8 Nov 2011

Long Valley's "Golden Harvest"

Yellow-breasted Bunting - Emberiza aureola

Nobody plants rice in Hong Kong these days, apart from Green Groups in Long Valley.  

Long Valley - site of Hong Kong's only rice fields

So the harvest, which is turned into an event for Green Group members, results in an unusual habitat of cropped rice stumps and rice seeds and husks lying about.   In remoter corners of Guangdong Province, there are still plenty of fields like these.

Rice harvest specialty birds include Yellow-breasted Buntings, and Russet Sparrows, the latter species a "tick" for HK's newer birders.

Russet Sparrows - Passer rutilans

Some other Long Valley winter "regulars" have arrived too.

 Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago

Plaintive Cuckoo - Cacomantis merulinus

 Red-throated Pipit - Anthus cervinus

White-rumped Munia - Lonchura striata

And meanwhile, in a corner patch of damp reeds… Black-browed Reed Warblers, formerly known as "Von Schrenck's" Reed Warblers.

Black-browed Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus bistrigiceps

We got a text message that an Amur Falcon was showing along the Mai Po access road and off we went..

Amur Falcon - Falco amurensis

Others got there sooner ! 

Mai Po access road

It has been very mild in the last couple of weeks and there is some birding opinion going around that winter birds -as well as autumn migrants- are a bit "late" this year.

A cold front has arrived with rain today, so there could be some good birds around in the next few days......


  1. Great series. Like the warbler and the handsome Amur. Cool, how much attention shes(?) getting. It's been mild up here too.

  2. Many of the same birds as here in this post John although the Bunting is very very rare in Hokkaido now (I've yet to see one)..........

  3. Thanks to everyone for your comments - early November has been good birding here in Hong Kong.