One of the lesser-known raptor migration sites in Malaysia is found in Bedong, in the northern state of Kedah, which is roughly about four hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.
At Bedong, the site is actually a small hillock that provides multiple views around the Gunung Jerai (Mount Jerai) vicinity. It is here that most of the volunteers from the Malaysian Nature Society and bird enthusiasts will congregate.
Bedong Raptor Migration Site
The raptors come here because it is one of the major routes taken by Far East Asian raptors migrating south is along with coastal China into mainland Southeast Asia and onwards to the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and beyond. This is during the northern hemisphere autumn.
The raptors fly through here because Malaysia is along the Eastern Asian Flyway, and each autumn (from the end of Sept to mid-Nov) as hundreds of thousands of raptors migrate south along this path.
Possible Raptor Migration Spotting Sites in Bedong
While the known main area is around the Gunung Jerai vicinity, there have also been other locations where raptors have been spotted, and they are;
Gurun – Sungai Petani Area
Bukit Selambau Hills
When Does the Raptor Migration Take Place in Bedong?
During the northern autumn from late September to early November. It also happens during the span of six weeks.
How Many Raptors Are Spotted in Bedong?
I do not have all the exact numbers but judging from previous records shared, over 50,000 raptors have been counted in recent years.
2012 Autumn – a total of 64,268 raptors counted
2013 Autumn – a total of 55,915 raptors counted
What Type of Raptors are Spotted in Bedong?
The usual species are commonly sighted and spotted in Bedong, and they are;
Black Baza (Aviceda leuphotes)
Chinese Goshawk (Accipiter soloensis)
Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus)
Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis)
Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus)
However, depending on the time you go, you may even see some rarities there. On one counting, volunteers managed to see Booted Eagles, Ospreys, Aquilas, Black Kites, Harriers (both Pied and Eastern Marsh), Common Buzzard, Changeable Hawk-eagle and the rare Rufous Bellied Eagle.
Where is Bedong in Malaysia?
Bedong is a township located in Kedah, about 10 km north of Sungai Petani and 10 km south of Gurun. The specific survey location to observe the migratory raptors is also at Kampung Kongsi Enam where it is in the middle of a palm oil estate area.
It is not recommended to go alone, but you can contact the MNS to arrange for someone to go with you or show you the exact location.
What are other Raptor Migration Sites in Malaysia?
There are two other raptor migration sites in Malaysia, and both of them are located on the west coast of the peninsular. They are;