

Driving further north we arrived to Long Tuyo from where we trekked up an old logging road to Paya Maga, where the enigmatic Black Oriole was recently rediscovered. Being lucky with the current weather we started birding at the beginning of our hike. Not so long after the start we had a small group of Grey-headed Babblers calling which we lured closer, then after a few minutes walking we heard Blue-banded Pitta calling in a small gully above the road. Our try on the calling bird failed as we failed to spot the bird which came really close. Fortunately, we heard another individual calling under the road later on, which we did manage to find after almost half an hour’s search, as it was sitting on a stretch of root above the ground – still not easy to see for everyone. We were halfway up when Orange-backed Woodpeckers were calling near the trail, not much after we had them around but being shy, they were not easy to follow, but finally everyone got on the birds. Not far before reaching the campsite a large fruiting tree was attracting a set of loud Barbets when we heard a calling Hose’s Broadbill. The bird being responsive appeared in front of us, but only sat for a few seconds before flying and disappearing.
Arriving at the campsite we heard a singing Black Oriole literally a few minutes later. It was calling near the camp and it did not take us too long to find the bird and enjoyed fantastic views as it started preening on an open branch. We birded the area around the campsite in the afternoon and the next morning finding such great birds as the first Rhinoceros and Bushy-crested Hornbills of the tour, Olive-backed Woodpecker, Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher, Crested Jayshrike, Hairy-backed, Finsch’s, Charlotte’s, Cinereous and Bornean Bulbuls, a loud pair of Bare-headed Laughingthrush, noisy Black-throated Wren-Babblers, the nominate form of Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler, Pale Blue and Dayak Blue Flycatchers. Besides seeing Black Oriole here, birding was definitely crowned with exciting moments observing a fantastic Rail-Babbler skulking and calling on the forest floor and with another observation Hose’s Broadbill finally sitting still for more than a few seconds!
We descended back in rain from the camp and drove back to Lawas, where we said goodbye to our 4×4 drivers. A last night was spent in a nice hotel in the town which after we drove back to Kota Kinabalu to start the main tour in Sabah.

The main Sabah tour started in Kota Kinabalu, with an afternoon birding in the Prince Philip Park, where we successfully tracked down a Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker and had several Blue-naped Parrots and Long-tailed Parakeets around us. A short walk around the hotel produced a few Pacific Reef Herons and a Nankeen Night Heron.

Next morning drove up the Crockers Range where a visit to a local hide resulted in fantastic close views of Crimson-headed Partridge a.k.a. Bloodhead and a group of Red-breasted Partridge, while Sunda and Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush were peacefully moving around. Outside, at the forest edge we found another set of endemics and specialties including Mountain Blackeye, Bornean Treepie, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Bornean Stubtail or Mountain Leaf Warbler and we had the chance to compare Bornean and Plume-toed Swiftlets. Driving towards Mount Kinabalu where we had our next base in a nice resort outside the park, we stopped halfway to enjoy a pair of the endemic White-fronted Falconets.
Arriving in the park late afternoon we had time for a short exploration around the headquarters, where the peculiar Bornean Green Magpie was a present, we found and Black-sided Flowerpecker was also added to our list.

The next three and half days were spent in the superb forests of Kinabalu National Park. Misty mornings and rainy afternoons were usual during our stay, adding a frame to birdwatching here. During the best morning hours, we had unforgettable views of the magnificent endemic Whitehead’s Trogon, we enjoyed the active flocks of the higher areas consisting of Chestnut-crested Yuhinas, Yellow-breasted Warblers, Chestnut-hooded and Sunda Laughingthrush, Mountain Blackeyes, Grey-chinned Minivets, Indigo Flycatchers, Bornean Whistlers and Black-capped White-eyes. Some mornings we heard the loud calls of Bare-headed Laughingthrush which we followed until seeing the birds, Mountain Wren-Babbler was singing from the dense undergrowth and showed themselves after some work followed by Temminck’s Babbler a few minutes later. We saw two Everett’s Thrush on the roadside one morning, while Bornean Whistling Thrush was more common there. We were lucky to see an incubating female Fruithunter through a telescope, but males spotted a few times were even more exciting. We had to wait until our last morning to finally have proper views of the glowing Whitehead’s Broadbill. Sunda Cuckooshrike, Black-and-crimson Oriole, Pale-faced Bulbul and Maroon Woodpecker were all seen around the Timpohon Gate. Easy walks around the headquarters produced the shy Bornean Shortwing and Bornean Forktail showing themselves unusually well and a fruiting tree made possible eyelevel views of a Golden-naped Barbet and Indigo Flycatcher. We were lucky to find Pygmy Flycatchers three times, Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher (or Bornean Shade-dweller) was hunting lower down along the road. Spending some time on the lookout point we found Giant Swiftlet and had an incredible view of Mountain Serpent Eagle with the peak of Mount Kinabalu in the background. Starting in the dark early in the morning we found a Red-cheeked Flying Squirrel and Mountain Scops Owl. Tufted Pygmy Squirrel we found a few times restless moving on branches.

