Sunday, May 3, 2009


Bird watching - Malaysian Nature Society Bird Group
"Binoculing" in the wetland
Jo Vi, 7 years and an orinithologist in training
7 .30 am on a Sunday and the bird watchers are ready
Spoting scopes are set up for a better view
The entire group inside the forest
City slickers do not wake up on Sundays at 6 in the morning unless they are, of course, bird watchers. We are a special breed (it wouldn't be fair to call us crazy) of people. We awake with more enthusiasm and spirit on Sundays, while the norms slumber on oblivious that dawn has already broken. We then drive miles to a forest or wet land, park out bums in a chosen spot and OUT with the binoculous. The sight of any bird brings much excitment and a flutter of activity, something that non bird watchers cannot hope to understand. Questions are whispered back and forth, "Size, shape, colour, orbital rings, eye strip, ear coverts" and fingers deftly flick through pages of the field guide. It is a ritual. Is this normal?

I have been watching birds for over 21 years, actually 9 years to be exact. I sort-of-stopped for 12 years while MartianGirl was growing up. There were about 30 of us on Sunday gathered at the Forest Reserve Institute Malaysia (FRIM) car park. FRIM is a fantastic park for bird watching with its wetlands and forests. I was surprised to meet young kids already into birds, and ten year olds discussing about posting bird and insect photographs in their blogs. And I thought I was pretty smart!! We managed 3 hours of walking, "binoculing" and saw the Crimson-winged Wood pecker, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Diard's Trogan and a magnificent Crested Serpent-eagle in flight.
A Kingfisher's Haven in FRIM

These kids were really keen on bird watching
Believe me, we saw more than this bird's (Gold-whiskered Barbet) butt.

FRIM is a 600 hecters research centre in Kepong. It started as a planted forest in 1929. FRIM offers jungle trails, camping grounds, waterfalls, wetlands, museum, insectarium, arboreta and a canopy walkway. The park is popular with joggers in the morning, offers activities for student groups and conducts workshops in horticulture. It is open to the public everyday.

Bird Group, Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)


  1. Now that is the way to spend a Sunday morning.I can't wait to show you the pictures of my "cupholder" bird..She's sitting on 6 pretty pink speckled eggs.She peeks at me everytime I go onto my porch,her in her nest and me in my chair a few feet away.I love watching birds and even just sitting listening to the differences btw them.Mornings are best I must agree;)

  2. What a beautiful park! I think when my children are older I may take up bird watching. For now I count the number of species I've seen on my creek. I am up to about 20!

    I have two types of herons and a vulture that are regulars.

  3. Looks a great place to look for birds.

    Wizz :-)

  4. Your country looks so inviting and the wildlife just HAS to be more spectacular then the wildlife in my part of the UK. Great photographs too.