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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Early November morning at KB road

I went for a short morning visit to the KB road this morning. It has been well over a month since my last trip to Kuala Balai, so it was about time as well. The morning started a little disappointing with a drizzle and grey skies. While approaching the forested area, I noticed that the clearing they started a few months ago now was adorned with the first signs of construction. I fear the amount of forest disturbance is already increasing and this unfortunately only adds further to the trend.

The birding was really good though this morning.

As I slowly drove up the road I soon noticed this male emerald dove foraging on the tarmac.
Male Emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica).
Though regularly encountered, these doves are usually very secretive. Most views are of birds quickly flying past. I have seen them foraging on riverbanks during boat trips in the past, and they seemed undisturbed by the boat. The early morning light made it very hard to get any great shots. The pictures above and below are the best I could manage of these splendid forest doves.

Male Emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica).
As my first record of the red-billed malkoha at KB road was only last month (see also Another visit to KB road) I was a little surprised to see them yet again this morning. I am not complaining though!

Red-billed malkoha (Phaenicophaeus javanicus)
My best bird of the morning was without a doubt this blue-winged pitta, that was foraging in the grass next to the road. These colorful birds are relatively common winter visitors to Brunei. PNHS historic records show that a couple of birds also wintered in the Panaga gardens in the past (and may still do so today). Pittas are notoriously secretive and unless you have one wintering in your garden, they're not the easiest species to see!
Blue-winged pitta (Pitta moluccensis).
As I was standing in the middle of the road, in plain sight, I couldn't get any closer. Still, the bird allowed me with a couple of minutes of unobstructed views while it was hopping about, occasionally standing upright to take in it's surroundings.

Blue-winged pitta.
Making my way back to the car a couple of wrinkled hornbills landed not too far away. Described as uncommon in Borneo, this species of hornbill is commonly encountered along the KB road and a few birds can be seen flying overhead on most visits. Close-up views are not easy to come by though.
Male Wrinkled hornbill (Aceros corrugatus).
Folkert, 18/11/2012


  1. Nice Blue-winged Pitta, certainly not as common over here.

  2. Thanks! Guess a slight advantage on this side of Borneo then! Hope to get some better shots one day.