Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 22, 2020

North Borneo Railway

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 4:08 am

Tenom to Beaufort Train Trip

I had been looking forward to this train trip for ages and I specifically went to Tenom to ride this famous train. It goes from Tenom in the hills of south-west Sabah to Beaufort, which is near the coast. Anyhow, here is the famous train at the station in Tenom.

Train to Beaufort
Train to Beaufort

You can hang out the window, take photos, smoke. No fancy rules here.

Going through the hills
Going through the hills

The train followed the Padas River most of the way down the hill.

Following the river
Following the river

The track is getting work done on it. They are putting new sleepers in and building up a section of the track where it goes around this hill. These boys were working on the construction. We had to get out of the train and walk past this section.

The railway workers
The railway workers

Hopped off the other train and then we got on this one waiting for us. The other people going the other way got off this one and hopped on ours.

Swapping trains
Swapping trains

The engine was pushing from the back, then went into a siding and switched to the front.

The train engine
The train engine

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More Sabah Tourist Snaps

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 1:33 am

Tourist Photos From Mt Kinabalu to Pulau Banggi.

This blog post starts off from Mount Kinabalu, where I spent about four days wandering about the lower tracks of the mountain.

Massive Moth
Massive Moth

This moth was huge. And it had snake heads at the ends of each wing. Hopefully to scare off predators.

Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu

Lots of people climb this every day. More than a hundred a day. And they pay massive amounts of money to do so. The mountain is more than four thousand meters high, I think.

Kota Kinabalu public wharf
Kota Kinabalu public wharf

All the water taxis gunning it against the side of the wharf, waiting to take passengers to the islands just off the town. It is mayhem.

Lion Dance
Lion Dance

It was Chinese New Year and they had the lion dancers at the Kota Kinabalu Mall. This kid is just getting into his lion costume.

Lions on stilts
Lions on stilts

The lion dancers climbed up on these poles and did all these stunts. The crowd loved it.

Kampung at Dragon Pearl Beach
Kampung at Dragon Pearl Beach

It is not really a kampung, more like a bunch of holiday houses built on the beach.

Dragon Pearl Beach
Dragon Pearl Beach

This is a view from the wharf. The tide went out for hundreds of meters, so the wharf was pretty much useless except at high tide. doh!

Tammoyo Place
Tammoyo Place

This is my hut on the beach on Banggi Island. It was pretty comfy. I had a couple of mattresses and electricity at night, so I was very content.

River near Kampung Nusa Nusa
River near Kampung Nusa Nusa

There were monkeys, otters and cows hanging out around this river mouth.

Caterpillar
Caterpillar

I liked this really colourful caterpillar that I found in the rainforest.

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February 20, 2020

South West Sabah

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:38 am

Tenom Birding

I spent a couple of days in Keningau and went to the Crocker Ranges whilst there, to no avail. Yesterday morning I caught the bus here to Tenom, which is a coffee-growing area. I bought some tenom coffee in Kota Kinabalu so I already had some. I had to just go and buy some sugar from the supermarket across the road because they had none in the hostel. I am having instant noodles and coke for lunch, with a real coffee aterwards. But I digress. Yesterday afternoon and this morning I went for a walk on the outskirts of Tenom. Not much around but I found some Baya Weavers and their nest, so that was a bonus.

Baya Weaver
Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus)

Baya Weaver feed in grassland and build elaborate woven nests hung in tree colonies.

Baya Weaver
Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus)

Female or immature Baya Weaver.

Baya Weaver nests
Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) – nest

Baya Weaver  nest entrance
Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) – nest entrance

Spotted Dove
Spotted Dove (Geopelia chinensis)

Purple Heron
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

Lesser Coucal
Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)

Squirrel
Squirrel

Tenom bird list

Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus)
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)
Spotted Dove (Geopelia chinensis)
Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)
White-breasted Woodswallow
Asian Glossy Starling
Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Oriental Magpie-robin
Olive-backed Sunbird
Cattle Egret
Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)

mal200220

February 18, 2020

Manado to Sandakan

Filed under: General — Tags: , — admin @ 12:04 pm

Tourist Photos from Indonesia to Malaysia

All these photos came from my phone. I lost the charger on my el cheapo point and shoot automatic camera, so I decided to chuck it away and just use my phone. I cannot see much difference. The image quality is probably a bit better but it is still pretty crap taking photos with the phone. I started off in Manado, in the north of Sulawesi.

Boat off Manado
Boat off Manado

I flew from Manado to Tarakan in Kalimantan, and then hopped on a speedboat to Nunukan, which is close to the border of Malaysian Sabah.

 Seaweed farming in Nunukan
Seaweed farming in Nunukan

Houses on water
Houses on water

This village was built over the water. I guess they have easy access to their boats.

Semporna public wharf
Semporna public wharf

These are the local taxis for the people who live on the islands nearby or in the villages built over the water along the shore.

Sunset at Pulau Mabul
Sunset at Pulau Mabul

Bajau traders
Bajau traders

These are Bajau, or sea gypsies. They live on their boats and travel between Sabah, Sulawesi and Mindanao. They are selling seafood.

Market at Lahad Datu
Market at Lahad Datu

Boat ride on the Kinabatangan River
Boat ride on the Kinabatangan River

I spent about four days on the Kinabatangan River and took lots of photos of monkeys and birds.

