Malaysia: Borneo, Sabah –  Sabah Classic Set Departure Tour Trip Report, October 2022



By Andrew Walker


Our tour of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo started in Kota Kinabalu on the 27th of September 2022, visited the Croker Ranges National Park, Kinabalu National Park, Poring Hot Springs, Sepliok Rainforest Discovery Center (Sepilok RDC), Kinabatangan River, and the Danum Valley, where we stayed in the glorious Borneo Rainforest Lodge. The tour ended at Lahad Datu on the evening of the 8th of October 2022. 

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

We saw many spectacular Bornean endemics on the tour, such as Crimson-headed Partridge.

We recorded 271 species (nine heard only) and enjoyed a long list of Bornean endemic birds during the tour (almost 50 species on current taxonomy). Some of the endemic highlights seen included Crimson-headed Partridge, Red-breasted Partridge, Bornean Bristlehead, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Whitehead’s Trogon, Whitehead’s Broadbill, Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, Everett’s Thrush, Fruithunter, Black-crowned Pitta, Bornean Green Magpie, Bornean Forktail, White-fronted Falconet, Bornean Barbet, Mountain Barbet, Golden-naped Barbet, Pale-faced Bulbul, Bornean Bulbul, Bornean Stubtail, Bornean Wren-Babbler, Mountain Wren-Babbler, Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher, Bornean Blue Flycatcher, and Mountain Black-eye.

There were many non-endemic highlights too, like Storm’s Stork, Helmeted Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Diard’s Trogon, Red-naped Trogon, Hooded Pitta, and White-bellied Woodpecker, along with several interesting subspecies that could result in future splits, such as Chestnut-necklaced (Sabah) Partridge and (Bornean) Crested Fireback. We also found lots of other spectacular kingfishers, hornbills, and woodpeckers, as well as cryptic babblers and bulbuls. Plenty of non-avian highlights were found, such as Bornean Orangutan, Bornean Gibbon, and Proboscis Monkey. The trip lists for birds and everything else identified follows the report.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

We saw all eight species of the hornbills found in Borneo on the tour but seeing the Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) Helmeted Hornbill so well was the definite highlight.

Detailed Report

Day 1, 27th September 2022. Arrival and birding in Kota Kinabalu

After a welcome lunch we set out for some relaxed birding around Kota Kinabalu with some of the highlights including Wandering Whistling Duck, Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-naped Parrot, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Wood Sandpiper, Nankeen Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Pied Triller, and Chestnut Munia. It was early to bed in preparation for the following morning.

Day 2, 28th September 2022. Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu National Park via Croker Range National Park (Tambunan Rafflesia Nature Reserve Center and Gunung Alab areas)

We had a very early start today to get up to Gunung Alab in the Crocker Range National Park for first light. We arrived and got into position near a security light that had attracted lots of moths into it. As the day dawned, we were rewarded for our early start with close views of Bornean Treepie, Hair-crested (Bornean Spangled) Drongo, Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush, White-throated Fantail, Indigo Flycatcher, Mountain Black-eye, Mountain Tailorbird, Mountain (Bornean) Leaf Warbler, and Sunda Bush Warbler all coming in for breakfast.

After a while we changed sites and in no time at all we were enjoying point blank views of stunning birds like Crimson-headed Partridge (Bloodhead) – see the trip report cover image, Red-breasted Partridge, Orange-headed Thrush, Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush, Sunda Laughingthrush, and Snowy-browed Flycatcher. A fantastic start to the day, topped off with close views of a Bornean Swiftlet breeding colony nearby while we enjoyed some refreshments.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

The Bornean endemic, Red-breasted Partridge gave some excellent views.

Driving down through the mountain range we stopped so some folks could look at a flowering rafflesia, and we found some excellent species here too, including Bornean Barbet, Mountain Barbet, Black-sided Flowerpecker, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Black-capped White-eye, Cinereous (Green-winged) Bulbul, and Bornean Bulbul. We then took a drive of a couple of hours to our base in Kundasang near Mount Kinabalu, where we enjoyed lunch and checked into our hotel (with amazing mountain views) for the next three nights.

In the late afternoon we looked through a section of forest in Kinabalu National Park. The birding was hard going compared to the easy morning birding, regardless we saw some really fantastic birds, with the absolute highlight being a pair of Everett’s Thrushes feeding along the roadside drainage ditch. These birds offered prolonged views of this scarce and usually very secretive species. Further highlights included Bornean Green Magpie and Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher (Bornean Shade-dweller). We also heard Whitehead’s Trogon but couldn’t get into a position to view it, unfortunately. This all ended a really enjoyable first full day birding on the tour with loads of Bornean endemic birds seen and seen very well in most cases.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

The scarce and (usually) difficult to see Everett’s Thrush showed remarkably well for us.

Day 3, 29th September 2022. Birding Kinabalu National Park

We headed back into Kinabalu National Park for a morning of birding. We drove into some nice-looking habitat and walked to a viewing platform, finding three Bornean Forktails (two adults and a juvenile), Bornean Whistling Thrush, Golden-naped Barbet, Bornean Whistler, Pale-faced Bulbul, Bornean Treepie, Yellow-breasted Warbler, Mountain (Kinabalu) Leaf Warbler, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Indigo Flycatcher, Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher (Bornean Shade-dweller), and Temminck’s Sunbird. However, the real stars of the show here were the pair of Fruithunters that were part of a mixed flock and showed excellently for all with prolonged close views, what a treat!

