Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Borneo I 2017
Feb 28, 2017 to Mar 17, 2017
Megan Crewe with Hamit Suban, Paul Dimus and Haswan Suban

Flowerpeckers were well represented on the triplist this year. This Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker was one of 9 species we found! Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Borneo certainly ranks high on the list of places with spectacular wildlife, and on our three-week journey across the northern state of Sabah, we came face to face with a wonderful variety of the creatures that call the island home. From the swiftly flowing Kinabatangan and its smaller tributaries to the steamy Danum Valley jungle and the cool heights of the Crocker Range and Kinabalu Park (with a few brief asides to the world-famous Gomantong Caves and a palm grove or two), we pursued a host of birds and mammals, with plenty of interesting reptiles, insects, plants and more thrown in for good measure!

We started our adventure at Sepilok, where the sturdy canopy walkway at the Rainforest Discovery Center brought us eye to eye with a stunning male Van Hasselt's Sunbird, a whirling family group of Gray-and-buff Woodpeckers, a relentlessly singing Plaintive Cuckoo (and an equally committed Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo), a colorful mob of Scarlet and Fiery minivets, a couple of just-fledged Wallace's Hawk-Eagles, some marvelously bright Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, a huge fly-by White-bellied Woodpecker and more. Crimson, Plain-throated, and Copper-throated sunbirds jousted around bright flowers (or perched on stop signs!!), a male Diard's Trogon snatched berries from a fruiting tree, and Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrikes flitted after insects.

From there, we went on to the Sukau Rainforest Ecolodge, which is poised on the banks of one of Sabah's main rivers -- the mighty Kinabatangan. We did much of our exploring by boat, drifting along the main river and a few of its tributaries, pushed by a quiet electric motor. Tops on the hit parade here must be the pair of Bornean Ground-Cuckoos we followed along the banks of the narrow Menanngul one morning, watching as they winked in and out of view among the mangroves. Tiny White-fronted Falconets preened and hunted from the top of a dead snag. Malaysian Blue-Flycatchers made quick sallies from twigs right over the water. Tiny, jewel-bright Rufous-backed Dwarf-Kingfishers sparkled among the mangroves. A Storm's Stork posed atop a riverside tree. A mama Orangutan and her very small baby moved along a stream. A Hooded Pitta glittered as it foraged under riverside trees. A Ruddy Kingfisher (which really should be called the Purplish Kingfisher, based on the plumage we saw) perched among the mangrove leaves. A Black-capped Babbler stepped through leaf litter along the lodge's boardwalk trail. Noisy gangs of Bold-striped Tit-Babblers rummaged through stream-side bushes. Pot-bellied Proboscis Monkeys ranged through treetops. An afternoon's outing far down the Kinabatangan yielded an impressive SIX species of hornbill, including a pair of uncommon White-crowned, which looked for all the world like a pair of aging punk rockers. A couple of night trips turned up some additional treats, including three different Buffy Fish-Eagles staring at the water, a Slow Loris giving a textbook demonstration of how it got its name, a Leopard Cat tucked up tidily on a tree branch and a point-blank Blue-eared Kingfisher blinking in the spotlight beam.

From Sukau, we made a trio of visits to the area around the world-famous Gomantong Caves. Our visit to the cave itself was -- quite literally -- breathtaking. But braving the ammonia stench (and the cockroaches and those creepy long-legged centipedes) was well worth it, as we found hundreds of noisy Mossy-nest Swiftlets gabbling from their (appropriately) moss-bedecked nests, with a single nearly-ready-to-fledge Black-nest Swiftlet and a couple of White-nest Swiftlets still squatting on their distinctive nests, tucked in dark recesses of the huge, cathedral-like cave. One evening, we watched a couple of Bat Hawks, a Peregrine Falcon and a Rufous-bellied Eagle swoop through the emerging river of Wrinkle-lipped Free-tailed Bats, a pair of Rufous-chested Flycatchers twitching around a boulder, and a family of 7 Bushy-crested Hornbills snuggling together on a branch. A Chestnut-necklaced Partridge sang (and sang and sang) from a conveniently open spot along the road, allowing fabulous scope studies. A pair of Oriental Honey-Buzzards circled over the forest, one with a long green snake clutched in its talons. A male Red-naped Trogon worked along the roadside. A female Olive-backed Woodpecker hammered on a tree, enlarging her nest hole. A Maroon-breasted Philentoma flashed from branch to branch, singing challenges. A gang of Fluffy-backed Tit-Babblers and Black-throated Babblers boiled along the road edge.

Next up was the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, tucked into the virtually untouched primary forest of the Danum Valley. Along the entrance road and a handful of trails, many species awaited. A young male Great Argus stepped along through open understory, trailing his long tail behind him. A male Blue-headed Pitta sang from a mossy branch, gleaming against a shadowy background. Spritely Whiskered Treeswifts entertained us on a soggy afternoon. Tiny Blue-rumped Parrotlets clung upside-down to ripening fruit, showing their bright plumage patches -- and proving they really DO have legs. A male Crested Fireback stepped through the garden near our cabins, stopping periodically to peck at some tasty morsel. Gray Gibbons whooped atmospherically from the misty forest. A huge fruiting fig attracted a veritable swarm of hungry birds, allowing side by side comparisons of Brown-backed and Thick-billed flowerpeckers, and bringing an unexpected Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker into view. A Spotted Fantail made repeated sallies from a dead stick, while a Narcissus Flycatcher and several Brown Fulvettas hunted nearby. Two uncommon Gray-bellied Bulbuls joined the ubiquitous Red-eyed and Buff-vented bulbuls at a fruiting tree near our table in the dining room. An immature Tiger Shrike hunted along the entrance road. A big male Orangutan foraged along the roadside, while yet another female and youngster hung high in a tree near the canopy walkway. A Black-crowned Pitta crooned from a shady spot deep in a roadside bush. Our last hornbill -- the blocky-headed Helmeted -- posed briefly on a succession of branches just across the river from the lodge. And a last morning encounter with a rare Clouded Leopard proved an Attenborough-like moment for many when it walked across the path just up the hill from where we stood. Though most of our night trips here were definitely on the damp side (and sadly owl-less), they weren't unproductive: we found all three species of flying squirrel on the same night (and watched a Black Flying Squirrel make a prodigious leap to a surprisingly distant tree, a handsome Masked Palm Civet and several Sambar munched roadside grass while ignoring our vehicle, and a Colugo blinked from a tall tree trunk.

We wrapped things up with a 4-day visit to the Crocker Range and Kinabalu Park -- havens of coolness after the heat of Borneo's lowlands, and the area where most of the island's endemics are found. Things started with a bang at the Masakob Waterfall, where a big mixed flock -- including a gang of Bornean and Ochraceous bulbuls, inquisitive Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrushes, several Ashy Drongos, a handsomely helmeted Long-tailed Barbet, a sallying Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher, a male Orange-breasted Trogon and more -- swirled through the valley. A pair of Red-breasted Partridges preened quietly on a hillside, only yards from the road. An Everett's Thrush bounced back and forth in front of our bus, foraging in the rain. A tiny Bornean Stubtail swiveled on a pipe right beside a parking lot, singing his incredibly high-pitched song, while a pair of Mountain Wren-Babblers flicked through a nearby brush pile. Jaunty Sunda Bush-Warblers twitched through ferny vegetation. Bright green Bornean Leafbirds provided excellent eye candy. An Eye-browed Jungle-Flycatcher sang from an eye-level branch. A pair of Whitehead's Trogons gleamed against a leafy background. A noisy mixed flock of Bare-headed and Sunda laughingthrushes boiled over the road. A pair of Checker-throated Woodpeckers worked tree trunks so close to where we stood that we could even see their "checkers" with our binoculars. An afternoon visit to the lower elevation city of Poring Springs brought us a first-day Rafflesia flower (the second largest species of flower in the world), a couple of new bulbuls (Puff-backed and Scaly-breasted), and a fine study of a singing Rufous-collared Kingfisher. And an 11th-hour Whitehead's Broadbill ended our highland stay on an appropriate "high note".

Thanks to Hamit and Paul and Haswan for their expert assistance at our various stops along the way, and to the boatmen and drivers who ferried us around and helped to spot things. Thanks to the attentive staffs at our lodges, who kept things comfortable and clean and running smoothly. And most of all, thanks to all of you for joining me in this delightful island paradise! I hope to see you again somewhere, some day, on another adventure...

-- Megan

In this triplist, I've used the following abbreviations:

RDC = Rainforest Discovery Center (at Sepilok)

BRL = Borneo Rainforest Lodge (in Danum Valley)

"Sundaland specialty" refers to a species whose range is generally limited to (and sometimes restricted within) the Thai-Malay peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and surrounding islands, all of which were connected during the last ice age. The eastern boundary of Sundaland is Wallace's Line, a deepwater trench between Borneo and Sulawesi and between Bali and Lombok, east of which is Wallacea/Australasia.

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Borneo has some really striking pheasant relatives, including the snazzy Crested Fireback. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata) – A few dozen sprinkled along the Telipok River gave us the opportunity to study them swimming, preening, flying, etc.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RED-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila hyperythra) – The luck this group had with skulking ground birds was really quite extraordinary! We had great views of this tough species while walking the Kinabalu park road before breakfast on the penultimate day of the tour, when Hazwan found a pair preening on a little rise only about 20 feet from where we stood. We got to watch them for several minutes before they finally wandered off. We had a nice early morning chorus from distant pairs scattered all across the Kinabalu hillsides that morning too. [E]
CHESTNUT-NECKLACED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila charltonii graydoni) – Wow! Fabulous views of a singing bird along the Gomantong Caves road. It stood for a long time in the same place (allowing great scope study), then only moved about 10 feet before stopping to sing again -- just enough movement to prove it wasn't animatronic!
GREAT ARGUS (Argusianus argus) – Wow, wow, wow -- one crossed BRL's Segama trail right in front of us one morning. Talk about unexpected; we had no idea there was even one in the neighborhood! He proceeded to calmly stroll about in the forest, while we crept along the path parallel to him, catching periodic glimpses as he moved through the understory. Eventually, he strode across the path again, then doubled back and disappeared off into the forest. We heard another calling from the forest along the Gomantong Caves road, and another from far off the entrance road at BRL.
CRIMSON-HEADED PARTRIDGE (Haematortyx sanguiniceps) – This was the singular exception to our "great looks at ground dwellers" rule; we only heard this one -- over and over and over, from virtually every hillside in Kinabalu Park! [E*]
CRESTED FIREBACK (BORNEAN) (Lophura ignita nobilis) – A handsome male rummaged along the edge of the BRL clearing, not far from the most distant cabins. He scuttled off as we first approached, then seemed to decide we weren't a threat, and came back to more thoroughly investigate the grassy roadside. This race, with the cinnamon-buff tail feathers, is endemic to Borneo.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
STORM'S STORK (Ciconia stormi) – We saw a handful of individuals over a variety of places -- the Menanggul, the Gomantong Caves road, the Kinabatangan -- each showing its dark underwings nicely, but our best views came right across the river from Sukau Rainforest Lodge, where we found one perched atop a tree as we started our boat trip one morning. Classified as Endangered by the IUCN (with a population of fewer than 500 birds), this small stork is one of the real specialties of the Kinabatangan, which is considered its world stronghold. With increased fragmentation of their habitat, the species has declined throughout its limited range.
LESSER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos javanicus) – One of these big storks circled slowly over the Kinabatangan, and others did the same over the Tenangang and the Menanggul.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – Regular along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries, including a few drying their wings along the Menanggul, and a few in flight over the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road.

