22 Mar 2012

"Turned out nice again…"

…as George Formby used to say in the 1930s.  Or so I'm told.

I have a Field Guide in which the author introduces a bird as "nondescript" - and then proceeds to describe it.

Well, spring weather in Hong Kong is "unpredictable", but the HK Observatory people feel obliged to make predictions anyway.  Rather them than me. 

A grey morning was predicted to presage a grey day, but the sun broke through at about 09:30 to general delight. Temperatures rose so fast I felt rather foolish in my thick jacket.

The tide in Deep Bay was predicted to peak some distance from all the but the newest hide, but actually it rose 25 cm or so higher, covering all the mudflat and bringing the waders close to the older hides.

Hot breaths of air from the Pacific Ocean in the past week have persuaded many Great Cormorants and duck to move north, so it was mostly a "Wader Show" at Mai Po Nature Reserve, with a variety of lingering winter visitors and some early migrants. 

"Eastern" Black-tailed Godwits - Limosa melanuroides

Common Greenshank - Tringa nebularia

Eurasian Curlew - Numenius arquata

Pied Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta

Pacific Golden Plover - Pluvialis fulva

Not a wader at all, of course..but a popular visitor this winter..

Glaucous Gull - Larus glaucescens

Some genuine passage migrants on show:

Broad-billed Sandpipers - Limicola falcinellus

Curlew Sandpipers - Calidris ferruginea

This spring I seem to have been lucky in the hide to be close  to keen people with 'scopes who have picked out the best waders.  Today it happened again, as John Allcock picked up a Spoon-billed Sandpiper among the Curlew Sands…

Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus

The same individual as the one 10 - 12 days ago ?  I'm not sure.


  1. Very nice indeed, had one of those waders with the spatulate bill myself just 2 day ago, beautiful as ever. Regards to John A...

  2. Love your waders on flight images. Turned out nicely indeed.

  3. Superb, John! Every SBS sighting is a thrill these days... Love the Black-tailed Godwit image.. beautiful birds.

  4. Thanks to all for the comments... I really feel that we should appreciate any SBSs we see while we still can.

  5. The Broad-billed Sandpipers look so cute hanging on the water. As Stu said, Mai Po seems such a magical place. I miss seeing massive number of waders so much. Hopefully, I'll be able to make a short trip to the coast soon some day.