The Bird Group trip to Tg Tuan from 9 – 11 March for Raptor Watch Week 2012 was a sell-out with all places fully booked. Twelve members and their families headed to Port Dickson to attend this MNS signature event which celebrates the spring migration of raptors at Tanjung Tuan.
RWW organizers worry every year that the raptors will not show up. As it turned out, this dreaded situation happened on the opening day which was attended by the Chief Minister, actress Maya Karin, Miss Malaysia-Universe and a large expectant crowd. Mother Nature did not oblige that day and only 17 raptors were counted. Good thing there were other distractions for the visitors including guided nature walks, children’s activities, nature exhibits from Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Philippines and sales of nature books, souvenirs and birding equipment. Our Bird Group exhibit on migratory raptors of Taiping was well-received and many visitors tried their hands at folding origami raptors.
Fortunately, the raptors redeemed themselves on Sunday. The fine weather, with light onshore wind was a positive sign. At mid-morning, to the relief of the organizers, the much-awaited message came from the counters at the lighthouse – Oriental Honey-buzzards are arriving! Not long after, excited shouts signaled the appearance of the first flock of buzzards over Ilham Resort. Soon, more flocks of buzzards glided in, cheered on by the enthusiastic crowd. The raptors circled low over the hotel grounds and spiraled upwards to form ever larger flocks before sailing off effortlessly to continue their homeward journey. At the end of the day, an amazing 5,338 raptors were counted!
Reported by Lim Kim Chye, Bird Group Coordinator