Have you ever gone birdwatching before? Well, it is an embarrassing thing to admit but the closest thing to birdwatching I’ve ever done is probably watch my son playing the well-famed ‘Angry Birds’ game on the dastardly iPad. He is pretty good at the game. In fact, he cleared all the stages, unlike his mother who is terrible with the game. You see, I don’t really have much patience with such games and I usually give up after second or third stage.
Although most modern parents worship the tablets as the most powerful babysitter, I never did rely on it to keep my son occupied. In fact, he is only allowed to use it occasionally to browse the net and watch YouTube. I believe in raising my son the old fashion way and I believe exposures to outdoor activities is a great way to broaden his knowledge. And so, when my family and I was invited by Tourism Malaysia Selangor to cover for the Wings of KKB 2015: Selangor Birdrace event, I said yes and dragged the boy along.
It’s time for the boy to see some REAL angry birds, and non angry ones too, of course. No pun intended.
All geared up for the long day ahead. T-shirt was courtesy of Tourism Malaysia back in 2013 while the cap was from Tourism Malaysia Selangor before departure. Quite a mismatch if you look at the colour but hey, there is no fashion police around and the swags protects me from the glaring sun! My son and husband had similar ones too. And oh, a special mention for my sponsor Alfio Raldo for the sunglasses and Happikiddo for wetwipes and sunscreen supplies for our family travel activities.
These people are from Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor (MDHS). They were responsible for media coordination that day, and upon arrival to Kuala Kubu Bharu, we were briefed on what the bird race is all about.
The bird race was organised by MDHS in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2015 and supported by Tourism Malaysia, hoping to cultivate the appreciation of nature, especially among schoolchildren. The participants of this birdrace had to identify as many bird species native to the area as possible. This is probably the only birdrace in the country which requires the participants to move from one altitude to another altitude to identify different species of birds.
There are 10 checkpoints, starting from KKB town, past the Kalumpang hot springs and ending at the Genting Highlands Awana Resort.
Tourists often mistaken Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB) as a sleepy and a boring town in Selangor, but the town located 70 km from the capital of Kuala Lumpur reveals a history that is both enriching and charming and makes a very suitable destination for an educational R&R with your loved ones. Beautiful sight, isn’t it? There is a story behind the clock tower, but I’ll save it for next time.
Here’s us, moving from one checkpoint to another and trying to spot birds along the way. Trekking was by foot and was rather challenging for those who are usually couch potatoes. Fortunately, my son is a tough cookie and no complaints whatsoever was heard except for not being able to see birds easily.
Participants from high school category, getting their papers validated at the first check point. It is quite a sight, to be able to observe the participants as the event progresses. Among the categories contested was Schools and Open category, but this year the two categories have been added to boost the program. These categories are universities / colleges and Photography and Mini Explorace for primary and secondary school students. The event also requires participants to identify the name of the birds, use leaves to make a flute to call and lure the birds, organize ‘puzzle’ where they have to find the pieces of the puzzle in the surrounding area in advance and more.
It takes a lot of patience to spot birds, but we did managed to spot a few rare ones.
Prize giving ceremony for the school category was done on the first day after the flag off for open category which started one the second day.
Being someone who cafehop and window shopping more than participate in such activities, I find the bird race was not only recreational but educational as well, and parents should consider allowing their children to participate in events such as this one instead of locking them up in tuition centres on weekends. I had fun during the bird race and my son enjoyed it very much too.
There is something for everyone to be honest, and great for a family get together and bonding time. If you are not into trekking or not patient enough for birdwatching activities you may still want to be there as there is plenty of side events going on too such as colouring contest, bazaar and mini food fair. So yes, if you missed this fabulously educational event this year, do make sure you don’t miss it next year.
For more information on the Wings of KKB program, hop over to www.mdhs.gov.my, or http://wingsofkkb.blogspot.com.
Next up: A weekend getaway at Awana Resort Hotel, Genting.