Leaving Kinabalu National Park after a morning birding, we made a short stop on the entrance road of the famous Gomantong Caves. However, the caves were not open for visitors, due to reconstruction works of the visitor centre and the trail system, it was worth stopping by to check the area. Late afternoon the activity was very low, but a vocal Black-crowned Pitta was attending the scene and taking the show giving us excellent views.
We arrived at the jetty just before sunset to take a short boat ride to our next base camp, into our lodge on the bank of the Kinabatangan River. We had two full days and a morning to explore the various tributaries of this famous birding hotspot in comfort from our boat. Amongst the many targets we collected, Hornbills were definitely the main highlights here. We had superb views of all observed species which included the odd looking White-crowned Hornbill, Wrinkled Hornbill, Bushy-crested Hornbill and countless encounters with the magnificent Rhinoceros Hornbill. The rare Storm’s Stork we have seen several times observing at least eight individuals, while the endangered Lesser Adjutant’s high count was 10 birds in a thermal. Wallace’s and Changeable Hawk-Eagle were also seen on the treetops along the river and we saw probably hundreds of Proboscis Monkeys and a few Silver Leaf Monkeys as well. Riding back to the Lodge in dusk gave us the opportunity to see a Bat Hawk hunting above the trees, while on a night cruise we found Buffy Fish Owls. Our main target in the area was of course the elusive Bornean Ground Cuckoo, our closest encounter with a well responding pair ended here with our boatmen seeing only a bird from his position – bad luck this time. The beautiful Black-and-red Broadbills, Brown Barbets, White-chested Babblers and Malaysian Blue Flycatchers were all seen from the boat while cruising on the river.

Leaving the Kinabatangan area we drove to Lahad Datu, where the staff of the luxurious Borneo Rainforest Lodge were welcoming and inviting us for lunch. We had a smooth drive into Danum Valley in the afternoon only interrupted by Bornean Crested Fireback and a Binturong which were crossing the road. The upcoming four nights we spent in this magical patch of lowland rainforest in superb comfort provided by our outstanding accommodation and its staff. We met Rayner, our local guide who joined us to find all the specialties of this forest and went out for a night walk after dinner, where a Colugo and a Horsfield’s Tarsier were seen along the road and a rigorous Barred Eagle-Owl just near the Lodge. Next morning, we started birding in the forest, close to the lodge and soon encountered Horsfield’s Babbler and the gem of the forest, a male Blue-headed Pitta. Not much later after seeing the Pitta we found a singing Bornean Blue Flycatcher before we headed towards the canopy walkway where two of the strange looking Bornean Bristleheads (of their own, monotypic family) were waiting for us. After such a start we kept going on an found Ventriloquial Oriole, Finsch’s Bulbul, Charlotte’s Bulbul and Cream-eyed Bulbul, Short-tailed Babbler in the understorey, along the road we saw White-crowned Shama, a White-crowned Forktail pair and a flowering tree had Red-throated Sunbird and a Bornean Spiderhunter. A Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle was perched further away on a treetop enabling nice scope views. Up in the canopy walkway a noisy flock of Dusky Broadbills, Red-billed and Chestnut-breasted Malkoha was seen and a distant calling Great Slaty Woodpecker was tracked down successfully. A gorgeous Whiskered Treeswift proved to be friendly as usual. On the night drive after dinner, we encountered a Sunda Leopard Cat, found Thomas’s and Common Giant Flying Squirrels and briefly seen a larger cat as it crossed the road in front of us, which we identified as a Marbled Cat after putting together what we had seen.

Next morning, we had a ride to a more distant, thus less visited trail, where we soon bumped into a small group of Black-throated Wren-Babblers. Further in the forest a singing Black-crowned Pitta and a distant Blue-banded Pitta was heard but both remained unseen. On the way coming out we heard the distinctive call of Bornean Wren-Babbler, fortunately this bird was more responsive and after some luring it showed itself restlessly skulking around us on the ground only enabling short views at a time. After several distant calling Helmeted Hornbills heard in the past days, we finally heard a close call and rushed back to the main road to have a better view of the canopy. Soon we had one of this huge, endangered Hornbills flying above us and landing in the canopy on a nearby giant tree. We were enjoying the Helmeted Hornbill when suddenly a Giant Pitta started calling loudly from the forest. We headed back on the trail with half of the group while the rest were staying with the Hornbill. The Pitta was responsive but blended in so well that only some of us glimpsed it hopping in the dense undergrowth. Reaching the lodge, a friendly group of Maroon Leaf Monkeys were hanging around. After a midday shower leaving the lodge we saw Fiery Minivets, we went back to a close trail and found a male Bornean Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Flowerpeckers, Striped Wren-Babbler was showing well near the road, Grey-hooded Babblers were skulking in the mid storey sometimes together with Brown Fulvettas. Reaching the lodge later afternoon a Bornean Orangutan was peacefully feeding between the leaves on a roadside tree. On a short night walk we found two Horsfield’s Tarsiers, Malay Civet and a Colugo. Our last full day we concentrated on the missing species and collected a set of Babblers including the endemic Bornean Black-capped Babbler, Moustached, Rufous-crowned Chestnut-rumped and Ferruginous Babblers and had the striking Striped Wren-Babblers again. We bumped into Wrinkled Hornbill near the road twice and also saw Bushy-crested Hornbills and a magnificent male Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher looking like a nymph on the forest edge, a Grey-cheeked Bulbul pair and a Thick-billed Spiderhunter was nice to see as well. Deep in the forest we had an amazing encounter with a male Great Argus on its display ground and a suitable looking valley once had a responding Bornean Ground-Cuckoo. We put in quite effort which finally paid back and we had the Ground-Cuckoos calling close and one was showing itself a few times for short periods in the dense undergrowth. On the way out we saw Great-billed Heron on the river. Afternoon, from the canopy walk we had an eye level view of Banded and Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Maroon-breasted Philentoma and found a male Orangutan building its shelter for the night. On our last night drive, we heard Blyth’s Frogmouth but remained unseen and Barred Eagle-Owl was spotted again at the end of the session.