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

This male Fruithunter gave fantastic close views, as did the female shortly afterwards.

Walking further along the road network we had a Mountain Serpent Eagle hunting through the forest (an impressive sight), Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush, Sunda Laughingthrush, Bare-headed Laughingthrush, Bornean Stubtail, Grey-throated Babbler, Grey-chinned (Grey-throated) Minivet, Ashy (Bornean) Drongo, Bornean Green Magpie, Penan Bulbul, Bornean Whistler, and Mountain Wren-Babbler.

A rain affected afternoon resulted in a change of plans but did result in sightings of Pygmy White-eye (Pygmy Heleia/Ibon), Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, Pale Blue (Hartet’s) Flycatcher, and Oriental (Black) Magpie-Robin in the garden.

Day 4, 30th September 2022. Birding Kinabalu National Park

We had our final day birding within Kinabalu National Park. The day started off overcast, drizzly, and quite cool and didn’t look too promising. Indeed, birds were hard to come across early, with Bornean Whistling Thrush seen along the road and a few very small mixed-species flocks containing Yellow-breasted Warbler, Mountain (Kinabalu) Leaf Warbler, Bornean Whistler, Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher, Mountain Wren-Babbler, and Grey-throated Babbler.

A change of location yielded another group of birds, including Golden-naped Barbet, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Sunda Bush Warbler, Indigo Flycatcher, Pygmy Flycatcher, Lesser Cuckooshrike, Temminck’s Sunbird, Dark Hawk-Cuckoo, and the star of the morning, Whitehead’s Broadbill visiting a fruiting tree.

After lunch we continued our search for more endemics, some of the group saw a distant Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, and after a lot of walking up and down a section of hill everyone had point-blank views of a pair of one of the star birds of the trip, Whitehead’s Trogon.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

Whitehead’s Broadbill showed well to the group (photo by tour participant Joanne Rickett).

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

Whitehead’s Trogon was one of the most spectacular birds of the tour.

We picked up a few other birds during the day that were either new, or gave better views than previous days, such as Black-sided Flowerpecker, Ashy (Bornean) Drongo, Grey Wagtail, Maroon Woodpecker, White-bellied Erpornis, Black-capped White-eye, and right at the end of the day, Brown Wood Owl.

Day 5, 1st October 2022. Birding Poring Hot Springs and travel to Sepliok

We left the Mount Kinabalu area dropping down in elevation and had a few hours birding the lower elevations of Poring Hot Springs. Here we found White-crowned Shama, White-fronted Falconet, Bornean Black-capped Babbler, Sunda Scimitar Babbler, Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher, Banded Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Crimson Sunbird, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, Plain Sunbird, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Black-headed Bulbul, Charlotte’s Bulbul, Verditer Flycatcher, Little Spiderhunter, Bornean Spiderhunter, and Orange-bellied Flowerpecker. It was a very pleasant walk.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

Good sightings of the attractive Black-and-yellow Broadbill are always appreciated.

We had a long drive to make so got on the road for a couple of hours before grabbing lunch in a roadside café with good noodles. Afterwards we continued our journey east towards Sepilok. As we drove through countless miles of palm oil plantations we stopped occasionally for a few interesting roadside birds, including Black-winged Kite, Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Long-tailed Shrike, Striated Grassbird, and Black Hornbill.

Once we arrived in hot and humid Sepilok, we checked into our rooms and had a quick recce of the nearby area, finding Hooded Pitta, White-crowned Shama, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Grey-hooded Babbler, Black Hornbill, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Yellow-bellied Bulbul, Grey-cheeked Bulbul, and Olive-winged Bulbul.

Day 6, 2nd October 2022. Birding Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Center

We spent the whole day birding around the Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Center (known simply as “RDC”). We hit the very impressive canopy walkway at dawn and made our way to a couple of the towers, the whole walk and our time on the towers giving us some incredible views of the forest from an unusual perspective. From the towers we got excellent views of several species, including White-crowned Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Brown Barbet, White-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Black-and-red Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Long-billed Spiderhunter, Thick-billed Spiderhunter, Lesser Green Leafbird, and Raffles’s Malkoha. We also enjoyed views of Prevost’s Squirrel, Pale Giant Squirrel, and one of the biggest highlights of the morning, a Red Giant Flying Squirrel, which some of the group got to witness in a 50+ meter (165+ feet) flight, a seriously spectacular sight!

It was soon time for breakfast, and it was looking like rain was on the way, so we departed for our nearby accommodation and enjoyed watching some sunbirds while we ate. Afterwards, we headed back out into the trail system at the RDC. The weather was starting to deteriorate but we persisted a little longer, and it was a good job we did as it resulted in us seeing Short-tailed (Leaflitter) Babbler and the star of the mornings birding, the highly sought-after, Black-crowned Pitta, which put on a great performance for us. By now the rain had started to get too heavy and so we sought some shelter in the café for a while.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

We had some great looks at the Bornean (and Sabah) endemic, Black-crowned Pitta during the tour.

