I had this strong urge to go to Sandakan last week. Eventually, I did, well...we did. Fortunately, my wife and I got a free ride from Alphonsus! We were lucky he was still in Kota Kinabalu (K.K) when I got back from Labuan.
Chai (a.k.a Insight Borneo), on the other hand was already in Sandakan and driving back to K.K on Sunday! We had ourselves a return ticket so to speak! Packed our gear and off we went with Alphonsus on Friday.
We made a few stops along the way for taking pictures and also for refreshments. Alphonsus was only getting to get used to my Sony H5 loaned to him. My wife unfortunately, had to bear the frustration using the non-IS lens which I had used previously.
We had the opportunity to meet with Cede Prudente in Sandakan. He is a local wildlife photographer with remarkable achievements around his belt. A pleasant and humble person, we have nothing but admiration to him. We were unlucky to have not visited his photo gallery located in town. Another good reason to visit Sandakan again soon I guess...
Unlike our trip to Kinabatangan last year which was planned, this time it was not planned at all. However, we were better equipped (at least I thought we were!). I feel for Ron(a.k.a Ripledin) and Ah Seng(a.k.a Gokibury), they couldn't join us. Ah Seng with work commitments while Ron with his 18-42mm lens...gave in.
Sandakan, specially Sepilok is haven for wildlife. Because of that particular reason, I had to seriously review my gear! and of course, my wife's! There's no doubt we will be going back there again...soon!
Chai, me and Gary were having a rest when Gary heard a 'Trogon' calling and trying to locate it.
2. Indigo Flycatcher (Eumyias indigo)
This was the best shot I could get. They were shy and I couldn't get near!
3. Indigo Flycatcher (Eumyias indigo)
An ambitious shot of the beautiful blue bird.
4. Bulbul (Photo courtesy of Zaiton Yunus)
They came in a flock of mixed species and feast on this fruiting tree. Too bad I couldn't determine the bird's ID
My shot from front view. The size of this bird is similar to the size of Yellow-vented Bulbul which is common at low lands.
Flew in to the fruiting tree with the yellow Bulbul. This one is smaller than the other Bulbuls I took pictures of.
7. Buff-vented Bulbul (Hypsipetes charlottae)
This Buff-vented Bulbul (Hypsipetes charlottae) also feast on the same tree.
8. Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)
This Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus) shot was taken from a nearby open area. The lighting was better and I was able to get a clearer shot.
9. Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus)
Officially ticked on my wish-list! However, there's always room for improvement! They are tiny and adorable. 2G CF card-finished in a flash!
10. Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus)
They hops! Trust me, bring lots of gigabytes if you want to capture them. They are not so shy!
11. Black & Red Broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchus)
The colors are not as glorious as their counterparts, but just as beautiful. They are quite shy too.
12. Banded Broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus)
Banded Broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus)...grin. What a joy! Have three Broadbills in my bag now!
13. Black-napped Blue Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
Sigh...desperately needs a better photo!
14. Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Not an easy target to shoot.
15. Wallace's Hawk Eagle
16. Wallace's Hawk Eagle
Just to post my trophy as well!
17. Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
I got this shot when the raptor, we believe was stalking the greatest ever endemic bird of Borneo! I proudly present to you the last but not least;
18. Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala)
Truly the ultimate bird to get a sight of in Borneo. This bizzare looking, ugly but beautiful bird can only be found here. I had to delete some shots of other birds from my CF to make room for them! Yes, they are valueable...most definitely!
19. Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala)
Desperate measures! The rain started dripping...I still had not captured a good enough photo of them for my record. I decided to go under them and started shooting! A great moment indeed, not everyone can have that opportunity!
20. Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala)
The best ever shot I have of the great Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala)... Sandakan will always be there, but will the Bornean Bristlehead? sigh...I am a bit worried. Obviously, I haven't nail a truly good shot of them! Time will tell I guess.
Caution: Bird IDs may be incorrect, please cross check with reliable sources