27 April 2012

More spring waders at Mai Po Nature Reserve, Hong Kong

This week the spring tides in Deep Bay have been high and many of the waders have been leaving the tideline long before the water gets to the Mai Po boardwalk hides.  AND the weather has been hot and humid.

So, I'm already nostalgic for last week, when these photos were taken. 

An assortment of shorebirds from the Deep Bay mudflats ….

Broad-billed Sandpiper - Limicola falcinellus

Curlew Sandpiper - Calidris ferruginea

Terek Sandpiper - Xenus cinereus

Long-billed Dowitcher - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Bar-tailed Godwit and Greater Sand Plover - Limosa lapponica and Charadrius leschenaultii (and Curlew Sands, inevitably...)

Little Stint - Calidris minuta

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - Calidris acuminata

A number of leg-flagged birds serve as living flagships for the hordes of waders on their northerly migration…  many waders "refueling" in Hong Kong have wintered in Australia

(Red-necked Stint and Curlew Sandpiper, both flagged in NW Australia - and duly reported elsewhere)

This Curlew Sandpiper was flagged in Thailand 

And "Spring" isn't over yet !

18 April 2012

Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Mai Po Nature Reserve, Hong Kong

Two individual Spoon-billed Sandpipers from the rising tide at Mai Po on 18th April.  

One winter-plumaged bird…

and one going into breeding plumage....

Spoon-billed Sandpiper  - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus

Just one (presumably the same non-breeding bird) on the outgoing tide...

This posting is short and sweet, a bit like a Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

17 April 2012

April waders at the boardwalk, Mai Po Nature Reserve

Rain overnight and more forecast.  

Ideal conditions to bring exotic hirundines and terns to the fishponds around MaiPo access road, I thought.

Actually, over the fishponds there were a few Barn Swallows and no terns, so I bashed out to the boardwalk instead. The threat of a soaking put a spring in my step, and I got out to the furthest hide in just under thirty minutes from the car park.   

A close Asian Dowitcher was a good omen, even though the light was poor.

Asian Dowitcher - Limnodromus semipalmatus

The water came a bit higher than the 1.8 metres predicted, and the smaller waders showed well on the mossy patch in front of the hide...

Terek Sandpiper - Xenus cinereus

Greater Sand Plover - Charadrius leschenaultii

Grey-tailed Tattler - Tringa brevipes

Ruddy Turnstone - Arenaria interpres

And some busy calidrids -

Curlew Sandpiper - Calidris ferruginea

Red-necked Stint - Calidris ruficollis

Little Stint - Calidris minuta

Sanderling - Calidris alba

The finale of the show was an "advance in review order" by about forty Black-faced Spoonbills 

Black-faced Spoonbill - Platalea minor

There were a few flagged and ringed migrants about, too, so I shall now leave this posting and dutifully report them ! 

11 April 2012

"Shuffling the Pack" along the Deep Bay Tideline, Mai Po.

"Oh, to be in Mai Po, now that April's there.." as Robert Browning almost wrote.

Spring migration is well underway, with large numbers of waders feeding on the Deep Bay tideline as the waters rise towards the boardwalk hides of Mai Po Nature Reserve.

Late last week this Peregrine Falcon was giving the assembled birds some extra exercise.

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus

On a day that 18 individuals were counted, here are a few shots of Nordmann's  Greenshank....

Nordmann's  Greenshank - Tringa guttifer

A few Black-faced Spoonbills are still around, this one starting to show its breeding colours..

Black-faced Spoonbill - Platalea minor

Little Stints are rare in Hong Kong, but there have been one or two around in the past few days, in their easier-to-identify breeding plumage.  Here's one at front left of shot (not sure about the other two here);-

Little Stint - Calidris minuta

Two views of the spectacle in Deep Bay

The view towards the outermost boardwalk hide.

Inside the Reserve itself, on Ponds 16/17 there was a fine congregation of Caspian Terns. On Saturday 7th April we counted 160, which would be a new high for HK.

Caspian Terns - Hydroprogne caspia

Some Red-necked Stints

Red-necked Stint - Calidris ruficollis

And on the man-made islands closest to Hide No.1, a mixture of waders..

Greater and Mongolian Sand Plovers, a crowd of Red-necked Stints and few Curlew Sandpipers, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Broad-billed Sandpipers.  

Many of the usual April suspects, then.

Finally, Quiz Time.....  one of these two Greenshank ISN'T a Common Greenshank... ?

There....Nordmann's (left) and Common (right) Greenshank. 

Not as difficult as some field guides make it look, eh ?