Once the rain had reduced enough, we ventured out for some late morning birding. It was hot and very humid and activity low, though we did see Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Raffles’s Malkoha, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Purple-naped Spiderhunter, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Green Iora, Crested Goshawk, and Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, to name a few. Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and Blue-eared Kingfishers were seen by some of the group.

We enjoyed lunch and some took a siesta while others tried photographing some birds in the lodge grounds (getting brilliant looks at Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot), and others made use of the swimming pool and spa. After our break we covered a trail and section of canopy walkway where we found plenty of birds to keep us entertained. Some of these included Rufous-collared Kingfisher, (Black-faced/Bornean) Banded Kingfisher, Diard’s Trogon, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Red-billed Malkoha, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Silver-rumped Spinetail, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Rufous-winged Philentoma, Grey-and-buff Woodpecker, Banded Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Brown Barbet, White-crowned Shama, and a migrant (calling) Arctic Warbler.  It had been another wonderful day of birding in Borneo.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

This female Rufous-collared Kingfisher was one of several high-quality birds that came thick and fast during our afternoon birding in the RDC at Sepliok.

Day 7, 3rd October 2022. Birding Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Center and travel to Kinabatangan River with evening boat cruise

We again took a pre-breakfast walk along the canopy walkway and enjoyed good views of many species. While numbers appeared lower than the previous day, we did pick out some new species for the trip and improved on views of some others, including Brown Barbet, Violet Cuckoo, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Common Hill Myna, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Hooded Pitta, Spectacled Bulbul, and Brown-streaked (Umber) Flycatcher. Some in the group saw a distant (wild) Bornean Orangutan and the pretty Red Leaf Monkey.

In the afternoon we drove across to Sukau where we boarded our boat to our accommodation along the Kinabatangan River. Unfortunately, we had a fair bit of rain during the afternoon, so our boat trip was somewhat delayed, and we only got out for less than an hour. During this time we did see Wrinkled Hornbill, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Oriental Darter, Black-crowned Night Heron, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, and Bat Hawk. There were a few mammalian highlights too, with the odd-looking Proboscis Monkey being one of our key targets for the area seen well, other species seen included Silvery Lutung, Southern Pig-tailed Macaque, and Long-tailed Macaque.

Day 8, 4th October 2022. Birding Kinabatangan River

We made a couple of boat trips in the morning. The first one at dawn gave us a vocal Chestnut-necklaced (Sabah) Partridge which we saw along the riverbank, brief views of a pair of Storm’s Stork, along with White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Crested Goshawk, Wrinkled Hornbill, and a few other more widespread species like Oriental Dollarbird, Little Green Pigeon, and Blue-eared Kingfisher. We heard Bornean Ground Cuckoo but were unable to obtain views given the location it was in.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

The Bornean endemic subspecies of Chestnut-necklaced Partridge is found only in Sabah and is considered a potential future split by some authorities and referred to as Sabah Partridge.

After breakfast we hit the waterways again and had walkaway views of a perched and rather showy Storm’s Stork, with other birds seen including Bat Hawk, Lesser Adjutant, Whiskered Tern, Wrinkled Hornbill, and more common birds. Just after we’d heard another Bornean Ground Cuckoo there was a clap of thunder and suddenly a torrential deluge hit us. We donned our waterproofs and made a hasty retreat in some appalling conditions with a stinging horizontal rain!

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

It was great to see the colorful Wrinkled Hornbill while birding along the Kinabatangan River.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

We enjoyed this Storm’s Stork much more than the squally storm that followed!

We got back to our accommodation and tried to dry off, and while we waited for the rain to stop, we had lunch. The afternoon featured much of the same, dodging showers and listening to Bornean Ground Cuckoos!

Day 9, 5th October 2022. Morning birding Kinabatangan River and transfer to Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley

Our final boat trip on the Kinabatangan River was delayed due to some more heavy rain showers, but we were eventually able to make our way out on the water and we were glad we did! We went back to one of the spots where we heard four Bornean Ground Cuckoos the previous afternoon, but this time just one could be heard and it was, unfortunately, too distant. We did enjoy watching a Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Storm’s Stork, and a pair of Bold-striped Tit-Babblers while we waited. Again, there was no sign of the cuckoos, so we went to another site we’d heard them the previous day. After a while of sitting and waiting we were about to give up, we had a bus to catch to Lahad Datu. Just as our trusty boatman turned the engine on, we heard one calling, and it seemed close. We repositioned ourselves along the riverbank and after a while of scanning we picked one up, sitting a few feet off the ground in a tree – finally, we’d seen Bornean Ground Cuckoo! We were elated and with some careful maneuvering around the boat everyone was able to get into a position to see this wonderful and highly sought-after scarce endemic! We were behind schedule but there were no complaints!

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

Bornean Ground Cuckoo appeared very much at the last minute.

After a quick, late breakfast, we spent the rest of the day traveling to Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley. We arrived just as the sun set, with the sound of Rhinoceros Hornbills flying over this spectacular forest we would be exploring over the coming few days.