Our last morning in Danum Valley and the last one of the tour, we headed to the canopy walk in the morning and found Bornean Black Magpie, Greater and Lesser Green Leafbirds and a male Scarlet-rumped Trogon. Reaching the Lodge, we tracked down a calling Sunda Scimitar Babbler as a final addition to our list here. After lunch we had a stressless ride out from Danum Valley and finished the tour in Lahad Datu airport.








1st       Bornean Bristlehead

2nd       Black-crowned Pitta

3rd       Blue-headed Pitta

4th       Whitehead’s Broadbill

5th       Barred Eagle-Owl



Species marked with the diamond symbol (◊) are either endemic to the country or local region or considered ‘special’ birds for some other reason (e.g., it is only seen on one or two Birdquest tours; it is difficult to see across all or most of its range; the local form is endemic or restricted-range and may in future be treated as a full species).

The species names and taxonomy used in the bird list follows Gill, F., Donsker, D., & Rasmussen, P.(Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v13.2) (this was the current version when the checklist for the tour report was created).

Where the subspecies seen is/are known, these are often given in parentheses at the end of the species comment.


Crested Partridge ◊   Rollulus rouloul A group of three seen in the Telupid area, others heard in Sarawak and the Bulwer Pheasant extension.

Red-breasted Partridge ◊  Arborophila hyperythra Endemic. Seen well in the Crocker’s Range from hide, heard every day on Mt. Kinabalu.

Bulwer’s Pheasant ◊   Lophura bulweri Endemic. Fantastic experience with the species in Trus Madi hide on the extension. Two males and a female seen.

Bornean Crested Fireback ◊  Lophura ignita Endemic. Seen in Danum Valley and a pair in the Telupid area.

Great Argus ◊  Argusianus argus A huge male seen on the extension from Trus Madi hide, another male seen in Danum Valley on display ground.

Bornean Peacock-Pheasant ◊   Polyplectron schleiermacheri Endemic. A five individuals seen including a superb male from hide in the Telupid area.

Sabah Partridge ◊  Tropicoperdix graydoni Endemic. Heard-only. Only a distant calling bird heard once in Danum Valley.

Crimson-headed Partridge ◊  Haematortyx sanguiniceps Endemic. Great views in the Crocker’s Range and Kinabalu NP.

Malaysian Eared Nightjar   Lyncornis temminckii Seen in Sarawak.

Dulit Frogmouth ◊   Batrachostomus harterti Endemic. Seen in Sarawak.

Bornean Frogmouth ◊   Batrachostomus mixtus Endemic. Seen in Sarawak and on the Bulwer’s Pheasant extension.

Blyth’s Frogmouth  Batrachostomus affinis Heard-only in Danum Valley.

Grey-rumped Treeswift  Hemiprocne longipennis

Whiskered Treeswift  Hemiprocne comata

Giant Swiftlet (Waterfall S)  Hydrochous gigas

Plume-toed Swiftlet  Collocalia affinis

Bornean Swiftlet ◊  Collocalia dodgei Endemic. Seen in the Crocker’s Range and in Kinabalu NP.

Mossy-nest Swiftlet ◊  Aerodramus salangana

Edible-nest Swiftlet  Aerodramus fuciphagus

Germain’s Swiftlet  Aerodramus germani

Silver-rumped Spinetail (S-r Needletail)  Rhaphidura leucopygialis

Brown-backed Needletail  Hirundapus giganteus

Asian Palm Swift  Cypsiurus balasiensis

Short-toed Coucal ◊  Centropus rectunguis Heard-only in Danum Valley.

Greater Coucal  Centropus sinensis

Lesser Coucal  Centropus bengalensis

Bornean Ground Cuckoo ◊  Carpococcyx radiceus Endemic. After head at the Kinabatangan River a pair was lured into brief views in Danum Valley.

Raffles’s Malkoha  Rhinortha chlorophaea

Red-billed Malkoha  Zanclostomus javanicus

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha  Phaenicophaeus curvirostris

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha   Phaenicophaeus sumatranus

Black-bellied Malkoha  Phaenicophaeus diardi

Violet Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus Heard-only.

