Note - in some browsers the appearance of the blog is corrupted. I do not yet know the cause, but hope this issue will be resolved soon!

Friday, 3 May 2013


Every so often we go on a little night drive around the area to look for owls, and any- and everything else active after dark. Buffy fish-owls are the commonest owl encountered. Most other nocturnal species seem to occur only in low numbers. There is however a good species diversity and there is always a chance to encounter something special.

When we went on a short night drive last Thursday we had two great finds. The first owl we picked up was an Oriental bay owl. After listening to the distinctive calls from two individuals for a good 20 minutes one of the owls finally showed itself.
Oriental bay-owl (Phodilus badius).
This is a tricky species to see and it was definitely a good feeling to finally get a visual of this beautiful little owl.

The evening had more in store! A kilometer or so down the road we picked up two reddish scops owls in duet across the road. And we soon located out this little fellow.
Reddish scops-owl (Otus rufescens).
Reddish scops-owl (Otus rufescens).
Another little owl that is rarely seen. While this species is more often heard than the oriental bay owl, I have only had one very frustrating little glimpse before last nights encounter. No Buffy fish-owls this evening, but its two smaller cousins more than compensated!

Folkert, 04/05/2013.


  1. Nice find, Folkert, both species occur in the same forest here as well.

  2. We hear the reddish scops owl fairly regularly. Lucky to see both species on the same night!

  3. Nice to see that someone else in dull Brunei has a serious interest in wildife, and in birds in particular. Sadly, the general population of Brunei (including expats) really couldn't care less. I assume you work for Shell, hardly "Green". Also, interesting to have someone confirm my thoughts - that there are active bird-trappers and sellers in the country. This is most definitely not "The Green Heart of Borneo", as the uninformed government claims! Birds are actually very scarce compared to other SE Asian countries, all butterflies are rare, and I think that the cause is persistent pesticide use for anti-termite measures around all buildings (as well as ongoing tree-felling everywhere). The situation for turtles is disastrous.

  4. Thanks for these comments. Besides strong concerns there is positive progress too: the country and businesses are starting to act with greater responsibility. The recent Brunei Nature Festival and the Wetlands International project are good examples. I hope too that increased public awareness and a stronger emphasis on eco-tourism will start to contribute to a long-term sustainable green future. The country still possesses significant natural riches and it's up to us all to protect that. Brunei can't afford to wait until its too late.