Day 10, 6th October 2022. Birding Danum Valley and Borneo Rainforest Lodge

We awoke to a beautiful morning with mist hanging in the valley in front of the lodge. We headed out early to try and get started on the birding in the area and found some great birds. Lots of bulbuls and babblers were vocalizing and we found a small fruiting tree that attracted several species. Some of the morning highlights included Red-naped Trogon, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Crested (Indomalayan) Honey Buzzard, Black Eagle, Blyth’s Hawk Eagle, White-fronted Falconet, Rufous Piculet, Lesser Cuckooshrike, White-bellied Erpornis, Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher, Spectacled Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Finsch’s Bulbul, Charlotte’s Bulbul, Horsfield’s Babbler, Brown Fulvetta, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Bornean Spiderhunter, Purple-naped Sunbird, Greater Green Leafbird, and Lesser Green Leafbird. Several species tantalized us by remaining ‘heard only’ and included Great Argus, Blue-headed Pitta, and Giant Pitta!

Our morning birding was interrupted for one particular mammal that gave us our best look to date, (a wild) Bornean Orangutan. It was sitting feeding happily in a durian tree and we enjoyed watching this magnificent creature go about its daily routine.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

One of the mammalian highlights of the whole tour was this Bornean Orangutan.

In the afternoon we ventured out under leaden skies into the forest before a storm hit. As expected, it was fairly quiet as the birds seemed to sense what was coming! Grey-hooded Babbler, Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, and Spotted Fantail were seen and Sunda Blue Flycatcher, Blue-eared (Black-eared) Barbet, and (Bornean) Crested Fireback were heard.

Day 11, 7th October 2022 Birding Danum Valley and Borneo Rainforest Lodge

We again had morning and afternoon birding sessions in the Danum Valley from our base at the wonderful Borneo Rainforest Lodge. It was amazing to be staying right in this beautiful forest. The morning was very birdy, and we found several new species for the trip, and several more endemics too. We got some good lucks at the skulking Bornean Wren-Babbler, Striped Wren-Babbler, Bornean Blue Flycatcher, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Large Woodshrike, Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler, Chestnut-rumped Babbler, Black-bellied Malkoha, and several of the group heard a distant Bornean Bristlehead. Activity dropped as soon as the temperature crept up, so we also took a break during the middle of the day.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

Bornean Wren-Babbler gave some very good views, but getting a photo was tough given its habits of moving along the ground through dense vegetation.

In the afternoon we again headed out birding and found a pair of White-chested (Bornean Swamp) Babblers near the river, with Black Eagle and Changeable Hawk-Eagle overhead. We made our way to a canopy walkway and while we were busily photographing a gorgeous Whiskered Treeswift, the distinctive shape of the Bornean Bristlehead appeared, flying over us. They were typically vocal as four birds landed in the tops of the tallest trees around. Everyone got up on the canopy walkway to enjoy slightly closer views of this species, which is a highly sought-after Bornean endemic, monotypic family. We were extremely happy to have finally seen this species, after having no sight or sound of them during our time at Sepilok earlier in the tour. The afternoon was pressing on, so we commenced our walk back to the lodge, stopping on the way back to enjoy good views of Dark-sided Flycatcher, Rufous Woodpecker, White-crowned Hornbill, and the other star of the afternoon, a mother and baby (wild) Bornean Orangutan preparing to go to bed.

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

We had spent a lot of time trying to locate this sought-after endemic, so despite them being high in the canopy we were very grateful to see a small group of Bornean Bristleheads. Not a great photo, but you can tell what it is!

We had a night drive in the early evening and got to see the rather unique sight of a male Black-crowned Pitta roosting! More expected was the Blyth’s Frogmouth. Barred Eagle-Owls were vocal but would not show this time. We also found Sambar, Lesser Oriental Chevrotain (Lesser Mouse Deer), Large Flying-fox, and Black Flying Squirrel.   

Day 12, 8th October 2022. Morning birding Danum Valley and Borneo Rainforest Lodge before tour conclusion in Lahad Datu with onward journeys

We had a final morning birding session out from the Borneo Rainforest Lodge as we tried to seek out any final species. It was however rather hot very early and activity was disappointingly low. We did pick up a couple of Bornean Black Magpies moving through the canopy, and we enjoyed having a final look at the Bornean Orangutans, the mother and baby not having moved far from where we left them the previous evening. Some of the group also saw the elusive Northern (North Bornean) Grey Gibbon, a species we had been hearing calling away most mornings in the lowlands. A few other species put in an appearance, such as (Bornean) Crested Fireback, Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Large Green Pigeon, Wreathed Hornbill, Rufous Piculet, Banded Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Rufous-winged Philentoma, Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler (our best views of the tour), Striped Wren-Babbler, Common Hill Myna, and White-crowned Shama.

We had our final lunch and checklist session of the tour, the food and service at Borneo Rainforest Lodge was top notch and definitely well received. We then made our way to Lahad Datu where this Borneo birding tour ended – not before we saw Oriental Plover on the runway!

