Thursday, February 11, 2010

February Updates, News and Events

Waders on a stick at Sundar.

Dear Members,

Happy Chinese New Year of the Tiger to all! Wishing you all a more Prosperous and Joyous year.
Members, it's been highlighted recently that we have been a wee bit "bird-centric" the past year or so. Can't help it if some of us are nuts about birds and/or fireflies.Perhaps there are other members out there who are willing to share their passion about nature and nature related activities with the rest of us. Send us a note.

We are currently soliciting input and identifying closet volunteers to offer a more varied fare to members and in general the Miri community. This is to sustain our effort to offer the best and most titillating (sic) activities to members aside from birds ("Birds! birds! birds!" in the words of an ex-Shell MD) and fireflies.

We hereby implore those with brilliant ideas and time to spare to please contact us urgently, we'd love to hear from you! Who knows, maybe you can help us draw out more members from the proverbial closet of natural wonders.

1. Asian Waterbird Census 2010
Please checkout the reports and pictures at :

a) Go-Kart Lakes, 9-10th January
Completed. We ticked a Black-capped Kingfisher here as well as Oriental Darter. Plenty of still unexplored areas, fast being developed into housing estates, roadbuilding and oil palm plantations.

b) Curtin Lakes, 16-17th January
Completed. We ticked a juvvy Grey-headed Fish Eagle. With the drying up of one of our duck lakes, we explored another lake along the main road from E-mart to KBaram, a well hidden site which holds some promise.

c) Kpg Masjid Prawn Farms, 23-24th January
Completed. We ticked a one legged Whimbrel amongst the other regulars. Confirmed roosting site for waders and egrets we see distributed in Kuala Baram.

d) Kuala Baram, 30-31st January
Completed. We ticked a pair of Eastern Marsh Harrier this year at the new Shin Yang Dump.

e) Sundar, Lawas, 5-7th February
Completed. We ticked two Lesser Adjutant, numerous Eastern Curlew this year! We also managed to do a quick assessment of fireflies along Sg Punang. Depending on availability of funding, Kpg Awat-awat could be on our list for AWC next year too. There's Great-billed Heron in those mangroves somewhere. Mangoves are fast being replaced by oil palm plantation and bakau-wood harvesting for charcoal.

2. Committee Meeting, 19th January
Firmed up plans and action items for WMBD 2010, KK Do 14th May, MNS Roadshow 19th June as part of 70th Anniversary celebration. Discussed other upcoming events.

World Migratory Bird Day 08th May "Save Migratory Birds in Crises - All Species Count" to be held at Pustaka Miri. Field excursion by bus to Kuala Baram 09th May from Pustaka Miri.

KK Do with MNS Sabah 14-16th May. Mt Kinabalu Climb 14-16th May "MNS 70th Anniversary Banner at the Summit"; Birdwatching with schoolchildren and members at Kinabalu Park 14-15th May with famed Sabah birdguides;Astronomy with schoolchildren and members 15-16th May near Kundasang.

MNS Roadshow 19th June at Pustaka Miri. Short talks and slideshow on "Fossils of Miri", "Dolphins of Sarawak" and "Reefs of Miri", "MNS Constitution" as well as branch activities photo exhibition. Field excursion 20th June by bus to Tusan cliffs to check out a unique crab fossil, Mursa bekenuensis and other gastropods, bus leaves from Pustaka Miri.

Book time on your calendar now.

3. Meeting with SFC at Miri Regional Office, 22nd January
Discussed future involvement of SFC wrt AWC activities for 2010-2012. Potential collaborative proposal for AWC to SFC upper management.

1. Asian Waterbird Census 2010
a) Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary, 13th February
Birdwatching at the Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary, if the powers that be willed it, we will be doing this with 30 rural schoolchildren and their teachers. Otherwise it'll be just us birdwatchers and interested teachers and members.Miri - Kpg Tengah, surfaced road. Kpg Tengah-SWS, unsurfaced red laterite and gravel road.