The little Rufous-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher is a real cutie! We saw a number of them along the Menanggul. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – One flushed out of the tall grasses along the edge of the Resang River, and perched on a low branch in a nearby tree, and a second crouched among the reed grasses along the edge of the Kinabatangan, frozen in the spotlight beam during one of our night trips.
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – All too brief views of one perched atop a palm tree in a grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road. We saw another fly past us as dusk descended on the Tenangang River.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Scattered individuals along the Kinabatangan, with others in flight over the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road. This Old World breeder is a migrant to Borneo, where it overwinters in small numbers.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Scattered birds in the lowlands, particularly towards dusk along the Kinabatangan, when we saw a few dozen flying over en route to their roost sites, or settling into the reedy edges of some of the smaller tributaries.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Scattered individuals, particularly along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries. A few were already edging into breeding plumage -- which, for the local subspecies, also means a black beak.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – A few scattered birds, including one foraging along the edge of the Kinabatangan one morning, and a couple striding through the marsh grasses along the Telipok River. This species is (appropriately) intermediate in size between Little and Great egrets, and its gape doesn't extend beyond its eye.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Less common than the other white egrets, with a few along the Kinabatangan, one with the Cattle Egrets along the Lahad Datu runway, and at least one in flight (showing its distinctive yellow feet) over the Telipok River. This is the Old World sister species of the Snowy Egret.
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – A group of five made a few passes over us on the Kinabatangan as they tried to decide which way to go. Most of the world's taxonomic authorities break this subspecies out as a separate species: the Eastern Cattle Egret. It is generally a non-breeding visitor to the island, though a few pairs may be starting to breed here.
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – When we turned the bus around to check out the "bittern" perched on a roadside wire in the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road, we instead found a pond-heron, which kept a wary eye on us for a while before flying off. In reality, it's virtually impossible to distinguish this species from Javan Pond-Heron in non-breeding plumage. However, Hamit has seen plenty of the latter, and he strongly felt that our bird was not that species -- the dusky wingtips it showed in flight were perhaps suggestive of the former. Whichever it was (and we may never know for sure), it was an uncommon species for Sabah.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A youngster posed on a rock in the middle of a little stream along the Segama trail. According to Paul, this isn't a species typically seen in the Danum Valley.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – A single bird flew down the Tenangang in front of our boat, landing briefly a few times along the edge and then flushing again as we worked our way back towards the lodge. We saw a dozen or so others in trees across the road from the Lahad Datu airport.
RUFOUS NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – A youngster among the Black-crowned Night-Herons in the mangroves across the road from the Lahad Datu airport was a welcome find, just before the rain set in prior to our flight. I watched two adult Rufous Night-Herons build a nest in that same tree last June; maybe this was one of their offspring.

We saw plenty of Wallace's Hawk-Eagles during the tour -- and most of them were youngsters like this one. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – One hovered over the marshy fringe of the Telipok River, occasionally dropping down out of view as it hunted. This species was formerly considered to be the same species as North America's White-tailed Kite.
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – One flew in with a long green snake in its talons as we checked out the nest tree along the Gomantong Caves road. It landed briefly, then leapt up to join its mate, which was circling over the forest; eventually, they both spiraled out of view.
JERDON'S BAZA (Aviceda jerdoni) – Some of the group saw a couple in trees just beyond the Sukau courtyard during one afternoon's break, but our best group views came along the Menanggul, when a couple of bird flew right over our boats at treetop level.
MOUNTAIN SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis kinabaluensis) – Unfortunately, our only view was pretty brief -- and pretty distant. We had a single bird soaring far out over the forest visible from the Mountain Viewpoint at Kinabalu Park. It made a number of circles, legs dangling, against the blue sky, then dropped down in front of the mountain, and disappeared against the sea of green trees. [E]
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – By far the most common raptor of the lowlands, seen well both perched and in flight, where their striking underwing pattern helps to quickly identify them. This species is widespread across much of Asia.
BAT HAWK (Macheiramphus alcinus) – Two of these specialized raptors (which look amazingly falcon-like, with long, pointy-tipped wings and a very fast wing flap) gave us a great show at the Gomantong Caves. First, we studied them perched in a tree up the hill from the parking lot. Later, we enjoyed their speedy hunting prowess as they patrolled the skies around the emerging stream of bats. We saw another perched in a tree along the Kinabatangan River -- a position which allowed us to get quite close to it for some great looks.
WALLACE'S HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus nanus) – Regular in the lowlands, where nearly all of the birds we saw well were youngsters. We had especially nice views of the noisy, just-fledged youngsters around the big stick nest over the RDC canopy walkway -- and even got a quick fly-by of a dark adult bringing food.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EAGLE (Lophotriorchis kienerii) – One hunted along the ridge above the Black-nest Swiftlet cave at Gomantong, sweeping back and forth through the river of emerging bats, its distinctive rufous belly and white throat visible against the darkening skies. We had an even better look at another -- higher in elevation than is normal for this species -- at the Rafflesia Center in the Crocker Range. This is a widespread Asian species, found all the way west to India and Sri Lanka.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – One sitting high in a tree along the BRL entrance road gave us great scope studies as it preened. This species is widespread across much of southeast Asia.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Reasonably common in secondary habitats in the lowlands, including one adult that flew past us on the Kinabatangan carrying prey. We saw but a single youngster; all of the rest of our sightings were of adults.
LESSER FISH-EAGLE (Ichthyophaga humilis) – Our best views came from the BRL dining room, when we spotted one perched in a small tree right across the river. We saw others along various tributaries of the Kinabatangan, and over the Gomantong Caves road.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – One trotted along the edge of the RDC parking lot, with a fluffy black chick in tow, and we saw others along the edges of the Kinabatangan. [N]
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – A handful chugged across the open waters of the Telipok River, or stood preening on little muddy islets in the water course.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Dozens of these big shorebirds strode around on their long pink legs in the shallow waters of the Telipok River.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – Two pattered around on the muddy far bank of the Telipok River, edging close enough that we could see their telltale yellow eyerings (and their longer, attenuated shape) in the scopes.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata) – At least two, boldly patterned with rufous edges to all of the feathers on their wings and mantles. In size and shape, they reminded us of Pectoral Sandpipers, to which they are closely related.
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii) – At least a handful of these small "peeps" rooted around on the muddy margins of the Telipok River. Their crouching posture and gray-washed but unstreaked breasts helped to distinguish them from the next species.
LONG-TOED STINT (Calidris subminuta) – A couple mingled with the larger shorebirds (and a few Temminck's Stints) along the Telipok River, distinguished from the latter by the warmer tones of their plumage, their streaked breasts and more upright posture.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – A few birds winged past as we worked our way along the Tenangang River, and we saw others in various wet spots, including the edge of the Telipok River -- and the peaked blue roof of a building near the Sepilok Nature Resort! Their pale wing stripe and stiff-winged way of flying are virtually identical to that of North America's Spotted Sandpipers.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – At least one poked around in the shallow water just beyond a muddy islet in the Telipok River, dwarfing the nearby stints. The species is the Old World sister species of the New World's Solitary Sandpiper, which it closely resembles.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – A few of these bigger shorebirds winked in and out of the taller grasses along the edge of the Telipok River, seen by some of the group.

Borneo has a plethora of blue flycatchers -- including the handsome Indigo Flycatcher, which is restricted to the highlands. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – At least a half dozen or so poked around in the shallow waters of the Telipok, quickly picked out by their long legs, delicately slim, pointy tipped beaks and pale plumage.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – A dozen or more along the Telipok River, where their white rumps and bold white eyebrows helped to distinguish them.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – One, in nonbreeding plumage, flapped past us on the Tenangang.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Restricted to the bigger cities. [I]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – Common in open areas in the lowlands, typically along roadside wires. We had good scope looks at our first few around Sepilok -- while they were still a novelty.
PHILIPPINE CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia tenuirostris borneensis) – Fine views of one waddling around on the side of the road in Kinabalu Park one morning, with others flitting around in fruiting trees just above it. This species has been split from the Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove. As its common name suggests, most of its subspecies are confined to islands in the Philippines.
LITTLE CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia ruficeps) – Best seen from the driveway at Masakob Waterfall, where several perched quietly for long minutes. The female shows considerable black scaling on her breast feathers.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – We saw a few in flight over the Menanggul (typically rocketing across from one side to the other), but our best views came right near the entrance to RDC, where we found one trundling around under the picnic tables by the lake.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) – Regular around Sepilok Nature Resort and the RDC, including a few snuggling on a wire near the dining room, and one snoozing on another wire near where the bus picked us up after our morning on the canopy walkway. Our last perched on a wire over the Telipok River. [I]
LITTLE GREEN-PIGEON (Treron olax) – A group of four flew quickly past us on the Kinabatangan one afternoon, but our best looks came on the afternoon before the tour started, when the whole group of us found a little gang of these colorful pigeons feeding in a fruiting fig near some of the cabins at the Sepilok Nature Resort.
PINK-NECKED PIGEON (Treron vernans) – A couple along the edge of the road near the RDC parking lot on the first morning of the tour made Diane's day -- particularly since one was a pink-necked, orange-chested male! Females of this species show less yellow on the wings than do females of the other possible green-pigeons on this tour.
THICK-BILLED PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – Surprisingly, given that this is usually the most common green-pigeon of the trip, we didn't catch up with this species until we got to BRL. There, we found a mob of 40 or more gobbling fruits in the giant fig along the Segama trail; they kept exploding out of the treetop when some unseen raptor passed over, and then returning in a flurry of wings to resume their gorging.
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea) – These big pigeons were most common around Sukau, where we saw them daily. Most were in flight, though we did find a handful perched up in dead trees along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – Our first was a group of 10 or so flying past as we birded along the road near the Masakob Waterfall. Fortunately, we then found a couple of perched birds in Kinabalu Park -- one along the Mempening trail, the other down the hill from the park road -- that allowed us to get scopes on them.

A Little Cuckoo-Dove pauses in its munching to check us out. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
BORNEAN GROUND-CUCKOO (Carpococcyx radiceus) – Wow, wow, wow! We had just turned the boat around on the Menanggul, about to drift back down the river, when we heard one of these big cuckoos calling from just upriver. With some creative boat handling, Nasiru managed to get us past a fallen tree that blocked our way, and up to the right stretch of the river. And with some patience and persistence, we finally managed to locate the birds -- a pair (and possibly a full-grown youngster) that walked for several hundred yards along the tangled bank, calling and foraging as they went.
SHORT-TOED COUCAL (Centropus rectunguis) – We heard this forest species calling on several days in the lowlands, and a few folks saw one flash through the forest along the Gomantong Caves road. Unlike its larger cousin the Greater Coucal, this one is shy and retiring. This scarce and local Sundaland specialty is restricted to the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – Especially nice views of one near the forestry station just outside Danum Valley, with others along the Resang and Tenangang rivers, and on the roadside en route to the Lahad Datu airport. This big coucal is the common one in the open areas of Borneo.
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – One of these smaller, darker-backed coucals sat hunched atop a sapling palm tree in the grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road.
RAFFLES'S MALKOHA (Rhinortha chlorophaea) – Nice views of three over the Gomantong Caves road, particularly when they worked their way into leafless branches right over our heads. We saw others at Poring Springs.
RED-BILLED MALKOHA (Zanclostomus javanicus) – One along the Menanggul, its distinctive red beak glowing in the morning light.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) – This big species was the tour's most common malkoha, seen well on several days -- especially along the Gomantong Caves road, where one foraged in a column of vines, and near the forestry station just outside Danum Valley.
BLACK-BELLIED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus diardi) – Arg! One flashed through the trees right beside the first tower on BRL's canopy walkway, seen pretty well by those who were still queueing for a scope look at the mama Orangutan and her youngster. Unfortunately, those already on the next bridge missed it -- and when it made an appearance again, it was back at the first tower, where Dave got great extended views.
CHESTNUT-WINGED CUCKOO (Clamator coromandus) – One of these uncommon winter visitors flew across the Menanggul, its bright chestnut wings flashing against the background of greenery. A few got a quick look at it skulking in the riverside bushes as we pulled even with it, but it quickly moved off into the thicker vegetation.
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – We saw -- and heard -- males bounding over in their roller-coastering display flights on several days, and had nice scope views of a perched bird from the RDC canopy walkway. The combination of purplish plumage and bright coral beak and eyering is pretty striking! This species is a brood parasite that targets sunbirds and spiderhunters.
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) – Our best views came along the BRL entrance road, where one flitted into a roadside tree, right at eye level. We also saw one along the Gomantong Caves road, and heard another along the Menanggul.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) – Our first cuckoo of the trip, though we heard for many long minutes before we finally spotted it perched near the top of one of the huge emergent trees visible from RDC's Bristlehead tower. Fortunately, it then gave us many long, leisurely minutes of study -- and then moved to sing from another tree right beside the tower.
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – Good views of one singing in a tree near the RDC canopy walkway (i.e. eye level from our perch on the walkway), with another shouting from the top of a tree along the Menanggul. Its 6-7 note, rising song was a regular part of the tour soundtrack in the lowlands.