Malaysia Borneo Sabah birding report

The Bornean endemic White-crowned Shama often remains hidden in the forest, but occasionally hops out into the sunlight.

This was a great and enjoyable tour with a fun group of people from around the world. We must also offer a huge debt of thanks to our wonderful local guide, Liew, and all of the other people (local guides and drivers – particularly David for the first half of the tour) who all helped make it a success.

Bird ListFollowing IOC (12.1)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen. The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International: CR = Critically Endangered, EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable. The common name for Bornean endemics is shown in bold type, e.g., Whitehead’s Trogon.

Common NameScientific Name
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Wandering Whistling DuckDendrocygna arcuata
Pheasants & Allies (Phasianidae)
Red-breasted PartridgeArborophila hyperythra
Crested Fireback – VULophura ignita
Great Argus – VU (H)Argusianus argus
Chestnut-necklaced Partridge – VUTropicoperdix charltonii
Crimson-headed PartridgeHaematortyx sanguiniceps
Red Junglefowl (H)Gallus gallus
Frogmouths (Podargidae)
Blyth’s FrogmouthBatrachostomus affinis
Treeswifts (Hemiprocnidae)
Grey-rumped TreeswiftHemiprocne longipennis
Whiskered TreeswiftHemiprocne comata
Swifts (Apodidae)
Plume-toed SwiftletCollocalia affinis
Bornean SwiftletCollocalia dodgei
Silver-rumped SpinetailRhaphidura leucopygialis
White-throated NeedletailHirundapus caudacutus
Brown-backed NeedletailHirundapus giganteus
Pacific SwiftApus pacificus
House SwiftApus nipalensis
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Short-toed Coucal – VUCentropus rectunguis
Greater CoucalCentropus sinensis
Lesser CoucalCentropus bengalensis
Bornean Ground CuckooCarpococcyx radiceus
Raffles’s MalkohaRhinortha chlorophaea
Red-billed MalkohaZanclostomus javanicus
Chestnut-breasted MalkohaPhaenicophaeus curvirostris
Chestnut-bellied MalkohaPhaenicophaeus sumatranus
Black-bellied MalkohaPhaenicophaeus diardi
Violet CuckooChrysococcyx xanthorhynchus
Dark Hawk-CuckooHierococcyx bocki
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)Columba livia dom.
Spotted DoveSpilopelia chinensis
Philippine Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia tenuirostris
Little Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia ruficeps
Common Emerald DoveChalcophaps indica
Zebra DoveGeopelia striata
Little Green PigeonTreron olax
Pink-necked Green PigeonTreron vernans
Thick-billed Green PigeonTreron curvirostra
Large Green Pigeon – VUTreron capellei
Green Imperial PigeonDucula aenea
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
White-breasted WaterhenAmaurornis phoenicurus
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Oriental PloverCharadrius veredus
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybrida
White-winged TernChlidonias leucopterus
Storks (Ciconiidae)
Storm’s Stork – ENCiconia stormi
Lesser Adjutant – VULeptoptilos javanicus
Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae)
Oriental DarterAnhinga melanogaster
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax
Nankeen Night HeronNycticorax caledonicus
Striated HeronButorides striata
Eastern Cattle EgretBubulcus coromandus
Grey HeronArdea cinerea
Purple HeronArdea purpurea
Great EgretArdea alba
Intermediate EgretArdea intermedia
Little EgretEgretta garzetta
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-winged KiteElanus caeruleus
Crested Honey BuzzardPernis ptilorhynchus
Crested Serpent EagleSpilornis cheela
Mountain Serpent Eagle – VUSpilornis kinabaluensis
Bat HawkMacheiramphus alcinus
Changeable Hawk-EagleNisaetus cirrhatus
Blyth’s Hawk-EagleNisaetus alboniger
Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle – VUNisaetus nanus
Rufous-bellied EagleLophotriorchis kienerii
Black EagleIctinaetus malaiensis
Crested GoshawkAccipiter trivirgatus
Chinese SparrowhawkAccipiter soloensis
Brahminy KiteHaliastur indus
White-bellied Sea EagleHaliaeetus leucogaster
Grey-headed Fish EagleHaliaeetus ichthyaetus
Owls (Strigidae)
Barred Eagle-Owl (H)Bubo sumatranus
Brown Wood OwlStrix leptogrammica
Trogons (Trogonidae)
Red-naped TrogonHarpactes kasumba
Diard’s TrogonHarpactes diardii
Whitehead’s TrogonHarpactes whiteheadi
Scarlet-rumped TrogonHarpactes duvaucelii
Hornbills (Bucerotidae)
White-crowned Hornbill – ENBerenicornis comatus
Rhinoceros Hornbill – VUBuceros rhinoceros
Helmeted Hornbill – CRRhinoplax vigil
Oriental Pied HornbillAnthracoceros albirostris
Black Hornbill – VUAnthracoceros malayanus
Bushy-crested HornbillAnorrhinus galeritus
Wreathed Hornbill – VURhyticeros undulatus
Wrinkled Hornbill – ENRhabdotorrhinus corrugatus