Banded Bay Cuckoo  Cacomantis sonneratii Heard-only.

Plaintive Cuckoo  Cacomantis merulinus

Dark Hawk-Cuckoo ◊  Hierococcyx bocki One seen in Sarawak.

Indian Cuckoo  Cuculus micropterus

Sunda Cuckoo  Cuculus lepidus A single bird seen well in Kinabalu NP.

Rock Dove (introduced)  Columba livia

Spotted Dove  Spilopelia chinensis

Philippine Cuckoo Dove ◊  (Slender-billed C-D)  Macropygia tenuirostris One seen in Sarawak.

Little Cuckoo-Dove  Macropygia ruficeps

Common Emerald Dove (Asian E D)  Chalcophaps indica

Zebra Dove (introduced)  Geopelia striata

Little Green Pigeon  Treron olax

Pink-necked Green Pigeon  Treron vernans

Thick-billed Green Pigeon  Treron curvirostra

Green Imperial Pigeon  Ducula aenea

Mountain Imperial Pigeon  Ducula badia

White-breasted Waterhen  Amaurornis phoenicurus

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Storm’s Stork ◊  Ciconia stormi At least 7 individuals seen at the Kinabatangan River.

Lesser Adjutant  Leptoptilos javanicus At least 10 birds at the Kinabatangan River.

Oriental Darter  Anhinga melanogaster

Cinnamon Bittern  Ixobrychus cinnamomeus

Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

Nankeen Night Heron (Rufous N H)  Nycticorax caledonicus

Striated Heron  Butorides striata

Eastern Cattle Egret  Bubulcus coromandus

Great-billed Heron  Ardea sumatrana One seen in Danum Valley.

Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea

Great Egret  Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret  Ardea intermedia

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Pacific Reef Heron  Egretta sacra

Crested Honey Buzzard (Indo-Malayan H B)  Pernis [ptilorhynchus] ptilorhynchus

Jerdon’s Baza ◊  Aviceda jerdoni One individual seen at the Kinabatangan River.

Crested Serpent Eagle  Spilornis cheela

Mountain Serpent Eagle ◊  Spilornis kinabaluensis Endemic. Two seen in Sarawak and two in Kinabalu NP.

Bat Hawk ◊  Macheiramphus alcinus One bird seen at the Kinabatangan River.

Changeable Hawk-Eagle  Nisaetus cirrhatus

Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle  Nisaetus alboniger

Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle ◊  Nisaetus nanus

Rufous-bellied Eagle  Lophotriorchis kienerii

Black Eagle  Ictinaetus malaiensis

Crested Goshawk  Accipiter trivirgatus

Brahminy Kite  Haliastur indus

White-bellied Sea Eagle (W-b Fish E)  Haliaeetus leucogaster

Lesser Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus humilis

Grey-headed Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus ichthyaetus

Oriental Bay Owl  Phodilus badius Heard-only.

Brown Boobook  (B Hawk-Owl)  Ninox scutulata Seen in Klias Peatswamp Reserve.

Sunda Owlet ◊   Glaucidium sylvaticum A few heard and one seen well in Kinabalu NP.

Mountain Scops Owl  Otus spilocephalus Seen in Kinabalu NP.

Sunda Scops Owl   Otus lempiji Seen in Klias Peatswamp Reserve.

Barred Eagle-Owl  ◊  Bubo sumatranus Fantastic views in Danum Valley.

Buffy Fish Owl  Ketupa ketupu At least 4 birds at the Kinabatangan.

Brown Wood Owl  Strix leptogrammica Heard-only in Sarawak.

Red-naped Trogon  Harpactes kasumba Heard-only.

Whitehead’s Trogon ◊  Harpactes whiteheadi Endemic. Fabulous encounters twice in Kinabalu NP.

Scarlet-rumped Trogon  Harpactes duvaucelii

Orange-breasted Trogon  (Spice T)  Harpactes [oreskios] dulitensis

White-crowned Hornbill ◊  Berenicornis comatus A fantastic pair at the Kinabatangan River.

Rhinoceros Hornbill  Buceros rhinoceros Best views at the Kinabatangan River and in Danum Valley.

Helmeted Hornbill ◊  Rhinoplax vigil Several times heard, finally seen one in Danum Valley.

Oriental Pied Hornbill  Anthracoceros albirostris

Black Hornbill  Anthracoceros malayanus

Bushy-crested Hornbill  Anorrhinus galeritus

Wreathed Hornbill  Rhyticeros undulatus

Wrinkled Hornbill ◊  Rhabdotorrhinus corrugatus Seen at the Kinabatangan River and in Danum Valley.

Oriental Dollarbird  Eurystomus orientalis

Banded Kingfisher ◊ (Black-faced K)  Lacedo [pulchella] melanops Heard-only.

Stork-billed Kingfisher  Pelargopsis capensis

Collared Kingfisher  Todiramphus chloris

Malayan Blue-banded Kingfisher ◊  Alcedo peninsulae One bird seen in Sarawak at night.

