Monday, April 14, 2014

Sandakan Borneo Bird Club AGM 19th (Saturday) April 2014

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rare and notable bird sightings in Sabah - 4th Quarters 2013

The list shows the notable bird sightings in Sabah in the forth quarter of 2013, feel free to email me if I miss out anything.

A Word file with links to the relevant images is at Borneo Bird Images Document list.

Happy birding.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rare and notable bird sightings in Sabah - 2nd & 3rd Quarters 2013

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The list shows the notable bird sightings in Sabah in the second and third quarters of 2013, feel free to email me if I miss out anything.

A Word file with links to the relevant images is at Borneo Bird Images Document list.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


BRUNEI AND SABAH 31st May - 9th  June 2013 

With an area of 743,330 (km2) (287,000 sq. miles) is the third-largest island in the world after Greenland 2,130,800 (km2), New Guinea 785,753 (km2With a population of 19.8million (2012) - the island is divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the north occupy about 26% of the island. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo's land area and the wealthiest of all.

Surrounded with four seas - The South China Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea and Java Sea. Borneo are multi-cultural and have several large ethnic group, the diverse communities practice different religions, cultures and traditions, and speak their own languages and local dialects. Though the island modernizes, certain rituals and special ceremonial occasions are performed, one can still observe the rich custom and tradition and experience their special local festivals.
Bahasa Malaysia is the national language in both Sarawak and Sabah, but English is widely spoken. 

Boasts of a long tradition with the world's longest serving family monarchy, the indigenous communities are the Malay, Kedayan, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya, Dusun and Murut, which collectively make up 67.6% of the population. The Chinese constitute a significant percentage of the population (14.9%). Other main indigenous groups include the Iban, Dayak and Kelabit (5.9%). The population is predominantly Muslim, and Malay is the official language.

With 30 ethnic races and more than 80 local dialect, the Kadazan-Dusun tribes make up a third of the population and pre-dominantly Christians, occupying most of the west coast and interior regions of the State.  On the east coast with a majority Muslim, includes Bajau, Orang Sungai, Brunei, Bugis  and Suluk. Other tribes include, the Murut, Rungus, Lotud, Kadayan, Cocos and Bisaya.
The Bajaus are the second largest indigenous group who came to Sabah around the 18th century from the Southern Philippines.
The Muruts are the third largest indigenous group, live mostly in the South West region of Sabah and remote parts of the interior in Keningau, Tenom and Pensiangan.
The Chinese form the largest non-indigenous group, the Hakka, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, Hainanese, Henghua and the Indians constitute a minority.

With 25 ethnic group, the Ibans (Dayaks) -- the legendary headhunters of Borneo -- constitute the biggest ethnic group (29.6 %) in Sarawak. The Ibans are originally from Kalimantan, and so their culture and traditions as observed in Sarawak are very similar to the Dayaks in Kalimantan. The second biggest group is the Chinese (29.1%), followed by the Malays (20.7%). Other main ethnic groups are the Bidayuh, Melanau, Penan, Orang Ulu (with several sub-groups e.g. the Kayan, Kenyah, and Kelabit) and Indians.

 Diivided into Central, South, East, and West Kalimantan, Kalimantan is
a multicultural state with over 20 different ethnic groups. The largest ethnic group are the Dayaks, followed by the Malays and the Chinese, Madurese and other Indonesian ethnic groups.

The rainforest is 130 million years old, making it the oldest rainforest in the world. It shelters 13 primate species, 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and more than 680 species of resident and migratory birds.... 
Scientists have discovered more than 123 new species in the Heart of Borneo area during the past 3 years – an average of more than 3 new species per month
In 2010, new to science was the ‘Spectacled Flowerpecker’ discovered in the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah

For the first time, we  launched the international Borneo Bird Race 2013, where 7 countries and 8 Bird Clubs in Asia, travelled more than 1000 kilometres in search of more than 400 species of birds in a wide range of habitats from the coastal regions, freshwater swamps, lowland forests, to the hills and mountain ranges of Sabah and Brunei. The team enjoyed the beauty of this land as they counted the numbers of recorded species, and the longest list earned the prestigious “Bornean Bristlehead Trophy”. The event was jointly organised by Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, Brunei Tourism and Sabah Tourism Board.

