29 Jul 2009

Munias at Long Valley, Hong Kong

Long Valley was the site of a landmark environmental legal hearing a few years ago. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (owned by the government) wanted to build a viaduct through the middle of the area. The HK Birdwatching Society led a campaign, supported by other green groups to oppose the project.

Remarkably, the environmentalists won, KCRC lost, and were required to build a tunnel UNDER Long Valley. This says a lot about the rule of law and independence of the judiciary in post-handover HK.

A lot of active management of this rare freshwater wetland continues. A recent project involving The Conservancy Association and HKBWS has been the planting of rice in Long Valley. (Hardly anyone grows rice in HK these days. By the early 1970s, imported rice had become so cheap it was hardly worth the effort to grow it. Farmers switched to vegetables, or emigrated.)

Anyhow, recent cutting of the rice stalks has been a windfall for both White-rumped and the odd Spotted Munia.

KCRC has been swallowed up by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. Who'd have thought Long Valley would outlast it ?

27 Jul 2009

Ashes to Ashes - 1977

Some shots from the 5th Test in 1977 at the Oval (drawn)

Tony Greig bowls... Umpire ..Tom Spencer

Alan Knott keeping wicket, Rod Marsh batting The other fielders are Graeme Roope (l) and Bob Woolmer (r) - sadly , no longer with us.

Batsman is Rick McCosker

The one-and-only Geoffrey Boycott

Taken on Ilford FP3 with a Practica super TL and photax 500mm lens - as if you cared.

Anyhow, the third Ashes Test gets under way on Thursday. I have so many memories of these contests, everything that happens this week will be coloured by thoughts of past matches.

26 Jul 2009

1988 Big Bird Race results

WWK Hong Kong organised HK's first "Big Bird Race" fundraiser in 1985. By 1988, when I took these pics, about 12 teams were taking part and the individual and corporate sponsorship was over two million HK dollars just that year.

The fundraising went off the boil a bit when many of the most successful fundraising team members retired and left HK in the late 1990s.

In 2008 WWF announced the event was looking a bit tired and they were going to change the format... and they were true their word. In 2009 the new theme was "minimalism" - they didn't hold a BBR at all...

In these straitened economic times, the WWF people have reconsidered their latter-day indifference to the Big Bird Race, and they're going to revive it in 2010.

Everyone was young, once upon a time.