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Field Guides Tour Report
Borneo II 2017
Jun 6, 2017 to Jun 23, 2017
Dave Stejskal & local guides

We got some great views of these Wrinkled Hornbills along the Kinabatangan River at Sukau. These were just one of eight hornbill species that we found. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

You never know what sort of weather you're going to encounter in the tropics – especially nowadays with global warming – but the weather on this tour was a little wetter than usual, in my experience. We ran into quite a bit of rain in the Sukau/Gomantong area, especially in the afternoons, and it did alter our birding efforts a bit. It had obviously been quite wet just prior to our arrival at Danum Valley, evidenced by the very muddy trails there, but it actually rained very little while we were there for our four nights at lovely Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Rain at Kinabalu NP was pretty typical of every visit I've made there prior to this one. But, despite the generally wet conditions on this tour, we had a fabulous trip! Truth be told , I've never had a bad trip here. I think a bad trip is an impossibility in such a rich place as Borneo!

We ran our tour like we have for the past few years, starting with a short one-night stay in Sepilok south of Sandakan, then traveling on to Sukau Rainforest Lodge on the impressive Kinabatangan River for four nights. This was followed by a very enjoyable 4-night stay at Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the famed Danum Valley. We finished with four nights in the cool highlands of Kinabalu Park to the north. Finishing up this tour in the comfortable highlands is always a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of our lowland venues!

For the first part of this tour, we were joined by Hamit Suban, our excellent local guide and older brother of Hazwan Suban, who expertly guided us in the Crocker Range and Mt. Kinabalu later in the tour. I always like to salt away a big chunk of the widespread lowland species on this first of three major legs of the tour, and we did just that between our visits to the Rainforest Discovery Center near Sepilok, the lush Gomantong Caves area, and the riverine habitats of the Sukau area. We had great finds and experiences at all of these first-leg sites, including outstanding views of the Endangered Storm's Stork, a very confiding Gray-headed Fish-Eagle, the declining Large Green-Pigeon, four species of malkohas, super views of both Buffy Fish-Owl and Brown Wood-Owl, three species of Aerodramus swiftlets on their easily-identifiable nests, five spectacular hornbills, including the often difficult White-crowned (twice!), five species of fancy kingfishers, the tiny endemic White-fronted Falconet, four species of bizarre and beautiful broadbills, close Black-crowned and Hooded pittas, a fine variety of babblers and bulbuls, and an excellent selection of mammals, among others! Who could forget our first mother and baby Orangutan at the Gomantong Forest Reserve? Or that strange arboreal Slow Loris? Or the still stranger Colugo right outside our Sukau rooms? It was a great way to start this wonderful tour and it prepared us nicely for what was to come at Danum Valley.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge continues to be my favorite venue on this tour. The setting is supreme, the birds are always rewarding, the mammals are often surprising, and the comfort level, the overall service, and the food are the best of the tour. Throw in an excellent lodge guide like Azmil and you can't possibly go wrong! Under Azmil's skilled direction, we enjoyed some of the rarest birds of the trip, such as a gorgeous male Crested Fireback (endemic race nobilis here), a highly cooperative Reddish Scops-Owl, the poorly known Sunda Frogmouth, the spectacular Helmeted Hornbill, a shy, spectacular Rufous-collared Kingfisher, the skulking Blue-headed Pitta, the coveted Bornean Bristlehead, the Endangered Straw-headed Bulbul, the local White-necked Babbler, and both Bornean and Black-throated wren-babblers, among a huge variety of other birds. Not only was his bird-finding ability impressive, but Azmil's ability to find mammals on our night drives and during the daytime was also amazing, showing us the likes of Colugo, Leopard Cat, Binturong, the endemic Thomas's Flying Squirrel, and the tiny Lesser Mouse-Deer.

After Danum Valley, we were more than ready to cool off in the highlands to wind up our tour. A very productive half-day en route to Kinabalu Park was spent in the lush Crocker Range NP east of Kota Kinabalu, where several foothill endemics were sought. We did very well with these, seeing both endemic barbets (Bornean & Mountain) there very well, along with the likes of Bornean Bulbul, Pygmy White-eye, Bornean Leafbird, Mountain Black-eye, and even Fruit-hunter for some. But our main venue, Gunung Kinabalu lay ahead. There was little overlap in the highland forest here with what we had experienced in the lowland venues, so new birds for the tour were at nearly every turn. Best among the many highland specialties and endemics were our fortuitous encounter with Red-breasted Partridge, a quiet pair of beautifully patterned Whitehead's Trogons, pre-dawn encounters on the road with Whitehead's Broadbill and Everett's Thrush, a tiny Bornean Stubtail singing his heart out along the trail, strange Bare-headed Laughingthrushes near the top of the main road, and so many others. Of course, the clouds did finally yield some great views of the mountain - a highlight to our visit to this wonderful park. And the bizarre Rafflesia flower on our visit to Poring Hot Springs certainly needs a mention, too!

Many thanks to our trio of local guides - Hamit, Azmil, and Hazwan - on this wonderful tour to one of the biological wonders of the world! And thanks especially to all of you for joining me on this birding adventure. You were all wonderful companions throughout and made guiding this tour a real treat! I hope we all have a chance to travel together again soon. Cheers, Dave

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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata) – After seeing several distant birds on that final morning of the tour, one of them gave us a couple of close flyby looks for good measure.

We couldn't have asked for a better experience with Red-breasted Partridge! Here's one of the birds that we found, posing nicely in a tree. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RED-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila hyperythra) – One of the crazier sightings of the tour was seeing this bird flush from the road in front of our bus and land in a tree next to the road! It became apparent shortly thereafter why this bird didn't simply fly off into the forest after we spotted another adult and at least a couple of chicks in the road in front of us and on the steep bank to our left. The best looks at this shy endemic that I've ever had! We caused quite a traffic back-up, but it was worth it! [E]
CHESTNUT-NECKLACED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila charltonii graydoni) [*]
GREAT ARGUS (Argusianus argus) – Only one bird was close enough to consider the possibility of seeing it at BRL (Borneo Rainforest Lodge). [*]
CRIMSON-HEADED PARTRIDGE (Haematortyx sanguiniceps) – Hazwan and Wilbur were the only ones to lay eyes on this one at Kinabalu NP. [E]
CRESTED FIREBACK (BORNEAN) (Lophura ignita nobilis) – Right on cue, we spotted a lone adult male just off of the service road at BRL late on our first afternoon there.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
STORM'S STORK (Ciconia stormi) – We spotted at least five birds in the Sukau area during our visit there. This rare stork is now limited to just a handful of sites in S.E. Asia.
LESSER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos javanicus) – A couple of birds near Sukau were seen in terrible light late one afternoon, but their distinctive features were still discernible.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – In the Sukau area only, as expected.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta)

A beautiful Blue-eared Kingfisher. Photo by participant Don Burlett.

INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Our best looks came on our final morning just outside of Kota Kinabalu.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – We flushed an adult on the last afternoon in Kota Kinabalu that was apparently feasting on the numerous Green Paddy Frogs there.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – Just a few sightings this trip, with the best at the overlook in Kinabalu NP.
JERDON'S BAZA (Aviceda jerdoni) – Several excellent looks in the Sukau area.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – We had several very confiding adult birds in the Sukau/Gomantong area.
BAT HAWK (Macheiramphus alcinus) – It took us two tries to see this one because of the afternoon rains, but we finally got good scope looks of a few perched adults at Gomantong Caves.
CHANGEABLE HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus limnaeetus) – The briefest of looks at RDC (Rainforest Discovery Center) near Sepilok. We heard a few others as well.

One of a pair of Banded Woodpeckers we saw along the Menanggul River. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

BLYTH'S HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus alboniger) – Nice views of a soaring pair of these attractive raptors in the Crocker Range.
WALLACE'S HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus nanus) – All of the birds that we saw were brown immature birds.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EAGLE (Lophotriorchis kienerii) – This one involved a measure of trust in the guides, but that distant raptor perched above the huge stick nest near Sukau was indeed this species!
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – A few good looks at this distinctive eagle, including a very close soaring bird just above the treetops at Kinabalu NP.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – Only one definite bird this year on our first morning together at RDC.
BESRA (Accipiter virgatus) – Decent views of a perched bird at Kinabalu NP.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – A regular sight along the Kinabatangan R. near Sukau.
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster) – A few fabulous looks at close, perched adults.
LESSER FISH-EAGLE (Ichthyophaga humilis) – This one usually outnumbers the similar, but larger Gray-headed Fish-Eagle along the Kinabatangan.
GRAY-HEADED FISH-EAGLE (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus) – Outstanding views of an adult perched and in flight along the Kinabatangan R. near Sukau.

One of many interesting mammals we were lucky enough to see, this Slow Loris allowed us a really nice look. This one is likely the non-endemic Philippine Slow Loris; still, it's a great view of an unusual animal. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – This is typically our most common and widespread rallid on the tour.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Now split from our familiar Common Gallinule in the New World.
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis) – Another 'crazy' sighting on this tour was the discovery of one of these normally shy birds sitting out in the open grass next to the tarmac at the Lahad Datu airport! There are very few Borneo records of this one away from the Kota Kinabalu/Kota Belud area.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – A few offshore on our last afternoon together.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)
LITTLE CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia ruficeps) – Excellent views along the road at Kinabalu NP.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – Now split from the Pacific Emerald-Dove to the east.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) [I]
LITTLE GREEN-PIGEON (Treron olax) – A couple of nice looks at close adult males near Sukau.
PINK-NECKED PIGEON (Treron vernans) – We finally got some killer views on the last afternoon at the coastal park in Kota Kinabalu.
CINNAMON-HEADED PIGEON (Treron fulvicollis) – Ahmet and I were the only ones to see these birds fly by at RDC that first morning. Try as we might, we couldn't find any this time along the Kinabatangan.
LARGE GREEN-PIGEON (Treron capellei) – A second check of that fruiting tree near Sukau yielded a good look at a single individual. Now quite a rare bird in lowland Sabah.
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea) – This lowland species was seen extremely well in the Sukau area.
GRAY IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula pickeringii) – A flyby just as we arrived at the Bristlehead Tower at RDC was seen by a few folks.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SHORT-TOED COUCAL (Centropus rectunguis) – This shy species was seen by some along the roadside at Gomantong Forest Reserve.
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – One especially fine view of a bird walking in the road below us from our perch on the road at BRL.
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – A couple of looks at this widespread species.
RAFFLES'S MALKOHA (Rhinortha chlorophaea) – Reminiscent of the Squirrel Cuckoo of the New World tropics.
RED-BILLED MALKOHA (Zanclostomus javanicus) – Great looks along the Menanggul R. near Sukau.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) – The only malkoha here without white in the tail.
BLACK-BELLIED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus diardi) – It took some maneuvering of the boat, but we all finally got decent looks of this one high in the canopy above the river near Sukau.
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – A couple of males calling as they flew by were all that we could muster this trip.
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) [*]
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) [*]

Here is one of the lovely Copper-throated Sunbirds we saw in the parking lot at the Rainforest Discovery Center near Sepilok. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – One distant perched bird near Sukau.
MOUSTACHED HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx vagans) – We had a couple of close flybys - one right over our heads - along the Menanggul R. near Sukau.
DARK HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx bocki) – A recent split from Large Hawk-Cuckoo. [*]
INDIAN CUCKOO (Cuculus micropterus) [*]
SUNDA CUCKOO (Cuculus lepidus) [*]
Strigidae (Owls)
REDDISH SCOPS-OWL (Otus rufescens rufescens) – We finally tracked this one down at BRL for some outstanding views right next to the road! A difficult bird to see anywhere.
MOUNTAIN SCOPS-OWL (Otus spilocephalus) [*]
SUNDA SCOPS-OWL (Otus lempiji) [*]
BUFFY FISH-OWL (Ketupa ketupu) – We had a couple of different close birds at Sukau this trip, including a very confiding bird along the Menanggul.
BROWN WOOD-OWL (Strix leptogrammica) – Excellent views along the Menanggul R. near Sukau, and then a couple of birds on day roosts at BRL!

We found this rare Storm's Stork near Sukau. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Podargidae (Frogmouths)
LARGE FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus auritus) [*]
SUNDA FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus cornutus) – Azmil knew where to stop to try for this local frogmouth! Once we found its perch, we had some nice views from the back of the truck.
Apodidae (Swifts)
SILVER-RUMPED NEEDLETAIL (Rhaphidura leucopygialis) – Very distinctive with the black body and contrasting silvery-white rump.
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus) – We had one quick flyby bird along the Menanggul R. near Sukau.
WATERFALL SWIFT (Hydrochous gigas) – We almost missed this one flying past at the Mt. Kinabalu overlook, but it was clearly shaped differently and was a good deal larger than any of the other swiftlets that were in the area.
GLOSSY SWIFTLET (Collocalia esculenta) – At virtually every venue on this tour. [N]
BORNEAN SWIFTLET (Collocalia dodgei) – Although we never did find any birds on nests this trip, we certainly saw green gloss on the upperparts on a number of the many swiftlets high on the slopes of Mt. Kinabalu. A recent split from Cave Swiftlet. [E]
MOSSY-NEST SWIFTLET (Aerodramus salangana) – We never would have identified any of the next three species if we hadn't ventured into Gomantong Caves. [N]
BLACK-NEST SWIFTLET (Aerodramus maximus) [N]
WHITE-NEST SWIFTLET (Aerodramus fuciphagus) – Called Edible-nest Swiftlet in the field guides. [N]
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – Several of us saw a flock of these larger swifts on our way to the airport on the last day.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
GRAY-RUMPED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne longipennis) – Typically more widespread on this tour, we only found this one at our lodging at Sepilok.
WHISKERED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne comata) – Numerous excellent studies along the road and at the lodge buildings at BRL.

