23 Dec 2011

Mai Po Boardwalk - Winter Birds

Daytime high tides are often not high enough to cover the mudflats of Deep Bay in the middle of winter.  

(Summer high tides, on the other hand, cover the mudflats most days in April and May, making good conditions for viewing migrant waders.)

This morning I went out to the furthest boardwalk hide, opened by WWF Hong Kong only a couple of years ago. The hide was built so that more birding would be possible in winter.

This morning the new hide was closer to the water, but - as expected early on - the tideline was still very distant. 

There was a fair amount of activity, firstly in the form of a Black-capped Kingfisher which - like a mini cruise missile - tried to assert Air Supremacy over any other bird occupying what it clearly considered to be its' own muddy territory. 

Black-capped Kingfisher  Halcyon pileata

It saw off a few waders, including these rather startled Marsh Sandpipers….

 It  then had a go at another halcyon kingfisher, the White-breasted….. 

Closer to the hide, a few winter birds started to show quite well, especially as the tide came up. 

Eurasian Curlew - Numenius arquata

Temminck's Stint - Calidris temmincki

Kentish Plover - Charadrius alexandrinus

Grey Plover - Pluvialis squatarola

Saunders's Gull - Larus saundersi

A "macronyx" Yellow Wagtail

A "leucopsis" White Wagtail

It's that time of the year again… Merry Christmas !


  1. Brilliant, especially the one with the 2 Kingfisher species.

    I have to go to Mai Po..............one day.

  2. Very nice photoes of the kingfishers!

  3. I miss the birds in Hong Kong! Merry Christmas!

  4. Wow kingfishers in flight! I can never do that. Didn't know that waders are that scared of flying kingfishers.

  5. Jennifer, - the birds in HK miss you, too !

    Merry Christmas to all, thanks for your interest throughout the year.

  6. Absolutely brilliant Kingfisher shots John. You're right - it is cold in Lancashire, but sadly dull so no photographs today again! Thanks for your advice.