Friday, June 24, 2016

Sarawak International Bird Race 2016

International Bird Race Sarawak

The Sarawak International Bird Race 2016 will be held this 24 to 25 September at the Kubah National Park and Borneo Highlands Resort.

This first bird race in Sarawak is also organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, in collaboration with the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) Kuching Branch.

Sarawak International Bird Race

Sarawak is also home to over 400 species of birds and out of the 60 endemic species, 54 are found in Sarawak making the state one of the up and coming bird watching areas in Borneo. 

This will also be the second time that the birding event in Sarawak is taking place and also after the 2nd Borneo Bird Race 2014 which took place in the Borneo Highlands here.

As Sarawak is well known for tropical birds, there are various species to be spotted and photographed all over the state and this bird race will focus mainly on the coastal, lowland and montane birds in Sarawak. 

Bird Race in Sarawak
A birder checks his book for the species spotted at the Borneo Highlands
Sarawak International Bird Race Locations

The Sarawak International Bird Race 2016 will take place at three different locations which are all nearby to Kuching.

The bird race will also start at the Buntal Esplanade at 8.00 am on the 24th of September. The three locations are;

Bird Watching Buntal Bay
Buntal Bay Bird Watching Area
Buntal Bay - Part of the Bako-Buntal Bay and is incorporated into the East Asian-Australian Flyway Network Site since 2012 and is also recognized as an Important Birding Area or IBA of Sarawak.

More than 25,000 birds from 27 species have been recorded to date and some of the rare species include the Chinese Egret, Nordman's Greenshank, Far Eastern Curlew and the Asian Dowitcher.

 Bird Watching Kubah National PArk
Kubah National Park Bird Watching Area
Kubah National Park - This lowland rainforest national park boasts of an area of 2230 hectares and is one of the main national parks of Sarawak.

Here, birders can expect to find rare birds like the Blue Banded Pitta, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Scarlet Breasted Flowerpecker, Banded Kingfisher and the White-Crowned Hornbill. 

Bird Watching at Borneo Highlands
Borneo Highlands Bird Watching Area
Borneo Highlands Resort - The only highland golf resort in Sarawak and located just one hour from Kuching is one of the Important Birding Areas or IBA since 2010.

Over 200 birds have been recorded here including the Bornean Falconet, Bornean Barbet and Pygmy White-Eye.

Borneo Highlands Crested Jaybird
A Crested Jaybird spotted by the writer at the Borneo Highlands
Sarawak Birding
Early morning birding in Sarawak
Sarawak International Bird Race Rules and Regulations;
  • Each team must consist of 3 team members 
  • Each team must have a team name 
  • Each team will have to pay a fee of RM50,00 
  • A special Sarawak Bird Race t-shirt will be given to each team member

Not included;
  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Food (except for packed lunch at Kubah National Park) 
Bird Watching Binoculars Malaysia
Omicron Binoculars
Sarawak International Bird Race 2016

  • Dates: Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th September 2016
  • Locations: Buntal, Kubah National Park and Borneo Highlands Resort.
  • Closing date for registration: 23rd August 2016

Prizes;
  • 1st Prize - RM5000.00 plus Certificate
  • 2nd Prize - RM3000.00 plus Certificate
  • 3rd Prize - RM2000.00 plus Certificate

To join or for more information:
MSN - http://mnskuching.blogspot.my/2016/06/sarawak-international-bird-race-2016_20.html
Email: sarawakbirdrace@gmail.com

Birding at Borneo Highlands
Birders in action as they spot a species at the Borneo Highlands
You can also read my previous article on the Sarawak Bird Race 2015 which took place at the Borneo Highlands in Sarawak as the ministry has been actively promoting this hobby and sport over the last few years.

Apart from Sarawak, other states in Malaysia have also been organizing birding events at states of Sabah, Pahang, Terengganu, Perak, Langkawi, and Melaka. 

Bird watching in Malaysia has also been one of the growing activities among the bird society around the world.

The introduction of the Borneo Bird Race in Sabah also saw 11 countries taking part in 2014 and the next race should be held possibly this year, if not in 2017.

For those who want to know more, you can read this article about what is the Borneo Bird Race all about.

Conclusion

Birders and bird watchers out there, this is your chance to participate in one of the unique birding events in Borneo as the Sarawak International Bird Race 2016 will be in its second installment and promises an exciting time. 

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