Mar 16, 2010

Raptor Watch @ Tg. Tuan , Port Dickson, West Malaysia. Mar 13 & 14 2010.

It was a very pleasant two hours drive along the KL – Seremban highway enroute to Tg. Tuan (formerly known as the Blue Lagoon), Port Dickson, West Malaysia. The traffic, although heavy was smooth flowing all the way to the location.

It is the Raptor Watch weekend and the visitors to this otherwise quiet sea side resort nicely tucked away from the main road, have converged here from all over the world. Once a year the thousands of Raptors aka birds of prey domiciled in countries in the northern hemisphere migrate south to the warmer clime to escape the winter. The return leg of these great Raptors to their homeland is what we have all descend on the Ilham Resort, Tg. Tuan to witness. Raptors of different species return along the same route they came – the shortest span of water across the Straits of Malacca with Sumatra Island in Indonesia on the other side and Tg. Tuan in Malaysia.


A bird’s eye view from the lighthouse built long time ago by the Portugese merchants of old reveal a coastline of huge rocks washed  by the crystal clear sea water provide a pleasant distraction whilst waiting to welcome the first wave of Raptors for the day. 


And as if right on cue as soon as the last speech was delivered, the crowd was treated to a parade of black specks dotting the blue sky. Someone shouted ‘the raptors, the raptors are here!!!’ All eyes shot upwards and YES the raptors’ wave has indeed begun!



They circled the sky above the resort drawing intense excitement on the ground. It was a sight to behold and many of the school children and adults were simply overawed by the spectacle unfolding in the sky!

Once they have gathered sufficient height bolstered by the hot thermal of the 12 noon sun they are off and cruising like giant kites. So effortlessly cutting through the skyline like a razor soon to disappear into the distance. It’s animal or in this case bird instinct which year after year repeat the trans migration since time immemorial.


The Oriental Honey Buzzards




in all it’s splendid form and display of acrobatics in the sky. It was a great delight to watch these giant birds!


The ‘intermission’ between the Raptor Show were three giant Green Turtles frolicking in the clear water of the lagoon. Nature have many wonders and for humans to continue to enjoy them, all efforts point to protection and conservation of these mostly endangered avian and treasures of the sea.


The resident white Belly Sea Eagle (Juv) was not about to be overshadowed by it’s cousins. It too with it’s mate also took to the sky to ‘show-off’’ their vital statistics! It was an awesome bird! The wing span reaching 1.8 meter from tip to tip!


The parade went on with wave after wave of Raptors crossing the straits.




It was a most eventful and spectacular weekend outing for young and old, veteran birders and newbies. The icing on the cake is the record count vs last year’s 38,000 birds. By Sunday it had exceeded this number. Another good reason to celebrate THE event of the year!!!

I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have writing. Cheers!


  1. Good close-up you've got. Must be exciting. The turn out of birds also good as seen from the pictures.

  2. TQ. YES it was a weekend well spent. A spectacle of the year. Was lucky to shoot close-ups of birds which flew at almost eye level to the lighthouse.