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Taman Banjaran Crocker

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:37 am

Crocker Ranges National Park

I had to get the 7am big bus to Kota Kinabalu to get to the Crocker Ranges. I got dropped off at the park office which is nowhere near the entrance. There was a track leading up the hill so I took that one. It was either that or walk two kilometers up the road to the park entrance. I hate climbing hills. The track just went up and up and up. And there were hardly any birds that I saw. I could hear some but there were very few coming into view. It was a very frustrating morning. I gave up halfway up the hill and came back down again, had a cup of coffee at the cafe and waited for the bus back to Keningau. What a disaster! You have days like this. Taman Banjaran Crocker, 18/2/2020, morning.

White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama (Copsychus stricklandi)

Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)

Crocker Ranges National Park pathetic bird list

White-crowned Shama (Copsychus stricklandi)
black-winged flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)
Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)

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February 17, 2020

Pulau Banggi 6

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:04 pm

Banggi Island 6

I was reluctant to getup this morning but I dragged myself out of bed, had a dingo’s breakfast and headed down the road. I was glad that I did because I managed to get a fair photo of a Greater Coucal. I had a relaxing last morning at Banggi Island and finished off with a total of about 36 birds. Not great but there is not much information about the birds on this island.

Greater Coucal
Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)

White-throated Fantail
White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)

Little Egret
Little Egret

Coming in for an emergency landing on the beach.

Common Iora
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)

Brown-throated Sunbird
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)

Banggi Island bird list

Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Oriental Magpie-robin
White-throated Fantail
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)

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Pulau Banggi 5

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:46 am

Banggi Island 5

It was lucky I went into the track to the river. I was going along it and I disturbed a mob of sea otters coming my way. They backtracked and slid into the river and crossed to the other side where they rolled in the sand and then continued on up the river. There were eight in the mob. I do not know what you call a herd of Sea Otters. 15/2/2020, Morning.

White-crowned Shama
White-crowned Shama (Copsychus stricklandi)

Endemic to Borneo, but confined to Sabah and North East Kalimantan.

Oriental Magpie-robin  - male
Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis adamsi) – male

You can tell this sub-species from race pluto by the lack of white on the tail edge of both male and female.

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  - male
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) – male

Brown Shrike
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)

Otters
Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

I do not know the proper species name yet. Edit: “The smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is an otter species occurring in most of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, with a disjunct population in Iraq.” (wiki)

Otters
Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

A colourful bug
A colourful bug

I found this one while looking for the scrubfowl nest in the depths of the rainforest.

Banggi Island bird list

Philippine Megapode (Megapodius cumingii) – Philippine Scrubfowl, Burung Tambun.
White-crowned Shama (Copsychus stricklandi)
Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis adamsi)
White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)
Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus)
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
White-breasted Woodswallow ((Artamus leucorhynchus)
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Olive-winged Bulbul

Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), in Malay – Memerang or Anjing Laut – Sea Dogs.

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Banggi Island 4

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:49 am

Pulau Banggi 4

This morning I went north again along the road to the bridge. The highlight of the morning was seeing some Sea Otters swimming in the river. I think there was about six of them in the mob. I did manage to catch a quick glimpse of a Philippine Scrubfowl, but he was too quick for me and I did not get a photo. Later that afternoon I found a mound nest but the eggs had been hatched or something stole them. 14/2/2020.

Sea Otters
Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

The Malayan word for Sea Otter is Memerang or Anjing Laut, which means Sea Dogs.

Sea Otters
Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

They look like the three stooges.

Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)

Common Iora
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
This is a male Common Iora in eclipse. The head changes to bright yellow.

Buff-necked Woodpecker
Buff-necked Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tukki)

The malay name for woodpecker is belatuk.

Paddyfield Pipit
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)

Banggi Island bird list

Philippine Megapode (Megapodius cumingii)
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)
Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)
Dollarbird (Eurystomys orientalis)
Buff-necked Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tukki)

Memerang – Anjing Laut – Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

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Banggi Island 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:35 am

Pulau Banggi 3

I cannot even remember this afternoon four days later, doh! 13/2/2020 Afternoon.

Crimson  Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)

Crimson  Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)

Unknown bird
Grey-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseisticta)

I am sure it is a flycatcher , maybe, but which one? Edit: I was way off. The feet should have been a give-away. Thanks Khaleb Yordan for the id help. muchly appreciated. And also thanks andew and james.

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma)

Brown Shrike
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)

Ocean, boat and monkey
Ocean, boat and monkey

A long-tailed Macaque on the beach.

Banggi Island bird list

Grey-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseisticta)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma)
White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)

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Banggi Island 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:18 am

Pulau Banggi – Tammoyo Place 2

I am staying at a resort near Kampung Nusa Nusa. This morning I went south towards the Kapitangan River, past a small village. There were quite a lot of munias on a football field eating their breakfast of grass seeds. 13/2/2020, morning.

Blue-throated Bee-eater
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)

Brown-throated Sunbird - male
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) – male

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

id help please.
Olive-winged Bulbul

Maybe Grey-cheeked Bulbul ( Alophoixus bres ) is my best bet. But it seems like it is an Olive-winged Bulbul. Thanks to Andrew for the help in identifying.

id help please.
Olive-winged Bulbul

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus)

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

The Barn Swallow is differentiated from the Pacific Swallow by a dark band below the rufous throat. Immature birds often lack tail feathers of adults.

Spotted Dove
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

Chestnut Munia
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)

Lesser Coucal
Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)

Banggi Island bird list

Olive-winged Bulbul (Pycnonotus plumosus)
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)
Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Olive-winged Bulbul (Pycnonotus plumosus)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
Asian Glossy Starling
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorhynchus)
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

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