Tanjung Tuan located in the border of melaka and negeri sembilan (10mins away from Port Dickson) . It faces Pulau Rupat, Sumatra both of this land are being separate by the straits of melaka. Straits of melaka is one of the busiest passage way for the ship. Beside this Tanjung Tuan is being charted as one of the Malaysia Important Bird Area for migratory raptors. Beside Raptors here we managed to observed the Bee-eater and the Fork-Tailed Swift also doing their migratory at the same time. During winter migration that is from November -December if you are standing near the light house you would notice thousand of raptors makes a bee lines across Straits of Melaka to Sumatra, Indonesia. For spring migrations that is from Feb till April you can witness thousand of raptors fly pass from Tg Rupat, Sumatra, Indonesia. These Raptors are making their way back to their breeding ground (Korea, Japan, Siberia, India, China) during spring migration. It is indeed an amazing Natural Phenomena to witness. On some days when these magnificent birds soaring low where it allow you to have a good view of all of their markings on their feathers. To minimize the effort and conserve energy this raptors would make use of the thermal to soar. Eagle/Raptor as they soars with it's magnificent wingspan beneath the wings up above the sky is indeed a beautiful sight. The Bible talks alot of them and God always ask us to look at the Eagle/Raptors to learn something from them. I particularly like
Isaiah 40:31 "BUT THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD WILL FIND NEW STRENGTH. THEY WILL SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES. THEY WILL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY. THEY WILL WALK AND NOT FAINT"
To raise awareness of the raptors and their habitat Raptor watch is an event called Raptor Watch is being organised by Malaysian Nature Society in partnership with the Melaka State Government. This event is normally held in the second weekend of march to allow peoples to witness the Spring migration of the Raptors. During Raptor Watch Weekend this fest is normally held at Ilham Resort's ground, there would be something for everyone - the birders, naturalist, photographers well as the city slicker to keep one occupy while waiting to the raptors to fly pass.
Migrating birds on migration patterns are being observe by a lot of birdwatchers and ornithologist by other parts of the world. Raptors counting is one of the way we would able to know it's migration patterns, it's populations and it's fly path. Amateur birders would choose their site and observations would be carry out on how many in numbers breakdown into species, sexes if possible, age of the birds, how many fly pass. Extra data like weather condition , humidity level, wind velocity, visibility level, % of area cover with clouds are being taken on an hourly basis as well at the number of raptors in the hourly interval are being census. This data would then be compile to observe what is the peak time of the day, and date of their migratory, should the weather condition affected them. This data may even be share out with the other raptor bird migratory counting partners of the other part of the world to have a much more comprehensive study. From the compilation of this would enable us know how long it's their flyway, populations of them, should this raptors need conservation eg breeding in captivities to ensure that they would not extinct and disappear completely from earth- eg passage pigeon and dodol bird.
During this raptors counting I managed to met up with Asokawar San. He is from Japan. He has been participant in raptors counting back in his hometown. Due to his job posting at Singapore recently, he makes it an effort to drive all the way from Singapore to Tg Tuan to witness this phenomena. He wish to find out should this raptors have the same migrating patterns like in Japan. This Japanese birder as he observe if chances allow he would takes the opportunities to takes the raptors picture with his DSLR couple with a 800mm lens. Japanese birders are well civil minded in which I noticed- eg he even have a small pouch where he would keep his cigarettes ashes.. He would not allow even the cigarette ashes litter on the ground. This is something that we malaysian nature lovers should learn from them.. Me and a few raptors counter are privilege to have the chance to talks to him and he show us all the raptors migrating books that pack along.. Waaaah... it even have the map of the raptors migrating path ---2 pathway which I recall.. Have request him to talks to the authors to get those book translate in English, cause those books are in Japanese.While waiting for the raptors to cross by. I spotted this groups of Spectacled Leaf Monkey.
Yeh!!! finally at about noon the raptors start cross the straits of melaka. They looks like war jet plane ? I have fun taking census of them.. one... two... three... four.. .... thirteen... ...and I still clicking on the counter... come one.. fly... fly... pass ok... sixteen... and I still clicking.. Bye.. Bye Good and Safe Journey..