Showing posts with label HK Nam Sang Wai n Fish Ponds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HK Nam Sang Wai n Fish Ponds. Show all posts

25 November 2019

A Long Weekend..

Long-tailed Shrike

Well I’ve declared the weekend that just passed five days long, solely for blog purposes. Last weekend began on Wednesday, 20th November.

November in HK was known traditionally among expats as “Wrinkly Season” - the best weather of the year, when people’s aged relatives chose to make a pre-Christmas visit.

The birding was good too, with feathered winter visitors arriving in numbers.

Perhaps fewer expats and “wrinklies” now, and the climate seems milder than twenty years ago, but there are still many birds around in late November.

“ocularis” White Wagtail

Daurian Redstart (f)

Common Kingfisher

Red-rumped Swallow

An outgoing tide at Mai Po on Friday 22nd drew us out to the boardwalk, bright and early.

In the clearest of light, we watched the Cormorants pouring out of Nam Sang Wai and out over Deep Bay.

Great Cormorants - crossing Deep Bay

Western Osprey

Great Cormorant

....and the Wigeon came very close to the boardwalk hide. 


Eurasian Wigeon (f)

Eurasian Wigeon (m)

Musical notes ?

The tides weren’t looking so promising on Saturday 23rd, so we just strolled to the scrape at Mai Po Nature Reserve, along the casuarinas.


Common Kingfisher

Masked Laughingthrush

Typical winter view looking towards the Border Fence


Once numbered in HK in hundreds, Chinese Spotbills don’t reach double figures here now.
"Chinese Spot-billed Duck" 

Grey Heron

Black-faced Spoonbill

A "Grebe Day" on Sunday 24th..we ventured forth after casting our votes (For candidates, not Grebes).

The biggest Grebe, Great Crested, was at an overgrown Fung Lok Wai, near Yuen Long. 

Great Crested Grebe

Meanwhile the twice-a-decade* Black-necked Grebe near San Tin returned to the fishpond where it was originally found (by Geoff Carey) on Tuesday, 19th November.
Black-necked Grebe (Little Grebe in BG)

Black-necked Grebe - “Eared Grebe” in the USA

....and a bonus Rosy Starling, also at San Tin...

Rosy Starling

...a rarity here in HK. 

Perhaps the same bird as originally seen (by Chris Campion) at San Tin on 7th October. Or  perhaps not - this blog doesn’t do certainties.

* Last two BN Grebe records were 2018 (briefly, one observer) and 2010

21 November 2019

Mid-November at Nam Sang Wai, Hong Kong

Sunday, 17th November 2019


Normally I wouldn’t visit Nam Sang Wai on a Sunday, but these are not normal times.

My thinking was that the NT circular road might be congested on a weekday, so my NSW visit would be on a Sunday, or not at all.

I got there as the sun was breaking the horizon, and a picturesque mist hung over NSW’s reed beds.




Well, it seemed that ducks and gulls hadn’t found their way to Nam Sang Wai yet this winter, but Collared Crows (Corvus torquatus) were active in the area.



There were a few Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) around, one of which came close enough for a decent flight photo.


There was a spectacular fly-off of Great Cormorants at about 07:20.




Two identical videos !  When I work out how to get rid of one, I shall do so !

Bonus bird of the day was the Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) that hovered in the early morning sunshine.  







It dived into the water behind a stand of mangrove… 



...but came into view again with a fish in its’ clutches, which it subdued as it passed me.





I’ll try Nam Sang Wai again in December, to see if the duck are appearing then.

STILL haven’t mastered comment replies...sorry


19 April 2019

Whiskered Terns

 Rough and wet weather at sea can bring more terns over the fishponds of the New Territories of Hong Kong.

“Marsh” Terns are the most frequently encountered. These Whiskered Terns were over fishponds near Mai Po this morning.

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Less frequently encountered are Wild Boar.  I  disturbed this one between two fishponds and he (she ?) went ploughing off through the undergrowth, only returning when it thought it was safe.

Wild Boar - Sus scrofa

Wild Boar - Sus scrofa

Wild Boar - Sus scrofa
A few strands of grass came between me and a clearer view, but then - if the animal had seen me - it would have turned tail and fled anyway.


2 April 2019

Last week of March 2019 - unsettled weather and some migrants at last

Grey-capped Greenfinch - Chloris sinica
More unsettled weather around 23rd/24th March brought a few interesting birds into view.

These usually seem to be high and distant, maybe often overlooked by birders looking closer to hand, including me.

Grey-faced Buzzard - Bustatur indicus

A spring passage regular…

Eastern Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla tschutschensis (taivana)

At Long Valley there were two different Water Rails about, I missed one but got the second !
Eastern Water Rail - Rallus indicus

When seagoing passage migrants such as phalarope turn up on inland patches of water, like the ponds at LV, you know it must be rough at sea. 

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

On March 28th the diligence of the fishpond surveyors paid off again with the finding of this unusual wagtail, which may be a Western Yellow Wagtail.  Richard Lewthwaite and I arrived at the same time for a twitch of this potential HK first, feeding on a fishpond bund at Lut Chau.




Western Yellow Wagtail ?- Motacilla flava leucocephala (rear)

Western Yellow Wagtail ? - Motacilla flava leucocephala

Wagtail and admirers

At the boardwalk hides of Mai Po Nature Reserve, on the final day of March, it felt like winter was turning to spring. The wintering gulls were fewer in number and the terns were coming through.  Here’s one -

Gull-billed Tern - Gelochelidon nilotica

Gull-billed Tern - Gelochelidon nilotica

And the Black-faced Spoonbills were colouring up for their return to their Korean breeding grounds.

Black-faced Spoonbill - Platalea minor

The commoner passage migrants had increased in number and were also adopting some breeding plumage…

Greater Sand Plover - Charadrius leschenaultii

Curlew Sandpiper - Calidris ferruginea

There are fewer than ten records per year of Oriental Plover -and, actually, I haven't seen one in such good plumage for several years, - so it was great when this was pointed out to me on the Deep Bay mudflats :

Oriental Plover - Charadrius veredus

Oriental Plover - Charadrius veredus
And April is just getting started…