Rollers (Coraciidae)
Oriental DollarbirdEurystomus orientalis
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Rufous-collared KingfisherActenoides concretus
Banded KingfisherLacedo pulchella
Stork-billed KingfisherPelargopsis capensis
Collared KingfisherTodiramphus chloris
Blue-eared KingfisherAlcedo meninting
Oriental Dwarf KingfisherCeyx erithaca
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
Red-bearded Bee-eaterNyctyornis amictus
Blue-throated Bee-eaterMerops viridis
Asian Barbets (Megalaimidae)
Golden-whiskered BarbetPsilopogon chrysopogon
Mountain BarbetPsilopogon monticola
Golden-naped BarbetPsilopogon pulcherrimus
Blue-eared BarbetPsilopogon duvaucelii
Bornean BarbetPsilopogon eximius
Brown BarbetCaloramphus fuliginosus
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Rufous PiculetSasia abnormis
Grey-and-buff WoodpeckerHemicircus concretus
Grey-capped Pygmy WoodpeckerYungipicus canicapillus
Sunda Pygmy WoodpeckerYungipicus moluccensis
White-bellied WoodpeckerDryocopus javensis
Banded WoodpeckerChrysophlegma miniaceum
Crimson-winged WoodpeckerPicus puniceus
Maroon WoodpeckerBlythipicus rubiginosus
Orange-backed WoodpeckerReinwardtipicus validus
Rufous WoodpeckerMicropternus brachyurus
Buff-rumped WoodpeckerMeiglyptes tristis
Buff-necked WoodpeckerMeiglyptes tukki
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
White-fronted FalconetMicrohierax latifrons
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Blue-rumped ParrotPsittinus cyanurus
Blue-naped ParrotTanygnathus lucionensis
Long-tailed Parakeet – VUPsittacula longicauda
Blue-crowned Hanging ParrotLoriculus galgulus
Typical Broadbills (Eurylaimidae)
Long-tailed Broadbill (H)Psarisomus dalhousiae
Black-and-red BroadbillCymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
Banded BroadbillEurylaimus javanicus
Black-and-yellow BroadbillEurylaimus ochromalus
African & Green Broadbills (Calyptomenidae)
Whitehead’s BroadbillCalyptomena whiteheadi
Pittas (Pittidae)
Giant Pitta (H)Hydrornis caeruleus
Blue-headed Pitta – VU (H)Hydrornis baudii
Black-crowned PittaErythropitta ussheri
Hooded PittaPitta sordida
Australasian Warblers (Acanthizidae)
Golden-bellied GerygoneGerygone sulphurea
Vangas & Allies (Vangidae)
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrikeHemipus hirundinaceus
Large WoodshrikeTephrodornis virgatus
Rufous-winged PhilentomaPhilentoma pyrhoptera
Bristlehead (Pityriasidae)
Bornean BristleheadPityriasis gymnocephala
Woodswallows, Butcherbirds & Allies (Artamidae)
White-breasted WoodswallowArtamus leucorynchus
Ioras (Aegithinidae)
Common IoraAegithina tiphia
Green IoraAegithina viridissima
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
Grey-chinned MinivetPericrocotus solaris
Pied TrillerLalage nigra
Lesser CuckooshrikeLalage fimbriata
Whistlers & Allies (Pachycephalidae)
Bornean WhistlerPachycephala hypoxantha
Shrikes (Laniidae)
Long-tailed ShrikeLanius schach
Vireos, Greenlets, Shrike-babblers (Vireonidae)
Blyth’s Shrike-babblerPteruthius aeralatus
White-bellied ErpornisErpornis zantholeuca
Figbirds, Orioles, Turnagra (Oriolidae)
Dark-throated OrioleOriolus xanthonotus
Drongos (Dicruridae)
Bronzed DrongoDicrurus aeneus
Greater Racket-tailed DrongoDicrurus paradiseus
Hair-crested DrongoDicrurus hottentottus
Ashy DrongoDicrurus leucophaeus
Fantails (Rhipiduridae)
White-throated FantailRhipidura albicollis
Malaysian Pied FantailRhipidura javanica
Spotted FantailRhipidura perlata
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
Black-naped MonarchHypothymis azurea
Blyth’s Paradise FlycatcherTerpsiphone affinis
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
Bornean Black MagpiePlatysmurus aterrimus
Bornean Green MagpieCissa jefferyi
Bornean TreepieDendrocitta cinerascens
House CrowCorvus splendens
Slender-billed CrowCorvus enca
Fairy Flycatchers (Stenostiridae)
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcherCulicicapa ceylonensis
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)
Hairy-backed BulbulTricholestes criniger
Yellow-bellied BulbulAlophoixus phaeocephalus
Grey-cheeked BulbulAlophoixus tephrogenys
Penan BulbulAlophoixus ruficrissus
Finsch’s BulbulIole finschii
Charlotte’s BulbulIole charlottae
Cinereous BulbulHemixos cinereus
Black-headed BulbulBrachypodius melanocephalos
Spectacled BulbulIxodia erythropthalmos
Bornean BulbulRubigula montis
Cream-vented BulbulPycnonotus simplex
Olive-winged BulbulPycnonotus plumosus
Asian Red-eyed BulbulPycnonotus brunneus
Pale-faced BulbulPycnonotus leucops
Yellow-vented BulbulPycnonotus goiavier
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Pacific SwallowHirundo tahitica
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Cettia Bush Warblers & Allies (Cettiidae)
Mountain TailorbirdPhyllergates cucullatus
