Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Introduction to Birdwatching at UPM Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve Puchong

It is never too early to begin bird watching activities. Some started as young as a child. For a group of young men and ladies who will one day become the authority of the park and forest, it is just the right time for them to get acquaintance with this form of activity while they are still pursuing their education in the university.
Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM), in collaboration with NEST, successfully conducted an Introduction to Birdwatching for 2nd year students of Park and Recreational Faculty, UPM at SISFEC UPM, Puchong, on 2nd and 3rd of February, 2018.
The practical session was held on 3rd February morning. As early as 6:30am, WBCM volunteers had gathered at the centre to receive a briefing by the President of WBCM, Mr. Andy Lee.
Volunteers were divided into 4 groups as follow:
Group 1
Low Kok Hen (leader)
Chen Seow Kean
Katherine Khong
Group 2
Ng Jie Jia (leader)
Alan Koh
Group 3
Lee Keen Seong (leader)
Hiew Fong Oon
Chin Nyuk Hwa
Group 4
Andy Lee (leader)
Teoh TH
Kelvin Chew

Each team consisted of 10 to 11 students.
After briefing, the students set off to the forest.  With the help of WBCM volunteers, they learnt the proper way of using binoculars, the birding ethics, spotting and identifying bird etc.  This practical session ended at 9:00am, where all the participants had their breakfast thereafter.
Later in the lecture hall, each group appoint a student representative to present their experiences.
Overall, the students displayed their utmost discipline, interest, and enthusiasm. Hope one day they can contribute towards the conservation of avifauna in our country.
Below is a report by one of the participant in group 3, Jayden Chin:

Bird-watching in Hutan Simpan Ayer Hitam, Puchong
On March 3, 2018, Universiti Putra Malaysia UPM held a bird-watching session at Pusat Pendidikan Perhutanan Sultan Idris Shah (SISFEC) UPM together with NEST and Wild Bird Club Malaysia.
The bird-watchers gathered at 7.30am and started to look for birds after being briefed by Mr Andy Lee. Out of four groups, Group 3 consisted of 11 members who were led by Mr Lee, Mr and Mrs Hiew.
The journey to look for birds were filled with joy, excitement and hope. A few types of birds were identified such as Red-eyed Bulbul, Greater racket-tailed Drongo and Flycatcher. Few birding experiences were shared in group. Everyone were satisfied and happy with the bird-watching session. 
We had breakfast after the completion of birdwatching session, followed by presentations in Bilik Tiong Emas. Group 3 shared the sighting of the Greater racket-tailed drongo. Finally after presentation, Group 3 joined the other groups for the photo session to conclude the bird-watching session at UPM.
Andy talking about the newly redesigned website for eBird Malaysia to UPM students
eBird Malaysia is a collaboration between WBCM and Cornell Lab of Ornithology with this regional portal being launched for Malaysia and Malaysian birdwatching community since 9th November 2016. UPM through Dr Puan Chong Leong had contributed an article on Recognising Individual Birds through Calls: First Acoustic Study on a Malaysian Owl which can be read HERE. The current eBird regional portals within Asia are in India and Taiwan. Learn more about eBird through video below:-  
Text by Lee Keen Seong
Pictures by Wild Bird Club Malaysia
Video of eBird by Cornell Lab Ornithology

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