Blue-eared Kingfisher  Alcedo meninting

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Rufous-backed K)  Ceyx erithaca

Red-bearded Bee-eater  Nyctyornis amictus

Rainbow Bee-eater  Merops ornatus One bird at Kinabatangan River together with Blue-throated ones.

Blue-throated Bee-eater  Merops viridis

Golden-whiskered Barbet ◊ (Golden-faced B)  Psilopogon [chrysopogon] chrysopsis

Red-crowned Barbet ◊   Psilopogon rafflesia Great views at Klias.

Red-throated Barbet  Psilopogon mystacophanos

Mountain Barbet ◊  Psilopogon monticola Endemic.

Yellow-crowned Barbet  Psilopogon henricii

Golden-naped Barbet ◊  Psilopogon pulcherrimus Endemic. Fantastic eye-level view in Kinabalu NP.

Blue-eared Barbet (Black-e B)  Psilopogon duvaucelii

Bornean Barbet ◊  Psilopogon eximius Endemic.

Brown Barbet ◊ (Bornean B B)  Caloramphus fuliginosus Endemic.

Rufous Piculet  Sasia abnormis

Grey-and-buff Woodpecker  Hemicircus [concretus] sordidus

Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker  Yungipicus moluccensis

White-bellied Woodpecker  Dryocopus javensis

Banded Woodpecker  Chrysophlegma miniaceum

Checker-throated Woodpecker (C-t Yellownape)  Chrysophlegma [mentale] humii

Crimson-winged Woodpecker  Picus puniceus

Common Flameback  Dinopium javanense One seen in Klias.

Olive-backed Woodpecker ◊  Gecinulus rafflesii A female seen in Sarawak.

Maroon Woodpecker  Blythipicus rubiginosus

Orange-backed Woodpecker  Reinwardtipicus validus A pair seen in Sarawak.

Buff-rumped Woodpecker  Meiglyptes [tristis] grammithorax

Buff-necked Woodpecker  Meiglyptes tukki

Great Slaty Woodpecker  Mulleripicus pulverulentus

Black-thighed Falconet   Microhierax fringillarius

White-fronted Falconet ◊  Microhierax latifrons Endemic. A pair seen from the main road on the way to Kinabalu and another one in the Telupid area.

Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus

Blue-naped Parrot ◊  Tanygnathus lucionensis Several birds seen in Kota Kinabalu.

Long-tailed Parakeet ◊  Psittacula longicauda Easily seen in Kota Kinabalu and a small flock at the Kinabatangan River.

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  Loriculus galgulus

Dusky Broadbill  Corydon sumatranus Eye-level views in Danum Valley.

Black-and-red Broadbill  Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos

Banded Broadbill  Eurylaimus javanicus

Black-and-yellow Broadbill  Eurylaimus ochromalus

Green Broadbill  Calyptomena viridis Fantastic views in Sarawak.

Hose’s Broadbill ◊   Calyptomena hosii Endemic. Several encounters in Sarawak.

Whitehead’s Broadbill ◊  Calyptomena whiteheadi Endemic. At least three birds seen in Kinabalu NP.

Giant Pitta ◊  Hydrornis caeruleus One bird seen briefly by some after luring in Danum Valley.

Bornean Banded Pitta ◊  Hydrornis schwaneri Endemic. Fantastic view from the hides at Trus Madi.

Blue-headed Pitta ◊  Hydrornis baudii Endemic. Heard many times and seen a few times in Danum Valley.

Black-crowned Pitta ◊  Erythropitta ussheri Endemic. Great views at the Gomantong Caves.

Blue-banded Pitta ◊  Erythropitta arquata Heard a few and seen one in Sarawak.

Hooded Pitta ◊ (Western H P)  Pitta sordida Heard-only.

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Flyeater, Sunda G)  Gerygone sulphurea

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike  Hemipus picatus

Large Woodshrike  Tephrodornis virgatus

Rufous-winged Philentoma  Philentoma pyrhoptera

Maroon-breasted Philentoma  Philentoma velata

Bornean Bristlehead ◊  Pityriasis gymnocephala Endemic. Two fantastic individuals seen in Danum Valley.

White-breasted Woodswallow  Artamus leucorynchus

Common Iora  Aegithina tiphia

Green Iora  Aegithina viridissima

Fiery Minivet ◊  Pericrocotus igneus

Grey-chinned Minivet (Grey-throated M)  Pericrocotus solaris

Scarlet Minivet  Pericrocotus speciosus

Sunda Cuckooshrike ◊ (Bornean C)  Coracina [larvata] normani Seen well in the Kinabalu NP.

Pied Triller  Lalage nigra

Lesser Cuckooshrike  Lalage fimbriata

Bornean Whistler ◊  Pachycephala hypoxantha Endemic. Common in Kinabalu NP.

Long-tailed Shrike ◊ (Philippine L-t S)  Lanius [schach] nasutus

White-browed Shrike-babbler  Pteruthius aeralatus

White-bellied Erpornis  Erpornis zantholeuca

Black-and-crimson Oriole ◊  Oriolus cruentus A male showing well in Kinabalu NP.

Black Oriole ◊   Oriolus hosii Endemic. Great views in Sarawak.

