Sunday, December 25, 2022

Trip Report for the Rompin Bird Race 2022

On the 17/9/2022, one day after the 59th Malaysia Day, Taman Negeri Endau Rompin held it's inaugural bird race during the long weekend. The organiser managed to muster only 6 teams to participate. Being a first timer there, I found the place far and secluded. But having been there, it is acceptable that a jungle resort setting should be as such.

On the morning of the race the place was buzzing with predominantly members of WBCM and Friends of SBBG. Those not taking part were there as arbitrators, volunteers manning their society's booth, and some were there a day or two earlier to enjoy their private birding activities and jungle trekking. 

Participants were there early mingling amongst themselves catching up with friends. Before the briefing started, birds such as Pacific Swallow, Little Green-Pigeon, Pink-Necked Green-Pigeon, and Oriental Magpie Robin were already spotted. 

The briefing by the manager of the State Park Mr. Effendy, arbitrators Tang Tuck Hong and Andy Lee was short. The participants having understood the rules and regulations were flagged off 5 minutes before the official start time of 8 am. Participants enthusiasm were buoyed with the promise of good weather.

At the start all the teams were seen congregating by the end/side of the main building where several species of birds were spotted like the Dark-Throated Oriole, Blue -Winged Leaf Bird, Greater Coucal, Whiskered Treeswift and others. 

After all the initial hoohah and excitement, the teams started to go their different ways around the park.

Team Rail-Babbler decided to go for their lifer of the Malaysian Rail-Babbler which was sighted near the entrance of the Park which is a few minutes drive away. Luck was with them for they managed to sight the bird. Team Tempua and team WBKR decided to tackle the forested corridor along the Sungai Rompin. Team Mountain Barbet, which is a family team from Singapore decided to stay in the vicinity of the Park's office. The other two teams were nowhere to be seen even during the results announcement and prize giving ceremony. With noon approaching, birds were difficult to come by.

By then teams were seen in close proximity together with other visitors peeping curiously into the thick undergrowth looking for a pair of Cinnamon-Rumped Trogon which is quite difficult to come across. Thanks to Low Kok Hen, Andy Lee, Tang Tuck Hong and others for discovering the presence of the birds. It was a happy moment for me as I earned another lifer.

Lunch was served from 12pm to 1pm. After lunch teams were busy exploring different spots to rake in more species. However around 1.30pm the good weather relented, and the rain started coming down. 

By then every teams were back and submitted their results knowing that it would be impossible to race again before closing time. It was another get together before the announcement of the winners.

The winners were announced with Team Rail-Babbler coming in at fourth place, Team Mountain Barbet securing third placing. It was a tie between Team WBKR and Team Tempua. However, Team Tempua were declared the winner by virtue of sighting their first bird earliest, thus winning a free one night stay for 3.

Looking forward to another race next year.

Before that I would love to experience a lovely stress free overnight birding trip, for I am impressed with the accommodations and facilities.

Trip report by Mr. Hiew Fong On

Photos by Mr. Tang Tuck Hong

Some birds were seen during the Bird Race such as the Dark-Throated Oriole, Whiskered Treeswift, Cream-Vented Bulbul as well as the rare and elusive Cinnamon-Rumped Trogon

The participants of the bird race attending a briefing by Park Coordinator Mr. Effendi.

Birding during the race.

WBCM Committee Member Mr. Andy Lee presenting the first prize to the winners, Team Tempua

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