The Reddish Scops-Owl can be hard to see, but we got an excellent look at this one! Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Trogonidae (Trogons)
RED-NAPED TROGON (Harpactes kasumba) – Our first trogon of the tour was a brilliant male spotted from the canopy walkway at RDC.
DIARD'S TROGON (Harpactes diardii) – We detected fewer of these than normal on this trip, with the only shared sighting coming at BRL one day.
WHITEHEAD'S TROGON (Harpactes whiteheadi) – A silent pair along the trail at Kinabalu NP was simply breathtaking! I can't think of a more beautiful trogon! [E]
SCARLET-RUMPED TROGON (Harpactes duvaucelii) – The call sounds more like an antbird than a trogon!
ORANGE-BREASTED TROGON (Harpactes oreskios) – This was a surprise find in the Crocker Range shortly after our arrival there from our overnight in Kota Kinabalu. Easily seen on mainland SE Asian tours, this one is pretty scarce on Borneo (it was my first for the island!).
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
WHITE-CROWNED HORNBILL (Berenicornis comatus) – A couple of sightings of this scarce hornbill late in the afternoon in the Sukau/Gomantong area.
HELMETED HORNBILL (Buceros vigil) – This hornbill is usually one that gives us trouble, but we found a very cooperative pair on that first afternoon at BRL, giving us all great scope looks. A friend just forwarded an article about this species plight due to the illegal 'ivory' trade (the bill is used to produce highly coveted 'red ivory'). See that article here:
RHINOCEROS HORNBILL (Buceros rhinoceros) – This was the one species of hornbill that we recorded daily while in the lowlands – not a bad bird to see every day!
BUSHY-CRESTED HORNBILL (Anorrhinus galeritus) – We tracked down a noisy group of these along the road in the Gomantong Forest Reserve.
BLACK HORNBILL (Anthracoceros malayanus) – The most common and widespread of the 'small' hornbills on the tour.

Participant Don Burlett got this wonderful close portrait of a Golden-naped Barbet that we saw in a small fig-tree.

ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Easily seen at Sukau.
WREATHED HORNBILL (Rhyticeros undulatus) – We had more of these than we usually see on this tour, including a surprising four birds seen flying off in the distance from the viewpoint at Mt. Kinabalu.
WRINKLED HORNBILL (Rhabdotorrhinus corrugatus) – Our looks of this one couldn't have been better along the Kinabatangan.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BLUE-EARED KINGFISHER (Alcedo meninting) – We typically see many more of these around Sukau, but I think the high water levels there had pushed many of them back inside the flooded forest.
RUFOUS-BACKED DWARF-KINGFISHER (Ceyx rufidorsa) – Superb views on our first morning at RDC.
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis) – Another kingfisher that's typically more common at Sukau, and I think the same thing was going on with this one, pushing many back inside the forest.
RUDDY KINGFISHER (Halcyon coromanda) – Great views of this shy species along the Menanggul R. on our first morning at Sukau.
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – We saw most of ours along the roadside in the oil palm plantations near Gomantong.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RED-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis amictus) [*]
BLUE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops viridis) – A common sight around the buildings at BRL.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – Mostly in the Sukau area on this tour.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
BROWN BARBET (Calorhamphus fuliginosus tertius) – Brown Barbet was recently split into two species, with this form on our tour being considered a Bornean endemic now. The other form, found on the Malay Peninsula and on Sumatra, is now called Sooty Barbet. [E]
BLUE-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon duvaucelii duvaucelii) – It is a little funny that this race of Blue-eared Barbet on Borneo doesn't have a blue ear at all, while the endemic Bornean Barbet (which looks more like the mainland form of Blue-eared) has an obvious blue ear!
BORNEAN BARBET (Psilopogon eximius) – By far, our looks at this one this year were my best ever in many trips to Borneo! What a look! [E]
RED-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon mystacophanos) – A calling male just above our heads along the roadside late one afternoon at BRL was particularly memorable!
GOLDEN-NAPED BARBET (Psilopogon pulcherrimus) – This was the second or third trip that I've been lucky enough to see that little fig next to the restaurant in fruit - our looks were incomparable! [E]
YELLOW-CROWNED BARBET (Psilopogon henricii) [*]
MOUNTAIN BARBET (Psilopogon monticola) – Very good looks in another fruiting fig in the Crocker Range. We did really well on the endemic barbets this trip - not always an easy task! [E]
GOLD-FACED BARBET (Psilopogon chrysopsis) – Another species that was recently split, yielding yet another endemic species for Borneo. This one was split from the Gold-whiskered Barbet of the mainland & Sumatra. [E]

We saw some impressive raptors, including this White-bellied Sea-Eagle. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RUFOUS PICULET (Sasia abnormis) – We found a really cooperative individual working a vine along the Menanggul R. near Sukau one morning for great looks!
SUNDA WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos moluccensis) – We were unlikely to see this regional specialty any place on the tour other than in that Kota Kinabalu park on the last afternoon.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – Outstanding flyby looks along the main BRL road.
BANDED WOODPECKER (Picus miniaceus) – Nice looks of a responsive pair along the Menanggul R. on our first morning there.
CRIMSON-WINGED WOODPECKER (Picus puniceus) – High in the tallest trees at the end of the BRL entrance road.
CHECKER-THROATED WOODPECKER (Picus mentalis) – A pair of these ornate woodpeckers were seen very well near the top of the Kinabalu NP road as we tried to track down our first Bare-headed Laughingthrushes.
OLIVE-BACKED WOODPECKER (Dinopium rafflesii) – We waited and waited for the adult to show up at the nest hole with the vocal youngster inside, but the adult never came. [N]
RUFOUS WOODPECKER (Micropternus brachyurus) [*]
BUFF-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes tristis) – A few fine looks, especially on that first morning at RDC.
BUFF-NECKED WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes tukki) – This one seems to be much more retiring than most of the other woodpeckers that we saw on this tour, often foraging quite low in the forest.

