There are many types of hobbies in this world. Some are fun, some are insane and some can be a total waste of time.
I was about to categorize “Bird Watching” as a total-waste-of-time hobby as I spent a couple of hours inside the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre and found nothing until I caught this beautiful yellow bird with my Sony camera.
Immediately a feeling of ecstasy ran through my mind when I looked at the image through my camera’s LCD.
Then, it suddenly became a fun activity. A mere seconds of opportunity had completely changed my perception. It only took a moment of magic and goodness me, that bird really provided that magic.
Now, I’m eager to find more birds at the wetlands.
Maybe not today.
But I will be back in the near future. Mark my words.
Birds At Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre
There used to be so many birds at Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre. I don’t know where they go now. There must have left the place or are hiding from people who come to take their pictures. I guess they are tired of being a model.
If you check the Tripod Avisor’s website, you will find several disgruntled tourists expressing their disappointment for not finding any bird there.
Some even felt that Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre is not worth visiting.
Perhaps that is the beauty of this hobby – spending some time inside the 24 hectares mangrove forest searching for that magical moment that will last long inside your memory rather than having easy peasy snap shot at friendly birds inside the KL Bird Park.
Now I’m starting to sound like those weird Nat-Geo people ha ha.. But, in truth, after going through the difficult part of searching for the bird, setting up my camera and taking a shot at those beautiful creatures, all the troubles become worthwhile.
Now, I can visit the Tripod Advisor website and boasted the fact that I managed to catch a bird with my camera while many others have failed.
Though I’m not going to do that, actually.
About Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre
A quick note for those who haven’t been to Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre. Kota Kinabalu Wetlands (formerly known as Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary) is a 24-hectare patch of mangrove forest and was designated as a bird sanctuary by the Sabah government in September 1996 to help foster better understanding and awareness on the value of wetlands.
In 1998, Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre was declared a State Cultural Heritage Site.
Nowadays, Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre is used primarily as a model wetland centre for the purpose of conservation, education, recreation, tourism and research. It is managed by local NGO, Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society. Many people come to this place for Bird Watching activity.
According to Sabah Tourism‘s website: to date, almost 80 species of birds have been identified at the sanctuary.
Other mangrove wildlife that live within Kota Kinabalu Wetlands include monitor lizards, fiddler crabs and many more. A 1.5km boardwalk brings you deep into the mangrove – a unique ecosystem where land meets sea. Still, it feels creepy when you walk inside the area ALONE.
You will hear plenty of birds chirping but it is very difficult to see them inside the huge mangrove forest.
Tips for first time visitors:
Bring along a binoculars and if you plan to take pictures of the birds, please make sure that you have a long lense, preferably 300mm or longer.
Since you will be shooting a moving object, you won’t be needing your tripod. Make sure you adjust your camera setting to suit the environment or else use auto setting if you need to shoot in a hurry.
You don’t get too many shots as the birds won’t be staying at the same branch for a long time.
So, steady your hands for a few seconds to get the best possible result.
For those interested to do bird watching at Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre, it is located at the foot of Signal Hill, near Likas Square. The centre is open Tuesday to Sunday 8.00am till 6.00pm.
It closes on Mondays, except when it falls on a Public Holiday. For more info on Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Centre, please visit www.sabahwetlands.org.