Sunday, 13 March 2011

Busy week and Raptors Watch Week 2011

It's been a busy week that will end today with a sweet note and a sigh...yes sigh, because tomorrow it's back to work! Sigh...

Sweet it will be because I will be attending an old school friend's wedding reception and I'm looking forward to see him on the dais with his new bride :) Congratulation, Harith!

After a week long of monotonous office, home and the next day office routine, on Saturday I rewarded myself with a trip to Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse, Melaka to see the raptors. No, I'm not talking about raptors as in the extinct creatures of old like the Velociraptors that you can find in Jurassic Park the movie kind, but it's the flying, cute and feathery kind. Raptors here refers to the predatory migratory birds like eagles and hawks that came down here to escape the winter back home. After a few months of basking in the hemisphere's sun, it is time for the birds to go home. At Tanjung Tuan from around noon to late afternoon, these birds will make use of the hot air that rises from the land (thermals) to be elevated higher into the sky. After they have reached the right altitude, the birds will fly home towards the north. This usually happens from the month of February to April.

Having seen this event for the first time, I must admit that it was breathtaking to watch huge flock of birds circling in the air and finally glide away in the blue sky. I was told by a professional photographer there that the birds had come from Japan, China and Siberia. Though they are travelling home in flocks, once they have reached a certain area, some of them will split from the main flock and head home to where they originally came from. It is astonishing to know that unlike us humans who relied on road signs and GPS to find our directions, these birds were born with the sense of direction imprinted in their genes, and it will be passed on to the next generation, hence the migration pattern will go on and on. SubahanAllah... :)

All in all, I had a great time being with nature and witnessing this fantastic event amongst a great and fun company. I'm already looking forward to next year's event :) Please visit http://www.raptorwatch.org/ for more information. For your viewing pleasure, please find some photos attached taken from a non-DSLR camera, so please excuse the quality:

 One stick-like insect that we found along the way...running away from the birds maybe??

Up the stairs we climb to Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse, Melaka (actually it's in Port Dickson but the small peninsular in which the lighthouse is situated falls under the jurisdiction of Melaka).
View from atop the edge of the lighthouse (no go into the compound of the lighthouse; it's a restricted area).

Flock of raptors in the sky looks like ants in the water. They swirl the sky before gliding away from our view.   This is what I could snap with 18x zoom (max); the birds are like 100-200m up in the sky and this is only part of it.
A close up of one of the raptors...sort of a close up :)

Something crafty I managed to do at one of the event's booth before I head home; colouring my own sun catcher (I never knew it was called that way; I had always call it stained glass).

Anyway, I hope that everyone has had a good week as mine had turned out to be, and may next week be a great one to us all as well!

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