Orangutan is always high on everybody's wish list, and we had several wonderful encounters -- including this youngster and its mother along the Menanggul. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

MOUSTACHED HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx vagans) – We heard one calling along the Menanggul and another along the BRL's entrance, and many got a look at a third perched in a tree -- looking appropriately hawklike -- along the driveway of the orchid garden in Poring Springs. Unfortunately, the latter bird flew away shortly after we climbed out of our vehicle for a better view!
DARK HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx bocki) – Another highland species heard repeatedly in Kinabalu Park -- almost as frequently as the Sunda Cuckoos! [*]
INDIAN CUCKOO (Cuculus micropterus) – We heard the loud, four-note song of this migrant on many days in the lowlands, but never close enough that we could call the bird in. [*]
SUNDA CUCKOO (Cuculus lepidus) – Terry and Diane were looking in the right direction when one flew over us near the start of the Silau-Silau trail. The rest of us only heard them calling (and calling and calling) from hillsides all over Kinabalu Park.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
ORIENTAL BAY-OWL (Phodilus badius) – The whole gang heard one calling from the hillside behind the cabins at the Sepilok Nature Resort the night before the tour started, but we just couldn't call it down to where we waited. [*]
Strigidae (Owls)
MOUNTAIN SCOPS-OWL (Otus spilocephalus) – Arg! We were so, so close on our last night in Kinabalu Park, when we found one calling right near the restaurant, but just couldn't find the darned thing! By that point, we'd already had a similar encounter with a pair near our cabins, with a third bird calling from across the road. [*]
SUNDA SCOPS-OWL (Otus lempiji) – We heard several calling on the grounds of the Sepilok Nature Resort, and caught glimpses of one flying overhead once or twice. The lucky few got binoculars on it when it landed for a few brief seconds in a leafless tree before moving into cover.
BUFFY FISH-OWL (Ketupa ketupu) – Lovely views of one perched right at eye level along the Menanggul on our first nightbird outing from Sukau. We saw what was probably the same one on our way back, and another -- this one with its wings spread -- on a big curving branch over the Kinabatangan on our way back from the Tenangang.
BROWN BOOBOOK (Ninox scutulata borneensis) – A loudly singing bird above some of the cabins at Sepilok had us scuttling up and down the path for a bit before we finally found him. This is the species formerly known as Brown Hawk-Owl.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
LARGE FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus auritus) – We heard two singing along the edge of the Kinabatangan as we worked our way back to the Sukau Rainforest Lodge after our afternoon on the Tenangang. [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
SILVER-RUMPED NEEDLETAIL (Rhaphidura leucopygialis) – Very common in the lowlands, with especially nice looks at the birds dipping down for drinks from the pond right outside the restaurant at the Sepilok Nature Resort.
GLOSSY SWIFTLET (Collocalia esculenta) – Very common in the lowlands, where we saw hundreds fluttering up and down roads, through forest canopies, over ponds, etc. The gang nesting low (in their nests made of plant material) in a cleft in some rocks along the Kinabatangan gave us some super up close looks. We also saw them in the highlands, up to the entrance to Kinabalu Park. [N]
BORNEAN SWIFTLET (Collocalia dodgei) – Two zipped around the observation platform at Kinabalu Park's Timpohon Gate, not quite daring to return to their growing nest while we were all standing there. We saw another newly repaired nest on a traditional nesting wall along the park road, but never saw birds there. [E]
MOSSY-NEST SWIFTLET (Aerodramus salangana) – The most common of the swiftlets still on nests at Gomantong Caves, with dozens sprinkled in the more accessible parts of the cave; their nests contain too much foreign material to be economically useful. This species and the next two all echo-locate, using audible clicks (we heard some while we were near the entrance) to navigate their way through the dark cave. [N]
BLACK-NEST SWIFTLET (Aerodramus maximus) – With some careful searching, we eventually found one bird still on a black nest on the far side of Black-Nest Cave at Gomantong. This is the most common nester in the cave we visited -- hence the cave's name! This species adds some of its own black feathers to its nest, which gives it the color. [N]
WHITE-NEST SWIFTLET (Aerodramus fuciphagus) – Though we saw a scattering of white nests at Gomantong Caves, we saw only a single "for sure" bird -- one first sitting on, then clinging beside a snowy-white nest high up among the Wrinkle-lipped Free-tailed Bats at Gomantong Cave. The three echo-locating species are virtually indistinguishable in the field; only on their nests are they truly identifiable!
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – A few with the Glossy Swiftlets around the Kinabalu Park entrance one day showed the white rumps and throats of this slightly larger species.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
GRAY-RUMPED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne longipennis) – A few over the parking lot and pond at RDC on our first morning showed the long pointed tails and stiff-winged glides that help to separate them from the omnipresent swiftlets there.
WHISKERED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne comata) – Regular at BRL, with especially fine studies of the birds that perched right off the restaurant balcony on several of our rainy afternoons.

Whitehead's Broadbill took top honors for "Bird of the Trip" -- for obvious reasons! It made as dramatic an entrance to the list as possible, waiting until quite literally the last possible minutes to appear. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Trogonidae (Trogons)
RED-NAPED TROGON (Harpactes kasumba) – A male calling along the Gomantong Caves road took a while to find -- and then followed us down the road for ages, showing nicely again and again.
DIARD'S TROGON (Harpactes diardii) – A male perched low in trees at the intersection of the Woodpecker, Ridge, and Pitta trails at RDC was a nice finish to our morning there. Eventually, he showed us nearly every side! We had a female (which appeared to be regrowing her tail) along the Hornbill trail one morning, near where we found our Rufous-crowned Babblers.
WHITEHEAD'S TROGON (Harpactes whiteheadi) – Our first was an early morning male that worked his way down a lovely gully towards the road at Kinabalu Park, giving us nice scope views as he moved from perch to perch. We found another pair along the Mempening trail later the same day. This is one of more than a dozen species named for John Whitehead, an early British naturalist who explored much of Sundaland. [E]
SCARLET-RUMPED TROGON (Harpactes duvaucelii) – A male along the Menanggul showed well for some and not at all for others -- though he sat for a long time in one place, maneuvering the boat so that everyone could see him proved surprisingly difficult!
ORANGE-BREASTED TROGON (Harpactes oreskios) – A male in a big tree along the driveway at the Masakob Waterfall was a surprise. This uncommon resident isn't one we typically see on the tour.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
WHITE-CROWNED HORNBILL (Berenicornis comatus) – A pair sitting together at the top of a tree beside the Kinabatangan were a fine finale to our first afternoon on the river. This is probably the scarcest of Borneo's hornbills.
HELMETED HORNBILL (Buceros vigil) – The last of our hornbills -- and probably the one with the most memorable call. We finally caught up with a pink-faced male near our cabins at BRL, after giggling over their maniacal cackling songs for days. Its very long tail and square, blocky head are distinctive.
RHINOCEROS HORNBILL (Buceros rhinoceros) – These stunning birds were among our most common hornbills, seen well on a number of days. Our first pair, seen towards dusk above the Gomantong Caves visitor center, the 13 (!!) that flew past in a stream over the Tenangang River as sunset approached, and the rowdy gang in the fruiting fig tree along BRL's Segama trail were particularly memorable.
BUSHY-CRESTED HORNBILL (Anorrhinus galeritus) – A cozy family group of seven mashed themselves together on a branch over the Gomantong Caves parking lot as darkness fell, kibitzing all the while.
BLACK HORNBILL (Anthracoceros malayanus) – Probably the most common hornbill at BRL, where they proved regular along the entrance road. This noisy Sundaland specialty is considered to be Near Threatened.
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Probably the most common of the hornbills at Sukau, seen regularly along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries. The one gobbling fruits along the Menanggul was particularly confiding -- and its partner was particularly noisy!
WREATHED HORNBILL (Rhyticeros undulatus) – Seen mostly in flight -- our first pair far ahead of us along the Kinabatangan, others over the parking lot near the art gallery in Kinabalu Park, or far out over the forest visible from the mountain viewpoint, for example -- but we did have a few perched briefly (and surprisingly good at getting themselves into "tough to see" positions) along the Tenangang late one afternoon.
WRINKLED HORNBILL (Rhabdotorrhinus corrugatus) – Lovely views of a pair grabbing a bedtime snack along the Kinabatangan as twilight approached, gilding everything with late afternoon light.

Our night outings around Sukau netted us some fine views of Buffy Fish-Owls. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – I think Hamit and Dave may have been the only two to get on one of these, perched along a side channel of the Resang River. Unfortunately, by the time Nasiru had stopped the forward momentum of the boat and reversed to the channel, the bird had already flown way. This is a winter visitor to Borneo.
BLUE-EARED KINGFISHER (Alcedo meninting) – Quite common along the Menanggul, but our best views came on our first night float -- where we found one little bird roosting on a low stick right at the edge of the Kinabatangan. Because it wasn't about to move, we could quietly approach to within a few yards.
RUFOUS-BACKED DWARF-KINGFISHER (Ceyx rufidorsa) – Another regular along the Menanggul, with some super views of close birds, often tucked below branches overhanging the river. This was formerly lumped with the (now) Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher as "Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher".
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis) – Plenty of these big, handsome kingfishers along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries, and one just up the Danum River from the Riverview trail's viewing platform.
RUDDY KINGFISHER (Halcyon coromanda) – One perched (and singing) along the Gomantong Caves road allowed super scope views, as did a second at eye level along the Menanggul. The local subspecies we saw -- minor -- has a lovely maroon wash atop its overall rufous plumage.
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – A few on the utility wires along the road through the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road.
RUFOUS-COLLARED KINGFISHER (Actenoides concretus) – One rocketed in and landed right beside us in the tall forest at Poring Springs when Hazwan tried a squirt of its recorded song. It departed as quickly, but sang (and sang and sang) from its new perch -- which took us a while to find! When we did, we got nice scope views as the light faded.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RED-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis amictus) – Unfortunately, though we heard one calling from the forest along BRL's Segama trail, it soon flew across the river. Some of us watched a pair hunting along RDC's Kingfisher trail the day before the tour officially started. [*]
BLUE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops viridis) – Very common across the lowlands, where they hunted from tree limbs and roadside wires and the television aerials and just about anywhere else they could perch. We had particularly fine views of these gorgeous birds around the BRL dining room, where a regular cadre entertained us during lunches.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – Common along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries, typically in pairs and nearly always perched atop a dead snag.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
BROWN BARBET (Calorhamphus fuliginosus tertius) – A small group milled through the trees near the end of the RDC canopy walkway, briefly sharing a tree with the tour's first Blue-throated Bee-eaters. The duo sitting side by side on a branch were particularly endearing. We saw others at BRL, and as high as the Masakob Waterfall in the Crocker Range. This is a Sundaland specialty; the Bornean subspecies (tertius) has reddish legs and feet. [E]

