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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A rainy morning at Labi road

A short post from a very wet morning at Labi road 9 days ago. These rainy overcast days can be quite good for bird watching, but are typically not the best for non-flash photography. Most of the pics taken failed my keeper tests; below some pictures that did not, even if only just!

An adult and juvenile rufous piculet provided some entertainment in the wet and dark undergrowth alongside the road. Did I already mention that circumstances were not ideal for photography without flash? The below pic is the only one I kept from a series of around 20...
A juvenile Rufous piculet (Sasia abnormis)
A group of distant red-leaf monkeys were noisily making their way through the canopy. This individual stopped briefly to check me out, but very quickly moved on when it realized I was trying to slowly get closer.
Red-leaf monkey (Presbytis rubicunda)
During one of the dry spells I noticed a small flowerpecker flying into a tree nearby and was very pleased to confirm it as another scarlet-breasted flowerpecker. The third one this year and all three birds at different locations.
A bum-view of a scarlet-breasted flowerpecker
I did get some better views this time, but no opportunities for a clean shot. Below is the best picture that I managed. How frustrating is that little branch! It is interesting that this area at the lower end of Labi road appears to still have considerable species influx from the very close by peat swamp forests.
Scarlet-breasted flowerpecker (Prionochilus thoracicus)
Finally my "pishing" had the opposite effect and the bird flew off. This juvenile plain sunbird proved a little more obliging for a few clean shots.
Plain sunbird (Anthreptes simplex)
A pair of distant grey-capped woodpeckers provided some good views. Below is the female.
Grey-capped woodpecker (Dendrocopus canicapillus)
The buff orange wash on the breast and belly, one of the features that distinguishes it clearly from the superficially similar brown-capped woodpecker, shows really well in this picture.

The first migrants are also slowly coming in; a short drive around the Seria area this weekend came up with plenty of sandpipers, 2 different plovers, long-toed stints and a single redshank. Hope to share some more on this later.

Folkert, 20/08/2013.


  1. Hope can see the Northern Lapwing at Wasan...

  2. Walking towards Teraja waterfall on Saturday morning (31st Aug)I came to the crossing of the river with a vertical wall, about 20-25 metres in height, that faces you as you come from the Labi road. A white(and black)bird with a very long forked tail flew down and round me several times. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph it but it was beautiful. The tail appeared to be about three times the length of its body and I can only describe the noise it made as like a cheeky whistling sound, can you tell me what it was?


  4. Hi Simon. Seems you already ID'ed your mystery bird! The male paradise flycatchers are indeed one of the better dressed birds in Borneo. I find the call very distinctive. I have seen them only a couple of times along Labi road and have never been successful in getting a satisfactory picture.