Meeting point : Taman Awam or SK Kpg Masjid
Time : 0615 hrs or 0645 hrs

b) Loagan Bunut, 20-21st February
Musa and Steve leading. An overnite trip to the NP. We'll take boatrides to survey the lakes for birds, to see if we've got any Oriental Darter and Grey-headed Fish Eagle to tick. Limited space due to tough 4WD road conditions. Accomodation is at the LBNP dormitories at $10/person, shared food cost.

c) Pulau Bawai, 27th February
Musa leading. Depending on the tides and number of participants, we maybe camping on the island to closely observe migrating waders on their way North.

2. "Introduction to MNS" and discussion on "Wildlife In Rural Sarawak" at Curtin, 11th March
Nazeri presenting MNS to Curtin PR students, discussing issues related to wildlife consumption and trade in rural Sarawak. Curtin members are invited to make the session more lively.

3. NREB Workshop on SCORE, 11th March in Bintulu
MNS Miri has been allocated one seat for this one day event organised by NREB to discuss a few pertinent points related to Social Environmental Impact Assessment, relocations, dams and affected rural community. Members who are interested to attend to please contact Nazeri. This is a fully sponsored trip.

4. Raptor Watch, 13-14th March
This is the 11th year and promises more activities for all ages in addition to the spectacle of watching tens of thousands of raptors migrate across the Malacca Straits to Sumatra. We counted 38,000 raptors last year. Nazeri is attending.

Please check

Organisers are seeking volunteers to help with Raptor Count from 20th Feb to 04th April. Please refer to for details.

4. [Tentative] Batek Workshop with Malek Adenan, 20th March
A repeat of a half day program making batek prints with Malek Adenan, our resident batek artist and member. Venue and exact timing to be confirmed.

5. [Tentative] Long Weekend at a Longhouse along Batang Baram
One of our member has extended to members of MNS Miri a quiet weekend longhouse experience. Expressions of interest is duly sought from members who'd like to spend a couple days relaxing with a longhouse community by the riverside, the Tuai Rumah will be our host. Since the dates have not yet been set, members can specify "best" dates based on their preferences. No responses received so far.

1. A big THANK YOU to members who've taken the time to renew their membership.

Those who havent, please do so at your earliest convenience. Please revert to this email if you require assistance or more information on how to renew your membership painlessly and hassle free.

You can now bank in to either Maybank (Account No: 012138304679) or HSBC (Account No: 305194920108) beneficiary name "Malaysian Nature Society".

Membership of the following member expired 31st Dec:
Samantha Kwan-reminded

Membership of the following members expired 31st Jan:
Azeeza Bujang-reminded
Jeit Law-reminded
Rebecca Pek-reminded
Rohaya Amat Dollah-reminded

We have a whopping 22 branch memberships expiring 28th February:
Amer Matridi Abu Mansur Matridi
Anne Malissa King
Chia Lee Ming, Josephine
Dominique Dodge - Wan
Elisabet Bes
Fazira Azlina Mohd Rofli
Gunaseelan N. Cumurasamy
Jacabus D C van der Toorn
Kamal Abdullah
Kiew Siew Eng (no email)
Lee Bor Seng
Len Siew Yee
Lim Geok Hoon (no email)
Mas Nur Afiqah Rabani
Mohammad Hatta Rizal Mansor
Nurashikin Ikhwan
Puteri Shariza Megat Khalid
Tan Kok Khian

Tisha-Lin Sinnathamboo
Wong Chung
Wouter Rensink
Zanti Noviana

Please take time to renew your membership, we need your support. Members in Curtin can contact Sara for renewals.

Expired membership from Oct, Nov have been removed from this mailing list as of this update.

2. Keep updated with Branch activities via our blog and Facebook( and Facebook (search for "MNS Miri").

We need writers and pictures for our blogs, Pencinta Alam, Malaysian Naturalists ... contributors welcomed.If you've articles, write-ups and pictures to share on our blog, please email

3. Meetings in the next couple of months
13th Mar: MNS Bird Conservation Council Meeting at Raptor Watch, Nazeri attending
17th Apr: MNS Council Meeting in KL

If you have any items that needed raising up at these meetings, please email us.

Please email any comments, suggestions to

Thank you and kindest regards,
Nazeri Abghani
on behalf of MNS Miri Branch Commt

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