Monday, September 18, 2017

Malaysia Day -16 September,2017 in Bintulu.

Tree Planting at Bintulu Sentral - 16 Sept'17

Painting the mural
Today is a special day for Bintuluians as we celebrate Malaysia Day in a unique way.  I joined the local community, government servants and students in a tree planting program at an open or green space within the Bintulu Sentral, a new shopping location just opened for business about two years ago.  The event was spearheaded by Bintulu Development Authority which provided the plants and place.  I planted a Hibiscus mutabilis species.
Me planting the Hibiscus mutabilis species

Participants happily planting
After the planting ceremony, I joined the crowd in a mural painting activity.  The exposed rock surfaced formed by an outcrop near the traffic lights junction close-by was chosen as the mural site.  Two types of mural painting were carried out.  One set of murals were painted along a short concrete wall about 320 meters long that surrounded the base of the outcrop.  Here I tried my hand at painting a tiny section of the mural design which was already laid using a template on the wall surface.  On the outcrop two ‘graffiti artists’ were busy doing the mural painting using spray cans and standing on scaffolding pipes laid perpendicular to the sloping rock surface, thereby comes the name of today’s project – Mural the Rock.
Painting a small section in the long mural, about 320 meters long when completed.

"Mural the Rock" project

Aerobic dancing on the sidelines

GM BDA - Rodziah Hj Morshidi

On the sidelines, an aerobic dance was organised for the public and students of all ages and denominations to participate.  Food and  plenty of drinking water were freely served to the participating public.   

At a tent location, music was broadcasted and a basking team was in action.  During one of the ‘basking time’ I joined the GM of BDA, Puan Rodziah Hj. Morshidi in delivering two Bee Gees number – To Love Somebody and Words, with me on the guitar.
Singing with GM BDA, Rodziah Hj. Morshidi.
 Today’s celebration has more meaning to me than the normal tea parties that are usually held in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebration.  It has been a unique event with a difference, memorable and truly unique.

Happy Malaysia Day, Sarawak!

  ( This is the fourth of a series of articles as my writing contribution on what Malaysia Day means to me as a Sarawakian 2017)                                

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Birding brings me places

Scarlet-rumped Trogon or "Kesumba Puteri" (Malay)

My love affair with birds started sometime in 1985 when I established a huge aviary at my house lot in Kampung Baru, Bintulu.  The aviary among other things housed one Grey Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Buffy Fish Owl.  At that point of time, my interest in birding was handicapped by a dire lack of books on birding. To make up for this deficiency  I made it a point to buy any book on birds that crosses my path when I go traveling out station.  I have this peculiar habit of buying a book every time  I go to Kuala Lumpur, Kuching or Singapore and would jot down the date, place and purpose  of travel.  The first serious book I bought was entitled “ Handbook of Lovebirds” by Horst Bielfeld in 1985.  

The list of other books and detailed jottings are below:-
Book on Birds bought
Year of travel/Author/Book title/ Inside notes

Horst Bielfeld, “Handbook of Lovebirds”/ (11/8/85, Hotel Merlin,K.L.,Room 651,Corporate Planning)
Nancy A. Brudgam, “Training Caged Birds”/ (11/8/85, Hotel Merlin,K.L.,Room 651,Corporate Planning)
Bertram E. Smythies, “The Birds of Borneo”/ (26/7/88, 738, Kim San garden, Kpg Baru, Bintulu)
Richard Mark Martin, “Cage and Aviary Birds”/ (29/10/88, Regent Hotel,Kuala Lumpur.Room 111)
Clive Roots, “Tropical Birds/ (9/10/90, BPA Tender Committee Meeting, Pan Pacific,KL.)
David Filderton, “A Birdkeeper’s Guide to Breeding Birds”/ (25/6/90,Holiday Inn,Kuching,Room 730)
Ian Gray, “Birds of Prey” (/ 9/10/90, Bintulu Port Authority Tender Meeting)
Lesley Layton, “Parrots as Pets”/ (20/10/90, Kuching Airport)
G.W.H. Davison, Karen Philips & Alias Kamis, “Pengenalan Burung-Burung Malaysia”/ (20/6/91, Lawatan ke RTM,K.L.)
M.D. England O.B.E, “Birds of the Tropics”/ (2/3/91,Kuching, Meeting with Dick Cotter,Similajau Phase 2 Development)
Mitchell Beazley Publishers, “The World Atlas of Birds”/ (22/1/91, As gift from Adenan Satem, received by post)
Roger Tory Peterson,”How to Know the Birds”/ (27/4/91, FAS AGM – 1991, Kuching)

