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Frank Lambert Birding eco guide Malaysia Borneo Indonesia Mongolia


The following people have kindly contributed their photos for use on this website. All the species featured here can potentially be seen on trips to Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia and Mongolia.

Frank Lambert Birding Borneo with Nigel

Nigel Voaden

Nigel, here pictured with me in Washington State, USA, is a committed birder and wildlife photographer with a particular interest in moths. He has accompanied me on birding trips from New Zealand to Japan, in Taiwan, Mexico and the USA [above Black Sicklebill in West Papua, Indonesia. ©Nigel Voaden).

Wilsons Bird-of-Paradise ©Nigel Voaden .

Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise male

Indonesia has significantly more species of endemic bird than any other country, which is hardly surprising considering that it comprises more than 16,000 islands stretching some 5,000 km along the Equator, from Sumatra to New Guinea. It supports about 1,720 bird species, of which more than 500 are endemic. The extraordinary Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise is one of these, being found only on remote islands in West Papua. 
Whilst it is possible to bird this amazing country alone, it is much more rewarding to hire a guide who knows the birds, the locations and speaks the language fluently. There are some excellent local guides in Indonesia (although not all speak English well), and I work with different local guides in different parts of the country.

photo ©Nigel Voaden.

Sulawesi Crested Macaque

Sulawesi is one of the key destinations in Indonesia visited by birders. Not only does it support an incredible selection of birds, including endemics such as Maleo, Sombre Pigeon, Wallace's Standardwing, Lilac Kingfisher, Malia, Geomalia and Great Shortwing, but is also hosts an endemic family, Hylocitrea. The mammals are no less impressive, although many are very rare and elusive. Nevertheless, some of the endemic macaques and tarsiers are possible to see on a well-planned visit.

photo ©Nigel Voaden.

Frank Lambert Birding Sulawesi Guiding C
Frank Lambert Birding Crowned Pigeons c

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

The province of West Papua in far eastern Indonesia supports a particularly alluring selection of birds, including many species of outlandish pigeons, such as Victoria Crowned Pigeon, found only in the north of New Guinea. Like many species here, its distribution has been defined by the remarkable terrain and diversity of habitats that split the island of New Guinea into zones with their own very distinctive avifaunas.
This terrain and diversity, coupled with the lack of roads in most parts of West Papua make it difficult to see some of the rarer species without undertaking several trips, and indeed, visiting some parts of West Papua requires a relatively high level of fitness. Nevertheless, it is still possible to see an incredible diversity of species on a well-planned and tailored trip to suit your personal needs. I have spent over a year in New Guinea in total, and led ten tours to this fascinating island, and every one has been incredibly rewarding and exciting. It deserves to be on every world birders "to go" list!

photo ©Nigel Voaden.


Frank Lambert Birding Guiding Mongolia T

Tumendelga Humbaa

Tumen is a tireless wildlife conservationist, keen photographer and tour agent. He is an expert on all aspects of nature in his native Mongolia, where he lives in the desert oasis town of Dalanzadgad.

Long-eared Jerboa Mongolia ©Tumendelga H

Long-eared Jerboa

Mongolia is undoubtedly one of my favourite birding destinations. Not only does it support a fine selection of impressive birds, but with patience and persistence, one can also see some incredible mammals here. With only one endemic bird currently recognised, many birders don't even consider Mongolia as a birding destination, but as someone who has traveled the planet in search of birds, I can certainly vouch for its' outstanding qualities. 
The wonderful scenery, silence, friendly people and great photo opportunities make this one of the destinations that I always recommend to my clients and friends. Not only does Mongolia offer fantastic birding opportunities, but it is also home to many species of interesting mammals, including a suite of jerboas, best searched for at night.

photo ©Tumendelga Humbaa.

Mongolian Ground Jay

What Mongolia lacks in endemic birds, it makes up for in quality. For anyone who loves birding in open environments, it will not disappoint. The wetlands, steppes and desert that we typically visit on a 2-3 week trip support a fantastic selection of species, and there is a very good chance of encountering Mongolian Ground Jay. Other species that are normally seen in Mongolia include the endemic Kozlov's Accentor, Hodgson's Bushchat, Swan Goose, Stejneger's Scoter, White-naped and Demoiselle Crane, Asian Dowitcher, Pallas's Reed Bunting and Pallas's Sandgrouse. In addition, the northern Taiga forest supports Black-billed Capercaillie, Chinese Grasshopper Warbler and Siberian Jay. We also regularly see Relict Gull on migration (or by visiting a breeding colony, time permitting).

photo ©Tumendelga Humbaa.

Mongolian Ground Jay ©Tumendelga Humbaa.jpg
Wild camel - Camelus ferus.jpg

Bactrian Camel

There are very few places in the world where one can see a wild camel. Mongolia is one of them. Bactrian Camels are, however, only found in remote parts of the southern Gobi Desert, where they are thinly spread and extremely wary. Seeing one requires careful planning and adequate time.

photo ©Tumendelga Humbaa.

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Frank Lambert Birding ©Cecilia Verkley.j

Cecilia Verkley

Cecilia is a fanatic Canadian birder who has accompanied me on trips to Malaysia, Borneo (Sabah), Halmahera, Sulawesi and Bali, Indonesia.

