Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
July 23 to October 1, 2012
Kota Kinabalu (KK) (45 species)
The Sutera Harbor Resort across from Zara’s Boutique Hotel supplied the more common birds that I would see repeatedly including: Pink-necked pigeon, Spotted dove, Zebra dove, Glossy swiftlet, Ashy tailorbird, Asian glossy-starling, Yellow-vented bulbul, Oriental magpie-robin, Olive-backed sunbird, Little spiderhunter, Chestnut manikin, Asian tree sparrow, and Intermediate egret. Added to that was a Bold-striped tit-babbler from Signal Hill Observatory; Javan pond heron and Black crowned night heron from the trees to the east of Zara’s hotel, and Purple heron (nesting), Collared kingfisher, and Greater coucal from the Mangrove Center. Just south of KK, CK Leong and I visited Tg Ara Beach and picked up a Chinese egret accompanied by Little egret, Lesser sand plover, Grey-tailed tattler, and Common sandpiper. We also stopped at Prince Phillip Park where an introduced population of Blue-naped parrots survives in the casuarina trees. Crested mynas were also present.
Mount Kinabalu (54 species)
I did not climb Mount Kinabalu, though in my futile quest for the friendly warbler, I hiked the Summit Trail to near the 3 km mark. During that day I witnessed two separate and seemingly fit persons painfully crash to their knees; their legs simply gave out. I also met many, many limping people at various locations across Sabah fresh from the climb. I highly recommend that if you climb, take a stick for the way down. Also, based on conversations with survivors, recovery time for the young and reasonably fit (run, bike, gym on regular basis) was 3 to 5 days, something to consider when planning an action packed itinerary. Okay, ‘nuff said.
Between the elevation and typhoons in the Philippines, Mt K was cold, wet, windy, and shrouded in mist for most of the time I was there. The Klau View trail and the upper sections of the Bukit Ular, Mempaning and Silau Silau trails were loud and scary with branches crashing down and trees squeaking madly. Trail conditions were muddy and in some places down-cut with creeks running the length. The good news was that the canopy was rather shorter than lowland forests, so canopy birds were not impossible without a scope. Perhaps it was the season, but there were few fruiting or flowering trees.
I’ve included a copy of the park map with both north and the summit (topographically uphill) at the top, map page here. This is the same map you get at the entrance booth.
In spite of the weather, bird waves were bumped into 2 to 4 times daily, and at any time of day, though after 5pm was rarely productive. They came in two sizes. The “big bird” waves typically contained Chestnut-hooded laughingthrush, Sunda laughingthrush, Bornean treepie, Bornean (Short-tailed) green magpie, Black and crimson oriole, Ashy and Hair-crested drongos, Ochraceous bulbul, Checker-throated woodpecker, Maroon woodpecker, and ultimately, with lots of searching, Bald-headed laughing thrush. Interestingly tree shrews and squirrels seemed to follow big bird waves as they moved through the canopy. Occasionally mixed in with, or adjacent to these flocks were Whitehead’s spiderhunter, Fruithunter, Golden-naped barbet, Sunda cuckoo-shrike, and Grey-chinned minivet.
“Small bird” waves were often led by hair-crested drongo, but generally were comprised of Chestnut-crested yuhina, Yellow-breasted warbler, Mountain leaf-warbler, Bornean whistler, Grey-throated babbler, White-throated fantail, and Black-capped white-eye. It is difficult to pick out any one area where bird waves were more likely, but the places that stand out are the lowest 300 meters of the Bukit Ular trail, the first rest stop/bathrooms below the Timpohon Gate at about the 4 km mark on Power Station Road, the top end of the Silau Silau trail, the beginning of the Liwagu trail along the Silau Silau River, and anywhere in the first 2 kms of Power Station road.
- Whitehead’s trogon seen two mornings in the pipeline corridor where the Mempening (east of the Bukit Burung shelter) and Liwagu trails meet, and again on the Liwagu Trail at about the 2500 meter mark.
- Bornean shortwing with minimal whistling, a bird was hopping around my boots midday near the top of the Silau Silau trail about 200 m down from the road.
- Bornean stubtail was at about 1.2 km on Power Station road in the early morning. It called, flew across the road, paused, then vanished and called again, which almost made up for the tourist who had just chased off my only possible Everett’s thrush. The stubtail was heard on two other occasions around the 2 km mark on the road.
