If you want a cost free natural experience this weekend, well it's almost free, you should head down to Cape Rachado on Saturday.
Raptor Watch (RW) is back and the birds will be flying in from Sumatra for an overnight rest or two before heading home to their northern breeding grounds as part of a yearly migration.
Birds as far away as Siberia make the trip every year and somehow find the Tanjung Tuan (Cape Rachado) rocky forested hill which allows them to rest, eat then soar high on thermal winds in order to glide over the passage to Indonesia, and then for some species, it's off to Australia.
Hosted by the Malacca Tourism Board and State government this year and supported by the Malaysian nature Society (MNS) and was first held in 2000 and is now in its 16th consecutive year.
It is by far the biggest and the most important event for MNS and eco tourism in Malaysia with its main objective being to conserve birds and their habitats as well as educate the public on the importance of this spectacular migratory phenomena that transcends Peninsula Malaysia – the stopover of thousands of eagles, hawks and buzzards land here on their journey back home to Siberia, China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, India and Indochina as winter draws to an end.
The event also creates an awareness on the need to protect Tanjung Tuan, as a coastal rainforest (and its adjacent mangrove areas) as a valuable natural resource for future generations to be able to witness this natural marvel.
There are five main species you are likely to see flyover including Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Baza, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Chinese Goshawk and the Grey-faced Buzzard.
There is plenty of activities for children and adults alike with painting, hiking in the forest, or even help clean the beach area of plastics and rubbish which poses terminal threats to the birds, if you feel so inclined.
For more info and details please see the MNS website https://mnsraptorwatch.wordpress.com