The Golden-naped Barbet was certainly the most photogenic of the tour's barbets. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

BLUE-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon duvaucelii duvaucelii) – This was definitely the common barbet of the lowlands -- though heard far more regularly than seen -- with especially nice views of one singing from the top of a dead snag along the Gomantong Caves road, and a couple of others from the RDC canopy walkway.
BORNEAN BARBET (Psilopogon eximius) – A distant bird called a few times while we birded along the road near Masakob Waterfall. [*]
RED-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon mystacophanos) – Another lowland species (and Sundaland specialty) more regularly heard than seen, but we had good views of one in a fruiting tree along BRL's entrance road one afternoon as the winds kicked up, just before the rain set in.
GOLDEN-NAPED BARBET (Psilopogon pulcherrimus) – Certainly the easiest of this tour's barbets to actually see, with many lovely views in Kinabalu Park, and its song was a regular part of the highland soundtrack. This species is endemic to Kinabalu and the Crocker Range. [E]
YELLOW-CROWNED BARBET (Psilopogon henricii) – Yet another Sundaland specialty, this one was seen only once -- in the same fruiting tree as our Red-throated Barbet, along the BRL entrance road.
GOLD-FACED BARBET (Psilopogon chrysopsis) – This species, recently split from the Gold-whiskered Barbet of mainland Malaysia and Sumatra, was seen nicely in the parking lot of the orchid garden at Poring Springs. [E]
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RUFOUS PICULET (Sasia abnormis) – All-too-brief views of at least one (and maybe two) flitting past under the canopy walkway at RDC. Though it was vocal for a while, we never could relocate it.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – Our first flew past as we birded on RDC's canopy walkway -- nice spotting, Dave! We had even better looks at another clambering around in a tree over the Resang River on our afternoon's boat trip there.
CRIMSON-WINGED WOODPECKER (Picus puniceus) – Unfortunately, only a couple of folks clapped eyeballs on this handsome species along the BRL entrance road -- and it was in fog so thick that seeing those distinctive red wings proved a bit of a challenge!
CHECKER-THROATED WOODPECKER (Picus mentalis) – Spectacular views of one of a vocal pair near the Timpohon Gate in Kinabalu Park our final morning -- so close that we could clearly see the checkered pattern on its throat, even with our binoculars. These definitely rank among Borneo's snazziest woodpeckers.
OLIVE-BACKED WOODPECKER (Dinopium rafflesii) – A female clung to the trunk of a dead snag along the Gomantong Caves road, tap-tap-tapping as she excavated a new nest hole. [N]
RUFOUS WOODPECKER (Micropternus brachyurus) – We heard our first calling along BRL's Trogon trail (while searching for our first Bornean Banded Pitta), but didn't actually lay eyes on one until the following day, when a cooperative bird near the start of the canopy walkway sat for long minutes on the same branch, giving us great scope views of the wavy, dark bars on its overall rufous plumage.
BUFF-NECKED WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes tukki) – A trio along the path at the Gomantong Caves gave us great views as they interacted; the buffy patch on the side of their neck is certainly eye-catching! This Sundaland specialty is considered Near Threatened.
MAROON WOODPECKER (Blythipicus rubiginosus) – Two played hide and seek with us among the zillions of narrow trunks in a stand of trees along the Menanggul. Fortunately, we had another along the road in Kinabalu Park which proved more obliging. This is another Sundaland specialty.

A pair of Whiskered Treeswifts kept us well-entertained one rainy afternoon. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

ORANGE-BACKED WOODPECKER (Reinwardtipicus validus) – Some great spotting by Terry netted us fine views of a female along the Menanggul. Her mate proved far less obliging; we saw his orange back nicely when he flew across the river in front of our boats, but he didn't perch where we could study him. This is another Sundaland specialty.
GRAY-AND-BUFF WOODPECKER (Hemicircus concretus) – A busy gang of five (probably parents with recently fledged youngsters) rummaged through one of the big trees near the RDC canopy walkway. Somehow, the flame-headed male was a lot harder to find than were the plainer female and youngsters! This is one of Asia's smallest woodpeckers and a Sundaland specialty to boot.
GREAT SLATY WOODPECKER (Mulleripicus pulverulentus) – Though we heard one calling along the Menanggul and another calling (and calling and calling) near the forestry station just outside Danum Valley, they were never close enough to see actually see. [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-FRONTED FALCONET (Microhierax latifrons) – Two on a snag along the Menanggul gave us great front-and-back views, and we had even longer scope views of another hunting pair near the forestry station just outside Danum Valley. These little falcons are endemic to the island. [E]
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One circled in the air above the river of bats emerging from the Gomantong Caves, occasionally dropping into the fray.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
LONG-TAILED PARAKEET (Psittacula longicauda) – Seen regularly in flight over the Menanggul, typically zipping over in small, screeching groups. Fortunately, Diane spotted us a tree full of cozy, muttering birds, all courting, preening, or checking out potential nest sites.
BLUE-CROWNED HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus galgulus) – Or, as they became known on this tour, "Legless Hanging-Parrots"! Though we despaired (after days and days and DAYS of seeing dozens flying over) of ever finding one perched, we finally caught up with a small group along the BRL entrance road. They clambered around in the treetops (sometimes, appropriately, upside down) checking out the ripening fruits.
Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)
WHITEHEAD'S BROADBILL (Calyptomena whiteheadi) – Yahooooo! Talk about an 11th-hour save -- we'd just about given up on seeing this handsome endemic! Then Hazwan found a couple of birds with a big mixed flock right over the Kinabalu Park road, just as some of the group ducked into a nearby restroom. Fortunately for the spirits of all concerned, we found a staggeringly cooperative bird near the start of the Silau-Silau trail; it gobbled a few big fruits (and coughed up one huge seed, showing nicely its amazingly large gape) and then sat quietly digesting, allowing long, leisurely scope views. What a satisfying way to finish our stay in the mountains! [E]
Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
BLACK-AND-RED BROADBILL (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) – Seen especially well along the Menanggul River, where a number of pairs had territories; we saw at least three or four of their distinctive hanging nests, which look like wads of debris caught on branches over the water. We spotted other pairs at RDC and on the Gomantong Caves road. [N]
LONG-TAILED BROADBILL (Psarisomus dalhousiae) – Fabulous views of this stunner near the Masakob Waterfall in the Crocker Range. Though it's fairly widespread as a species, the race we saw (borneensis) is endemic to Borneo. [N]
BANDED BROADBILL (Eurylaimus javanicus) – This striking specialty of SE Asia and Sundaland was seen nicely along the Gomantong Caves road, where we found a close pair. Another one at Poring Springs proved less obliging; it called a LOT, but showed itself only in brief glimpses as it moved around its territory. The subspecies we saw (brookei) is endemic to Borneo.
BLACK-AND-YELLOW BROADBILL (Eurylaimus ochromalus) – One from the RDC canopy walkway was certainly a crowd-pleaser! We saw others on the Gomantong Caves entrance road, and along the Menanggul River.
Pittidae (Pittas)
BLACK-CROWNED PITTA (Erythropitta ussheri) – We heard one calling below us on our morning on the RDC canopy walkway, but it took more than a week -- until our day near the forestry station outside Danum Valley -- to actually clap eyes on one. Some fine hunting by Paul turned up a bird singing from dense shrubs right beside the road, which allowed great scope studies. We found another sound asleep right beside the BRL entrance road on our night drive the following day; it was just a bright red ball of feathers, with a little black spot at the top. [E]
BLUE-BANDED PITTA (Erythropitta arquata) – We heard the single, slow-whistled note of this species along BRL's Trogon trail, but just couldn't track down the singer, which stayed too far "off-piste". [E*]
BORNEAN BANDED-PITTA (Hydrornis schwaneri) – Unfortunately, this was another one we only heard, despite some extended efforts to entice a calling bird down the hill towards us along BRL's Trogon trail. We were searching for another reported bird near the frog pond when the call about the Clouded Leopard came in! [E*]
BLUE-HEADED PITTA (Hydrornis baudii) – Fabulous scope views of this gorgeous bird in a fabulous setting -- perched some 20 feet off the ground (though eye level with us, perched on a nearby hill) on a picturesquely mossy branch, with his colors positively glowing against the verdant background. [E]
HOODED PITTA (Pitta sordida) – Surprisingly, we heard only a couple of these calling from the edges of the Menanggul (where they're normally very common). Fortunately, one of them was calling very close to the creek, and with a bit of skillful boat maneuvering by Nasiru, we all got fine looks at it -- what a stunner! This species is widespread, occurring from India to New Guinea, but the race that breeds in Borneo has an entirely black hood (with no brown cap).

Participant Raymond Jeffers shot this nice portrait of the diminutive Pygmy White-eye.

Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone sulphurea) – We heard plenty of them singing in the Crocker Range, where we also saw one of these little birds rummaging through the canopy of a roadside tree. We saw others with mixed flocks along the Kinabalu Park road.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
BLACK-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus hirundinaceus) – A couple flitted through trees just below the RDC canopy tower, part of a busy mixed flock. We saw others along the Menanggul on our first morning's boat trip out of Sukau.
RUFOUS-WINGED PHILENTOMA (Philentoma pyrhoptera) – A female sat quietly along the BRL entrance road early one morning, only about 3 feet off the ground. Her rufous wings were certainly obvious, even in the cloudy half-light.
MAROON-BREASTED PHILENTOMA (Philentoma velata) – A singing male moved from perch to perch along the boardwalk trail at Gomantong Caves, eventually giving us views from just about every conceivable angle. This is another Sundaland specialty.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
WHITE-BREASTED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus leucorynchus) – Our best views came at our stop in the palm grove en route to the Gomantong Caves road, when we found an active group hunting from the utility wires on both sides of the road. We saw others on some high electrical wires over the Kinabatangan River.
Pityriaseidae (Bristlehead)
BORNEAN BRISTLEHEAD (Pityriasis gymnocephala) – We heard our first -- distantly -- along the Menanggul one morning, but didn't actually lay eyes on them until we reached BRL. There, we found a family group foraging in the treetops up the hill from the Hornbill trail. Unfortunately, they never did come right in, but we could certainly see their black bodies and red and yellow heads -- and hear their gabbling calls. [E]
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – Our first was a single bird in the flowering bushes near the RDC entrance, but our best looks came a few days later, when we found a couple along the Menanggul. This species is widespread across much of southeast Asia.
GREEN IORA (Aegithina viridissima) – A couple near the RDC's Bristlehead tower wowed us on our first morning (the adult males are particularly colorful), as did others from the BRL canopy walkway later in the tour. We saw more of these Sundaland canopy specialists (which aren't ALWAYS in the canopy) along the Menanggul.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
FIERY MINIVET (Pericrocotus igneus) – A little group of them swarmed around us while we birded from the Bristlehead tower at RDC. This species is smaller than the Scarlet Minivet, and has one patch in the wing rather than two.
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – Regular in the highlands, with especially nice views of a pair foraging right over the road near Kinabalu Park's Timpohon Gate. The all-dark face of the female makes her easy to separate from the slightly larger next species. Males, on the other hand...
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – A few birds seen at RDC, including some in a mixed flock with Fiery Minivets near the far end of the canopy walkway. This is the biggest of the tour's minivets. As with so many island breeders, the subspecies we saw (insulanus) is endemic to Borneo.