- Bornean whistling thrush is reliably seen downstream of the bridge between Kinabalu Hall and the Botanic Garden over the Silau Silau River. A tailless bird was seen twice at the top end of the Liwagu trail near Timpohon gate, immediately below the road.
- Bornean forktail was seen midday in the 1 meter wide and high, cement drainage ditch below PS road, 100 m up from the Grace Dormitories. And seen again, in a more natural setting, downstream of the bridge between Kinabalu Hall and the Botanic Garden.
- Bornean (Black-sided) flowerpecker was repeatedly in the ornamental plants around buildings.
- Little pied flycatcher was in the ornamental plants by the Balsam Café midmorning, and again on the Liwagu trail at midday.
- Snowy-browed flycatcher pair was working a dead tree across the Liwagu River at about the 3000 m mark on the Liwagu Trail.
- Indigo flycatcher on dead pine across the highway from park entrance.
- Red-breasted hill partridges were seen late afternoon at the headquarters end of the Liwagu trail, along the Silau Silau River. I stumbled into a group that panicked and exploded in all directions including directly at my head! A single bird was seen at the headquarters end of the Silau Silau trail in midafternoon.
- Crimson-headed partridge was seen at the beginning of the Liwagu trail (west end), just above the Silau Silau River and again at about 2.5 km on the Summit Trail.
- Dusky munia were moving in the trees on the west (KK) side of the park entrance road just outside the park toll booth.
- Orange-headed thrush was mid-path in the pouring rain on the Klau View trail just south of the Pandanas trail junction.
- Whitehead’s spiderhunter seen at 4500 m on Liwagu Trail, heard bottom of Liwagu trail at Silua Silau River, both times in mixed flocks.
- Fruithunter single female in fruiting tree at lower end of Bukit Ular Trail
- Golden-naped barbet was in the same tree as Fruithunter.
- Sunda cuckoo-shrike was across the Silau Silau River from Kinabalu Hall.
- Grey-chinned minivets were at the first rest stop/toilet on road below Timpohon Gate at about the 4km mark.
- Pygmy blue-flycatchers were common along the PS road, look for photographers.
- Orange-backed woodpecker family was found at about 2500 m on Liwagu trail.
- Pale-faced (Flavescent) bulbul and Mountain black-eye were on scrub habitat in a saddle at about 2 km on the Summit Trail.
- Collared owlet was seen on the Liwagu trail about 200 m upstream from where the trail first approaches the Liwagu River. It stayed in the area for at least 3 days.
- Eyebrowed jungle flycatchers were spread thin along most forest trails and along the road.
- Mountain wren-babbler, Sunda bush-warbler, and Temminck’s babbler were generally seen from trails as opposed to the road. Try areas such as along the Silau Silau River, on the Mempening trail south of the Bukit Tupai hut, and the middle section of the Bukit Ular trail where it flattens out. Admittedly, they took me a while to work out, and then I generally ignored them, so locations are suggestive rather than precise.
Poring (55 species)
Lupa Masa Ecolodge won’t be for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it. Peaceful and birdy, I picked up 51 species in comfortable surroundings at my own pace. Bird waves moved through the gardens at the civilized hours of 8:30am and 3:00pm daily, though early morning was also good. The entrance trail was productive, though watch for aggressive dogs! Endemic species are highlighted below. Yes, there are leaches here.
Birds identified on the immediate grounds of Lupa Masa Ecolodge: Little cuckoo-dove, Emerald (ground) dove, Raffles’ malkoha, Scarlet-rumped trogon, Banded kingfisher, Rufus-backed kingfisher, Rufus woodpecker, Maroon woodpecker, Black and yellow broadbill, White-bellied erpornis, Dark-throated oriole, Maroon-breasted philentoma, Common iora, Black-naped monarch, Ashy drongo, Plain sunbird, Purple-naped sunbird, Bornean spiderhunter, Little spiderhunter, Spectacled spiderhunter, Yellow-breasted flowerpecker, Yellow-rumped flowerpecker, Dusky munia, White-crowned shama, Verditer flycatcher, Spectacled bulbul, Hairy-backed bulbul, Ochraceous bulbul, Yellow-bellied warbler, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Grey-headed babbler, Bold-striped tit-babbler, Ashy tailorbird, and Rufus-tailed tailorbird.
