Mengkabong Bridge, Tuaran


Many people, including myself see this bridge as one of the favorite spot for landscape especially to take the sunrise with Mt Kinabalu in the frame. As early as 4:30am, we drove from KK to the bridge at Tuaran, to park the car before reaching the bridge and walked towards the middle point of it and wait for the sunrise.

This round, it’s different, I’m standing at the opposite side, trying to capture the sunset with the bridge in the frame.  The above shot was a result of merging 3 separate shots together (as the bridge is too long, even with my 17mm lens).

Later, we cross the bridge and reach the opposite side of the river.  While the sun is setting below the horizon,  here is the shot,

When it’s getting darker, the street light is switched on and I tried the reflection shot.  Here and below

Just before leaving, I took another closer shot of the bridge.

White-Breasted Waterhen


Using Canon 7D, 800mm Lens, ISO500, 1/320, f8

This waterhen is among the commonest one in Sabah, it can be seen at swamp, padi fields, and even at my backyard (near drain). They can be noisy when 2 or more meet and make loud and repetitive croaking calls.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) is a waterbird of the rail and crake family Rallidae that is widely distributed across South and Southeast Asia. They are dark slaty birds with a clean white face, breast and belly. They are somewhat bolder than most other rails and are often seen stepping slowly with their tail cocked upright in open marshes or even drains near busy roads.

They are largely crepuscular in activity and during the breeding season, just after the first rains, make loud and repetitive croaking calls.Adult White-breasted Waterhens have mainly dark grey upperparts and flanks, and a white face, neck and breast. The lower belly and undertail are cinnamon coloured. The body is flattened laterally to allow easier passage through the reeds or undergrowth. They have long toes, a short tail and a yellow bill and legs. Sexes are similar but females measure slightly smaller. Immature birds are much duller versions of the adults. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails.

Grey Heron


Using Canon 7D, 800mm Lens, ISO250, 1/1250, f10

This bird was photographed at wetland, Tuaran, while it was waiting for fish, I think. Its consider a rare winter migrant to the whole of Borneo until recently when it has become relatively common in the swamps and padi fields in NW Sabah.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in the milder south and west, but many birds retreat in winter from the ice in colder regions. It has become common in summer even inside the Arctic circle along the Norwegian coast.

t is a large bird, standing up to 100 cm (39 in) tall and measuring 84–102 cm (33–40 in) long with a 155–195 cm (61–77 in) wingspan.[2] The body weight can range from 1.02–2.08 kg (2.2–4.6 lb). Its plumage is largely grey above, and off-white below. Adults have a white head with a broad black supercilium and slender crest, while immatures have a dull grey head. It has a powerful, pinkish-yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults. It has a slow flight, with its long neck retracted (S-shaped). This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes and spoonbills, which extend their necks. The call is a loud croaking “fraaank”. The Australian White-faced Heron is often incorrectly called Grey Heron. In Ireland the grey heron is often colloquially called ” crane “.

Sunrise at Mengkabong, Tuaran


This sunrise series were taken this morning at between 6:00am to 6:30am.  Sunrise at Borneo is later (i.e. after 6am) in early of the year.

In order to overcome to different brightness levels, i.e. sky, mountain and the foreground, and not using ND filter. I tried out staking 3 photos taken using Canon 5D Mk II, 24-105mm Lens, at 75mm focal length. Manual mode, ISO250, speed 1/8, and at 3 different aperture at f14, f18 & f22. These 3 photos was later processed using HDR function under Photoshop CS4.

The above photo was a result of merging 4 photos together using Photomerge in Photoshop. It was taken using Canon 5D Mk II, 24-105mm Lens at focal length at 40mm, on manual mode, ISO 160, f14, and exposure is fixed at 2 seconds.

Another HDR below.

Following is just a close-up shot of the mountain. One shot using Canon 5D Mk II, 100-400mm Lens at focal length of 100mm, ISO250, f13, 2.5 seconds exposures.

Common Moorhen


Using Canon 7D, 800mm Lens, ISO200, Av, 1/200, f9.0

You probably have seen this bird at any of the wetlands grown with vegetation around Kota Kinabalu.  Yes, this is a common residents at wetlands, paddy fields or swamp areas.  Seen this at Likas Lagoon, paddy fields at Penampang, and wetlands at Tuaran. This bird has similar plumage as the Dusky Moorhen, distinguish by its green and not red legs and no white on flanks.    They live together with other wetland birds like the Purple Swamphen, Watercock, Water rail etc.

Following is an update of the record, on the right hand side, it’s a female Common Moorhen. Taken at Wetland in Tuaran.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) is a distinctive species, with dark plumage apart from the white undertail, yellow legs and a red facial shield. The young are browner and lack the red shield. It has a wide range of gargling calls and will emit loud hisses when threatened.This is a common breeding bird in marsh environments and well-vegetated lakes. This species will consume a wide variety of vegetable material and small aquatic creatures. They forage beside or in the water, sometimes upending in the water to feed. It is often secretive, but can become tame in some areas.