A Red Leaf Monkey peers down from its perch. The species gets its name from the foodsource that makes up the bulk of its diet. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

SUNDA CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina larvata) – These big Sundaland specialties were seen daily in the highlands, particularly with mixed groups of laughingthrushes.
LESSER CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage fimbriata schierbrandi) – Best seen along the road near the Masakob Waterfall, when we found a pair rummaging through the top of some trees just up the hill; the female gave us some great looks at her barred belly and pale face. We saw another along the BRL entrance road one afternoon.
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
BORNEAN WHISTLER (Pachycephala hypoxantha) – This montane endemic was common in the highlands, where it accompanied most of the mixed flocks we encountered; its song was another regular addition to the tour soundtrack. [E]
Laniidae (Shrikes)
TIGER SHRIKE (Lanius tigrinus) – A youngster perched along the Borneo Rainforest Lodge entrance road appeared to be missing a lot of its tail! It lacked the dark mask it will show in adult plumage -- and the dark mask a young Brown Shrike would have shown.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Two (one looking distinctly short-tailed, as it appeared to be regrowing its entire set of tail feathers) sat on wires in the massive palm grove along the highway between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves. This Sundaland species has only recently expanded its range into Sabah.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (BLYTH'S) (Pteruthius aeralatus robinsoni) – We could barely make out our first pair as they twitched through the fog on our first morning in Kinabalu Park, part of a big mixed flock near the Timpohon Gate. Fortunately, we had much better -- and lengthy! -- views of another pair further down the road on our last morning in the park. Recent genetic studies show that the shrike-babblers are more closely related to vireos than to the babblers (Timaliidae).
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – One in a big tree near the RDC canopy walkway decamped -- and flew right past us -- shortly after we made our way to the walkways far end. Unfortunately, we never saw it again. This widespread Asian species has recently been reassigned to the vireo family, based on genetic evidence.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
DARK-THROATED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthonotus) – A singing bird along the Gomantong Caves road flicked through the branches of a roadside tree, showing just about every conceivable angle. We saw another in the same fruiting tree as our barbets, along the BRL entrance road right before the rains hit, and a final one in Poring Springs.
BLACK-AND-CRIMSON ORIOLE (Oriolus cruentus) – Super, lengthy views of a pair with the mixed flock at the Masakob Waterfall. This chunky highland oriole is found only on the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo; we saw the endemic subspecies vulneratus.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
ASHY DRONGO (BORNEAN) (Dicrurus leucophaeus stigmatops) – Our first was an energetic bird busily sallying after insects from a host of perches at the Masakob Waterfall; we saw others at various spots in Kinabalu NP. This endemic race is a candidate for a split.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – One made repeated sallies from a broken snag in a tree along the BRL entrance road -- the same fruiting tree where we found our Red-throated and Yellow-crowned barbets.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus borneensis) – Two with a mixed flock along the Silau-Silau trail proved cooperative -- and noisy! We got to watch some interesting behavior when one gave a false alarm call, sending its flock mates diving for cover, which allowed it to snatch a big moth that it and several birds were making a beeline for.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus brachyphorus) – Our first two were a pair with a mixed flock along the BRL's Hornbill trail, but our best views probably came in Poring Springs, where we found another noisy pair along the edge of the orchid garden, not far from that great fruiting tree.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
SPOTTED FANTAIL (Rhipidura perlata) – Nice scope looks at one that kept returning again and again to the same perch along BRL's Jacuzzi trail, part of that great group of birds we found near the waterfall.
MALAYSIAN PIED-FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica) – This was the common fantail of the tour, seen most days in the lowlands -- including some doing their best "fanned tail" demonstrations right on the grounds of the Sepilok Nature Resort.
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – Regular in the highlands, including a pair showing well how they got their name as they twitched through trees over the road near the Masakob Waterfall. We found them with most mixed flocks in Kinabalu Park.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – A scattered few along the Menanggul, with others along the Gomantong Caves road. It's surprising how drab these gorgeous birds can look in bad light!
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK MAGPIE (Platysmurus leucopterus aterrimus) – A handful along the Menanggul, seen both perched and in flight (where their short, broad, round-ended wings were very different than those of their nearby cousins, the bigger Slender-billed Crows). This subspecies is endemic to Borneo.
BORNEAN GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa jefferyi) – A busy mob worked along the Kinabalu Park road just up the hill from our cabins one morning, with a few cuckooshrikes along for company. [E]
BORNEAN TREEPIE (Dendrocitta cinerascens) – Common in the highlands, where we saw many well. A pair nesting near the Timpohon Gate were especially confiding. One sat on the (surprisingly small) nest while the other brought it mouthfuls of food. [EN]

The name of the handsome Gray-bellied Bulbul seems to be focused on the wrong body part. How about those golden-olive wings? Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

SLENDER-BILLED CROW (SLENDER-BILLED) (Corvus enca compilator) – Common throughout the lowlands, where we saw and heard them daily -- except for that very first afternoon, when we must not have been paying close enough attention!
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Most common along the Tenangang, where dozens coursed back and forth around our boat.
PACIFIC SWALLOW (Hirundo tahitica) – Regular in the lowlands, with especially nice studies of the birds at BRL, where they were nesting in the eaves of the ground floor in the main building.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – One hunted in the big tree right beside us as we enjoyed the mixed flock at the Masakob Waterfall.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – Regular in the lowlands, including a busy trio that crawled all over one of the big trees near the RDC canopy walkway our first morning.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
PUFF-BACKED BULBUL (Pycnonotus eutilotus) – One that made repeated trips to a fruiting tree at Poring Springs proved singularly uncooperative, dropping down into the dense leaves virtually as soon as anyone laid eyes on it. By the time we left, a few people had gotten good enough views to identify it, but most had not.
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus atriceps) – Small numbers on scattered days throughout the lowlands, with particularly fine views of a few near the big fruiting tree at Poring Springs.
BORNEAN BULBUL (Pycnonotus montis) – A swarm of these handsome lower-montane endemics boiled through a little fruiting tree near the Masakob Waterfall, and we saw what may have been the same group further up the hill as well, checking out the bright red flowers of a tree right over the road. [E]
SCALY-BREASTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus squamatus borneensis) – This, one of the handsomest of the bulbuls, was scoped nicely in a fruiting tree at Poring Springs. Though the species is found elsewhere in Sundaland, the subspecies borneensis is endemic to Borneo.
GRAY-BELLIED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cyaniventris) – Two in the berrying trees just off the BRL dining room showed very well on a rainy afternoon -- though why you'd call this one "gray-bellied", given those striking chartreuse wings, is beyond me! The subspecies in Borneo, paroticalis, is endemic to the island.
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier) – Very common in the lowlands, with dozens seen well. The dark mask across the face of this one -- and its little dark crest and bright yellow vent -- made it easy to identify.
OLIVE-WINGED BULBUL (Pycnonotus plumosus) – Two, showing the distinctive olive-colored patch in their wings that gives them their common name, rummaged through streamside vegetation along the Menanggul.
CREAM-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus simplex) – One sang from a dead stick along the Menanggul one morning. Like the next species, this one has a red eye (in Borneo, anyway -- elsewhere, it's white), but it's paler on the underparts. It can be tough to tell from the Red-eyed Bulbul, though hearing its song certainly helps!

The pale eye of the Buff-vented Bulbul made it easy to identify. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

RED-EYED BULBUL (Pycnonotus brunneus) – Easily the most common bulbul of the humid lowlands, with dozens seen every day. This was the ubiquitous "medium-sized brown job" of the forest, lodge grounds, roadsides, etc. etc.
SPECTACLED BULBUL (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos) – One in the fruiting tree off the BRL dining room showed its distinctive yellow eye ring nicely -- and we saw it in good comparison with the nearby (and far more common) Red-eyed Bulbuls.
HAIRY-BACKED BULBUL (Tricholestes criniger) – This was the one with the big yellow eyering. Our best looks probably came along the Sukau boardwalk (where we spotted a noisy pair from one of the uncovered platforms), but we also saw them at RDC and BRL.
OCHRACEOUS BULBUL (Alophoixus ochraceus) – At least two of these handsome, large bulbuls gave the Chestnut-hooded Laughing-Thrushes major headaches as they tried to defend "their" fruiting tree at the Masakob Waterfall. That white throat is certainly eye-catching.
GRAY-CHEEKED BULBUL (Alophoixus bres) – Pairs on scattered days, with especially good looks at a pair on the Sukau boardwalk (right after we saw the Hairy-backed Bulbuls). We had others along the Gomantong Caves road, and at Poring Springs.
YELLOW-BELLIED BULBUL (Alophoixus phaeocephalus) – Another lowlands species seen on scattered days, including two with the mixed flock near the waterfall on BRL's Jacuzzi trail and another pair near the parking lot at Poring Springs.
BUFF-VENTED BULBUL (Iole olivacea) – The "regulars" in the berrying trees off the BRL dining room -- part of a mixed flock gobbling fruits most of our days there -- were easy to pick out, thanks to their pale eyes and longer, pale bills.
STREAKED BULBUL (Ixos malaccensis) – Sporadic sightings throughout the lowlands, but our best views came in the fruiting tree at Poring Springs, where we studied many in an attempt to find something different.
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
BORNEAN STUBTAIL (Urosphena whiteheadi) – Wow! It's not often you get a whole group on a stubtail so quickly-- especially as well as we did near the start of the Silau-Silau trail, where one spontaneously started singing shortly after we'd climbed off the bus! With a minimum of effort, we found him standing on a pipe right beside the parking lot, swiveling back and forth to better broadcast his incredibly high-pitched song. [E]
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) – Quick looks at a pair that flashed across the road below the Masakob Waterfall, and rummaged through some small shrubs just up the hill, working their way steadily higher.
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) – Super close views of a territorial bird along Kinabalu's Mempening trail, which sang from several low perches very close to the group.
SUNDA BUSH-WARBLER (Horornis vulcanius) – Fine views of one as it crept like a mouse through the ferns and mosses along the side of the road on Gunung Alab, with equally nice studies of another pair doing the same along the Kinabalu Park road. As its name suggests, this is another Sundaland specialty, and the subspecies oreophilus is endemic to Borneo.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
ARCTIC WARBLER (Phylloscopus borealis) – One of these winter visitors flitted through the epiphytes growing on the massive trunk of a huge fig tree along BRL's Segama trail, giving our neck muscles a break from trying to sort out the flowerpeckers and bulbuls in the canopy.
MOUNTAIN WARBLER (MOUNTAIN) (Phylloscopus trivirgatus kinabaluensis) – A regular part of mixed flocks in the highlands, with particularly good studies of several on Gunung Alab, as we tried to relocate our Mountain Black-eye. There are two subspecies in Borneo: the more widespread, yellower trivirgatus and the endemic, plainer kinabaluensis. We saw both.