Frank Lambert Birding Malaysia Crested F

Malayan Crested Fireback

Crested fireback pheasants were recently split into two species, one being endemic to Borneo, and this one, found only in Peninsular Malaysia and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are very elusive in most parts of their range, more often heard than seen (their alarm calls are reminiscent of a squirrel). In a few protected areas, however, both species of crested fireback have become habituated, enabling close approach of these beautiful birds. This male was photographed in Taman Negara National Park, Peninsular Malaysia, one of the key destinations on any tour to Malaysia.

photo ©Cecilia Verkley

Dusky Langur

Langurs, sometimes called leaf-monkeys, are a group of primates found only in South and Southeast Asia. This species is relatively common in the tall rainforests of Peninsular Malaysia, where small groups feed on leaves in the upper parts of the canopy. Malaysia (including the States of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo) support a diversity of diurnal primates including langurs, gibbons, macaques and Bornean orangutan, as well as nocturnal species of slow loris and tarsier. On a bird or nature tour to Malaysia, you are likely to see a good selection of these primates.

photo ©Cecilia Verkley.

Dusky Langur CeciliaVerkley.jpg
Frank Lambert Birding Malaysia Sibe Blue

Siberian Blue Robin male

Siberian Blue Robin is a common non-breeding visitor to Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, where it is regularly encountered from October to March. Unlike many northern passerine birds that winter in this region, they are confined to rainforest where they feed on the ground and can be very shy. Trapping data show that individuals return to the same non-breeding territory every year. Although they do not sing on the wintering grounds, both sexes have a distinctive but quiet call that usually gives their presence away, although seeing them well can be challenging.

photo ©Cecilia Verkley.

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Roger Charlwood

Roger and Liz Charlwood are avid birders and photographers, with Roger taking bird pictures and Liz focusing mainly on flora. They live in Sussex, UK, where they have recorded an incredible 215 bird species in their wonderful garden.

Charadrius veredus (Oriental Plover) Adu

Oriental Plover

This rare shorebird breeds on the dry plains of Mongolia and adjacent parts of China, but spends the winter in remote parts of northern Australia. On migration it is very difficult to find, and the best place to see it is undoubtedly Mongolia. They breed at very low density within a narrow altitudinal range, so seeing this species requires good local knowledge and persistence. Greater Sand Plover is another species that breeds on the steppes of Mongolia, but it is not usually found in the same areas as Oriental Plover.

photo ©Roger & Liz Charlwood (

Azure Tit

This is another highly sought-after species that is usually seen on trips to Mongolia. They are very locally distributed, but can be seen on any well-organized bird trip. They are particularly fond of meandering riverine forest, a habitat shared with Azure-winged Magpie, Three-toed Woodpecker, Long-tailed Rosefinch and White-crowned Penduline Tit.

photo ©Roger & Liz Charlwood (

Frank Lambert Birding Mongolia Guiding A
Frank Lambert Birding Mongolia GuidingSa

Saker Falcon

Although Saker Falcon is becoming a rare bird in much of its range, it is still relatively easy to see in Mongolia and visitors are likely to encounter it on several occasions during a typical trip. Other raptors that are regularly encountered in Mongolia include Lammergeier, Cinereous Vulture, Steppe and Golden Eagle, and Amur Falcon.

photo ©Roger & Liz Charlwood (


Frank Lambert Birding Malaysia Borneo Jo

John Howes

John is an ecologist who has been living in Malaysia for almost 30 years. He is a keen observer and photographer of nature, favouring digiscoping to take his bird photos and videos.

Frank Lambert Birding Malaysia Siberian

Siberian Thrush

Whilst Siberian Thrush breeds in northern temperate forests, it spends the non-breeding season primarily in the Greater Sunda region, where flocks can be encountered in montane forests. Although elusive, there are locations in Malaysia where bird feeders enable visitors to see them up close. Another rare visitor to one of these feeders in recent winters has been the enigmatic Rufous-headed Robin.

photo ©John Howes.

Empress Cicada

The world's largest cicada (Megapomponia imperatoria) photographed in peninsular Malaysia by John. Malaysian rainforests are famous for the abundance of showy insects and other spectacular arthropods. Whilst species such as butterflies are easily observed, many other groups such as stick insects, mantises and katydids are very well camouflaged and difficult to spot, even where they are common. These insects, along with cicadas, are often best seen close up at night, when they are attracted to lights in forested areas.

photo ©John Howes.

Frank Lambert Birding Malaysia Cicada ©J
Mountain Peacock Pheasant ©John

Mountain Peacock-Pheasant

Endemic to montane forests of Peninsular Malaysia, this uncommon pheasant is extremely hard to see, although there is now one location where a few individuals regularly come to a feeder. In the lowlands, its close relative, the endemic Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant is similarly elusive, and seeing one well requires considerable skill or a lot of luck! It seems remarkable that such large terrestrial species are so hard to see, but hunting and trapping pressure have resulted in them becoming extremely sensitive to the first sign of danger, and they are much more easily heard than seen.

photo ©John Howes.

Frank Lambert Birding Indonesia Sulawesi butterflies ©Cecilia Verkley_edited_edited.jpg

Butterflies are a common sight along rivers in Malaysia. Click here for more wildlife photos from the Malaysian Rainforest.

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