Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Come celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with MNS Miri Branch this May

Birdwatching in Loagan Bunut. Image by Nazeri Abghani.

Birdwatching on an unnamed sandbar in Kuala Lawas. Image by Nazeri Abghani.

Members of MNS Miri Branch surveying the coasts for waterbirds in January. Image by Sara Wong.

World Migratory Bird Day 2011 is coming up soon! So far for 2011, WMBD has 42 event registrations from 25 countries and are expecting many more in the coming weeks. However, this year we wish to break the record of 150 registered events set by the 2009 campaign! MNS Miri Branch has dedicated all May weekends to bird related events in conjunction with this celebration.

This year’s theme for World Migratory Bird Day is “Land use changes from a bird’s-eye view”. We want to raise awareness on the dramatic effects human land use has on migratory birds and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Many aspects of human land use are extremely damaging to the birds’ habitats.

For example, urbanization and intensive agriculture can fragment and replace complex networks of habitats needed by the birds. Deforestation and mineral extraction can damage entire regions used along the birds’ annual migration paths. In addition, land reclamation and biofuel production remove or degrade crucial wetlands and other habitats for many migratory bird species.

Please join MNS Miri Branch and others around the world and take part in World Migratory Bird Day on the weekend of 14 -15 May 2011 and the weekends throughout May.

Events in Miri in conjunction with WBMD 2011:

07th May : Community Outreach in Kpg Kuala Sibuti
0900hrs-1700hrs. Presentations and games of Congregating Fireflies in Sarawak; Waterbirds and Wetland Habitats in Sarawak and Our Underwater Treasures at Bungai Lodge, Kampung Bungai, Bekenu.

14th May: WMBD : Birdwatching at Lambir Hills
Birdwatching in conjunction with World Migratory Bird Day.
0700-0900 hrs to meet at Lambir Hills National Park 0700hrs to birdwatch in Lambir.
0900-1200 hrs Talk and slideshow "Birdwatching in Sarawak" at Lambir Hills Conference.

15th May : Community Outreach in Kpg Masjid, Kuala Baram
0900hrs-1700hrs. Presentations and games of Congregating Fireflies in Sarawak; Waterbirds and Wetland Habitats in Sarawak and Our Underwater Treasures at Village Community Hall, Kampung Masjid, Kuala Baram.

21st May : WMBD : Community Outreach (Birdwatching) at Pustaka Miri
1300-1500 hrs Poster-making Contests, “Birds of Sarawak”
1500-1700 hrs Talk and Slidehow : WMBD : Birdwatching in Miri : Common Birds in Your Garden and Other Rare Birds Beyond”

25th May : WMBD and MY Garden Birdwatch with SMK Lutong Birdwatching Club
1500-1545 hrs “Birds in Sarawak : Common Birds in Sarawak and Rare Birds Beyond”
1545-1630 hrs MY Garden Birdwatch on Schoolgrounds

28th May : MY Garden Birdwatch at KRP
0700-0900 hrs Birdwatching around KRP compound for common birds
0900-1100 hrs Talk and slideshow, "MY Common Garden Birds"
Brunch and refreshments will be served

Discussions initiated for a "Birdwatching on Campus" at Curtin University 1600-1900hrs. A slideshow "Birds in Sarawak" and a late afternoon birding around campus.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

World Migratory Bird Day is a global initiative devoted to celebrating migratory birds and for promoting their conservation worldwide. It is organized by the Secretariats of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) – two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – and a growing number of partners. This year’s campaign is being financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), which we acknowledge with gratitude.

People and dedicated organisations around the world will be using the event to draw attention to migratory birds that are threatened by extinction. Activities to mark WMBD include bird festivals and bird watching trips, public discussions, exhibitions, presentations, bird rallies and other educational and public events.

MNS Miri Branch has been celebrating WMBD since 2008 in our effort to increase awareness about birds and their habitat conservation within our immediate community.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The initial euphoria of a potential Buff-banded Rail turned out to be four Slaty-breasted Rail instead but well compensated with a very close uninterrupted view of a pair of nitejars. The is also another possibility of a major find made a few weeks ago in the morning : a pair of Blue-breasted Quails may not be quails after all, the male was too dark (almost BLACK!) to be a quail. Looks like more visits are due.

White-breasted Waterhen.

Slaty-breasted Rail.

A pair of nightjar, unsure of identity just yet.


Breeding plummage Cattle Egret.

Shin Yang by Linau Mewah Sdn Bhd is now very active in the area, more peatswamps are being churn-up for accacia plantation on the other side of the road.

Working hard in the swamp.

Waist deep in organic matter that of a peatswamp, "no, we are not converting out peatlands to plantations!"

The peat area nearby is undergoing rapid transformation by Linau Mewah Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Shin Yang, a major player in Kuala Baram peatswamp conversion. This patch will be another fast growing accacia plantation by the looks of it.

Words and images by Nazeri Abghani/MNS Miri