Birds identified along trail into Lupa Masa, particularly around a pool created by a leaking pipe: Raffles malkoha, Chestnut-breasted malkoha, Maroon woodpecker, Buff-rumped woodpecker, Large woodshrike, Green iora, Pied fantail, Brown-throated sunbird, Orange-bellied flowerpecker, Chestnut munia, Dusky munia, juv. Bornean forktail (bird looks more similar to Mt K. birds than to Sepilok birds), Yellow-vented bulbul, Red-eyed bulbul, Ochraceous bulbul, Yellow-bellied warbler, Grey-headed babbler, Chestnut-winged babbler, Abbot’s babbler.
Birds identified on the trail to Langanan Waterfall at Poring Hot Springs: Bushy-crested hornbill, Red-throated barbet, Maroon woodpecker, Hose’s broadbill (at about the 2.5 km mark was called in with tape), Black-naped monarch, Ashy drongo, Brown-throated sunbird, Orange-bellied flowerpecker, Bornean leafbird (at about the 3 km mark in trees visible across from small spring with bamboo spigot), Chestnut-capped thrush (immediately above bat cave), White-crowned shama, Bornean forktail (pair of birds more similar to Mt. K birds than Sepilok birds), Ochraceous bulbul, Cinereous bulbul, Grey-headed babbler.
Crocker Range, Rafflesia Reserve
On the highway below the reserve starting at about 6:30am. Birding was with CK Leong and Jonathon Soon.
Blyth’s Hawkeagle, Little cuckoo-dove, Green imperial pigeon, Mountain imperial pigeon, Dark hawk-cuckoo, Grey-rumped treeswift, Gold-whiskered barbet, Mountain Barbet, Buff-rumped woodpecker, Dark-throated oriole, Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike, Common iora, Ashy drongo, Bornean treepie, Bornean leafbird, Asian fairy bluebird, Bornean bulbul, Yellow-vented bulbul, Cinereous bulbul, Chestnut-crested yuhina, Chestnut-hooded laughingthrush, Yellow-bellied prinia.
Crocker Range Headquarters (60 species with Rafflesia Reserve)
Birded the Insectarium Trail then the Crocker Trail to hut (about 1km) with CK Leong.
Crocker Trail: White-breasted Waterhen, Little cuckoo-dove, Emerald dove, Red-throated barbet, Blue-eared barbet, Brown barbet, Black and yellow broadbill, Bornean banded pitta, Lesser cuckoo-shrike, Black and crimson oriole, Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike, Maroon-breasted philentoma, White-bellied woodswallow, Pied fantail, Spotted fantail, Brown-throated sunbird, Temminck’s sunbird, Little spiderhunter, Thickbilled spiderhunter, Plain flowerpecker, Orange-breasted flowerpecker, Yellow-rumped flowerpecker, Greater green leafbird, Asian fairy bluebird, Dusky munia, White-crowned shama, Hill blue flycatcher, Gray-headed canary-flycatcher, Barn swallow, Streaked bulbul, Yellow-bellied warbler, Brown fulvetta, Pygmy ibon (Pygmy white-eye), Chestnut-crested yuhina, Scaly-crowned babbler, Ashy tailorbird
Insectarium: Grey-rumped treeswift, Yellow-whiskered barbet, Dark-throated oriole, Maroon-breasted philentoma, Green iora, Pied fantail, Orange-bellied flowerpecker, Verditer flycatcher, Spectacled bulbul, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Chestnut-hooded laughingthrush.
Tempasuk Plain rice paddies (42 species)
Birded with CK Leong and Roger Rajah.
We visited this area at the very start of migration by driving around looking for concentrations of birds in the rice paddy areas east of the highway. I’m afraid since someone else was driving, I didn’t note exact locations, but we were near Kota Balud, north of KK.
Yellow bittern and Cinnamon bittern were seen in flight over the green rice fields, with Yellow bittern being the more common. Small channels and berms between fields provided views of Black-backed swamphen (Purple Swamphen), Common moorhen, Watercock, and a single female Greater painted snipe. Birds in the more open areas included Oriental pratincole (many), Little ringed plover, Red-necked stint, and Wood sandpiper. Along the road were Scale-breasted munia, Striated grassbird, Pied triller, Buff-banded rail, White-breasted waterhen, White-breasted woodswallow, and Lesser coucal. Great egret, Javan pond heron, Purple heron, Whiskered tern, Black-shouldered kite, Brahmany kite, and Barn swallow were seen in various un-noted locations. An Osprey was seen from the highway.
