The frequent sightings of migratory birds on Pulau Tioman, including some quite rare species, has paved the way for the popular paradise island to become Malaysia's latest bird watching activities hotspot.
A scuba-diving and snorkeling haven, Tioman Island has seen the presence of a variety of rare bird species recently. This hasn't escaped the international bird-watching community, traditionally quite a fervent group, willing to spend considerable time and money to check or tick off the rarer bird species on their bird list. In fact, more and more of these so-called bird-spotters have already been seen flocking to Tioman, bino, camera and, in some cases, telescope, in hand.
Bird spotters having a field day in Tioman
Malaysia at large, already home to some 700 different species of birds, has been a well-known bird-watching epicenter. Due to its favorable geographical location, along the cross-migratory path of various bird species, particularly during the winter season, this interest has has intensified over the years. This increasing awareness has resulted in more migratory bird species being spotted as they're discovering Tioman as a suitable place to swoop down for a quick rest, fresh water and to replenish energy reserves.
And it's exactly this kind of behavior bird-spotters are hoping for. Bird spotters' main objective is to observe, record and document birds in their natural environment after spotting their "quarry" visually or, just as likely, audibly. Good eye-sight and a keen sense of hearing are indispensable, aling with extensive knowhow of both the birds' plumage and song and call repertoire.
To pique the interest of the international bird-watching community, the Pahang state tourism board, together with Tioman locals, compile a checklist of the types of bird species confirmed sighted by charting each of the species of migratory birds spotted. This master checklist is now in use as a reference for all bird watching activities in Tioman.
For more details, please see Tourism Malaysia