Beauty of Nature

Beauty of Nature

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sarawak Bird Race 2011

Sarawak Bird Race 2011 held at Borneo Highlands, 30th. of October 2011.

So, what's all this about? Hehehehe... I joined the 4th Sarawak Bird Race, of course. 8 students from UNIMAS joined this race which 7 of us are Zoology students and one engineering student. The journey from Kota Samarahan to Borneo Highlands took approximately one hour (does not count the fast and furious of Tay's driving...Scary...). Since the road is at mountain range, fog shrouded our view. If I'm the one who's driving, I'll be driving like 60 km/h, not 80 or 90 km/h like Tay Guan Khoon (prat)! Anyway, the best thing was the view. Such magnificent and breathtaking view. The trees were more alienated and gigantic. Not surprised. Anyway, there we were at Borneo Highlands. We were warmly greeted by the patrons and we registered ourselves. The one thing comes in my mind, we are so not going to win this race. Look at all these foreigners. I mean it. Foreigners!! Scary... And we are just students. To win this race, we have to identify and list out as many species of birds in the area as fast as possible. We borrowed some binoculars from the Zoology department which cost about RM2700. O__o''' Anyway, we started our race at 8 am and ends at 12 noon. I was like watching, listening, identifying.... It's possible to identify specific species of birds by their vocalization. By 12, we need to get back so I was like having about 30+ species identified (not to mention the probability of misidentification is high). Then, there was a talk about edible-nest swiftlets from Dr Lim Chan Koon (ex-lecturer from UNIMAS). Then, the announcement of winners. I've already thought about the negative of it. I've never won a race and this race would be the same like always. So, I sat and listened and I was shocked. My group, the Panda Bear, which was me and my friend, Poh Leng, won as 2nd place winners. We won RM500 and free 1 year membership of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). Tay Guan Khoon and his friend, Tay Jian Hong won first place. The third place won by our seniors, Kak Debby and Kak Mary. Both of them study aves for their research. It was nice to know all the hard work paid off. It was not easy to identify most of the birds but we won. I was so glad. After that, Dr Lim asked us to join him for a walk down the mountain. Down the 3000+ ft mountain? I was like, ok I guess. So, we followed him. It was almost 3 hours walk and my legs were very sore (still are right now). Anyway, the best thing about walking downhill, we were be able to identify more species of birds and one them was the most melodious songbird which is the White-rumped Shama, a protected bird. You kill this bird, pay fine for RM50,000. I leanrt so much from Dr Lim. It was worth it although the next day, we will have our mid-term exam on Conservation Biology. Heheheh... After reaching the car, we were so exhausted and Dr Lim treated us all dinner and ice-cream for desserts. And that was all. The best thing was the experience you've never had including the experience of walking down a very tall mountain... I will never forget about it.

Let us all appreciate the nature, rich in various flora and fauna, our unique biodiversity.... Let us protect it for our future generations. :)