Oriental Darters were regular along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

YELLOW-BREASTED WARBLER (Seicercus montis) – Small groups of these handsome little warblers were seen well on several days in Kinabalu Park, including some foraging practically at eye level right beside the road. This is the one with the pumpkin-orange head.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – Seen well along the highway through the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road, where we found several perched up on telephone wires; we got quick looks at another near the Telipok River.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – The least common of the tailorbirds on this tour, with good views of one twitching through the tangled vegetation along the BRL entrance road.
ASHY TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus ruficeps) – Easily the most common of the tour's tailorbirds, seen in little swarming groups -- from the tops of trees visible from the canopy towers to low bushes right beside the road -- throughout the lowlands.
RUFOUS-TAILED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sericeus) – Another common species in the lowland (where their loud songs were a regular part of the tour soundtrack), with particularly nice studies of cooperative bird near the fence around the Sepilok Nature Resort the afternoon before the tour "officially" started. This species tends to stay lower than the previous one.
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Good views of one sitting atop a tall grass stem along the Tenangang, its tail twitching. We saw another pair in an overgrown field along the side road we birded near the Sepilok Nature Resort on our first afternoon.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CRESTED YUHINA (Yuhina everetti) – Abundant in the highlands, with flocks of dozens swarming through roadside trees near the Masakob Waterfall, and dozens of others bounding past or flitting through trees in Kinabalu Park. [E]
PYGMY WHITE-EYE (Oculocincta squamifrons) – A busy little mob in fruiting trees just along the road from the Masakob Waterfall proved entertaining as they hung upside down gobbling the tiny berries. [E]
MOUNTAIN BLACK-EYE (Chlorocharis emiliae) – Arg! Hamit and Raymond (who happened to be standing right behind him at the time), spotted one in the fog on Gunung Alab; unfortunately, it vanished almost immediately, and the rest of us only saw the Mountain Warbler that had been sharing the tree with it. Now that the trail up Mount Kinabalu has been closed to day hikers beyond the Timpohon Gate, this highland endemic has become a bit harder to find. [E]
BLACK-CAPPED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops atricapilla) – The bold white eye ring of this Sundaland specialty was particularly apparent against its blackish forehead. We saw them repeatedly in the highlands, particularly in Kinabalu Park, usually in active, flicking groups.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
BOLD-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis bornensis) – Our best views came along the Menanggul, where several noisy pairs flicked through the streamside vegetation -- including one pair industriously gathering nesting material. These are the ones that look a bit like tiny Brown Thrashers. This is another relatively new endemic, having been recently split from the former Striped Tit-Babbler. [N]
FLUFFY-BACKED TIT-BABBLER (Macronus ptilosus) – A little group worked low along the Gomantong Caves road on our second visit, showing nicely. They look almost like little antbirds -- dark brown and rufous with bare blue facial skin around their eyes. And they're certainly noisy! This is another Sundaland specialty.
CHESTNUT-WINGED BABBLER (Cyanoderma erythropterum) – Our first pair, seen as we made our way out of RDC, didn't give us particularly good looks. Fortunately, we had much better looks at another busy group along the edge of the Gomantong Caves road. This is another Sundaland specialty.
BLACK-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigricollis) – At least three were part of the big mixed understory flock we found along the Gomantong Caves road at the start of our second visit. Their bright white cheek patches made them reasonably easy to pick out.
CHESTNUT-RUMPED BABBLER (Stachyris maculata) – A little group by the BRL bridge played hard to get, staying in the deepest, darkest parts of the trees (and never to close) or flitting across gaps against the light. We certainly heard them though!
GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – A little group crept along a bank near the top of the park road in Kinabalu, occasionally perching out in the open as they searched for tasty morsels. They were among the few things close enough that first morning in the park that we could see pretty well despite the fog! We had lovely close views of others -- in better weather -- along the lower Silau-Silau trail the following day.
GRAY-HEADED BABBLER (Stachyris poliocephala) – A pair near the Jacuzzi Falls followed the Brown Fulvettas across the busy little treefall. Yet another Sundaland specialty.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
MOUSTACHED BABBLER (Malacopteron magnirostre) – Three or four inquisitive birds checked us out as we started our walk on BRL's Trogon trail, perching almost within arm's length -- making that namesake black moustache stripe very easy to see. Like most of these babblers, this one is a Sundaland specialty.
SOOTY-CAPPED BABBLER (Malacopteron affine) – Nice looks at a busy group along the Gomantong Caves road (not far from our Chestnut-necklaced Partridge) with others at BRL. It occurs only in Sundaland and is another one considered Near Threatened.
SCALY-CROWNED BABBLER (Malacopteron cinereum) – Surprisingly, the people at the BACK of the line got quick looks at our first, when it popped out in front of the group along the Jacuzzi trail. Fortunately, we had much better looks at another when it sat -- stockstill -- at eye level in the top of a leafless little tree along the Segama trail. And it sat there for a while!
RUFOUS-CROWNED BABBLER (Malacopteron magnum) – A noisy gang of these swirled around us along BRL's Hornbill trail, calling all the while. And yes, it's another Sundaland specialty.
BLACK-CAPPED BABBLER (Pellorneum capistratum) – Our first were a pair strolling along near the Sukau boardwalk -- among the few species we saw on a quiet late morning visit. We had others on the ground along the BRL entrance road.

Sunda Bush-Warblers proved marvelously confiding, bouncing along the road right beside the group. Great song too! Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

SHORT-TAILED BABBLER (Pellorneum malaccense) – We heard the distinctive whistles of this one from the viny tangles along BRL's entrance road, not far from the start of the canopy walkway. [*]
WHITE-CHESTED BABBLER (Pellorneum rostratum) – Very common in the lowlands, where we saw or heard them most days, usually on the ground, and always near water. Those along the Menanggul proved especially cooperative as they rummaged along the riverbanks.
FERRUGINOUS BABBLER (Pellorneum bicolor) – One just down the hill from the forestry station near Danum Valley eventually gave us great views as it flicked along through roadside vegetation. First, though, it skulked through a lot of bushes!
STRIPED WREN-BABBLER (Kenopia striata) – We heard the clear whistles of this lowland species along BRL's Jacuzzi trail, but the birds were just a little too far away to respond to be interested in our playback. [*]
HORSFIELD'S BABBLER (Turdinus sepiarius) – A confiding bird along the BRL entrance road -- in the same area as our female Rufous-winged Philentoma -- allowed great scope studies.
BLACK-THROATED WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus atrigularis) – A noisy gang along BRL's Trogon trail made us work for a look, but I think we all got there in the end! This Near Threatened species is another endemic. [E]
MOUNTAIN WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus crassus) – Fabulous views of two right beside the parking area at the top of the Silau-Silau trail. They were flicking around in a tangle of vines and brush, singing their hearts out. [E]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
BROWN FULVETTA (Alcippe brunneicauda) – A pair twitched through branches over the BRL entrance road, distracting us briefly from our first Bornean Blue-Flycatchers, and we found others investigating the brush pile with the mixed flock near the waterfall on the Jacuzzi trail. [N]
SUNDA LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax palliatus) – Easily the most common of the tour's laughingthrushes (though it took us a few encounters before we really got good looks at them), with noisy flocks of dozens swarming through the canopy in Kinabalu Park. The family group snuggling together as they preened over the Silau creek showed nicely in the scope. The subspecies we saw, schistochlamys, is endemic to Borneo.
BARE-HEADED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax calvus) – At least three or four flicked along the edge of the road near the start of the Silau-Silau trail one morning, accompanying a big flock of Sunda Laughingthrushes. Their bright orange bills were particularly eye-catching as they moved through the trees. Recently split from the Black Laughingthrush, this is one of Borneo's newer endemics. [E]
CHESTNUT-HOODED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla treacheri treacheri) – The smallest of the tour's laughingthrushes, and the first one we saw -- the pair trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to defend the little fruiting tree near the gate at the Masakob Waterfall were particularly obliging. They were common at Kinabalu Park as well, often in mixed flocks with the other laughingthrushes. This species, recently split from the Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush, is endemic to Borneo's north-central mountains. [E]
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – Our first was a full-on male in a fruiting tree along the Gomantong Caves road (seen from the front). That was followed by a back view of another glittering male near the staff quarters turnoff on the BRL entrance road. Unfortunately for Dave, who managed to miss both of those, our only other views were of flyover birds later in the tour.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DARK-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa sibirica) – Particularly nice studies of one hunting from a little rope along the edge of the garden below the BRL dining room, and of another sallying from a branch over the Kinabalu Park road. This is a winter visitor to Borneo.

Not quite as snazzy as her mate, the female Whitehead's Trogon is a study in brown. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – One perched on a dead snag poking up from the forest along the road near the Masakob Waterfall appeared to be one of these wintering visitors, rather than the resident Brown-streaked Flycatcher (formerly considered an endemic breeding subspecies of Asian Brown Flycatcher). The whole brown flycatcher picture has gotten much more complicated recently!
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – Regular in the lowlands in more open areas, with especially nice looks at singing birds on the street lights near the RDC entrance. Despite Raymond's best efforts, the only subspecies we found was adamsi, which is black below with a white crissum and white outer tail feathers.
RUFOUS-TAILED SHAMA (Copsychus pyrropygus) – Great looks at a female along the Hornbill trail; she sat for long minutes on an open branch, slowly raising and fanning her distinctive tail. We also heard one singing along the Gomantong Caves road, near where we saw the Chestnut-necklaced Partridge.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (WHITE-CROWNED) (Copsychus malabaricus stricklandii) – Very common and widespread across the lowlands, where its rich, warbling song was an integral part of the tour soundtrack. The pair hunting in the gardens around the BRL dining room gave us some superb views.
PALE BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis unicolor) – One sang from waaaaaaaaay up over our heads as we started our walk to the BRL bridge one morning, stretching our neck muscles to the upmost. Fortunately, we were able to find one at a far more neck friendly level when we birded on the BRL canopy walkway on our last morning there.
MALAYSIAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis turcosus) – Regular on our boat trips out of Sukau, with especially nice views of some eye level birds along the edge of the Menanggul. Unlike some of the other blue-flycatchers, this one tends to stay quite low, and is usually near water.
BORNEAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis superbus) – A pair bounced through trees near the start of the BRL's canopy walkway one morning (first the browner female, then her snazzy mate), singing softly to each other. [E]
BLUE-AND-WHITE FLYCATCHER (Cyanoptila cyanomelana) – Regular in the highlands, where we saw both blue and white males, and brown and white females, generally hunting in the mid-canopy with mixed flocks. This winter visitor was the largest of the blue flycatchers we saw on the trip.
INDIGO FLYCATCHER (Eumyias indigo) – Common in the highlands, where we typically found it with mixed flocks. One with a gaggle of Yellow-breasted Warblers, nearly at eye level along the Kinabalu Park road, was particularly cooperative.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – One hunted from a tree near the entrance to the Tumbunan Rafflesia Center, giving us great views of all sides. What a color!
EYEBROWED JUNGLE-FLYCATCHER (Vauriella gularis) – One along Kinabalu Park's Mempening trail posed nicely on a succession of branches, but we got even better views of another hunting from the curb beside the park road one morning before breakfast. [E]
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana erythrogyna) – As usual, we heard far more of these than we saw -- a fabulously rollicking song that grows louder and louder as it progresses. At least half of the group watched one creeping through the underbrush right beside us on the Silau-Silau trail (like a little brown mouse), but some never even glimpsed it.
BORNEAN WHISTLING-THRUSH (Myophonus borneensis) – Unlike many whistling-thrushes, this one is bold and approachable. We saw them well in Kinabalu Park, particularly bouncing around in the road up by the Timpohon Gate. [E]
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (WHITE-CROWNED) (Enicurus leschenaulti frontalis) – One walked around a puddle beside the BRL entrance road, seen (albeit distantly) by most as we drove to the Trogon trail one morning.
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (BORNEAN) (Enicurus leschenaulti borneensis) – Seen most days along the Kinabalu Park road -- always in flight as it flushed off the road in front of our bus. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of traffic typically meant another vehicle was always approaching just as the bird finally worked its way back to the road edge. Darn! This subspecies (a potential split) is longer-tailed than its lowland congener.
NARCISSUS FLYCATCHER (Ficedula narcissina) – A male hunted from a pile of brush (the result of a big tree fall) near the little creek that makes up part of BRL's Jacuzzi trail. This is a winter visitor to Borneo -- and an uncommon species in the Danum Valley.
MUGIMAKI FLYCATCHER (Ficedula mugimaki) – Common in the highlands. Interestingly, we found mostly young males.
SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra sumatrana) – Spectacularly close looks at a male along the Silau-Silau trail; if it had been any closer, it would have landed on someone! This is a widespread montane species across southeast Asia.
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – A pair made an all-too-brief appearance at the Masakob Waterfall early in our visit, vanishing back up the hill before everybody got a chance to see them.
RUFOUS-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula dumetoria) – A pair flitted around the base of one of the big rocks along the Gomantong Caves' boardwalk trail, always staying within a few meters of the ground. The male was a real cracker!
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EVERETT'S THRUSH (Zoothera everetti) – One in the road in front of our bus on our first wet, foggy morning at Kinabalu Park bounced back and forth from the curb to the drainage ditch to the middle of the road for a good five minutes, which must surely be a record for this often-skulking thrush! [E]
EYEBROWED THRUSH (Turdus obscurus) – A handful of these winter visitors kept us well-entertained during our interminable wait for lunch one day just outside Kinabalu Park, as they raided a nearby fruiting tree.
FRUIT-HUNTER (Chlamydochaera jefferyi) – One called and called and called from the forest canopy along the Silau-Silau trail, but too far "off-piste" to get to. And, unfortunately, we found it right about the time the 9 million cruise ship passengers began streaming past -- following the noisy guides with their loud microphones. [E*]