Guide Dave Stejskal captured this image of a Dusky Broadbill during our sighting along the Menanggul River.

MAROON WOODPECKER (Blythipicus rubiginosus) – We heard quite a few of these shy woodpeckers, but saw very few.
ORANGE-BACKED WOODPECKER (Reinwardtipicus validus) – I just took an educated guess which woodpecker we heard tapping along the Menanggul R. that first morning, and it turned out to be correct when two of these unusual woodpeckers flew in to give us a look.
GRAY-AND-BUFF WOODPECKER (Hemicircus concretus) – A couple of quick flyby looks overhead along the Menanggul R. The only field mark that we saw was the near complete lack of a tail!
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-FRONTED FALCONET (Microhierax latifrons) – The Menanggul R. was again the place for this tiny endemic falcon. Number 5000 for Don! Woo Hoo!!! [E]
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A perched bird was spotted by Hamit near the mouth of Gomantong Cave. Like us, it was waiting for the bats to emerge that evening.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
BLUE-RUMPED PARROT (Psittinus cyanurus) – Seen in the scope from the canopy walkway at BRL - our only sighting of the trip.
LONG-TAILED PARAKEET (Psittacula longicauda) – I was really surprised how few of these were detected along the Menanggul R., where they're usually quite common.
BLUE-NAPED PARROT (Tanygnathus lucionensis) – A nice addition to the list late in the tour. The population here was introduced many years ago from the Philippines and they're doing quite well along the immediate coast here. [I]
BLUE-CROWNED HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus galgulus) – 98% of our birds were just quick flybys.
Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)
GREEN BROADBILL (Calyptomena viridis) – I'd thought that we'd lost this one after we left BRL empty-handed, but we ended up with super scope looks at Poring Hot Springs.
WHITEHEAD'S BROADBILL (Calyptomena whiteheadi) – A couple of these were seen each morning roaming with the mixed flock along the road above our accommodations - and we saw them without ever using a recording! [E]

Participant Deb Finch photographs a Rafflesia in flower at Poring Hot Spring. This gives an idea of how large this flower was! Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
BLACK-AND-RED BROADBILL (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) – Fairly common and conspicuous along the Menanggul R. near Sukau. [N]
BANDED BROADBILL (Eurylaimus javanicus) – Including a couple of fledglings along the trail above Poring Hot Springs. [N]
BLACK-AND-YELLOW BROADBILL (Eurylaimus ochromalus) – Our most common and widespread species of broadbill on this tour.
DUSKY BROADBILL (Corydon sumatranus) – Our only sighting was of the flock along the Menanggul R. on our first morning at Sukau. Surprisingly, these were unrecorded at both Gomantong and BRL.
Pittidae (Pittas)
BLACK-CROWNED PITTA (Erythropitta ussheri) – This endemic has gone through a number of common name changes over the years, and the new name was the traditional name of a Sumatran endemic species - just to add to the confusion (that one's now called Graceful Pitta)! [E]
BLUE-BANDED PITTA (Erythropitta arquata) – We had this one pretty close, but it wouldn't quite come in close enough... [E*]
GIANT PITTA (Hydrornis caeruleus) [*]
BLUE-HEADED PITTA (Hydrornis baudii) – A walk along the Takala Trail at BRL finally produced the looks that we all wanted of this one! [E]
HOODED PITTA (Pitta sordida) – Our first pitta of the tour flew in rather high into a tree above us while we sat patiently in our boat along the Menanggul R.
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone sulphurea) [*]
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
LARGE WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis virgatus) – We eventually got good scope looks at this one in the canopy at Gomantong.
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – Briefly along the roadside in the Crocker Range.
BLACK-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus hirundinaceus) – Far fewer of these were seen this year than normal.
RUFOUS-WINGED PHILENTOMA (Philentoma pyrhoptera) – Great looks right next to the road at BRL.
MAROON-BREASTED PHILENTOMA (Philentoma velata) – Our walk through the Tropical Garden at Poring Hot Springs was pretty productive, with this one being one of the highlight species that we saw well.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
WHITE-BREASTED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus leucorynchus) – A regular along the roadsides on the wires.
Pityriaseidae (Bristlehead)
BORNEAN BRISTLEHEAD (Pityriasis gymnocephala) – Thanks to Azmil moving the truck for us, we were all able to see this charismatic Bornean endemic extremely well at BRL on that first full afternoon there! Thought to be taxonomically closest to the woodswallows, this endemic family has been anything but 'easy' to see on this tour in recent years. [E]
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia)
GREEN IORA (Aegithina viridissima) – Mostly found in disturbed habitats here.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – The race here, which is confined to the highlands, has a darker throat than the races on the mainland.
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – I was a little surprised to find this bird – and not the expected Gray-chinned – at the Masakob Waterfall pullout in the Crocker Range.
SUNDA CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina larvata) – We had some super views of this one just below the Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu Park on the final morning of the tour.
PIED TRILLER (Lalage nigra) – Nicely in the scope at the little seaside park in Kota Kinabalu on the final afternoon.
LESSER CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage fimbriata schierbrandi) – A common voice at BRL, but we saw only a couple of birds along the main road there.

The lovely Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker is an endemic species. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
BORNEAN WHISTLER (Pachycephala hypoxantha) – This one seemed to be particularly responsive when I whistled Collared Owlet in Kinabalu NP. [E]
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Only along the roadside in the oil palm plantation area near Sukau.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (BLYTH'S) (Pteruthius aeralatus robinsoni) – Rather surprisingly unresponsive this time. This one is a split from the White-browed Shrike-Babbler, and all of the shrike-babblers are now thought to be closely allied to the New World vireos!
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – Formerly called the White-bellied Yuhina and now placed with the vireos, too.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
DARK-THROATED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthonotus) – A few close birds at Poring Hot Springs gave us our best looks of the trip.
BLACK-AND-CRIMSON ORIOLE (Oriolus cruentus) – You need to get some elevation before this one appears. Good views in the Crocker Range and at Kinabalu NP.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
ASHY DRONGO (BORNEAN) (Dicrurus leucophaeus stigmatops) – This endemic race looks quite a bit like the widespread leucogenis race that winters in SE Asia; of course, this endemic race is resident.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – Actively flycatching along the roadside at BRL.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus borneensis) – This endemic race looks and behaves nothing like the birds that one sees in SE Asia. Clearly, this 'species' needs some serious revision.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus brachyphorus) – I think the bird we saw at RDC was in the process of building that nest, not actually incubating (it looked empty to me). This is yet another endemic race that differs markedly from the races I know on mainland SE Asia. [N]