Sunda Bush WarblerHorornis vulcanius
Bornean StubtailUrosphena whiteheadi
Leaf Warblers & Allies (Phylloscopidae)
Arctic WarblerPhylloscopus borealis
Yellow-breasted WarblerPhylloscopus montis
Mountain Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus trivirgatus
Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)
Striated GrassbirdMegalurus palustris
Cisticolas & Allies (Cisticolidae)
Yellow-bellied PriniaPrinia flaviventris
Dark-necked TailorbirdOrthotomus atrogularis
Rufous-tailed TailorbirdOrthotomus sericeus
Ashy TailorbirdOrthotomus ruficeps
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Chestnut-crested YuhinaStaphida everetti
Pygmy White-eyeHeleia squamifrons
Black-capped White-eyeZosterops atricapilla
Mountain BlackeyeZosterops emiliae
Hume’s White-eyeZosterops auriventer
Babblers, Scimitar Babblers (Timaliidae)
Bold-striped Tit-BabblerMixornis bornensis
Fluffy-backed Tit-BabblerMacronus ptilosus
Grey-hooded BabblerCyanoderma bicolor
Rufous-fronted BabblerCyanoderma rufifrons
Bare-headed LaughingthrushMelanocichla calva
Sunda Scimitar BabblerPomatorhinus bornensis
Chestnut-rumped Babbler (H)Stachyris maculata
Grey-throated BabblerStachyris nigriceps
Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)
Black-throated Wren-Babbler (H)Turdinus atrigularis
Sooty-capped BabblerMalacopteron affine
Scaly-crowned BabblerMalacopteron cinereum
Rufous-crowned BabblerMalacopteron magnum
Moustached BabblerMalacopteron magnirostre
Bornean Black-capped BabblerPellorneum capistratoides
Short-tailed BabblerPellorneum malaccense
White-chested BabblerPellorneum rostratum
Striped Wren-BabblerKenopia striata
Horsfield’s BabblerMalacocincla sepiaria
Mountain Wren-BabblerGypsophila crassa
Bornean Wren-Babbler – VUPtilocichla leucogrammica
Alcippe Fulvettas (Alcippeidae)
Brown FulvettaAlcippe brunneicauda
Laughingthrushes & Allies (Leiothrichidae)
Sunda LaughingthrushGarrulax palliatus
Chestnut-hooded LaughingthrushPterorhinus treacheri
Fairy-bluebirds (Irenidae)
Asian Fairy-bluebirdIrena puella
Nuthatches (Sittidae)
Velvet-fronted NuthatchSitta frontalis
Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae)
Asian Glossy StarlingAplonis panayensis
Common Hill MynaGracula religiosa
Javan Myna – VUAcridotheres javanicus
Thrushes (Turdidae)
FruithunterChlamydochaera jefferyi
Everett’s ThrushZoothera everetti
Orange-headed ThrushGeokichla citrina
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)
Oriental Magpie-RobinCopsychus saularis
White-crowned ShamaCopsychus stricklandii
Dark-sided FlycatcherMuscicapa sibirica
Asian Brown FlycatcherMuscicapa dauurica
Brown-streaked (Umber) FlycatcherMuscicapa williamsoni umbrosa
Pale Blue FlycatcherCyornis unicolor
Sunda Blue Flycatcher – VU (H)Cyornis caerulatus
Bornean Blue FlycatcherCyornis superbus
Fulvous-chested Jungle FlycatcherCyornis olivaceus
Verditer FlycatcherEumyias thalassinus
Indigo FlycatcherEumyias indigo
White-browed ShortwingBrachypteryx montana
Eyebrowed Jungle FlycatcherVauriella gularis
Bornean ForktailEnicurus borneensis
Bornean Whistling ThrushMyophonus borneensis
Pygmy FlycatcherFicedula hodgsoni
Little Pied FlycatcherFicedula westermanni
Snowy-browed FlycatcherFicedula hyperythra
Rufous-chested FlycatcherFicedula dumetoria
Leafbirds (Chloropseidae)
Greater Green Leafbird – ENChloropsis sonnerati
Lesser Green LeafbirdChloropsis cyanopogon
Flowerpeckers (Dicaeidae)
Yellow-breasted FlowerpeckerPrionochilus maculatus
Yellow-rumped FlowerpeckerPrionochilus xanthopygius
Yellow-vented FlowerpeckerDicaeum chrysorrheum
Orange-bellied FlowerpeckerDicaeum trigonostigma
Black-sided FlowerpeckerDicaeum monticolum
Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)
Ruby-cheeked SunbirdChalcoparia singalensis
Plain SunbirdAnthreptes simplex
Brown-throated SunbirdAnthreptes malacensis
Red-throated SunbirdAnthreptes rhodolaemus
Copper-throated SunbirdLeptocoma calcostetha
Olive-backed SunbirdCinnyris jugularis
Crimson SunbirdAethopyga siparaja
Temminck’s SunbirdAethopyga temminckii
Purple-naped SunbirdKurochkinegramma hypogrammicum
Little SpiderhunterArachnothera longirostra
Thick-billed SpiderhunterArachnothera crassirostris
Long-billed SpiderhunterArachnothera robusta
Yellow-eared SpiderhunterArachnothera chrysogenys
Bornean SpiderhunterArachnothera everetti
Whitehead’s SpiderhunterArachnothera juliae
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
Eurasian Tree SparrowPasser montanus
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Scaly-breasted MuniaLonchura punctulata
Dusky MuniaLonchura fuscans
Chestnut MuniaLonchura atricapilla
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Grey WagtailMotacilla cinerea
Paddyfield PipitAnthus rufulus
Total seen262
Total heard only9
Total recorded271