At full-screen size, this photo of a Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker is many times larger than the bird itself! Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

Sturnidae (Starlings)
ASIAN GLOSSY STARLING (Aplonis panayensis) – A pair along the wires where we stopped in the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road showed particularly well (since they hung around even after we piled out and pointed the scopes at them); how about those red eyes! We saw others around Sepilok and the RDC.
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – We heard the loud burbles of this species from the forest along the BRL entrance road, but never laid eyes on the birds themselves. [*]
JAVAN MYNA (Acridotheres javanicus) – This is the common myna around Sepilok, despite what the books say! The gray (rather than black) body color, and white undertail coverts help to seal the ID. [I]
CRESTED MYNA (Acridotheres cristatellus) – One paraded around in the grass just outside the waiting room at the Lahad Datu airport, showing the uniform plumage color and all-dark underside (including that all-important vent) that help to distinguish it from the previous species.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
GREATER GREEN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis sonnerati) – Seen on scattered days in the lowlands, particularly at BRL. Our first was a male seen near the entrance booth at RDC. Our best looks at a female -- notable for her yellow throat and eyering -- came from the dining room at BRL.
LESSER GREEN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cyanopogon) – A busy group along the Gomantong Caves road, not far from our first Dark-throated Oriole. As the name suggests, this species is smaller than the last, and females are considerably plainer, lacking the yellow throat and eyering of the Greater Green Leafbird.
BORNEAN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis kinabaluensis) – A group of these colorful endemics swirled through roadside trees near the Masakob Waterfall, and others checked out some red flowers in a tree a bit further up the road. This species was split from the Blue-winged Leafbird. [E]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus maculatus) – Daily in the fruiting trees around the BRL dining room, with another close bird at the platform along the Riverview trail, and one gobbling fruits with a mixed flock near the Masakob Waterfall in the Crocker Range.
YELLOW-RUMPED FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus xanthopygius) – Lovely views of several eating fruits in the shrubs just off the BRL dining room. [E]
SCARLET-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus thoracicus) – This one was a surprise! We were watching a fig tree full of flowerpeckers, pigeons, hornbills and more along BRL's Segama trail -- trying to get a good comparison between the next two species -- when a male popped into view. According to Paul, this one is quite uncommon in Danum Valley.
THICK-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum agile) – Great comparisons between this and the following species in the huge fig tree along BRL's Segama trail. This one has the dark eye, dark tail and faint streaking on the chest and flanks.
BROWN-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum everetti) – And this was the pale-eyed, paler-tailed, all brown species sharing the multitude of figs with the previous species (and many others) along the Segama trail.
YELLOW-VENTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum chrysorrheum) – Our best views came along the Gomantong Caves road, where we found one feeding in a roadside bush, and at BRL, where one shared a bush with a Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker during lunch one day.
ORANGE-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum trigonostigma) – Our first was a bright male along the Menanggul, with others (male and female) in the fruiting fig along the Segama trail, and with a mixed flock along the Kinabalu Park road. This is the smallest of the flowerpeckers seen on this tour.

Getting an eye to eye view of a Green Iora usually means you're perched on a canopy tower or walkway -- so we had multiple opportunities to do so! Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

BLACK-SIDED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum monticolum) – One high above the Kinabalu Park road was a highlight of one quiet morning's walk, and many saw another singing from a treetop outside our rooms on the last morning of the tour. [E]
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – Common in the fruiting trees along the road near the Sepilok Nature Resort, including some seen on our walk the afternoon before the tour officially started.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – Regular along the Menanggul (particularly in the first few hundred meters) with another female along the BRL entrance road. In looks and behavior, this species is surprisingly warbler-like.
PLAIN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes simplex) – One feeding along the boardwalk at the Gomantong Caves (seen as we made our way back to the entrance) allowed us to get within mere yards of it. We saw another pair along the Menanggul early one morning. The name of this Sundaland specialty is certainly appropriate!
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (BROWN-THROATED) (Anthreptes malacensis borneensis) – Our best looks came on the grounds of the Sepilok Nature Resort, with others along a few of the trails at RDC, and one at a gas station we stopped at on our way to Kinabalu Park. This taxon, which belongs to the brown-throated rather than the gray-throated group, is endemic to Borneo.
RED-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes rhodolaemus) – Surprisingly, seen only from the RDC canopy walkway this year. Unlike the previous species, this one prefers good forest, and is seldom found in gardens or whacked-over second growth.
VAN HASSELT'S SUNBIRD (Leptocoma brasiliana) – Our best views came from the Bristlebird tower at RDC, where we spotted a handsome male singing from a tree right beside the tower. This is the smaller, brighter-plumaged cousin of the next species.
COPPER-THROATED SUNBIRD (Leptocoma calcostetha) – Fantastic views of a couple of males -- including one that sat atop a "do not enter" sign right over our heads in the RDC parking lot. This big, dark sunbird is found only along the coast in Borneo.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – Super views of many -- especially males -- along the road through the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road. Some were feasting on the roadside flowers, while others sang challenges from telephone wires.
TEMMINCK'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga temminckii) – Gratifyingly common in the highlands, with our first male seen near the Masakob Waterfall, and others along the Kinabalu Park road. This is the highland replacement for the next species.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – Several visiting the flowering shrubs along the road near the RDC entrance dazzled us our first morning, and we found others foraging along the Menanggul.
LONG-BILLED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera robusta) – Surprisingly scarce this year. We spotted our first along the RDC's Kingfisher trail, then saw another from the BRL dining room. This is yet another Sundaland specialty.
LITTLE SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera longirostra) – Unusually tough to find this year, with more heard than seen. We did, however, see one foraging along the Sukau boardwalk during our second late morning walk there.
PURPLE-NAPED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera hypogrammicum) – Two along the BRL entrance drive showed their stripey bellies nicely -- though their purple napes were a bit tougher to see. This was formerly known as Purple-naped Sunbird, until genetic studies showed it was actually a spiderhunter.
WHITEHEAD'S SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera juliae) – Arg! We heard its burry call several times, and watched it zip over the road near the Masakob Waterfall once or twice, but nobody really got much of a look. [E]

The Plain-throated Sunbird was most common in more open places -- like the gardens of the Sepilok Nature Resort. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

SPECTACLED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera flavigaster) – This one, on the other hand, cooperated very nicely indeed! We had particularly good views of several jousting over a flowering tree along the BRL entrance road; one regularly sat right at the top of a flower spike, watching for interlopers.
BORNEAN SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera everetti) – We spotted our first from the dining room table at BRL, as it foraged in the garden below. Our best looks, however, came on the BRL canopy walkway, where we watched one at a flower right near one of the towers (in between scope views of the female Orangutan and her baby). And we had another in the big tree by the driveway at the Masakob Waterfall, in the Crocker Range. Before it was elevated to species status, this was considered to be a subspecies of the Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter. [E]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis) – A few individuals waggled along muddy islets in the Telipok River. Unlike the next species, this one has entirely yellow underparts.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – A few along the road at Gunung Alab showed the very long tail and bright yellow vent of this species, which tends to stick to the highlands (in Borneo, anyway).
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus malayensis) – A couple paraded along the edges of the Lahad Datu runways, sat on the nearby directional signs, or vanished (briefly) into the taller grasses around various airport outbuildings.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – Very common around Sepilok, with dozens mooching along the chainlink fences across the road from our lodge, and others around the RDC parking lot. [I]
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – A roadside stop just after we left Sepilok netted us views of a busy little colony, with multiple males weaving strands into their intricate, nearly completed nests. This species was introduced to the island. [I]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
DUSKY MUNIA (Lonchura fuscans) – One of Borneo's easiest endemics to see, scattered on short-grass roadsides and open forest edges (like along the BRL's entrance drive) throughout the lowlands. We saw a couple of pairs gathering nesting material -- the trailing ends of the grasses made it look like they had long tails! [EN]
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – Scope views of some close birds nibbling seeds from the giant flower heads of tall grasses along the Telipok River on our final afternoon. This species is also widely known as the Nutmeg Mannikin. It's a recent colonist from the Philippines.
CHESTNUT MUNIA (Lonchura atricapilla) – A big group swarmed through the roadside grasses where we stopped in the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves. We saw others in the tall grasses along the Tenangang and Telipok rivers.

COLUGO (Cynocephalus variegatus) – One clinging to the trunk of a tree along the BRL entrance road was a highlight of one soggy night drive there.
LARGE FLYING FOX (Pteropus vampyrus) – Dave saw one of these huge bats -- which have nearly the same wingspan as a night-heron -- flapping across the Tenangang as dusk approached.

Crab-eating Macaques (also known as Long-tailed Macaques) were ubiquitous around Sukau. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

WRINKLE-LIPPED FREE-TAILED BAT (Chaerephon plicatus) – Thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS hung from the roof and walls of the Black Nest Cave at Gomantong; the decibel level of their chittering calls was pretty impressive! We later watched a steady river of them emerging from a narrow entrance higher up the hill -- clearly a risky business, given the number of raptors plunging through the swarm and coming up with a fistful of dinner!
MOUNTAIN TREESHREW (Tupaia montana) – Our best views came near the TImpohon Gate, where we watched one of these dark endemics scampering along a fence rail. We saw others chasing each other around at the start of the Lower Silau-Silau trail.They're longer-nosed than the squirrels. [E]
SLOW LORIS (Nycticebus cougang) – One crept around the trunk and branches of a tree along a tributary of the Kinabatangan, giving clear evidence of why they're called SLOW Loris. Despite its lack of speed, this species is seldom predated; it covers its fur with copious amounts of its toxic saliva, which deters attacks.
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – Also widely known as Long-tailed Macaque, this was probably the most common of the primates we saw on this tour, with dozens -- scores, HUNDREDS -- seen all along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries. We had scattered others in the fruiting figs near the BRL restaurant.
PIGTAIL MACAQUE (Macaca nemestrina) – The slightly larger and more aggressive cousin of the previous species, with a short, stubby tail that gives it its common name. They're less common than the previous species along our tour route, though we did find multiple groups along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries, and on our drive back in to Lahad Datu.
SILVERED LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis cristata) – Unfortunately, this species is getting harder and harder to find, but we did spot one with a troop of Crab-eating Macaques along the Menanggul.
RED LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis rubicunda) – Most common around BRL, with especially nice looks at a gang munching fruits from a fig tree right outside the dining room. This endemic is also known as the Maroon Langur. [E]
PROBOSCIS MONKEY (Nasalis larvatus) – Alongside the Orangutan, this is one of Borneo's most famous endemic primates, and seeing numbers of them along the banks of the Kinabatangan and its tributaries, where they gather to feed, socialize, and sleep each evening, was a special treat. Sadly, the numbers of this iconic species have declined by more than 50% in the past 50 years, and it's now considered Endangered. [E]
GRAY GIBBON (Hylobates muelleri) – We heard the musical songs of this hard-to-see species each day at BRL -- including some very close ones near where we spotted our Blue-headed Pitta. [E*]
ORANGUTAN (Pongo pygmaeus) – Typically one of the "most wanted" mammals on this tour -- and our views this year didn't disappoint. First up were a female and small youngster moving through the trees along the Menanggul; with some fancy boat handling, we got right below where they were headed, and waited for them to come past. Next were a more distant female and her well-grown youngster up the hill from the entrance to the Gomantong Caves. We finally connected with a male -- a big one, with the distinctive facial "plates" of his sex -- on the ground right beside the BRL entrance road on our drive in (with an adoring throng of lodge guests clogging the road), and finished with yet another mama and youngster hanging in the trees by the canopy walkway on our last morning at BRL. And, of course, we saw their leafy nests EVERYWHERE in the lowlands. [E]
PALE GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa affinis) – A few of these huge squirrels (easily mistaken for good-sized monkeys) clambered through trees at RDC and in Kinabalu Park.
PREVOST'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus prevostii) – This was the common, good-sized squirrel of the lowland rainforest, where it was seen almost daily, with a few in the lower reaches of Kinabalu Park as well. The Bornean taxon we saw is black with a chestnut belly.