Ventriloquial Oriole  Oriolus consobrinus Seen in Danum Valley.

Bronzed Drongo  Dicrurus aeneus

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus paradiseus Heard-only.

Hair-crested Drongo (Bornean Spangled D)  Dicrurus [hottentottus] borneensis

Ashy Drongo ◊ (Bornean Grey D)  Dicrurus [leucophaeus] stigmatops

White-throated Fantail  Rhipidura albicollis

Malaysian Pied Fantail (Sunda P F)  Rhipidura javanica

Spotted Fantail ◊  Rhipidura perlata One seen in Sarawak.

Black-naped Monarch  Hypothymis azurea

Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone affinis

Crested Jayshrike (C Jay)  Platylophus galericulatus Seen in Sarawak.

Bornean Black Magpie ◊  Platysmurus aterrimus  Endemic. Seen in Danum Valley.

Bornean Green Magpie ◊  Cissa jefferyi  Endemic. Seen in Kinabalu NP.

Bornean Treepie ◊  Dendrocitta cinerascens Endemic. Many seen at the higher elevation sites.

Slender-billed Crow (Sunda C)  Corvus [enca] compilator

Rail-babbler ◊  Eupetes macrocerus One lured into views in Sarawak.

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher  Culicicapa ceylonensis

Hairy-backed Bulbul ◊ (Sabah H-b B)  Tricholestes [criniger] viridis

Hook-billed Bulbul  ◊ Setornis criniger Three individuals seen in Klias.

Yellow-bellied Bulbul  Alophoixus phaeocephalus

Grey-cheeked Bulbul ◊ (Guttural B)  Alophoixus tephrogenys Nice views in Danum Valley.

Penan Bulbul ◊ (Chestnut-vented B)  Alophoixus ruficrissus Endemic.

Finsch’s Bulbul ◊  Iole finschii

Charlotte’s Bulbul ◊  Iole charlottae Endemic. Seen in Sarawak and in Danum Valley.

Cinereous Bulbul ◊  Hemixos cinereus

Streaked Bulbul  Ixos malaccensis

Black-headed Bulbul  Brachypodius melanocephalos

Spectacled Bulbul  Ixodia erythropthalmos

Scaly-breasted Bulbul ◊  Ixodia squamata Seen in Sarawak.

Bornean Bulbul ◊  Rubigula montis Endemic. Commonly seen in Sarawak.

Cream-eyed Bulbul ◊  Pycnonotus pseudosimplex Endemic. Seen in Sarawak and Danum Valley.

Cream-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus simplex

Olive-winged Bulbul  Pycnonotus plumosus

Asian Red-eyed Bulbul  Pycnonotus brunneus

Straw-headed Bulbul ◊  Pycnonotus zeylanicus One seen in the Telupid area, and one heard-only at the Kinabatangan River.

Pale-faced Bulbul ◊  Pycnonotus leucops Endemic. Seen in the higher elevations of Kinabalu NP.

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Sunda Y-v B)  Pycnonotus goiavier

Pacific Swallow  Hirundo tahitica

Barn Swallow (W)  Hirundo rustica

Mountain Tailorbird (M Leaftoiler)  Phyllergates cucullatus

Aberrant Bush Warbler  Horornis flavolivaceus Many seen in the Crocker’s Range and Kinabalu NP.

Bornean Stubtail ◊  Urosphena whiteheadi Endemic. Seen well in the Crocker’s Range and Kinabalu NP.

Yellow-breasted Warbler  Phylloscopus montis

Mountain Leaf Warbler (Sunda Mountain W)  Phylloscopus trivirgatus

Yellow-bellied Prinia ◊ (Bornean P)  Prinia [flaviventris] latrunculus

Dark-necked Tailorbird  Orthotomus atrogularis

Rufous-tailed Tailorbird  Orthotomus sericeus

Ashy Tailorbird  Orthotomus ruficeps

Chestnut-crested Yuhina ◊  Staphida everetti Endemic. Common in the montane forests.

Pygmy White-eye ◊ (P Ibon, P Heleia)  Heleia squamifrons Endemic. Many seen in Trus Madi and Sarawak.

Black-capped White-eye ◊  Zosterops atricapilla Flocks seen in Kinabalu NP.

Mountain Blackeye ◊  Zosterops emiliae Endemic. Seen in the Corcker’s Range and Kinabalu NP.

Hume’s White-eye ◊  Zosterops auriventer Seen in Sarawak.

Bold-striped Tit-babbler ◊  Mixornis bornensis Near-endemic.

Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler  Macronus ptilosus

Grey-hooded Babbler ◊  Cyanoderma bicolor Endemic.

Rufous-fronted Babbler ◊ (Sunda Leaf B)  Cyanoderma rufifrons

Bare-headed Laughingthrush ◊  Melanocichla calva Endemic. Seen well in Sarawak and Kinabalu NP.

Sunda Scimitar Babbler ◊  Pomatorhinus bornensis Heard many times, seen on the last day briefly in Danum Valley.

Black-throated Babbler ◊  Stachyris nigricollis A pair seen in Klias.

