Friday, December 18, 2020

Asian Waterbird Census 2021

[ Video Credit: East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network ] 

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC). This citizen-science programme is supporting conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds worldwide. 

The recommended dates for the AWC are 2 – 18 January 2021, covering two weeks and three weekends, when we should encourage you to count waterbirds. These dates are for guidance only and counts from from any date in December 2020 or January and February 2021 are very welcome.

Your information helps to promote the designation and management of internationally important sites such as nationally protected areas, Ramsar SitesWestern/Central Asian Site Network for Siberian Cranes and Other WaterbirdsEast Asian – Australasian Flyway Network Sites and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). As well this helps in identifying and protecting new sites of importance for waterbirds. The result of the census and information are also used to promote national waterbird and wetland conservation and international cooperation along the Central Asian Flyway and East Asian – Australasian Flyway. 

Guidance and Reporting

If you have participated in a previous count for a particular site, kindly cover the same site this year and report on it using the latest 2021 count and wetland assessment submission forms. We encourage you to cover as many sites as possible and encourage more participation. Submission of forms to the appropriate coordinator should be done by end February 2021 at the latest.

Important Note on Covid-19 Pandemic:

While participating in AWC, please ensure that you adhere to COVID-19 guidelines provided by national government and state/provincial authorities. The AWC coordinators are requested to inform the participants about the state/province specific restrictions/guidelines to be followed during the census. Participants are requested to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters/six feet from other participants. Each participant must carry their personal sanitizer and wear a face mask to ensure safety of the group. Participants may carry their own birding equipment such as binoculars, cameras and AWC Count and Wetland Assessment forms, so as to reduce contact between people to a minimum.

[Source: Wetlands International website]

For more information about the Asian Waterbird Census 2021 in Malaysia and to obtain the relevant submission and assessment forms, please contact the Malaysian Nature Society's National Coordinator Ng Wai Pak and Yeap Chin Aik at

Friday, March 6, 2020

Awana Biopark Birdwatching Trip Report

This is the first birding trip of the year 2020 organized by Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM). Awana Biopark was chosen as a venue due to its popularity for its sub-montane bird species.

On 23rd February 2020, 7.00am, all the birders gathered at Ratha Baru Restaurant for a quick breakfast. All then proceed to drove to the venue and immediately briefing was done by Mr Tang Tuck Hong, the organizer of this trip, followed by a group photo session. We split into two groups; first group led by our president Mr Andy Lee, head to the pump house road, while the second group led by Mr. Tang head to the trail in the Biopark. I was with the second group.

It was very windy and we are in total difficulty to get a glimpse of any bird at the trail. Yet we could hear the call of trogons (which was the Orange Breasted Trogon) all the way. Our friend Jeremy tried to get off the trail, ventured in the woods and manage to see an Orange Breasted Trogon. We then decided to go out from that spot since we ultimately can't see anything.

Once out from the trail, we spotted Orange Bellied Flowerpecker busy foraging on a mistletoe patch high up on a tree. Nearby, we saw two Black Naped Oriole and some Oriental Magpie Robins flying low around the shrubs. At the road side near the Biopark entrance, we saw a pair of Orange Bellied Leafbird feeding at mistletoes, joined by Black Throated Sunbird.

Then came a small flock of Bar Winged Flycatcher Shrikes foraging for insects on a nearby tree. It was slightly drizzling that moment. We could hear the call of the Great Hornbill as well.

Bar Winged Flycatcher Shrike

Suddenly Mr Andy came and told us that he spotted the Great Hornbill. He managed to record it. Everyone was trying their best to get a glimpse of the hornbill. It was far away plus concealed by another tree. Suddenly a Blyth's Hawk Eagle flew up from a lower terrain, and all the birders' eyes were on it. It glided nearby for few seconds before it vanished.

Blyth’s Hawk Eagle

My group then head towards the pump house road. Quite a number of birds were bagged here. Grey Chinned Minivets were everywhere and they were much closer to us. It was a bird wave, joined by Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Mountain Bulbul, Fire Tufted Barbet, Verditer Flycatcher and Red Bearded Bee-eater. Some even saw White Bellied Epornis and some flycatchers. An Orange Breasted Trogon flew pass us into the woods as well. Unfortunately we could not trace it further.

Red Bearded Bee-eater
Grey Chinned Minivets

Velvet Fronted Nuthatch

Verditer Flycatcher

We then walked back to spot that we gathered in the morning and had some coffee and bites, provided by Mr. Kok Hen. Mr. Tang called everyone for finalising the bird list. . A total of 45 species spotted today at Awana Biopark.

Wrapping up the Bird List

Group photo session again.

Mr. Eddie giving some information to our birders

After the group photo session, Mr Eddie, who manages the Biopark gave us some interesting info on the wildlife around here and the effort taken for its conservation. 

He is expecting we could provide him some information on the birds we had spotted around the Biopark to aid their conservation activities. We then dispersed around noon, yet some of us went to the Ulu Kali birding spot to have a look what is going on there. Myself, only manage to see the Siberian Thrushes and Black Throated Sunbird. The male Siberian Thrushes are now with much matured plumage compared to my previous visit on January.

Siberian Thrush (male)

We left after few minutes since the place was covered with thick mist. Another joyful birding day with team WBCM. The link for the bird checklist of this trip is as per below:

Picture Credits:
Charith Fernando
Saravanan Palanisamy