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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Labi Road, 28 July

Last Saturday (28 July) I spent two early morning hours at Labi road. I had initially planned on a longer trip, but the snooze button on my alarm clock just did it's job far too good. When I reached Labi road it was well past 7 AM. As it was one of these days that by 9 AM the heat was already very oppressive I decided to go home early. By that time everything had mostly quieted down anyway, and I had also promised to help clean up the house...

A high tree at the start of the side road provided some good views of a grey-rumped tree swift. It was just slightly too high up for any close-up pictures. During it's preening session the treeswift was briefly accompanied by a thick-billed spider hunter.

Grey-rumped treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis)

A pair of asian fairy bluebirds were calling to each other across the road. I managed a couple of shots of the male, the presumed female kept herself frustratingly well hidden. 

The pictures below are my first relatively decent shots of these birds. While they are not uncommon in Brunei, I've never been lucky in getting good views from close by. I still hope I'll get a better photographic opportunity someday as the the black and blue is really very striking.

Male asian fairy bluebird (Irena puella)
Same bird.
A black-thighed falconet (Microhierax fringillarius) was using the top branch of a dead tree as a lookout for passing prey. Together with it's Sabah cousin (the white-fronted falconet) this species of falconet is the smallest bird of prey in the world. It feeds predominantly on big bugs that it usually catches mid-air. It is fairly common bird in Brunei. 

I spend some time watching this bird. At one point it swooped down from it's branch to catch a juicy bug mid-air. On examining the pictures the size of the talons seems disproportionally large. The bugs don't stand a change against this weaponry.

Black-thighed falconet (Microhierax fringillarius)
Same bird, on the lookout.
Look at the size of the talons.
Taking off.
With prey.
Prefer the leg.
On my way back a pair of black-and-white bulbuls flew by in front of my car. Another chestnut-bellied malkoha was showing itself just before the turnoff back onto Labi road. Hardly saw any of these last year, but the since a couple of months they seem to be popping up everywhere.

Folkert, 29/07/2012


  1. Nicely done, Folkert, congratulations. Would like to take photo of the Black-thighed Falconet and Cinnamon Headed Pigeon some day.

    I am the admin of Borneo Bird Images (see link),

    You are welcomed to upload your images there, especially those images that we are lacking.

  2. Thanks for your comments, I'll share some of the pictures on borneo bird images as well.