The geographical location of the Malay Peninsula at the tip of continental Asia is significant for migrating raptors. This tongue-like slice of land acts as a migration take-off point from mainland Asia to the islands of the Indonesian archipelago.
During spring, raptors leave their wintering areas in Indonesia and fly along the Malay Peninsula to head north to their breeding grounds in northern Asia. In autumn, they make the return passage and head south, flying along the Malay Peninsula to wintering grounds in Indonesia.
Thanks to the popularity of the Raptor Watch Week programme organized by MNS at Tanjung Tuan, Melaka, the general public is now more aware of the phenomenon of raptor migration. Every spring, raptors fly back from wintering areas in Sumatra and cross the Straits of Malacca to Tanjung Tuan and continue northward. During Raptor Watch Week, participants get to experience the awesome sight of raptors flying in low overhead after the dangerous crossing of the Straits of Malacca.
Located at the foothills of the Larut Range, Taiping lies on the flyway of migrating raptors as they pass along the Perak coastal plains. During the autumn months of September to November, thousands of raptors have been recorded passing over Taiping.
To date, 16 species of migratory raptors have been observed on passage, with the highest seasonal count of 42,000 recorded in 2003. Last year, the count was 19,000. The Bird Group of MNS Perak Branch has been organizing an annual raptor watch at Scott’s Hill in Taiping since 2003. Unlike RWW, the Taiping Raptor Watch is not organized for mass public appeal as the site is small and located on private grounds.
Black Baza over Taiping
Information on this year’s Taiping Raptor Watch is as follows;
Co-ordinators: Lim Kim Chye & Lim Swee Yian
(h/ph 016-553 8431, 016-422 3895)
Date: Sunday 25 October 2009
Location: Scott’s Hill, Taiping
Time: 0900 hrs to 1300 hrs
Participants are to meet at the foot of Scott’s Hill (see map below for directions) at 9.00 a.m. From there, it is a short uphill walk to the observation site. Wear light clothes and hat. Bring along binoculars, water, snacks and umbrella for protection from the sun. You may also want to bring a chair or groundsheet to sit on while waiting for the raptors to turn up.
For more information on raptor migration, please visit the Asian Raptor Research & Conservation Network (ARRCN) website at http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~raptor/.
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