17 Sept 2009

Mai Po access road

I knew I'd missed the tide, but a minor errand took me to Mai Po. Along the access road some birds had "migrant" written all over them

Purple Heron

... and about thirty Whiskered Terns

I got LOTS of shots with a dull grey background, so you'll have to settle for these..

Long Valley

Lurched around LV today with Andrew H. as it got increasingly steamy

A pair of Painted Snipe

A circling Grey-headed Lapwing

And a demonstrative Black-winged Stilt.

Saw a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler being snapped by Andrew, but no prize for me !

14 Sept 2009

Po Toi - migration "hotspot" Part 1

On Sunday 13th September we were not surprised to find twenty-or-so birders and photographers on the 08:00hrs ferry from Aberdeen to Po Toi. As is usual these days, photographers (including us) were the most numerous.

View from the end of the pier. The famous seafood restaurant is to the left, and the casuarinas, where Dollarbirds and Black-naped Orioles can while away their day, are on the right.

We spotted a Grey-streaked flycatcher before we had left the pier, and found that there were two of them giving eye-level views

Bold and confiding - Grey-streaked Flycatcher

"Get off MY perch" - you might imagine they'd save their energy for flying over the ocean....

The Grey-streaked Flycatcher show drew a good audience

Po Toi - migration "hotspot" Part 2

Asian Brown Flycatcher - you can see why the locals call it "Dai Ngan Jai" - "Big-eyed Boy"

Brown Shrike - I think this is race "cristatus" Many of our migrant Brown Shrikes are "lucionensis" named after Luzon in the Phillipines

Black-naped Oriole - there were a few around

Ashy Minvet - away from Po Toi this is a hard species to find in Hong Kong

Dollarbird, or Broad-billed Roller. Thanks to Kinni and the others who put me on to this obliging individual !

Po Toi - migration "hotspot" Part 3

Some birds common in Hong Kong, such as Tree Sparrows, are actually migrants on Po Toi. I'm not sure about the status of these.

Asian koel (female)

White-bellied Sea Eagle - a young bird

Bird of the day - glimpsed by a few but not by me - was Fairy Pitta. So no photo, and no prize... despite the elusiveness of the Pitta, spirits were buoyed by the thirty-seven species seen on the day

Tired-but-happy birders and photographers return to the last Sunday Ferry at 18:00hrs.

10 Sept 2009

Blowing our own trumpet ? Part One

"Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere" published by A&C Black, written and mostly photographed by Richard Chandler.

Also has five pics by John and Jemi. Jolly fine book. Don't delay. Get yours now !

Christmas is coming, get one for a friend !

Black-winged Kite at Mai Po

A bit distant, but only one or Black-winged Kites show up in Hong Kong annually. This one has been hanging around Mai Po Nature Reserve since July.

7 Sept 2009

Mai Po autumn - this morning

Great Egret at the boardwalk

Grey Plovers on Pond 11

Asian Dowitcher on Pond 11 (the only one seen today)

Three Red Knot (left) and Great knot (right and behind) - Pond 11

A HK leg-flagged Redshank, flanked by two Great Knot (Pond 11)

Long Valley, Hong Kong on 3rd Sept.

Sunny, hot late afternoon, but a few birds around

Lotus Pond from the managed area

Many Black-necked starlings, an adult and four young here

Chinese Pond Heron losing it's breeding plumage

Great Egret, arrived for the winter, or on passage - they are never seen in LV in summer

.... and a "Swintail" Snipe. We used to be confident we could tell Swinhoe's and Pintail apart in the field, but now we're told we shouldn't be so sure, as the sizes overlap.