Report by Lim Kim Chye
Images by Lee Ping Kong & Lim Kim Chye
On Sunday 25 October 09, some 23 members and friends gathered at Scott’s Hill, Taiping to enjoy a day of raptor watching. Besides event organisers KC and Swee Yian, there were several other members from Perak, Penang and Selangor branches. Also present was a small group from Universiti Kuala Lumpur and several Australian visitors.
This year’s event marked the 7th running of this annual raptor count organized by MNS Perak Bird Group. Two Selangor branch volunteers also carried out counts from the organisers’ house in nearby Taman Lake View, to compare counts obtained by observers at Scott’s Hill.
Raptor passage this time was much less spectacular, both in numbers migrating through and species identified, compared to the previous year. When counting at Scott’s Hill closed at noon, only 63 raptors were seen, as against the 5550 raptors counted in 2008. Five species of migrant raptors were sighted: Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Grey-faced Buzzard and Rufous-bellied Eagle. Black Bazas were not seen this year, and this fact probably accounted for the low count, as last year this species made up most of the raptors counted.
Surprisingly, the birding highlight of the day was not a raptor but the antithesis of these birds of prey – a Jambu Fruit Dove! A co-operative young male was spotted perched quietly in a low tree near the watch site, providing digiscopers and photographers a golden opportunity for good shots and a “tick” for those who have not got this rarity on their life list.
Results: Chinese Sparrowhawk – 29, Oriental Honey-Buzzard – 13, Japanese Sparrowhawk – 5, Grey-faced Buzzard – 5, unidentified accipiters – 7, unidentified raptors – 4.