We found this Bornean Blue Flycatcher at BRL. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
SPOTTED FANTAIL (Rhipidura perlata) – Excellent views on a couple of days at BRL. More of a forest species than the Malaysian Pied-Fantail.
MALAYSIAN PIED-FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica) – This one is now split from the birds in the Philippines.
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – A common member of the mixed flocks that we saw at Kinabalu NP. This is another species that you don't see at all on this tour until you gain some elevation.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – We heard more than we saw.
BLYTH'S PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone affinis) – Seeing that male flying below us from our perch on the BRL canopy walkway was really memorable! Asian Paradise-Flycatcher was recently split into three species, and this is the widespread breeding form across SE Asia and the Greater Sundas.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CRESTED JAY (Platylophus galericulatus) – After a very frustrating experience with a pair of these shy jays at BRL, it was nice to find a more cooperative pair at Poring Hot Springs. There are rumors about that this bird will be split off soon as the only member of a new monotypic family - so stand by...
BLACK MAGPIE (Platysmurus leucopterus aterrimus) – This one is a very good candidate for a split from the mainland form, in my opinion. Few of the vocalizations (any?) are shared with that one and it's morphologically and geographically very distinct.
BORNEAN GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa jefferyi) – Another recent split, this one was easy to see around the buildings at Kinabalu NP. [E]
BORNEAN TREEPIE (Dendrocitta cinerascens) – Once we got to the foothills of the Crocker Range, we recorded this endemic daily. [E]
SLENDER-BILLED CROW (SLENDER-BILLED) (Corvus enca compilator) – In all of our lowland venues on this tour.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PACIFIC SWALLOW (Hirundo tahitica) – Daily on this tour, and the only expected swallow species here at this season. [N]
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – Surprisingly scarce on this tour.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – Several great looks, especially at Kinabalu NP.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
PUFF-BACKED BULBUL (Pycnonotus eutilotus) – Ya know, it's pretty difficult to see an excited bird in the canopy while sitting in a boat!
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus atriceps) – Just a brief few birds along the Menanggul R. at Sukau for some.

One of THREE Colugos that we saw. These odd mammals "fly", using membranes that stretch between their legs much like flying squirrels do. Seeing one is special, but seeing three, as we did, is amazing! Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

STRAW-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) – Great views of a responsive pair! This attractive species is now Endangered throughout its range due to the cage-bird trade.
BORNEAN BULBUL (Pycnonotus montis) – This foothill endemic species was rather easy to see at our first stop in the Crocker Range. A recent split from Black-crested Bulbul. [E]
SCALY-BREASTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus squamatus) – We never could get very close to that fruiting fig tree off of the road at BRL but most, if not all, managed a look at this one in the scopes.
GRAY-BELLIED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cyaniventris) – A single bird in the same fruiting fig as the above Scaly-breasted Bulbuls was the only one we detected.
FLAVESCENT BULBUL (PALE-FACED) (Pycnonotus flavescens leucops) – Another prime candidate for a split from the forms on the mainland (some already split it out).
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier) – Widespread in all of the disturbed habitats of the lowlands.
CREAM-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus simplex) – The fact that the birds here have red, not white, eyes makes them more difficult to pick out from the similar Red-eyed Bulbuls.
RED-EYED BULBUL (Pycnonotus brunneus) – Common throughout the lowlands. [N]
SPECTACLED BULBUL (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos) – A very common voice in the lowlands on this tour, but we actually saw very few.
HAIRY-BACKED BULBUL (Tricholestes criniger) [*]
FINSCH'S BULBUL (Alophoixus finschii) – One of the under appreciated prizes of the BRL area is this scarce bulbul. To date, BRL is the only place in the world where I've seen this one!
OCHRACEOUS BULBUL (Alophoixus ochraceus) – The endemic subspecies here are much richer in coloration than the mainland forms, and also sound notably different than the birds on the mainland. Another prime candidate for a split, in my opinion!
GRAY-CHEEKED BULBUL (Alophoixus bres) – Most of these were seen in the BRL area.
YELLOW-BELLIED BULBUL (Alophoixus phaeocephalus) – Good views in the Gomantong Forest Reserve and at BRL. Pretty shy for a bulbul!
BUFF-VENTED BULBUL (Iole olivacea) – A few good looks at this very uniform species.
STREAKED BULBUL (Ixos malaccensis) – Surprisingly scarce at times, we finally did get a decent look at a couple of these birds feeding on some fruit above our heads at BRL.
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
BORNEAN STUBTAIL (Urosphena whiteheadi) – Ah, if only all of them could behave as well as this little guy! Incredible looks! [E]
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) [*]
SUNDA BUSH-WARBLER (Horornis vulcanius) – One of the few bush-warblers anywhere that actually comes out for a look!
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
MOUNTAIN WARBLER (MOUNTAIN) (Phylloscopus trivirgatus kinabaluensis) – Our only expected Phylloscopus warbler at this season here.
YELLOW-BREASTED WARBLER (Seicercus montis) – Several great looks at this beautiful little gem!
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – Very close looks at this giant 'warbler' along the roadside on our way back to Kota Kinabalu on the final day.

