20 Nov 2010

Early Winter from the Mai Po Boardwalk Hides

A Deep Bay tide height of around 2.1 metres brings the waterline up to the oldest Mai Po Boardwalk hides, which have been there since the late 1980s.

However siltation is continuously raising the levels of the mudflats and fewer and fewer daytime high tides reach the hides each winter. ( Not such a problem in spring, though; -tides are much higher in April and May, so migrant wader viewing is still very good most – but not all – days in those months.)

Two years ago a third boardwalk hide was finished. It is much further out into the bay and requires a tide height of about 1.8 metres for optimum viewing.

A tide height of 1.8 metres was predicted by the Hong Kong Observatory at around 09:00hrs yesterday. The prospect of very few “good” tides before next February was a strong incentive to go.

Eurasian Curlew

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Black-capped Kingfisher

Cormorants jostled Shoveler as the tide came in

The tide rose and fell as predicted, (due to atmospheric pressure, sometimes they don’t) and the mudskippers frolicked in small pools of water. Of course, this was noticed by the birds that feed on them.

Chinese Pond Heron

White-breasted Kingfisher – pursued by Black-headed Gull

Saunders’s Gull – newly arrived for the winter - "Endangered ? Moi ?"


  1. Great photos, esp the Kingfisher BIF.

    I'd love to vist HIng Kong, it's not so far and seems to have some great birding and bird photography opportunities...............and it's not so far from Hokkaido either...........

  2. Very interesting shot of the gull chasing the kingfisher! Last year I also witnessed many Saunders's Gull chasing Kentish Plovers in Japan as well.

  3. Nice shots! I hope to see them this wkend!

  4. Hi Stu and All,

    Hong Kong really does have some great birding and photo opportunities... but my use of an 800mm lens and liberal cropping may make it look easier than it really is... !

    I still haven't managed a decent in-flight photo of any of the Halcyon Kingfishers here - but I'm working on it

  5. Wow 800mm lens! My 300mm would look tiny standing beside yours.....