Mar 10 & 11 2012 marks the 13th year the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) have organized this iconic event. For 42 days starting from Feb 18 to Mar 30 2012 raptor counters are based in the compound of the Tg Tuan Lighthouse to make an inventory of raptors returning to their homelands during the spring.
At time of writing this posting the number of raptors which have crossed the Straits of Malacca stand at 25326 (March 11). Traditionally the majority of raptors using this passage to and from their homelands comprise of Oriental Honey Buzzards. Black Bazas, Grey-faced Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons. Other raptors also make up a small percentage of the grand total.
MNS have made this annual event into a carnival with participation from suppliers who set up booths to promote their products, foreign associate partners who came to show their support and of course the general public who came to witness the raptors and enjoy the festivities. Popular local movie actress and MNS Ambassador Maya Karim was on hand to woo her excited crowd of admirers. So did the current reigning Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kimberley Laggett.
For the first time the event was declared open by the Chief Minister of Malacca (Tg Tuan and it's vicinity are part of Malacca state's territory). MNS President Prof Dr. Maketab Mohammed was also present and actively engaged with the whole spectrum of visitors. Raptor Watch 2012 came to a fitting end with the performance by a local rock band. Already looking forward to Raptor Watch 2013! :-)
Some pictures of the event :
And here are some pictures of the raptors:
A resident Changeable Hawk Eagle
Oriental Honey Buzzards
Raptors thermalling above the Tg Tuan Lighthouse