Sabah and Sarawak - Brief Trip Report

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Sabah and Sarawak - Brief Trip Report
From: "Gil Langfield" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 12:51:24 +1000
My wife and I had a two-week holiday recently in the above states of Borneo.
My wife is not a keen birdo so that not all of the time was birding.  We
flew to Kota Kianabalu (KK) from Melbourne via Sydney (AA is about to
discontinue this service) and from there flew to Kuching in Sarawak as well
as to Lahad Datu in eastern Sabah.  We had some time in beach resorts near
KK, two nights in Bako National Park near Kuching and four nights at the
Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley.  The only birdwatchers we met
were Gabrielle and John Barkla and Michael Seyfort, all from Melbourne, who
were both at Bako and Danum Valley.

I used "A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali",
MacKinnon & Phillips, OUP, reprinted 1999 (now out of print?) and "A Field
Guide to the Mammals of Borneo", Payne, Francis & Phillips, The Sabah
Society, KK, reprinted 1998 as well as very detailed notes by Roger McGovern
from his trip in 2001.

I had seen about 100 bird species in Borneo before in very short holidays
after business in Miri and Brunei.  I added about another 50 to my Borneo
list but I was disappointed that I had seen all but 10 of these before in
other parts of S E Asia.  Highlights were 3 Great Argus, Rhinoceros,
Helmeted, Black and Bushy-crested Hornbills, Buffy Fish Owl, Garnet Pitta
and a possible Great-billed Heron at Danum Valley.  We also saw Forest
Wagtail at Bako NP.

I saw Mynas in the town centres of both Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, but had
trouble making them into Crested Myna, which is supposed to be the smaller
black Myna in Borneo.  The base of the bill was not red and I wondered
whether Javan or White-vented Myna had become established from escapes.

This was the first trip in which I saw more new animals than birds, 15 in
all including Orang-utan, Bornean Gibbon, Proboscis & Red Leaf Monkeys,
Pig-tailed Macaque, Red Giant and Black Flying Squirrels, Plain Pygmy
Squirrel, Bearcat, Common & Smooth-toothed Palm Civets, Flying Lemur at both
Baku and Danum Valley, Bearded Pig at Bako, Sambar Deer at both Baku and
Danum Valley and two Hairy-nosed (?) Otters bounding across the ninth
fairway at the Rasa Ria Golf Course.

Please contact me if you require further information.

Gil Langfield
Melbourne, Australia

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