26 October 2009

Mai Po Nature Reserve

A sunny , if hazy, morning and a few shots from the Tower Hide at MPNR

Osprey with brunch


Black-faced Spoonbill with leg bands


Grey Heron ('cos I'm not speciesist)


European Spoonbill, so far the winter's only one

It's getting very dry and autumnal. The season of hill fires will soon be upon us.

24 October 2009

Twitch for Cotton Teal

A tip-off (Thanks, Tung and the others who gave us a call) and off we went to Shan Pui village, Yuen Long.

Loads of people had come and gone, but an appreciative crowd lingered..




the support act - Pheasant-tailed Jacana


and Hong Kong's fifth (?) COTTON TEAL (foreground) - Common Moorhen at the rear


And here's one taken in Long Valley yesterday

Oriental Reed Warbler

Lots of interesting autumn migrants around at the moment.

21 October 2009

Emberiza aureola - Yellow-breasted Bunting

According to my 1974 edition of "Hong Kong birds" by Geoffrey Herklots, this species is "extremely abundant on migration in China"....and ...... "several flocks were seen at Ping Shan on 22 Oct. 1931"...

Well, on 21 Oct 2009 they were pretty abundant in the rice paddies at Long Valley, near Sheung Shui





Herklots again, quoting Lt. R.E. Vaughan and Staff Surgeon K.H.Jones from the January 1913 edition of "The Ibis" : -

"Rice birds are prized by Europeans and Chinese alike, and not only do the rich natives at Canton consume large quantities, but many are tinned and exported to Singapore and America for the benefit of Celestial exiles."......

"As a matter of fact, any small yellowish bird is sold as a Rice-bird by the Chinese, and one itinerant merchant in Macao was seen with two hundred Eastern Grey Wagtails to dispose of for culinary purposes."

Luckily we're all too clever to return to those dark days.... or are we ?