Sepilok B&B and Rainforest Discovery Center (93 species)
Birding the RDC (Rainforest Discovery Center) was not the tranquil forest experience I had at Mt. K or Tawau Hills Park. Instead it was filled with the sound of dump-trucks, hammers, and construction noise which was replaced on weekends by screaming tourists and extremely loud and continuous playback by bird photographers (!!!). Nevertheless, it did contain a lot of birds with the famous Bristlehead showing repeatedly. The most productive areas were Kingfisher Trail early and late in the day (see map here at this website, note that North is at the bottom of the map); Pitta Path, the end near Woodpecker Avenue, and the area around where Pitta Path junctions Mousedeer Crossing; and Lakeside Trail south of the Visitor Building. Construction disturbance at Birders Rest made birding near the Hornbill tower difficult, but not completely unproductive. I expect that the construction there is done, so may not be an issue. Bristlehead tower was a good place for barbets and bulbuls throughout the day, and evening fly-byes of parrots and pigeons, though I didn’t feel confident in calling most of these. Leaches and mosquitos were present, but not too abundant relative to say Tawau Hills.
As has been noted by other reports, park hours are officially 8 to 6, but they are permissive of early/late entries. I entered the park repeatedly at dawn and the canopy walkway was always open, if occupied by Sunda pig-tailed and Long-tailed macaques. It was only closed once while I was there, during a thunderstorm, and then it was not locked, only shut. One morning the guard asked me to pay the 20RM entry fee, but when I didn’t have change, he waved it as long as I promised to pay later.
For those interested in mammals, at 6:30 each evening from the canopy walkway about 20 m before Trogon tower a giant red flying squirrel climbs a tree on the east side of the walkway and flies to another tree. Look for the squirrel information sign on the walkway, it is directly in front of the tree where the squirrel will appear. Often there is more than one squirrel, the second flying in from any of several trees in the area. Also seen here were Cream-colored giant squirrel, Provost’s squirrel, and some type of pygmy tree squirrel.
- Bornean Bristlehead were seen mid-morning on the Lakeside trail where the road makes a sharp bend toward the lake, about 200 m south of the Visitor Building. They also occurred along the Pitta Path at the junction with the Tarsier Crossing, again in late morning. And finally near Trogon tower as seen from the pond along the Kingfisher Trail at sunset. Never did I see more than three birds together, and always they were found after hearing their calls. No tapes were used.
- Bornean Black Magpie was found on the Pitta Path toward the ridgetop, about 300 m beyond the junction with the Tarsier Crossing at around 1pm. A single bird was calling and after I imitated it, the bird proceeded to change its call and bow to me. It threw itself forward, slightly raising its wings and stretching is neck down and forward with a whooshing sound. The action was reminiscent of a Lesser bird of paradise or an oropendula, though the movement’s reach was not as forceful, nor as far. Though others have documented what may have been similar behavior, the voices were different and the bird didn’t seem to vibrate its wings. The sound I heard was more similar to a snorting deer, a short (less than 2 seconds) whooshing sound. Diard’s trogon was also in this area as was an UID ground babbler (argh!).
- Red-bearded bee-eater: an adult bird was found at 830 am at the junction of Kingfisher Trail and the Trogon Trail (trail below the Trogon tower to about midway on the Kingfisher Trail).
- Crested jay (6-8) were seen mid-morning in a single flock on the Sepilok Giant Bypass, 50 m below the tree where the trail bends east. The birds were in the ravine.
- White-crowned forktail (2) were seen together in the early morning along the first stream on the Pitta Path, beginning at the Woodpecker Avenue end. Seen several times along the same stream was a pair (the same pair?) of White-breasted babblers.
- Banded kingfisher male was seen two days in a row on the Lakeside Trail 100 m south of the Visitor Center.
- Rufus backed kingfisher was in the same area as the Banded Kingfisher on three occasions and variously around the lake at other times.
- Blue-eared and Stork-billed kingfishers were seen several times along the lake edge.
- White-bellied woodpeckers were seen several times and heard repeatedly from the canopy towers and walkway. It seemed to be the same loud and active pair with a juvenile during the time of my visit, though I have no way of telling.
- Scarlet-rumped trogons (3) were seen from the ground south of the Trogon tower (pair), and again on the Pitta Path near its junction with Mousedeer Crossing (single male).
