Sabah birding sites – Danum Valley Conservation Area, Kinabalu Park, Kinabatangan Flood Plain & Wildlife Sanctuary. Danum Valley Conservation Area is a paradise for nature lovers and a popular destination among keen bird watchers.
DANUM VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA
The tropical lowland rainforest of Danum Valley Conservation Area is a paradise for nature lovers and a popular destination among keen bird watchers. More than 300 species of birds have been found in Danum Valley including birds found only in Borneo. There are two main bird watching areas in Danum Valley – the Danum Valley Field Centre and the forest area near the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Many of the lowland Bornean forest birds can be found along the trails, access road, around the Field Centre and accommodation areas at Danum Valley. You might spot the Crested Fireback Pheasants, Black-bellied Malkoha, Red-throated Sunbird, Crested Jay, Giant and Banded Pittas, White-crowned and Rufous-tailed Shama, Rufous-winged and Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Fulvous-chested, Rufous-chested, Yellow-rumped and Pale Blue Flycatchers as well as the Chestnut-rumped and Grey-headed Babblers. If you are cruising along the Segama River look out for the Great-billed Heron or the Oriental Darter. Among the endemic Bornean birds you may find at Danum Valley include the rare Bulwer?s Pheasant, Chestnut-necklaced Partridge, White-fronted Falconet, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Bornean Bristlehead, Blue-headed, Blue-banded and Black-headed Pittas, Bornean Blue and Large-billed Blue Flycatchers, Bornean and Black-throated Wren Babblers, Black-sided and Yellow-rumped Flowerpeckers, Black-capped White-eye and the Dusky Munia. There are numerous trails at the Danum Valley Field Centre and near the Borneo Rainforest Lodge where you can bird watch. Apart from birds, you have excellent opportunities to observe the wildlife at Danum Valley.
Conservation & Environmental Management Division – Yayasan Sabah Group
Tel: +6088 – 326 318
One of the more popular bird watching destinations in Malaysia, Kinabalu Park is 90 km from Kota Kinabalu and provides a cool setting for bird watchers keen on the montane birds of Borneo. Established in 1964, the park covers 754 km of lowland, montane and cloud forest as well as sub-alpine vegetation at the upper reaches of Mount Kinabalu (4,101m). Bird watching is among the wide range of activities available at the park?s headquarters at 1,554m, where there is an extensive system of trails. More than 320 bird species have been found in Kinabalu Park, including 17 endemic species. These endemic species include the Red-breasted Partridge, Crimson-headed Partridge, Mountain Serpent-Eagle, Whitehead?s Broadbill, Bornean Barbet, Golden-naped Barbet, Mountain Barbet, Whitehead’s Trogon, Fruithunter, Kinabalu Friendly Warbler, Mountain Black-eye, Everett?s Thrush, Mountain Wren-Babbler, Bornean Stubtail, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, ‘Black-sided Flowerpecker and the Whitehead’s Spiderhunter. There is a good system of trails established at Kinabalu Park and most of these trails are usually good for bird watching. You should also look out for birds around the park headquarters area in the early morning. The forest fringed road from park headquarters, leading to Pondok Timpohon – the starting point of the climb up Mount Kinabalu, is also a good area to look for birds.
Tel: +088 – 211 881
KINABATANGAN FLOOD PLAIN & WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
The Kinabatangan Flood Plain and Wildlife Sanctuary located in eastern Sabah is a 26,100 ha wetland area, part of the larger Lower Kinabatangan floodplain, which is about 3,300 km in size. The diverse habitats here comprise a mosaic of lowland dipterocarp forest, forest over limestone, seasonal swamp forest, permanent freshwater swamps, tidal swamp forest and a mangrove forest. Biologically diverse, the area is home to over 200 species of birds, including several endemic Bornean species and eight species of hornbills. Bird watching is possible while cruising along the main Kinabatangan River and other smaller rivers such as the Menanggul River. A leisurely river cruise along the rivers in the early morning and late evening is usually rewarding. Here, you might spot the Oriental Darter, the endangered Storm?s Stork, the Lesser Adjutant Stork, Jerdon?s Baza, Bat Hawk, Green Imperial Pigeon, Great Egret, Long-tailed Parakeet, Hooded Pitta, Bar-bellied Cuckoo Shrike, Black-capped Babbler, Malaysian Blue Flycatcher, Rhinoceros and Wrinkled Hornbills as well as the Stork-billed and Oriental Dwarf Kingfishers. Other areas for bird watching include the ox-bow lakes, trails at the Danau Pitas ox-bow lake and along the Menanggul River. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is also an excellent area to watch endemic Bornean mammals such as the Proboscis Monkey and the Bornean Pygmy Elephant.