Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2016 Dasyueshan Bird Race Part 1


Wild Bird Club Malaysia was officially formed on 28 November 2015.  Being a newly formed organization, there is a necessity for this organization to liaise and work closely with other institutions from within the country or overseas for whatever activities that concerns avifauna. Taiwan was chosen to be the first oversea country for the above purpose. Coincidently, a bird race namely ‘Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area International Bird Race 2016’ would be organized by the Dongshih Forest District Office,
Taiwan, and executed by Chinese Wild Bird Federation from 29th to 30th April, 2016.

Wild Bird Club decided to participate in this event.

Map of Taiwan

The yellow stars shown in the map indicate places we visited for bird watching activities.

Some geographical facts about this island:
Location                     East Asia
Coordinates               23°46′N 121°0′E
Area                            35,883 km2 (13,855 sq mi)        (Pahang state 36,137 km2)
Length                        394 km (244.8 mi)
Width                          144 km (89.5 mi)
Highest elevation      3,952 m (12,966 ft)                 (Pahang = 2187 m, 7175 ft)
Highest point             Yu Shan                                  (Pahang = Gunung Tahan)
Population                 23.48 million (Oct 2015)         (Pahang = 1.6 million, year 2015)

Initially, 8 members responded to participate in this event. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, 1 member pulled out, leaving only 7 members participating. According to the race rule, para. G, each participating team is to be comprised of 3-4 people (with one team captain), thus we divided ourselves into 2 separate teams as follow:
Team No. 1
Caption: WBCM Hornbill
Team members:
1             Andy Lee Kok Lean
2             Tang Tuck Hong
3             Low Kok Hen
4             Lee Keen Seong
This team would travel in a vehicle driven by Schumi Wu, who was also an experienced bird watcher.

Team No. 2
Caption: WBCM Trogon
Team members:
1             P. Thomas Simon
2             Syafiq
3             Alan Koh
This team would travel in a vehicle driven by Patrick Li, of whom we met during the Kuala Tahan National Parkbird race last year.

Journey to Taiwan

All the WBCM participants were new to Taiwan birds. Our knowledge for birds’ name in Chinese language is almost zero.  As a result of it, we decided to go to Taiwan few days before the race commenced, so that we would be more familiarized with the Taiwan local species by doing lots of bird watching from lowland to montane, including beaches and swamps.

On 23rd April, we boarded Air Asia AK170 at KLIA2. Flight took off according to schedule at 8:30am, and landed at Kaohsiung airport at 1:00pm.

After a short wait, Schumi and Patrick picked us up. We wasted no time and started birding after a quick lunch.

For the following days, prior to Dasyueshan bird race, we did our bird watching activities as serious as possible, trying to digest whatever bird that we came across. Most birds were lifer to us. The 2 types of bird guide books we brought along helps a lot to solve many of our doubts.

Places we visited prior to the race were as follow:

Fonglin, Shihzih. 屏东县狮子乡枫林
Shuangliou National Forest Recreation Area 双流国家森林游乐区

National Pintung University of Science and Technology国立屏东科技大学
Huben, 湖本,
NationalYunlin Universiti of Science and Technology国立云林科技大学
Shin-Tsen, Budai Wetland 布袋湿地新岑里
Aogu Wetland鳌鼓湿地
Hanbao Wetland汉宝湿地

Alishan Forest Recreation Area阿里山森林游乐区
Linnei, Yunlin林内,云林

Nan Sheng, Dounan斗南,南靖
Alishan Youth Activity Centre 阿里山青年活动中心
Alishan Dabang阿里山达邦

Tong Lin桐林村
Lungkuomai Forest Trail龙过脉

Route for the bird race
The 2 field guide used by us during the race

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to see comparison with State of Pahang, Malaysia in the Geographical Facts of Taiwan above.