3 Feb 2023

Oriental Storks at Mai Po

Umpteen Oriental Storks (Ciconia boyciana) have been cruising around Deep Bay since mid-January.

Having missed them a couple of times, I finally caught up with them on 20th January...well, eight of them anyway.

A splendid, clear, and cool evening at Mai Po.

14 Jan 2023

Some mid-winter birding in Hong Kong

Black Stork - Ciconia nigra

Mid-December - a Black Stork was the birding surprise of our winter so far, using a tree near a busy Sheung Shui junction as an overnight roost. But only for two nights that we know of.

A short walk from home, there was (were ?) a variety of winter visitors, active on the colder mornings.


Common Rosefinch - Carpodacus erythrinus

Yellow-browed Warbler - Phylloscopus inornatus

Pallas's Warbler - Phylloscopus proregulus

Dusky Warbler - Phylloscopus fuscatus

Further afield, the woodland of Pat Sin Leng Country Park had some very seasonal offerings, too

Rufous-tailed Robin - Larvivora sibilans

Rufous-faced Warbler - Abroscopus albogularis

Rufous-faced Warbler - Abroscopus albogularis

Grey-chinned Minivet - Pericrocotus solaris

Around the fishponds buffering Mai Po*, some of the "usual suspects"....

Wryneck - Jynx torquilla

Spellcheck wants to correct the latin above to "Jinx tortilla" - something I wouldn't choose from a Mexican Restaurant menu .

Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropsis daurica

Red-throated Pipit - Anthus cervinus

Red-billed Starlings - Spodiopsar sericeus

Final bird photo - and a future candidate for one of those "birds in their environment" categories in a photography contest, perhaps....

Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareola

(A shot for anyone who ever wondered what happened to the crusts of white bread that the citizenry here won't eat - the crusts are fed to fish in commercial fish ponds, where this was taken.)

Over Tsim Bei Tsui, sunset on the "Year of the Rat"

*Strictly, a "Wetland Buffer Area" around the Mai Po/Deep Bay Ramsar Site - long may it continue. 

11 Nov 2022

Early winter visitors - Nov 9th

A typhoon passing Hong Kong in early November is evidence of the reality of Climate Change.

But, after several wet and grey days, the sun shone on November 9th and the birds performed over the fishponds of the northwest New Territories. 

Yellow Wagtail - “macronyx"

White Wagtail - “leucopsis"

White Wagtail - “leucopsis"

Common Snipe

Red Turtle Doves

Eurasian Wryneck

Amur Stonechat

White Wagtail - “ocularis"

Eastern Buzzard

Imperial (l) and Greater Spotted Eagles

Imperial (upper) and Greater Spotted Eagles

Greater Spotted Eagle

What better place to be than the fishponds bordering Mai Po Nature Reserve ?

27 Oct 2022

Geese at the Mai Po boardwalk hides, 25th October

Another clear and cool morning at Mai Po Nature Reserve.

I saw the tide come in at the outermost boardwalk hide, and the “usual suspects” were present, but nothing unusual. The flags on this Common Redshank were a sign that the Hong Kong bird ringers had been busy.

Round at the oldest hide I met KK Hui and another photographer. We hadn’t been sitting there very long when three large, pale geese flew in and landed about 100 metres out.

Greylag Geese - Anser anser

Greylags - a seventh or eighth record for HK.  They obligingly took off and circled, then landed again and drifted closer.

While viewing the Greylags we had a brief flyby of three Greater White-fronted Geese. By the time I’d identified them on the back of the camera they were long gone.

It was our good fortune that, when the Greylags left after about an hour-and-a-half, the Whitefronts reappeared briefly.

Greater White-fronted Geese - Anser albifrons

Fewer than ten HK records for this species. Geese are rare in the tropics, even in the winter.

Later still, we saw all six geese heading towards Tin Shui Wai, where they were duly reported over HK Wetland Park.