The well-named Eyebrowed Jungle-Flycatcher along Kinabalu Park's Mempening trail. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

KINABALU SQUIRREL (Callosciurus baluensis) – Haswan found one for us along the road in Kinabalu Park. [E]
PLANTAIN SQUIRREL (Callosciurus notatus) – Common in the lowlands, particularly around Sukau. This was the medium brown one with the black and white "racing stripes" on the sides.
JENTINK'S SQUIRREL (Sundasciurus jentincki) – We quickly renamed this small highland species the "jetpack squirrel". How do its little legs move so fast?! We watched them hurtle around trees in the Crocker Range and Kinabalu Park. [E]
PLAIN PYGMY SQUIRREL (Exilisciurus exilis) – What little cuties! These tiny squirrels -- barely as long as your thumb -- were regular throughout the lowlands. They feed on mosses and lichens. [E]
WHITEHEAD'S PYGMY SQUIRREL (Exilisciurus whiteheadi) – Only slightly larger than the previous species, this one is restricted to the highlands. Its long white ear tufts are certainly eye-catching! [E]
RED GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL (Petaurista petaurista) – Our first was just a red head, sticking out into the sunshine from of one of the nest boxes at RDC. Fortunately, we had much better views of several on our night drives at BRL as they clambered around in some of the largest trees along the road. This one has a black chin, and a black tip to the tail.
BLACK FLYING SQUIRREL (Aeromys tephromelas) – One scampered up the trunk of an emergent tree (while we watched with a spotlight from the BRL truck) then made a PRODIGIOUS leap to another, even closer tree. This Sundaland specialty is probably the least common of Borneo's flying squirrels.
THOMAS'S FLYING SQUIRREL (Aeromys thomasi) – Seen on each of our (often soggy) night drives at BRL, including a few right over the truck. This Bornean endemic, which resembles the larger Red Giant Flying Squirrel, has a pale chin and no black tip to its tail. [E]
NORWAY (BROWN) RAT (Rattus norvegicus) – One scuttled through the roadside vegetation in the palm grove between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road. [I]
YELLOW-THROATED MARTEN (Martes flavigula) – One of these big, tropical weasels scrambled around in a huge dead tree along BRL's Segama trail, snuffling in every nook and cranny.
COMMON PALM CIVET (Viverra zibetha) – One of these widespread civets, which are found from Sri Lanka right through Sulawesi, scuttled off the BRL entrance road during our first night drive.
MALAY CIVET (Viverra tangalunga) – A few folks got a quick glimpse of one spotted by the BRL lodge guide on our second night trip there; most, however, saw only flailing vegetation as it scurried away.
SMALL-TOOTHED PALM CIVET (Arctogalidia trivirgata) – One clambered through a palm tree (appropriate!) along the Kinabatangan, seen on our last night tour out of Sukau Rainforest Ecolodge.
MASKED PALM CIVET (Paguma larvata) – Super views of this handsome creature right beside the BRL entrance road on one night drive. It was completely unfazed by our presence, continuing to chomp on the wet grass despite our vehicle and its bright spotlight.
LEOPARD CAT (Felis bengalensis) – One curled up on a big tree branch along the Kinabatangan was a superb spot by Hamit. With some careful maneuvering by our boatman -- and judicious use of spotlight, green dot and squeaking -- we were all able to get nice looks at this spotty little cat, including its pretty face.

Diard's Trogon was one of the many Sundaland specialties we found during the tour. Photo by participant Raymond Jeffers.

CLOUDED LEOPARD (Neofelis nebulosa) – WOWWWWW! Now here's a species I never expected to see on this tour! We were searching (unsuccessfully) for a Bornean Banded Pitta near the BRL frog pond when the call came in that a leopard had just killed and was eating a mouse deer under the canopy walkway. Thanks to a conveniently-parked truck, we raced up to the nearby trailhead and plunged off down the hill with the rest of the lodge's guests. At first, all we saw was the spotty side of the cat as it lay panting under a massive downed tree. Then, as people started leaving, I saw it stand up and realized it was moving. The lucky folks at the uphill end of the line watched it stroll off up the hill -- and right across the trail. Yowza! An Attenborough moment for sure...
BEARDED PIG (Sus barbatus) – One of these huge pigs rummaged through the gardens around the main building at BRL one morning, uprooting a few of the plants in its search for tasty morsels.
GREATER MOUSE DEER (Tragulus napu) – One along the BRL entrance road, seen on our first night drive. As its name suggests, this is the larger of Borneo's two mouse deer -- but not by much!
LESSER MOUSE DEER (Tragulus javanicus) – One of these tiny deer trotted down the Segama trail in front of us. The brown markings on its throat and chest help to distinguish it from the previous species.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor) – Quite common at BRL, with all ages and sexes represented; the youngster beside the entrance road gave us particularly long, close looks. This species has a weeping gland on its throat which looks like a open wound. We also heard the loud barking calls of this deer from the BRL canopy walkway on our last morning; we joked about it being a leopard, when in reality, it was probably warning all and sundry about the leopard being in the neighborhood!
MANGROVE CAT SNAKE (Boiga dendrophila) – This was the handsome black and gold banded snake we saw curled up on a branch along the Menanggul one morning.
DOG-TOOTHED CAT SNAKE (Boiga cynodon) – Diane found one of these by the front door of her cabin at BRL; a nearby lodge guide identified it for her. This little colubrid specializes on small birds and their eggs.
TWIN-BARRED FLYING SNAKE (Chrysopelea pelias) – The same guide that identified the previous snake for Diane also showed her one of these high-flyers under her back deck. Like all "flying snakes", it flattens itself into a ribbon when it launches from a tree; from a high canopy, it can glide more than 100 meters!
CAVE RACER (Othriophis taeniurus) – This was the strikingly colored snake we watched climbing slowly up the wall near the entrance to the Gomantong Caves.
EQUATORIAL SPITTING COBRA (Naja sumatrana) – One seen on the drive between Sukau and the Gomantong Caves road.
BORNEAN KEELED PIT VIPER (Tropidolaemus subannulatus) – Some great spotting by Carol netted us looks at one snoozing in a tree along the Kinabalu park road.
BORNEAN HORNED FROG (Megophrys nasuta (Megophryidae)) – We heard the loud call of this species along the BRL entrance road late one afternoon. [E*]
SALTWATER CROCODILE (Crocodylus porosus) – A big one along the Tenangang, and another near where we found the Bornean Ground-Cuckoo on the Menanggul.
HORNED FLYING LIZARD (Draco cornutus) – Daily around Sukau and the Gomantong Caves, including a male flashing his yellow dewlap along the Sukau boardwalk one morning, and a female flipper her black one the next day. We even got to see a few of them "flying"; they're surprisingly fast!
SMITH'S GIANT GECKO (Gekko smithii ) – We certainly heard this one! Its loud dog-like bark was a regular part of the tour soundtrack -- day and night -- in the lowlands. We saw the head of one peeking out from behind a sign at Sukau; it was many times the size of the nearby House Geckos.
COMMON SUN SKINK (Eutropis multifasciata) – These were quite common in the lowlands, seen around Sukau, at Gomantong Caves and along the BRL entrance road. Their mustard-yellow throats are distinctive.
WATER MONITOR (Varanus salvator) – Seen most days in the lowlands, including a few little ones on the grounds of the Sepilok Nature Resort, and a big one lumbering towards us near the start of BRL's Jacuzzi trail.
Other Creatures of Interest
RAFFLESIA (PORING) (Rafflesia keithii) – Thanks to a heads-up from a friend of Haswan's, we got to see a first day flower in a garden at Poring Springs. This is the world's second largest flower, though sadly, it may soon be the largest, as the current record holder is nearly extinct. [E]
BROWN LEECH (Haemadipsa zyelanica) – As usual, this was the more common of the two leeches we found on the tour. Fortunately, we didn't find too many, and most of them weren't attached to anybody.
TIGER LEECH (Haemadipsa picta) – Also known as the Painted Leech, this one is larger and more colorful than the previous. It also lacks the anesthesia of the Brown Leech, which means you feel it bite -- hence "Tiger"!
BORNEAN PILL MILLIPEDE (Glomeris connexa) – Unfortunately, the only one we saw was the one near the BRL frog pond -- right after I accidentally stood on it.
LONG-LEGGED CENTIPEDES (Scutigera spp.) – Talk about nightmare-inducing! These huge, fast, appropriately long-legged critters were all over the walls of the Gomantong Caves.
GIANT FOREST ANT (Camponotus gigas) – We saw plenty of these sizable ants at BRL; the soldiers were particularly huge -- probably close to 1.5 inches long, with massive heads (and equally massive mandibles).
CHAN'S MEGASTICK (Phobaeticus chani) – One hanging from the ceiling over our table in the BRL dining room provided entertainment for a whole day before it moved on. This(and a closely-related species are the world's largest insects, measuring more than a foot long!
COMMON BIRDWING (Tioides helena (Papilionidae)) – These were the big black and yellow butterflies that we saw regularly in the lowlands; they're certainly larger than some of the flowerpeckers!
RAJAH BROOKE'S BIRDWING (Trogonoptera brookiana (Papilionidae)) – We spotted one fluttering across the parking lot of the restaurant just across the road from the Kinabalu Park entrance, and had others along the park road there. This one's not as big as the previous species, but it's a lot more colorful!
COMMON TREE NYMPH (WOOD NYMPH) (Idea stolli (Nymphalidae)) – Very common in the lowlands, where they floated through the forests on their big, spotty wings.
CLIPPER BUTTERFLY (Parthenos sylvia (Nymphalidae)) – We hit a "hatch" along the Menanggul, with dozens fluttering back and forth across the river.
ATLAS MOTH (Attacus atlas (Saturniidae)) – We saw a couple of these big "Snake head" moths -- one on the guttering around on one of the buildings in the forestry camp just outside of Danum Valley, and another on Raymond and Carol's door in Kinabalu Park. This is the world's largest moth.


Green Tree Snake (exact species unknown): We spotted one in the talons of an Oriental Honey-Buzzard along the Gomantong Caves road. Whether it was still a living, breathing snake is another question! I was unable to ascertain exactly which green tree snake species this was -- there are a number of possibilities!

Totals for the tour: 298 bird taxa and 35 mammal taxa