About Brunei Darussalam
Brunei is located on the northern shore of the Island of Borneo, between longitudes 11404 and 11423 East and latitudes 400 and 505 North. Brunei, although occupying less than 1% of Borneos land area, is the only sovereign country on the island, which it shares with the Indonesian provinces of West, East, South and Central Kalimantan and the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. During the 15th and 17th centuries, the Sultanate of Brunei extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the Philippines. Due to colonial expansion of European powers and piracy, Brunei suffered a short period of decline but in 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate and was granted full independence in 1984. With the discovery of petroleum and natural gas fields Brunei have benefited greatly and these natural resources made Brunei one of the highest per capita GDP in the less developed countries. The Royal Family has now ruled in Brunei for over six centuries. The capital Bandar Seri Begawan is the centre of Brunei’s commerce, finance and government. In many ways, it is also the heart of Brunei’s cultural landscape, housing some of the nation’s most revered landmarks. The city’s breathtaking Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is a stunning tribute to the nation’s deep-rooted faith, while the truly Bruneian Kampong Ayer water village offers a glimpse of the nation’s quaint Asian charm. Beneath Bandar Seri Begawan’s lavish adornments, gold towers, sparkling fountains and colourful mosaic tiles, lies a city steeped in quiet respect, grounded in Islamic tradition, and exuding a sense of peace that makes it one of Asia’s most distinctive capital cities.

Birding in Brunei
Birding in Brunei can range from a couple of hours to several days and could involve staying in luxurious 5-star accommodation to camping in the rainforest. In the Brunei highlands, bordering the Malaysian state of Sarawak, birds are quite common, though the logistics of getting to some of the areas can be  challenging during the monsoon season. It is blessed for having the most pristine rainforest in Borneo, making the Brunei lowland rainforest as one of the richest habitat and diverse species in the world. Here, 15,000 species of plants and 2,000 species of trees. More than 300 resident species of birds including hornbills, barbets, babblers, sunbirds, spiderhunters, leafbirds, trogons and floor dwellers like pheasants, pittas and wren babblers. Along the coastal coastal and riverine, that include fresh water swamps and mangrove forests. These places are crucial for the survival of species such as the threatened Storm’s Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Cinnamon Headed Pigeon, Bornean Bristlehead, Bornean Ground Cuckoo and Straw Headed Bulbul. Other birds such as the Ruddy Kingfisher and the Hook Billed Bulbul depend on the health of the mangrove forest, including the Brunei River, Seria River Estuary, Belait River, Tasek Merimbun, Luagan Lalak and Temburong River.

Organizing Committee

Field Committee, Steward and Adjudicator 2013

Brunei Leg
Delegates and Organisers of Borneo Bird Race 2013 at Empire hotel and Country Club Brunei
Arrival and briefing
Opening Ceremony & Launching of
1st Brunei Darussalam Nature Festival, Bird Watching in Brunei and
1st Borneo Bird Race
Jetty, Brunei
Riverboat journey to Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Ulu-ulu resort, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
'Stairway to heaven' at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
View at the Canopy walkway, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Canopy walkway at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
View at the Canopy walkway, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Ulu Ulu Resort, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei

About Sabah
Sabah is one of the thirteen states in Malaysia, the largest state and shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan. Sabah is richly blessed with unique cultures, beautiful beaches, fantastic cuisines and rich nature diversity from the world’s largest flower - the Rafflesia, one of the highest mountains is South East Asia - Mount Kinabalu, to one of the world’s top dive sites - Sipadan Island. Malaysia’s region of Borneo is called East Malaysia or Malaysian Borneo. Once known as North Borneo, Sabah was under the British colony during the late 19th century till the early 20th century. Sabah gained its independence through Malaysia on September 16, 1963. At 76,115 square kilometers large, Sabah is the second biggest state in Malaysia after Sarawak.

Birding in Sabah
Sabah has a remarkable range of habitats from montane forest to peat swamp, lowland rainforest to interior plains, and from the largest floodplain in Malaysia to coastal regions. The best way to start a birding holiday in Sabah is to travel east from the capital Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park and across the central mountain range to Sandakan and the massive Kinabatangan Floodplain. From there, travel south-east to the wildlife and nature reserves of Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Tawau Hills Park. A total of 688 resident and migratory species of birds have been recorded for Borneo, with 54 endemic species. Of major interest is the fact that 24 of these endemic species are found on either Sabah’s hill slopes or in its montane forest. The number of montane species is so significant that Mt Kinabalu, at 4,095m and one of the highest mountains in South East Asia is regarded as a distribution centre for all but one of Borneo’s montane birds

Sabah Leg
Launching of the 5th Borneo Bird Festival 2013 with Datuk Masidi Manjun - Minister of Tourism Culture and Environment Sabah

Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Kinabalu  Park, Sabah

Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah

Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah
Canopy walkway at Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah
Canopy walkway at Rainforest Discover Centre (RDC), Sabah
View at the Canopy walkway at Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah

Participant’s visit to Sunbear Centre Sepilok, Sandakan
Participant’s visit to Orangutan Centre, Sandakan

Champion & Sabah Leg Winner
1st Place
Wild Bird Club of the Philippines with 148 species
2nd Place
Nature Society Singapore with 144 Species
3rd Place
Bird Conservation Society of Thailand with 136 species
Brunei Leg
1st Place - The Wild Birds Taiwan - 81 Species

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Copyright Borneo Bird Race 2013 © Compilation by Cede Prudente

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