- Red-naped trogons (pair) were found on the Kingfisher Trail about 50 m upstream from the pond.
- Brown and Blue-eared barbet were seen from the Bristlehead tower.
- Pale blue flycatcher (2) and Long-billed spiderhunter (1) were seen mid-day at the small pond and waterfall located above the road (south) from where Kingfisher Trail junctions the Ridge Trail. This is probably a productive location, but at the time I was there construction disturbance at Birder’s Rest was an issue.
- Black and Oriental pied hornbills were seen at the B&B, along the road to the park, and in the park on numerous occasions, mostly early or late in the day. Bushy crested hornbills were also seen in the park near the Trogon tower.
- Baya weavers were introduced to the area and can be found in the trees next to the Anglican Church about 2 km east of the Sepilok turning off Highway 22 (A4). The church is on the left as you drive toward Sandakan and the nests can be seen from the highway.
- Black-crowned pitta (?) was heard twice on the Pitta Path, (seen by another birder) about 30 m beyond the trail’s first bridge starting from the Woodpecker Avenue end. It was off the far side (right hand as go up) in a rattan tangle. I also heard it on the Sepilok Giant Bypass, about 100m below the big tree, again in a rattan tangle below the trail.
Kinabatangan River; Sakau and Billit (56 species)
River boat trips and night walks are what it is all about in this area. Each morning/evening dozens of boats go up and down the river, generally to the same locations. In spite of the crowds, it is possible to see some fabulous animals at fairly close range including Orang utan, Pygmy elephant (Sakau only when I was there), Pig-tailed and Long-tailed macaques, Proboscis monkey, Smooth otter, Bearded pig, Silvered Langur, Monitor lizards, and Mangrove viper. The only place I did night walks was at the Kinabatangan River Nature Lodge under conditions that were pretty much a fiasco; groups of 10-15 people stumbling around in the mud circling in the same 4 acre area with flashlight beams rocketing off in all directions. One would expect any self-respecting animal to be long gone but amazingly we were able to get great looks at a Malay civet, a Western tarsier, and a roosting Hooded pitta.
Due to the boat traffic and the common tourists’ lack of interest, it is difficult to see smaller birds without a dedicated boat and guide. The cut over land around the lodge area provided me with one new bird, Black-capped babbler.
From the boat, here are the highlights:
- Storm’s stork: Single birds seen in four different locations generally perched up high. Not uncommon.
- Lesser adjutant: Seen once from boat near entrance to oxbow lake.
- Oriental darter: commonly seen in flight plus a large rooting area of them downstream from KRNL.
- Wallace’s hawk-eagle: Seemed relatively common on the river, though several birds were left as part of a group with Blythe’s Hawk-eagle and Jerdon’s Baza which were undoubtedly present.
- Green imperial pigeon: Common in flight.
- Drongo Cuckoo: Three birds in dead tree down river from KRNL.
- Buffy fish owl: Single bird seen from Sakau in small tributary upstream.
- Sacred kingfisher: Single bird seen perched downstream from KRNL. Possible early migrant?
- Rhinoceros hornbill: Seen on three occasions.
- Wrinkled hornbill: Group of seven seen crossing tributary downstream of KRNL.
Tabin Wildlife Reserve (67 species)
I have a love-hate relationship with this place. The accommodation was dirty and overpriced, the food institutional, and the guides mediocre (many on vacation), but where else are you going to watch a mother Orang utan and her baby eat breakfast followed by a pair of blue-headed pitta casually hopping down the road? Likewise a sizable herd of pygmy elephants followed by a White fronted (Bornean) falconet, a Great-billed heron, and some White-crowned hornbills.
- Storm’s stork: Pair in wetland area before the rhino enclosures.
- Great-billed heron: Single bird on the upstream side of the entrance road, just beyond (east) of the large “honey tree” where the Glossy Asian starlings roost (about 4 km before lodge?).
- White-crowned and Rhinoceros hornbills were in the same area as the Great-billed heron.
- White-fronted falconet: large “honey tree” where the Glossy Asian starlings roost.
- Little green-pigeon: along road beyond trail to mud volcano.
- Violet cuckoo: along road beyond trail to mud volcano.
- Blue-banded kingfisher: streamside on lodge grounds where stairs ascend to Hill Top cabins.
- Blue-headed pitta: Male and female hopping down the road beyond the trail to the mud volcano early one morning.
