Friday 29 March 2019

Borneo: Part Two

March 2019

Borneo: Part Two

Now to the birds!  There may well be raptors, sunbirds and a whole host of endemics but surely the iconic bird of Borneo is the Hornbill of which there are 8 species.  Of these, during our stay we managed to see four.  In the same way we also managed a selection of raptors, including owls, and a number of small bright birds such as the sunbirds and range of kingfishers.  With regard to the last, kingfishers ranged in size from the species measuring 15cm such as the Blue-eared right up to the very large, 33cm Stork-billed Kingfisher.  If only because of the actual photographs I managed to take, I have split the birds into the following 10 groups; Hornbills, Raptors, Kingfishers, Sunbirds, Water Birds, Drongos, Weavers, Pigeons and Doves, Other Large Birds and Other Small Birds.  (For more, and better, photographs then take a look at Steve's web site at: select "30 from Borneo" from the drop-down menu at the top under "1000+ Bird Species."

Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros

Pied Hornbill Anthrocoeros coronatus

Wrinkled Hornbill Rhyticeros corrugatus

Record shot of Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
White-bellied Sea -Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Grey-headed Fish Eagle      in flight over river
Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela
Buffy Fish-Owl Ketupa ketupa (in monochrome)
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela

Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting
White-collared Kingfisher Halcyon chloris
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis

Purple-throated Sunbird Nectarinia sperata
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis

Water Birds

Common Sandpiper Actitus hypoleucos
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Great White Egret Egretta alba

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicruros paradiseus

Grey (Ashy) Drongo Dicruros leucophaeus


Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
Pigeons and Doves

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis

Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon Treron fulvicollis?

Other Large Birds 

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
 Other Small Birds

Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goviavier
Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica
White-breasted Wood Swallow Artamus leucorhynchus
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum
Female Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum
Gaudy (Red Throated) Barbet Megalaima mystacophanos
Naturally, all mistaken identies are mine so any suggestions, corrections, etc would be most appreciated.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

Zapata, Laguna Dulce & Fuente de Piedra

Friday 29 March

Up early and just about to set off for Fuente de Piedra and a telephone call from friend Derek Etherton informed me that he had just seen a Mute Swan at Zapata.  This is, no doubt, the same nervous Mute Swan that has spent the past week or so visiting the local waters from the mouth of the Guadalhorce to Malaga city centre and would now appear to be up river, north of the airport.  So, change of plans and an initial visit to Zapata where I did not find the swan.  I found Derek and company, who had also recorded both Great Spotted Cuckoo and a first Woodchat Shrike of the summer, but search as we might, no swan.  But I did find the pair of newly-arrived Red-crested Pochard along with Green Sandpiper and Little Egrets.  Also present were many Barn Swallows, Serin, Goldfinch, Sardinian and Cetti's Warblers.

Still at Laguna Ducle by just after ten and here the ducks were still in evidence with good numbers of White-headed, Common and Red-crested Pochard.  Lots of displaying Great Crested Grebes, the occasional Little Grebe and Black-necked Grebes looking resplendent in their breeding costumes.  Just a trio of Flamingo on site, a small number of Coot and numerous Barn Swallow and House Martin feeding over the water.  I could hear the Cetti's Warblers calling but no sign of the Little Crake which, presumably, has moved on to pastures new.

Great Crested Grebe Somormujo Lavanco Podiceps cristatus

Arriving at Fuente de Piedra there is still a good-sized pool on the left as you approach the car park so I stopped to take a note of hat was present including the resident Jackdaws. Lots of Black-winged Stilts and Avocets and a small number of Greater, Little and Kentish Plover on the far side.  Not just  a handful of Back-headed Gulls but a similar number of Gull-billed Terns.  A score or more Flamingo were on this water and searching I was able to find both single Ruff and Snipe along with Dunlin and a pair of Teal.

My first walk across the boardwalk produced nothing other than Little Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt plus both White and Blue-headed Wagtails so on round to the Laguneta.  Here many more Flamingos plus Black-headed Gulls along with Coot, Moorhen, White-headed Duck, Shoveler, Mallard and both Common and Red-crested Pochard along with Little and Black-necked Grebes.  The occasional Goldfinch in the nearby bushes and, of course, more feeding Barn Swallows.

Black-necked Grebe Zampullin Cuelinegro Podiceps nigricollis

Returning to the car via another visit to the boardwalk proved very positive as I not only witnessed the arrival of a White Stork which landed in the neighbouring field but also saw one of the Spotted Crakes seen recently as it came out (almost) from the reeds to feed.

Well-concealed Spotted Crake Polluela Pintoja Porzana porzana

Then it was back home to both complete this report and put the finishing touches to my Bird Report from Borneo (Part two) so that I can get it published by the week-end.

Black-winged Stilt Ciguenuela Comun Himantopus himantopus
Birds seen:
Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, White-headed Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Little Egret, White Stork, Flamingo, Kestrel, Spotted Crake, Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet.

Pair of White-headed Duck Malvasia Cabeciblanca Oxyura leucocephala

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information