Sunday, March 20, 2011

Raptor Watch 2011 at Tanjung Tuan, Port Dickson

Raptor Watch is a yearly event organised by the Malaysian Nature Society(MNS) with the intent of creating awareness of the spring migration of raptors back to its breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere and most importantly the need to protect and preserve the "pit stops" the raptors take in their journey back.

Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve was identified as one of the pit stops along this migratory route whereby the raptors after making a sea crossing from Sumatra, Indonesia, "rest" and catch the next thermal before heading further north.

This year's event was held on March, 12-13 but the migration itself happens for a month or two. The best time to catch site of hundred's of raptor's flying overhead is between 11am -5 pm and most importantly a clear hot day where thermals allow birds to climb higher without the need to exert additonal energy.

Getting there
From North-South Highway E2, take the Port Dickson(PD) exit. (you are not really going to PD but a place called Teluk Kemang). You will take another expressway called the Seremban-Port Dickson Expressway,E29. At the end of the expressway is a roundabout. Make a left. You should see a huge Chinese Temple on your left.  You are now travelling on a trunk road. Signs to look out for is either Hutan Simpanan Tanjung Tuan or PNB Ilham Resort. If you go during the Raptor Watch event itself, there will be signs leading you there.

What to do  and what we saw
Plenty ! There are booths selling merchandise such as t-shirts pins, books, etc. Co-organisers booth offering the latest "bins", scopes, etc. There are also booths that help create awareness of the need to protect the environment and what each and everyone of us can do our little part in that goal. MNS also organised public talks as well as a nature walks to the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve and a mangrove walk. Definitely something for everyone.

The main reason is of course raptors itself. Any this year, we were not disappointed as there were plenty of them. Spotters at the Tanjung Tuan lighthouse counted 9,614 on Mar 12th alone !

I managed to see lots of Oriental Honey Buzzard, the resident white-bellied sea eagle, two Grey-faced Buzzard and 1 Peregrine Falcon.

While taking a walk up the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, i saw a Dusky Leaf Monkey and up the top of the lighthouse, i managed to spot a Turtle too !...As i said, something for

Some of the raptors we came to see

People and the activity booths

Bright sunny day at Raptor Watch 2011

Dusky Leaf Monkey at the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve

Oriental Honey Buzzard catching a thermal

Food around that area (i excluded Port Dickson and focus on places nearby Teluk Kemang)
For a simple breakfast, I personally like the nasi lemak at a wooden shop before turning into PNB Ilham Resort/Hutan Simpanan Tanjung Tuan. For food by the beachside, KM13, Jalan Pantai, Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson has a wider selection of Malay food.
Night time seafood dinner ? Well -you can try:
Weng Yin Seafood Village
Lot 4132 Batu 9, Jln Pantai
012-6281660 /06-6627559


Sanflower said...

i went last yr! saw mainly oriental honey buzzards. The 'counters' recorded greys too. but these birdies so far away, dont know how they tell them apart.. :P
i like last yr's raptor watch tee tho..

Rojak Librarian said...

i was taught the experts how to differentiate. Was happy at least to see 4 different types. Having good bins do help (but u r right, if very high, i also have difficulty)