Chestnut-rumped Babbler  Stachyris maculata

Grey-throated Babbler (Montane B, Southern G-t B)  Stachyris nigriceps

Grey-headed Babbler  Stachyris poliocephala

White-necked Babbler ◊ (Fluting B)  Stachyris [leucotis] obscurata A pair seen in Sarawak.

Black-throated Wren-Babbler ◊  Turdinus atrigularis Endemic. Seen in Sarawak and in Danum Valley.

Sooty-capped Babbler  Malacopteron affine

Scaly-crowned Babbler  Malacopteron cinereum

Rufous-crowned Babbler  Malacopteron magnum

Moustached Babbler ◊ (Sabah M B)  Malacopteron [magnirostre] cinereocapilla Seen well in Danum Valley.

Bornean Black-capped Babbler ◊  Pellorneum capistratoides Endemic. Seen in Trus Madi, Sarawak and Danum Valley.

Short-tailed Babbler ◊ (Leaflitter B)  Pellorneum malaccense A confiding pair from Trus Madi hide and several seen in Danum Valley.

Temminck’s Babbler ◊  Pellorneum pyrrogenys Seen in Kinabalu NP.

White-chested Babbler  Pellorneum rostratum

Ferruginous Babbler  Pellorneum bicolor

Striped Wren-Babbler  Kenopia striata Great views in Danum Valley.

Horsfield’s Babbler ◊  Malacocincla [sepiaria] rufiventris Seen in Danum Valley.

Mountain Wren-Babbler ◊  Gypsophila crassa Endemic. Heard many before seeing two in Kinabalu NP.

Bornean Wren-Babbler ◊  Ptilocichla leucogrammica Endemic. One seen in Danum Valley.

Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler ◊ (Sunda W-B)  Napothera [epilepidota] epilepidota A pair seen in Sarawak.

Brown Fulvetta ◊ (Bornean F)  Alcippe [brunneicauda] eriphaea Seen in Sarawak and Danum Valley.

Sunda Laughingthrush ◊  Garrulax palliates Near-endemic. Seen in the Crocker’s Range and Kinabalu NP.

Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush ◊  Pterorhinus treachery Endemic. Many seen in the higher elevation sites.

Asian Fairy-bluebird  Irena puella

Asian Glossy Starling  Aplonis panayensis

Common Hill Myna  Gracula religiosa

Crested Myna (introduced)  Acridotheres cristatellus

Javan Myna (introduced)  Acridotheres javanicus

Fruithunter ◊  Chlamydochaera jefferyi Endemic. Several encounters in Kinabalu NP.

Everett’s Thrush ◊  Zoothera everetti Endemic. Two individuals seen on the roadside in Kinabalu NP.

Oriental Magpie-Robin (Black M-R)  Copsychus saularis

Rufous-tailed Shama ◊  Copsychus pyrropygus Heard-only in Danum Valley.

White-rumped Shama   Copsychus malabaricus

White-crowned Shama ◊  Copsychus stricklandii Endemic. Seen easily in Danum Valley.

Pale Blue Flycatcher ◊  Cyornis unicolor

Dayak Blue Flycatcher ◊  Cyornis montanus Endemic. Seen in Trus Madi and Sarawak.

Sunda Blue Flycatcher ◊ (Large-billed B F)  Cyornis caerulatus Near-endemic. A pair seen in Danum Valley.

Bornean Blue Flycatcher ◊  Cyornis superbus Endemic. Seen in Danum Valley.

Malaysian Blue Flycatcher ◊  Cyornis turcosus

Verditer Flycatcher  Eumyias thalassinus

Indigo Flycatcher ◊ (Rufous-vented F)  Eumyias indigo

Bornean Shortwing ◊  Brachypteryx erythrogyna Endemic. A pair seen in Kinabalu NP.

Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher ◊  Vauriella gularis Endemic. A few seen in Kinabalu NP.

Chestnut-naped Forktail ◊  Enicurus ruficapillus A pair seen in Sarawak.

White-crowned Forktail ◊  Enicurus [leschenaulti] frontalis Seen in Danum Valley.

Bornean Forktail ◊  Enicurus borneensis Endemic. Seen in the Crocker’s Range and Kinabalu NP.

Bornean Whistling Thrush ◊  Myophonus borneensis Endemic. Easily seen in Kinabalu NP.

Pygmy Flycatcher (P Blue F)  Ficedula hodgsoni A pair and a male seen in Kinabalu NP.

Little Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula westermanni

Snowy-browed Flycatcher  Ficedula hyperythra

Greater Green Leafbird  Chloropsis sonnerati

Lesser Green Leafbird  Chloropsis cyanopogon

Bornean Leafbird ◊  Chloropsis kinabaluensis Endemic. A few seen in Trus Madi and Sarawak.

Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker  Prionochilus maculatus

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker ◊  Prionochilus xanthopygius Endemic.

Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker   Prionochilus thoracicus Three seen in Klias.

Thick-billed Flowerpecker ◊  Dicaeum agile One seen in Klias.

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker  Dicaeum trigonostigma

Plain Flowerpecker  Dicaeum minullum One seen in Trus Madi.