Mammal List

Common NameScientific Name
Squirrels (Sciuridae)
Least Pygmy SquirrelExilisciurus exilis
Tufted (Whitehead’s) Pygmy SquirrelExilisciurus whiteheadi
Borneo Black-banded SquirrelCallosciurus orestes
Plantain SquirrelCallosciurus notatus
Bornean Mountain Ground SquirrelSundasciurus everetti
Jentink’s SquirrelSundasciurus jentinki
Low’s SquirrelSundasciurus lowii
Pale Giant SquirrelRatufa affinis
Prevost’s SquirrelCallosciurus prevostii
Red Giant Flying SquirrelPetaurista petaurista
Black Flying SquirrelAeromys tephromelas
Civets, Genets, and Oyans (Viverridae)
Malay (Palm) CivetViverra tangalunga
(Bornean) Banded CivetHemigalus derbyanus boiei
Old World Fruit Bats (Pteropodidae)
Large Flying-foxPteropus vampyrus
Old World Leaf-nosed Bats (Hipposideridae)
Ridley’s Leaf-nosed BatHipposideros ridleyi
Deer (Cervidae)
(Bornean) SambarRusa unicolor brookei
Chevrotains (Tragulidae)
Lesser Oriental ChevrotainTragulus kanchii
Treeshrews (Tupaiidae)
Common (Large) TreeshrewTupaia glis
Lesser TreeshrewTupia minor
Mountain TreeshrewTupia montana
Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Long-tailed MacaqueMacaca fascicularis
Southern Pig-tailed MacaqueMacaca nemestrina
Red Langur (Leaf Monkey)Presbytis rubicunda
Silvery LutungTrachypithecus cristatus
Proboscis MonkeyNasalis larvatus
Gibbons (Hylobatidae)
Northern (North Bornean) Grey GibbonHylobates funereus
Great Apes (Hominidae)
(Northeast) Bornean OrangutanPongo pygmaeus morio

Reptile List

Common NameScientific Name
Typical Geckos (Gekkonidae)
Common House GeckoHemidactylus frenatus
Flat-tailed House GeckoHemidactylus platyurus
Spotted House GeckoGekko monarchus
Dragons (Agamidae)
Borneo Forest DragonGonocephalus bornensis
Changeable (Oriental Garden) LizardCalotes versicolor
Great Flying DragonDraco maximus
Skinks (Scincidae)
Borneo SkinkDasia vittata
Rough MabuyaEutropis rudis
Lewis’s MabuyaEutropis lewisi
Sabah Slender SkinkSphenomorphus sabanus
Monitor Lizards (Varanidae)
Common Water MonitorVaranus salvator
Crocodiles (Crocodylidae)
Saltwater CrocodileCrocodylus porosus
Colubrid Snakes (Colubridae)
Red-sided Keelback Water SnakeXenochrophis trianguligerus

Notable Other Taxa List

Not a conclusive list. We saw lots of interesting taxa during our tour, e.g. multiple species of millipede that can only be identified to genus level (see here) and so not included below. Similarly, lots of butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies and stick insects were seen and will take a long time to identify due to limited available literature. The list below includes some of the more readily identified species.

Common NameScientific Name
Orbweavers (Araneidae)
Multi-colored Saint Andrew’s Cross SpiderArgiope versicolor
Ants (Formicidae)
Giant Forest AntDinomyrmex gigas borneensis
Lanternflies (Fulgoridae)
Lanternfly sp.Pyrops whiteheadi
Swallowtails and Parnassians (Papilionidae)
Raja Brooke’s BirdwingTrogonoptera brookiana
Malayan BirdwingTroides amphrysus
Borneo BirdwingTroides andromache
Green Dragontail ButterflyLamproptera meges
Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)
Giant Tree NymphIdea lynceus
ClipperParthenos sylvia
Skimmers (Libellulidae)
Crimson DropwingTrithemis aurora
Indonesian Red-winged DragonflyNeurothemis terminata
Jawed Land Leeches (Haemadipsidae)
Brown LeechHaemadipsa zeylanica
Tiger LeechHaemadipsa picta
Sesarmid Marsh Crabs (Sesarmidae)
Vampire Crab sp.Geosesarma danumense


This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

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