The Black-and-yellow Broadbill is common in Borneo. Photo by participant Don Burlett.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Excellent studies at Gomantong Forest Reserve.
ASHY TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus ruficeps) – A common voice in all of the lowland forest venues.
RUFOUS-TAILED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sericeus) – Another common voice, but we rarely saw it.
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – The only species of prinia on the island of Borneo.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CRESTED YUHINA (Yuhina everetti) – One of the most prevalent of the highland forest species that we saw. [E]
PYGMY WHITE-EYE (Oculocincta squamifrons) – Not much to look at, we did get some good views of it along the roadside in the Crocker Range. [E]
MOUNTAIN BLACK-EYE (Chlorocharis emiliae) – We had to give it a couple of tries at Gunung Alab due to the rain there, but we prevailed both there and at Kinabalu NP this year. [E]
BLACK-CAPPED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops atricapilla) – The one 'proper' white-eye on the tour - i.e. one that's in the genus Zosterops.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
BOLD-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis bornensis) – Surprisingly difficult to nail down! This one has been split from the more widespread Pin-striped Tit-Babbler. It used to be known as the Striped Tit-Babbler before the split.
FLUFFY-BACKED TIT-BABBLER (Macronus ptilosus) – The Gomantong Forest is usually a very good place to see this skulker.
CHESTNUT-WINGED BABBLER (Cyanoderma erythropterum) – Outstanding views of one of the most widespread of the babblers on this tour.
RUFOUS-FRONTED BABBLER (Cyanoderma rufifrons) – Poor views at BRL.
CHESTNUT-BACKED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus montanus) – This one came in from a long way off to give us some exceptional views along the BRL road one afternoon.
BLACK-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigricollis) – Unfortunately for us, this was a rather typical response from this shy species.
CHESTNUT-RUMPED BABBLER (Stachyris maculata) – Another common voice in the lowland forests on the tour.
GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – The only 'easy' babbler in the highlands here. Much easier to see here than on mainland SE Asia.
GRAY-HEADED BABBLER (Stachyris poliocephala) [*]
WHITE-NECKED BABBLER (Stachyris leucotis) – We were very fortunate to be able to lure this local species in for a look at BRL. Like most skulking babbler species, this one proved to be difficult to see well.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
MOUSTACHED BABBLER (Malacopteron magnirostre) – Don, and maybe a couple of others, saw this one on our final morning at BRL.
SOOTY-CAPPED BABBLER (Malacopteron affine) – Pretty common and confiding at Gomantong and BRL.
SCALY-CROWNED BABBLER (Malacopteron cinereum) – Excellent looks of a family group of these along the Gomantong Caves boardwalk. [N]
RUFOUS-CROWNED BABBLER (Malacopteron magnum) – Nice looks, eventually, at BRL.
BLACK-CAPPED BABBLER (Pellorneum capistratum) – Nicely seen along the path on our first morning at RDC.
TEMMINCK'S BABBLER (Pellorneum pyrrogenys) [*]

We had some marvelous looks at Orangutans; some of them had wonderful looks at us as well! Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

SHORT-TAILED BABBLER (Pellorneum malaccense) – Surprisingly tricky this year!
WHITE-CHESTED BABBLER (Pellorneum rostratum) – Almost always around water and approaching 'abundant' status along the Menanggul R.
FERRUGINOUS BABBLER (Pellorneum bicolor) [*]
STRIPED WREN-BABBLER (Kenopia striata) – This normally shy species got up quite a bit higher in a tree to sing than I typically see it. Still, good looks in the scopes.
BORNEAN WREN-BABBLER (Ptilocichla leucogrammica) – We found a very cooperative individual along the Hornbill Trail at BRL, giving all of us good views! [E]
HORSFIELD'S BABBLER (Turdinus sepiarius) – I'm often surprised at how similar this one can sound to the Ferruginous Babbler.
BLACK-THROATED WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus atrigularis) – That first pair that we tried for along the road at BRL proved to be a near bust, but we found another pair that cooperated better along the Hornbill Trail. [E]
MOUNTAIN WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus crassus) – This was the first bird that we tried for - and saw - at the start of the Silau-Silau Trail at Kinabalu NP on our first morning there. [E]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
BROWN FULVETTA (Alcippe brunneicauda) – This drab bird is quite atypical for an Alcippe, and I doubt that it belongs in that genus.
SUNDA LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax palliatus) – These were often out in the open foraging in the trees or on the ground at Kinabalu NP. They can be much more difficult to see...
BARE-HEADED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax calvus) – After numerous tries to find these strange birds, we finally struck gold just below the Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu NP. [E]
CHESTNUT-HOODED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla treacheri treacheri) – We certainly ran into this laughingthrush more than the others at Kinabalu. [E]
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – We found a few of these in the lowland venues, but it was by no means common anywhere.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – All of our birds were the nearly all-black endemic race C.s. adamsi, with the white undertail coverts.
RUFOUS-TAILED SHAMA (Copsychus pyrropygus) – grrrr.... [*]

These Buff-rumped Woodpeckers were fun to see. They were one of 13 woodpecker species that we saw. Photo by participant Don Burlett.

WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (WHITE-CROWNED) (Copsychus malabaricus stricklandii) – All of the birds in Sabah that I've seen are this very distinctive form, which used to be split from the longer-tailed White-rumped Shama.
PALE BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis unicolor) – We spotted a male feeding a spotted juvenile bird from the canopy walkway at BRL. [N]
LONG-BILLED BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis caerulatus) – Good looks at both a male and a female at BRL.
MALAYSIAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis turcosus) – We had many of these in the Sukau area, and a confiding pair at BRL next to the Danum R. as well.
BORNEAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis superbus) – Excellent studies of a close male on the Trogon Trail at BRL. [E]
INDIGO FLYCATCHER (Eumyias indigo) – We had several stunning views of this beauty along the roadside at Kinabalu NP. A close relative of the Verditer Flycatcher.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – Amazingly scarce this year!
EYEBROWED JUNGLE-FLYCATCHER (Vauriella gularis) – There are still a bunch of birds in Asia called 'Jungle-Flycatchers', but most of them have been removed from the old genus Rhinomyias and placed into Cyornis. A few birds in the Philippines, and this one, were moved to the new genus Vauriella. [E]
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana erythrogyna) – Excellent views of a responsive male along the Silau-Silau Trail at Kinabalu NP. I really think that some taxonomic revision needs to be done with this widespread 'species'.
BORNEAN WHISTLING-THRUSH (Myophonus borneensis) – A rather common roadside sight at Kinabalu NP. [E]
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (WHITE-CROWNED) (Enicurus leschenaulti frontalis) – We flushed one of these from the roadside at BRL one morning. These lowland birds will likely be split from the larger highland birds sometime soon.
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (BORNEAN) (Enicurus leschenaulti borneensis) – Very similar to the birds in the lowlands, but the white in the crown is limited to the forecrown.
CHESTNUT-NAPED FORKTAIL (Enicurus ruficapillus) – Excellent views in the scopes of a bird near the end of the BRL road one morning.
SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra sumatrana) – Wilbur spotted our best male along the roadside at Gunung Alab in the Crocker Range.
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – This one is throughout the highlands of all of s. Asia.
RUFOUS-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula dumetoria) – That male at Gomantong Forest Reserve just wouldn't sit still long enough for all of us to see him, but the bird on the Trogon Trail at BRL was fantastic!
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EVERETT'S THRUSH (Zoothera everetti) – WOO HOO!!!! Got him on our return bus ride down the hill before breakfast! One of the toughest of the Bornean endemics along our route. [E]
FRUIT-HUNTER (Chlamydochaera jefferyi) – Talk about frustrating! We had a responsive pair in the Crocker Range, but they got a little too excited and disappeared after a couple of passes overhead. Darn it! [E]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
ASIAN GLOSSY STARLING (Aplonis panayensis) – The streaky immatures always throw people at first.
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – A few good looks at Gomantong Forest Reserve.
JAVAN MYNA (Acridotheres javanicus) – Common along the roadsides in the lowlands. [I]
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
GREATER GREEN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis sonnerati) – Except for the size difference, the males of this and the next are nearly identical. Females are more straight forward.
LESSER GREEN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cyanopogon) – Very close while we were up in the canopy walkway at BRL.
BORNEAN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis kinabaluensis) – A relatively recent split from the Blue-winged Leafbird and only seen on this year's tour in the Crocker Range. [E]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus maculatus) – Around the buildings at BRL.
YELLOW-RUMPED FLOWERPECKER (Prionochilus xanthopygius) – A few good looks at this fancy little endemic flowerpecker. [E]
YELLOW-VENTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum chrysorrheum) – One of these proved difficult to see in the fruiting fig along the BRL road - until it moved.

