An increasing number of visitors are flying into Malaysia, with their own wings. The country is now playing host to Asian openbill storks. The local birdwatching fraternity is all abuzz over recent sightings of huge flocks of the stork, which is a large wader and is not commonly seen here. It is usually found in the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. Birdwatchers sighted some 300 birds in Kuala Gula, near Taiping, and about the same number in Penanti, Penang, on January 8. The next day, some 240 birds were seen at the BatangTiga paddy fields in Malacca.
Malaysia Nature Society Malacca/Negri Sembilan Bird Coordinator AngTeckHin considered the sighting the “most precious” Chinese New Year gift to the state in terms of drawing tourists. “Birdwatchers and nature photographers from all over the country and Singapore are converging here to see the birds make their flights into Malacca,” he said during an interview here yesterday. The species, he added, had never stopped in the southern tip of peninsula Malaysia before during their migratory journeys.