Monday, February 2, 2009

Checking out wild ducks in Miri

We are not talking about the waxy ducks hanging at your favorite Chinese restaurant here. Wild ducks!We have just confirmed sightings of wild ducks in Miri!

We confirmed 3 species in fact : Cotton-Pygmy Goose, Tufted Duck and Lesser or Wandering Whistling Duck. Information from sympathetic locals and avid anglers in and around Miri prompted us to check out several potential locations. Invaluable leads! We were rewarded amply for braving landas rains and rising water (Musa knows all about this)! Moorhen, White-browed Crake and Common Coot have also made the list on top of the wild ducks!

We intend to be keeping a extra few eyes on the locations already identified as important hanging out sites for these waterbirds. We will be needing a few enthusiastic folks to be a part of a team for a regular look-out for wild ducks (and waterbirds in general). Published records for these birds have been rather poor or sketchy at best especially for our area. Hopefully with regular checks and surveillance we'll together improve that.

We have identified a few locations, we need (read more able bodied) wild ducks, waterbird spies. Sensitive, studious, outdoor types with attention to detail, affinity to natural environment and penchant for learning are encouraged to enquire within. Binos, sketchbook, fieldguides will be provided on loan for teams of three.

Over the years, waterbird numbers have decreased ... with increased development activities, these birds face great threat to their habitats. Wetlands are viewed as unproductive by many especially in a developing localities like ours. Our conversations with local villagers affirmed the fact that numbers of these wild ducks have declined which is rather disheartening in itself, not many people are even aware of their existence in Miri.

Development of these wetland areas into golf-courses, residential areas and the like pose great danger to the very survival of these waterbirds.

Please stop thinking about those waxy ducks you all ... we are talking wild ducks here.

Have you seen one?Please email to find out more.

Wandering Whistling Duck by Musa Musbah in pouring rain and flooding condition!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats with the Tufted Duck and Cotton Pygmy Goose as well the rare Common Coot !!!