Another odd "flying" creature from Borneo is Wallace's Flying Frog. We had a fascinating encounter with this pair that was copulating; the female was producing the large egg mass hanging beneath the pair. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

ORANGE-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum trigonostigma) – Surprisingly scarce this year.
BLACK-SIDED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum monticolum) – They really seemed to love those pink flowered shrubs along the roadside at Kinabalu NP. [E]
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – I think Joan and I were the only ones to see this one as we walked back to the bus from the Rafflesia viewing.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – This tiny warbler-like sunbird was seen at a couple of our lowland venues.
PLAIN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes simplex) – Even that adult male we saw was pretty plain! [N]
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes malacensis) – Sometimes called Brown-throated Sunbird (and sometimes split from gray-throated birds in the Philippines), this one is quite similar to the next species, but it usually occurs in more disturbed habitats.
RED-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes rhodolaemus) – If you can't see the red throat, or if you've got a female, the dull yellow underparts are a pretty good mark when separating this one from the above Plain-throated.
VAN HASSELT'S SUNBIRD (Leptocoma brasiliana) – Now split from the birds in the Philippines, which retain the Purple-throated Sunbird common name.
COPPER-THROATED SUNBIRD (Leptocoma calcostetha) – We had a close pair of these in the parking lot at RDC. I usually associate this one with mangroves, but they do venture into disturbed habitats here.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – Mostly in disturbed roadside edge here.
TEMMINCK'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga temminckii) – This is THE sunbird in the highlands here, but I have seen it several times now at BRL. We had a nice male there early one morning at the far end of the road.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – Just a couple of birds on this tour, including a nice close adult male that first day.
THICK-BILLED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera crassirostris) – We often miss this one, so it was nice to see it so well on our first morning at RDC.
LONG-BILLED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera robusta) – A couple of folks saw this one from the BRL canopy walkway, but it got away from us before everybody got on it.
LITTLE SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera longirostra) – Easily the most common and widespread of the spiderhunters on this tour.
PURPLE-NAPED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera hypogrammicum) – Heard far more often than seen. This one was recently placed with the spiderhunters and used to be in the monotypic genus Hypogramma.
SPECTACLED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera flavigaster) – We had some really good looks at this one feeding in the tree that often attracts Whitehead's Spiderhunter in the Crocker Range.
BORNEAN SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera everetti) – Excellent views of this one feeding on nectar at BRL (spiderhunters are primarily nectarivores). [E]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus malayensis) – A few on the short grass at the Lahad Datu airport. Sometimes called Oriental Pipit.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) [I]
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – I'm not sure when these were introduced to Borneo, but they seem to be doing well in the Sepilok area. [IN]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
DUSKY MUNIA (Lonchura fuscans) – The road edge at BRL was the best place for this endemic on the tour. [E]
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – A family group at our ice cream stop on the last afternoon of the tour. [N]

This Little Spiderhunter is looking for nectar deep in the flower. Photo by participant Don Burlett.

CHESTNUT MUNIA (Lonchura atricapilla) – Common in the lowlands around Kota Kinabalu.

COLUGO (Cynocephalus variegatus) – I usually feel pretty lucky if we can see one of these weird mammals on this tour. Seeing THREE was pretty amazing!
LARGE FLYING FOX (Pteropus vampyrus) – We saw a couple of these on nocturnal visits to the Menanggul R.
LESSER SHORT-NOSED FRUIT BAT (Cynopterus brachyotis) – A couple of these roosting under the eaves of the buildings at Gomantong Caves.
WRINKLE-LIPPED FREE-TAILED BAT (Chaerephon plicatus) – We spent time at Gomantong on two late afternoons/early evenings and never witnessed these bats emerge form the caves, but we certainly saw numbers of them roosting on the ceiling of the main chamber.
MOUNTAIN TREESHREW (Tupaia montana) – This was the treeshrew that we saw at Kinabalu NP that had the fuller hairy tail. [E]
LESSER TREESHREW (Tupaia minor) – A close individual along the boardwalk at Gomantong Caves.
SMOOTH-TAILED TREESHREW (Dendrogale melanura) – This was the treeshrew at Kinabalu that had a nearly naked tail. [E]
SLOW LORIS (Nycticebus cougang) – We had excellent views of a close animal along the Menanggul R. one night at Sukau. The Phillipps mammal guide for Borneo splits Slow Loris into 5 or six species and it looks like the one we saw was the non-endemic Philippine Slow Loris (Nycticebus menagensis).
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – Also called Long-tailed Macaque, these primates were the most common monkey, by far, in the lowlands.
PIGTAIL MACAQUE (Macaca nemestrina) – Quite a bit heftier than his crab-eating cousin.
SILVERED LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis cristata) – This one is getting tougher and tougher to find on this tour.
RED LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis rubicunda) – Easily the most common of the two leaf monkeys. [E]
PROBOSCIS MONKEY (Nasalis larvatus) – For unknown reasons, we saw fewer of these highly specialized and endemic primates than I've ever seen on any prior tour here. [E]

The spectacular Rhinoceros Hornbill was one of the birds we saw every day when we were in the lowlands. Photo by participant Don Burlett.

