2 May 2021

Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus) and birds of passage, mostly

A year ago in May we had a Twitch for Common Cuckoo, but the attraction this morning was an Oriental Cuckoo, catching caterpillars in the banyans at the entrance to Mai Po. A "scarce passage migrant"...they don't call much so may be overlooked.
An Asian Barred Owlet appeared briefly, mobbed by a a Cinereous/Japanese Tit. Both have young at the moment, and the Tit doesn't want to give up its young to make dinner for the Owl.
At the boardwalk hides, waders waders waders
Did I mention waders ?
And this unusually-flagged Broad-billed Sandpiper, (duly reported and found to be ringed in Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu about 18 months ago).
I'd never have guessed "India" but "Bombay" (from Bombay Natural History Society) was readable on the ring, once I had the image on the computer.

25 Apr 2021

Hong Kong Southern Waters 25th April 2021 - a seabird trip

A suitably-distanced masked, precautionary boat trip led us to a regular stream of Terns, eight species heading northeastwards included Little, Aleutian,Bridled,Black-naped,Common,Gull-billed, Greater Crested Tern and Caspian Tern. Aleutian Tern
Common Tern
Greater Crested Tern
Little Tern
Arctic Skuas (Parasitic Jaegers) were present, too...
Short-tailed Shearwaters are passing through HK waters now. This was the closest..
"Also-seens" included Red-necked Phalarope..
Several example of "Visible Migration" included this group of Cattle Egret, possibly arrived from the Philippines

20 Apr 2021

At the Mai Po boardwalk hides, 20th April 2021

Out at the Mai Po Nature Reserve boardwalk hides today there was a fine selection of migrating birds..
None of them announced themselves as they approached within camera range, so, like me, you can work them out for yourself !

8 Apr 2021

Egretta eulophotes - Chinese Egret

This species was chosen as a symbol for the HKBWS when it was founded. A sketch by Mike Roser was used for the Society’s first thirty-or-so years, superseded by David Bakewell’s more realistic version in the late 1980s. More recently still, the HK Birdwatching Society has been using a different, colourful representation of this bird. There can’t be an egret that does “aigrettes” quite like Egretta eulophotes, even the scientific name means “well-crested”.
All photos taken from the boardwalk hide, today, 8th April 2021.

30 Mar 2021

Four Glossy Ibis at Mai Po Nature Reserve, 30th March 2021

I was out at one of Mai Po's boardwalk hides - where mobile coverage can be intermittent - when I got "pinged" on the phone with some "hot" bird news that there were four Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) just landed on Ponds 16/17, a few hundred metres away. This was the fourth time Glossy Ibis had occurred in Hong Kong and four was a new "high count". Naturally, I hurried along, and the birds were still there. They all appeared to be adults. The last record was of two immature birds at Long Valley on 21st March 2019.
The birds looked unsettled and I wasn't surprised when they were spooked by a Black Kite after about half an hour. Spring wader migration is slowly starting and "also-seens" at the board walk were two Endangered species of wader...Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)and Great Knot (Calidridris tenuirostris)
Turned out nice again !