Mammals seen included Orang utan, Pygmy (Asian) elephant, Greater and Lesser mousedeer, Leopard cat, Bornean Gibbon, Pig-tailed and Long-tailed macaques, Silvered Langur, and Bearded pig.
Sipadan and Pom Pom Islands (23 species)
These islands were visited while scuba diving, so little time was devoted to birding.
- Lesser frigatebird: Most common frigatebird in the area and often seen in the town of Semporna.
- Greater frigatebird: Seen from hotel room in Semporna, but listed here for convenience.
- Golden-bellied Gerygone: In fruiting fig tree, Sipadan Island; often heard on Pom Pom.
- Black-naped fruitdove and Pied imperial pigeon in the fruiting fig tree on Sipadan. Pied imperial pigeons were also seen on Pom Pom.
- White-vented whistler: On Sipadan working trees inland from ranger’s lodging.
- Barred rail: On Pom Pom to the north of the older pier, the bird was scared out of the scattered shrubs in the grassy area between the sand and the scrub forest. Seen only once, early morning.
Tawau Hills Park (Bukit Bambalai) (87 species)
The Tawau Hills Park contains a variety of habitats, lovely streams, and a hot spring within a day’s slow birding walk of the park entrance. The leaches are abundant, the canopy high, and the birds spotty. From 9 to 5 on weekends the park is the domain of local visitors who arrive in busses playing pop music so loud you can hear it over a kilometer away. Most come to picnic and swim at the recreation area near the park’s entrance, but the trails become active with young men and women throughout the day. The biggest problem I had was that my presence was such a novelty and they all wanted pictures. Each meeting on the trail became a 15 minute ordeal of posing for iPhone photos. I ended up hiding behind trees whenever I heard a group approaching, and spent several hours sitting a few hundred meters off the trail, where I saw some of my best birds.
All that said, this was one of my favorite places in Sabah. Weekdays the place is deserted and birding, difficult, but no worse than any other tropical lowland forest. There are few trails, but enough to keep one exploring and seeing new things. The park is quite large with a range of elevations, but I kept my explorations to the lowlands. Part of my time at this park was in the company of CK Leong, and many of the birds below were seen with his guidance.
- Crested fireback: While sitting and waiting for the trail to clear of visitors, a group of three birds approached. This was at about the 800m mark on the main trail.
- Great argus: A female was seen in the flat area on the way to Galas waterfall about 100 m after the trail turns left and leaves the main stream. They were often heard and dance floors were abundant.
- Crested goshawk: Early morning, an immature bird was perched over the water at the first bridge on the main trail.
- Brown wood owl: Behind the canteen each evening.
- Wreathed hornbill: Seen several times in a fruiting tree along main trail.
- Gray-and-buff woodpecker: At the 0.5 km hut along main trail
- Green broadbill: In mixed flock along main trail in midafternoon.
- Banded broadbill: Two birds at the top of the trail before descending to the waterfall at midafternoon.
- Black-headed pitta: Responded to whistle at about the 700 m mark on main trail. Also seen at water pipe on unmarked trail leading west from the steel bridge, behind the 1.5 km hut.
- Asian paradise-flycatcher: Not uncommon in mixed flocks, often accompanied by Spotted fantails.
- Long-billed blue flycatcher: Seen a few times along main trail 0.5 to 1km.
- Bornean blue-flycatcher: Seen once near the Tallest Tropical Tree.
- Rufous-tailed shama: Seen once midmorning, west of the 1.5 km hut near the steel bridge. Not tape responsive.
- Short-tailed babbler: Most common babbler in the park at the time of my visit.
- Bornean-wren babbler: Late afternoon about 200 m up the sulphur springs trail from the steel bridge. Responded to tape.
Tinagat Beach near Tawau (8 species)
This beach is reached by turning off the main road to Tawau about 5 km short of the town on the ?? road. There are several sections to it, divided by groups of houses. Low to middle tides are best since the area is covered completely with water when the tide is high. A scope is useful here since the leading edge of the sand/mud can be some distance off shore. I visited this site with CK Leong.
New birds added at this location include: Pacific golden plover, Eurasian curlew, Whimbrel, Terek sandpiper, Common redshank, Common greenshank, and Sanderling. Driving east from the beach area past numerous fish ponds a feral population of Pale-bellied Myna was found just short of the bridge over the Sg. Apas.