GRAY GIBBON (Hylobates muelleri) – Never really that close. [E*]
ORANGUTAN (Pongo pygmaeus) – I'm usually thrilled to get two or three of these charismatic great apes on this tour, but to see FOURTEEN of them throughout the trip was truly astonishing! [E]
PALE GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa affinis) – The only ones that we saw on this trip were at RDC on the first morning.
PREVOST'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus prevostii) – Ubiquitous in the lowlands.
PLANTAIN SQUIRREL (Callosciurus notatus) – Just a couple of these widespread SE Asian squirrels.
BORNEAN BLACK-BANDED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus orestes) – It was pretty clear that somebody had been feeding these endemic squirrels up at the Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu NP. [E]
JENTINK'S SQUIRREL (Sundasciurus jentincki) – One of the most common forest canopy squirrels in the highlands. [E]
BORNEAN MOUNTAIN GROUND-SQUIRREL (Dremomys everetti) – A couple of these uniformly dark ground-squirrels crossed paths with us on Mt. Kinabalu. [E]
PLAIN PYGMY SQUIRREL (Exilisciurus exilis) – This tiny endemic squirrel is less than 5 inches in total length! There are mice bigger than this thing! [E]
WHITEHEAD'S PYGMY SQUIRREL (Exilisciurus whiteheadi) – Another tiny one, this is one of the "Whitehead's" that folks often miss on this tour. [E]
RED GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL (Petaurista petaurista) – That black tail tip is the best feature to help separate this one from the very similar Thomas's Flying Squirrel.
THOMAS'S FLYING SQUIRREL (Aeromys thomasi) – Excellent looks at this one from the back of the truck at BRL on our night drives. [E]
SUNDA STINK BADGER (Mydaus javanensis) – One along the edge of the road at Gomantong Forest Reserve was my first ever!
MALAY CIVET (Viverra tangalunga) – We had a quick look at this one on our first night drive at BRL just before arriving back at the lodge.
SMALL-TOOTHED PALM CIVET (Arctogalidia trivirgata) – This is one of the more common arboreal civets that one encounters at BRL on the night drives.
BINTURONG (Arctictis binturong) – Great looks at this one feeding in the fruiting fig tree just off of the road at BRL on our first full afternoon there. Only the fourth or fifth one that I've ever seen anywhere!
LEOPARD CAT (Felis bengalensis) – We had stopped to look at something else when Azmil spotted this one sitting on the edge of the road ahead of the truck! I see this one at BRL surprisingly frequently.
BEARDED PIG (Sus barbatus) – I think our best were the ones that we saw along the roadside on our way to BRL from Lahad Datu.
LESSER MOUSE DEER (Tragulus javanicus) – We saw this one just as we were pulling in to the lodge on our first night drive at BRL. This tiny deer is often seen quite close to the lodge at night.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor) – A couple of these big forest deer at BRL.
COMMON HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus)
WALLACE'S FLYING FROG (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus (Rhacophoridae)) – One of the more fascinating discoveries on our 2nd night drive at BRL was this pair copulating and laying eggs in a huge white mass onto a branch overhanging a roadside pool. Azmil informed us that the eggs would hatch in a few days and the tadpoles would then drop into the pool, where they'd develop into adults.
FILE-EARED TREEFROG (Polypedates otilophus (Rhacophoridae)) [*]
GREEN PADDY FROG (Hylarana erythraea (Ranidae)) – These were the tiny frogs that seemed to be everywhere on the floating vegetation at the little Kota Kinabalu park that we visited on the final afternoon.
CRESTED GREEN LIZARD (Bronchocela cristatella) – I forget who it was who saw this one with Azmil at BRL...
HORNED FLYING LIZARD (Draco cornutus) – We saw a couple of different species of Draco on this tour; this was the bright green individual that we saw from the RDC canopy walkway.
FLYING LIZARD SP. (Draco sp.) – We likely saw multiple species of Draco on this tour.
ORNATE EARLESS AGAMA (Aphaniotis ornata) – This was the lizard that Azmil showed to some that he called the Bornean Leaf-nosed Lizard.
SMITH'S GIANT GECKO (Gekko smithii ) – We heard a bunch of these big geckos and saw a few hiding in the shaded recesses of some of the lodge buildings.
ROUGH-SCALED BROWN SKINK (Eutropis rudis) – Azmil pointed out this common forest skink to us at the start of the BRL canopy walkway.
WATER MONITOR (Varanus salvator) – Mostly seen around Sukau, but we had a couple of them at BRL as well. We did see several of moderate size - but I've seen bigger.
GRAY-TAILED RACER (Gonyosoma oxycephalum) – This beautiful bright yellow snake – with a gray tail – was found roosting in an overhanging tree above the Menanggul R. on one of our canoe rides there.
Other Creatures of Interest
RAFFLESIA (PORING) (Rafflesia keithii) – One of the highlights of our visit to the Poring Hot Springs area was seeing this particularly large individual flower near the entrance to the park (the largest individual flower that I've seen for this species ever!). [E]
PITCHER PLANT SP. (Nepenthes stenophylla) – We saw a few different species in cultivation at Gunung Alab substation in the Crocker Range, but none of them were labeled. [E]
PITCHER PLANT SP. (Nepenthes fusca) [E]
PITCHER PLANT SP. (Nepenthes tentaculata)
BROWN LEECH (Haemadipsa zyelanica) – The smaller and less colorful of the two leech species that we saw on this tour.
TIGER LEECH (Haemadipsa picta) – We found some pretty large individuals on the ground, in bushes - and on us. The trail system at BRL was clearly the best place to encounter these on the tour.
LIME GREEN SNAIL (Rhinocochlis nasuta) – We found an empty one along our walk on the Trogon Trail at BRL.
BORNEAN PILL MILLIPEDE (Glomeris connexa) – This millipede looks like a giant version of the familiar Common Pill Bug (Armadillidium vulgare), which itself is a terrestrial crustacean!
LONG-LEGGED CENTIPEDES (Scutigera spp.) – Quite a few on the walls of the Gomantong Cave.
GIANT FOREST ANT (Camponotus gigas) – This was a good-sized solitary ant that we saw in the lowland forest venues - but it's dwarfed by the Bullet Ant of the Neotropics.
COMMON BIRDWING (Tioides helena (Papilionidae)) – This one seemed to be the most common of the spectacular birdwing butterflies that we encountered on this trip.
RAJAH BROOKE'S BIRDWING (Trogonoptera brookiana (Papilionidae)) – One of Ahmet's biggest target species on this tour (maybe the #1 target?), and we were teased with quick looks at BRL of this beautiful endemic butterfly. It wasn't until we made our trip to lowland Poring Hot Springs at the end of the tour that we had our best looks at this one.
COMMON TREE NYMPH (WOOD NYMPH) (Idea stolli (Nymphalidae)) – Seemingly made of tissue paper, we enjoyed a number of these big butterflies crossing the forest openings in the lowlands.
CLIPPER BUTTERFLY (Parthenos sylvia (Nymphalidae)) – One of the most common of the lowland butterfly species was this blue, black, and white species.
LYSSA MOTH (Lyssa zampa (Uraniidae)) – This was the giant gray and white swallow-tailed moth species that we saw around some of the lighted areas at the lowland lodges.


Totals for the tour: 292 bird taxa and 33 mammal taxa