Morton Strange, “Birds of South East Asia”/ (22-24/3/2000,58th Floor, Petronas Tower, visit Projass (Matnor Hamid) & Hj. Nasruddin, Muci & Mona)

Stephen Moss, “How to Birdwatch”/ (15/8/11,Popular Bookstore, Kuching, Clearance Sale)

Wong Tsu Shi, “Birds of Borneo”/ (5/11/13, 45thtrip to Kuching, Hav Paws Will Travell)

In the 1990’s I was passionate about implementing my pet project called  the Bintulu Wildlife Park.  One of the real challenge the project posed was the importation of flamingoes from Tanzania.  This once in a life time experience can be glimpsed in a blog post I published sometime ago and can be accessed  here ...>>>>

In the early 21st century, I started to develop my very own private nature park in Bintulu called the Kambatik Park.  My idea was to build the park as a wildlife sanctuary where I could enjoy birdwatching peacefully and in my own time.  In order to share the stories of my encounters with the birds in the park and other places in Sarawak, I set up a blog called “My Birding Sarawak”.  Birding now becomes a hobby that sustains my interest in photography, nature and wildlife.

My birdwatching experiences has brought me to faraway places in Sarawak and out of Sarawak to hunt for birding books.  Overtime, I have grown wiser from just keeping them in cages to enjoying them in real-life settings.

Happy Malaysia Day, Sarawak. 

  ( This is the third of a series of  articles as my writing contribution on what Malaysia Day means to me as a Sarawakian 2017)                                

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Chasing after sensitive beauties

They come in amazing colours of the rainbow.  They flutter about in our garden yards, near streams, in public parks, forest edges and in deep jungle.  They are the better known insects for their beauty.  That’s the reason I like to chase butterflies.  They bring me places and provide me loads of wow factor.
Meeting them are without appointments.  Thus you have to be exceptionally patient and passionate about these ‘jewels of the forest’.  This is especially so for us who live in the tropical rainforest environment which is home to the greatest variety of butterflies in the world.

My love for butterflies got increasingly focussed when I decided to make a butterfly garden in  a corner of my nature park in Bintulu. Here in my own leisure I begin to study and discover more about these insects within home range.  Thus far I have photographed and written (in blog posts) many stories of my encounter with them here. Try follow this link to have some appreciation of them… .

Butterflies are sensitive because they are indicators of other types of insects bio-diversity which is constantly under threat.  They are known to be sensitive to drought which can wipe out a whole population.  As a marvel of nature’s creation, these beauties should be encouraged to multiply not merely because they provide the essential function for humans as pollinators for crops but also acts as a barometer for the health of our environment. It is no wonder that they appear on stamps and children are taught to go butterfly watching to understand nature and science.

As for me I prefer to preserve nature for the wilderness experience it provides and for the assurance of better natural habitat for these sensitive beauties to thrive.  I will no doubt continue to chase after them, to photograph them in real natural habitats within my own time.  These sensitive beauties suits well for my love of photography and nature.  Go out then and try your hand in conserving nature.

Happy Malaysia Day, Sarawak.

( This is the second of a series of  articles as my writing contribution on what Malaysia Day means to me as a Sarawakian 2017)