Black-sided Flowerpecker ◊  Dicaeum monticolum Endemic. Many seen in Kinabalu NP.

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker  Dicaeum cruentatum Heard-only.

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird  Chalcoparia singalensis

Plain Sunbird  Anthreptes simplex

Brown-throated Sunbird  Anthreptes malacensis

Red-throated Sunbird  Anthreptes rhodolaemus

Van Hasselt’s Sunbird  Leptocoma brasiliana

Olive-backed Sunbird (Ornate S)  Cinnyris [jugularis] ornatus

Temminck’s Sunbird  Aethopyga temminckii

Purple-naped Sunbird (P-n Spiderhunter)  Kurochkinegramma hypogrammicum

Little Spiderhunter  Arachnothera longirostra

Thick-billed Spiderhunter  Arachnothera crassirostris

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter  Arachnothera chrysogenys

Bornean Spiderhunter ◊  Arachnothera everetti Endemic.

Whitehead’s Spiderhunter ◊  Arachnothera juliae Endemic. Superb views in Sarawak.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (introduced)  Passer montanus

Scaly-breasted Munia  Lonchura punctulata

Dusky Munia ◊  Lonchura fuscans Endemic.

Chestnut Munia  Lonchura atricapilla

Paddyfield Pipit  Anthus rufulus



Asian Elephant (Indian E)  Elephas maximus A group was seen at the Kinabatangan River, at night even coming too close into the area of our lodge.

Moonrat  Echinosorex gymnura  One seen in Klias.

Marbled Cat  Pardofelis marmorata One seen crossing the road in Danum Valley during night drive.

Sunda Leopard Cat  Prionailurus javanensis One seen in Danum Valley on a night drive.

Binturong  Arctictis binturong One seen in Trus Madi and another one crossing the road when entering Danum Valley.

Small-toothed Palm Civet (Bornean Striped C)  Arctogalidia trivirgata Seen in Trus Madi.

Masked Palm Civet  Paguma larvata Seen in Trus Madi.

Northern Palm Civet (Common P C)  Paradoxurus hermaphroditus Seen in Danum Valley.

Malay Civet  Viverra tangalunga A daytime encounter with one at Trus Madi from a hide.

Sunda Stink-badger (Malay Badger)  Mydaus javanensis One individual at Trus Madi.

Asian Small-clawed Otter  Aonyx cinereus One seen crossing the road in Sarawak.

Yellow-throated Marten  Martes flavigula One seen in Kinabalu NP.

Lesser Indo-Malayan Chevrotain (L Mouse-Deer)  Tragulus kanchil One in Trus Madi.

Southern Red Muntjac (Indian M)  Muntiacus muntjak Heard-only.

Sambar Deer  Rusa unicolor

Sunda Flying Lemur (Colugo, Malayan F L)  Galeopterus variegatus A few seen in Danum Valley.

Long-footed Tree Shrew (Plain T S) Tupaia longipes Seen from Trus Madi hide.

Pygmy Tree Shrew (Pygmy T S)  Tupaia minor

Large Tree Shrew  Tupaia tana

Horsfield’s Tarsier  Cephalopachus bancanus Three seen in Danum Valley.

Long-tailed Macaque (Crab-eating M)  Macaca fascicularis

Southern Pig-tailed Macaque (Sunda P-t M)  Macaca nemestrina

Proboscis Monkey  Nasalis larvatus Abundant at the Kinabatangan River.

Maroon Leaf Monkey (M Leaf Monkey, Red L M)  Presbytis rubicunda Seen at the Kinabatangan River and in Danum Valley.

Sunda Silvery Langur (Silvered L, S Leaf Monkey)  Trachypithecus cristatus Seen at the Kinabatangan R.

Eastern Grey Gibbon (North Borneo G)  Hylobates funereus Heard only

Bornean Orangutan  Pongo pygmaeus Seen in Danum Valley.

Malayan Porcupine (Common P)  Hystrix brachyura One in Trus Madi.

Red-cheeked Flying Squirrel  Hylopetes spadiceus One seen in Kinabalu NP.

Thomas’s Flying Squirrel  Aeromys thomasi

Plantain Squirrel  Callosciurus notatus

Bornean Black-banded Squirrel  Callosciurus orestes

Prevost’s Squirrel  Callosciurus prevostii

Bornean Mountain Ground Squirrel  Dremomys everetti

Least Pygmy Squirrel  Exilisciurus exilis

Tufted Pygmy Squirrel  Exilisciurus whiteheadi

Common Giant Flying Squirrel (Red G F S)  Petaurista petaurista

Cream-coloured Giant Squirrel (Common G S, Cream-coloured G S)  Ratufa affinis

Brooke’s Squirrel  Sundasciurus brookei

Jentink’s Squirrel  Sundasciurus jentinki

Low’s Squirrel  Sundasciurus lowii

Sundaic Ranee Mouse (Lesser R M)  Haeromys pusillus One seen in Trus Madi.

Tanasumi Rat (Oriental House R)  Rattus tanasumi One seen in Trus Madi.