Saturday, October 15, 2011

Taiping Raptor Festival

Why celebrate the return of the raptors ?

During the autumn months beginning from late September, thousands of raptors including hawks, buzzards and bazas, can be seen passing over Taiping, on their southbound migration to Indonesia where they will spend the winter months. Not many people in Taiping are aware that this spectacular show is being played out over the town every year. To raise awareness of this wonder of nature, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has organized the inaugural Taiping Raptor Festival 2011. All activities are free of charge.

Come join the celebration

  • Attend talk on Raptors of Malaysia at Taiping Zoo seminar room.
  • Go birdwatching with MNS members.
  • Witness the amazing phenomenon of hundreds of raptors passing overhead at Scott’s Hill, Taiping Villa.
  • Learn about raptors and why they migrate at our exhibition.
  • Have fun at our children’s activity booth and take home the handicrafts you make for free.
  • Go shopping at the MNS booth and stand a chance to win prizes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Waking up on World Environment Day 2011

Waking up this morning I was hit by pangs of guilt. Today is World Environment Day and I have nothing planned to celebrate it!

Things brightened up a bit when I remembered that today I am doing MY Garden Birdwatch, a nationwide survey organised by the Bird Group of MNS Selangor.

I haven't been birdwatching for a few days now though it is my school holidays so I was more than happy to spend half an hour on the balcony, relaxing and enjoying the company of Kim Chye and the birds.

All in all, we listed 11 species which is not many by any means for the patch of trees and field in front of our house. We usually get more and our list from our balcony through the years have totalled over 70 species. We heard/saw flying overhead 5 other species but unfortunately they cannot be included, according to the rules of the survey. Missing were 7 species we see regularly but were not around today.

Lots of people would probably think I had a rather pathetic Sunday doing something so boring as birdwatching but I feel otherwise. I feel thankful that at least I have been outdoors in the limited time I have and am now more prepared to face mundane household chores besides being a citizen scientist.

Just to share with you, the following are some common garden birds which chose not to show up during the survey. Naughty, naughty, naughty!

White-throated Kingfisher, glowering at us but today no show

Common Myna, today strutting its act elsewhere

Common Iora, today neither seen nor heard. Missed its melodious song

Blue-throated Bee-eater, did a flypast but refused to perch

For anyone interested to participate next year go to :

Saturday, March 5, 2011

R&R in Cuweh

After the Chinese New Year holidays, I felt I badly needed another holiday. So I took another holiday, albeit a short one. I spent a weekend with KC, Mei and Troy in Cuweh.

A tranquil Orang Asli village in Temenggor

Children rafting from village to village

Osprey hunting in the lake

Waking up when dawn is breaking

So quiet, so tranquil, so calming

Aaah....I am so rested and feel so rejuvenated


Scenes of innocence and joy, but I worry. The forest is disappearing right before their very eyes. Are they going to be able to live the way their forebears lived? Are they going to be able to join the mainstream? They have no education. The nearest schools are in Gerik and Air Bainun, which requires transport by water then by road. What does the future hold for them? What can be done to ensure they have a future?

From Book 1 of PARADISE LOST
(John Milton)

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

The forest disappearing on barges and lorries:
The following photos are from my recent trip,

This load is heading for Banding Island

This load is heading for Air Bainun

Can paradise be regained?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

Again a long lapse.

Suppose to be blogging about our trip to Yunnan but I have got so many photos to share and tales to tell and not enough time to do it. So as a stop gap measure I am posting two of our photos from the trip to greet all who happen by and are celebrating the Chinese new Year.

Black-necked Cranes, Grus nigricollis, taken in Zhongdian (now renamed Shangrila), Yunnan. This crane was our target bird and we hit jackpot in Napa Lake where we were practically surrounded by them. We now are the proud owners of a collection of hundreds of Black-necked Crane photos - standing, displaying, flying, landing, taking off, etc.,etc.

Brown-breasted Bulbul, Pcynonotus xanthorrhous. We were looking for this bird in Doi Angkang, Thailand some years ago and only saw two birds. In Yunnan it was the most often seen bulbul. This picture is shot in a tiny public garden in Dali Old Town.

Happy holidays to all.