It is the time of the year for the flight back to the north. The Malaysian Nature Society just had its yearly festival-like event called Raptors Watch, a combination of scientific study as well as nature awareness about the birds and its habitat to the general public at large on the 9th and 10th of March this year at Tanjung Tuan, Malacca. Birds of prey from as far away as Siberia making their trip back to the north and Tanjung Tuan happens to be in their flight path.
Volunteers and researchers observe and count these high flying birds to keep track of the species and population numbers. The general public gets to know them better and be aware of their natural habitat. As for nature photographers, time to work the shutters. The best time to watch is said to be between 10.30 am to about 1.00 pm and it depends on the weather. These birds are not marathon flyers and they need the thermal column to aid them to fly over from Sumatra crossing the Straits of Malacca to the west coast of peninsula Malaysia. This was my first time being present at the MNS Raptors watch and I arrived at Tanjung Tuan late and almost at the tail end of the prime time. As a result, I did not have the opportunity to shoot the birds flying low at close range at the top of the hill just next the oldest lighthouse in peninsula Malaysia, the Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse. It was just a day trip, but since the migratory season is still on, I might be back soon.
For the record, some of the birds of prey that can be observed at Tanjung Tuan are Japanese Sparrowhawk, Chinese Goshawk, Black Baza, Osprey, Grey-face Buzzard, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Oriental (Crested) Honey Buzzard, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle plus local residents the Brahminy Kite and White-bellied Sea Eagle.
Note: I would like to again thanks the kind guy who handed me back my Sigma 150-500mm lens hood. Unknown to me, it had disengaged while I was walking out of the event compound. Sigma needs to redesign the locking mechanism. I lost my first hood when it decided to jump into the sea while I was in a ferry lowering the camera after shooting at the terns that were flying behind the stern.