5 September 2012

Mai Po - Expect the Unexpected ?




You never know who – or what – you are going to bump into at Mai Po.  From last Saturday, here are a family of Asian Mongooses.  (Or should that be “Mongeese” ?). 



Meanwhile, on the tideline of Deep Bay, a daytime high tide today brought the birds to about forty metres from the hides in the early afternoon.

Most unseasonal was a Saunders’s Gull.  This is the earliest autumn record by several weeks…. They wouldn’t normally show up until the end of October.





A reasonable variety of waders were to be seen, including several with Hong Kong leg flags.



But if the birds aren’t gripping enough, then sorting out the leg flags on view can certainly keep birders entertained on a late summer afternoon.

One of the Greater Sandplovers on view today had an interesting combination of pale Yellow-over-Blue leg flags.   If the flag was originally white, now stained  yellow,  with the blue flag below, it will be a bird flagged in Taiwan.  A flag-sighting “First” for Hong Kong. We just don't see Taiwanese waders here in Hong Kong.... they must usually migrate well east of us.




Three views of the same bird. I'll update this post if the flagging location is clarified. 

The British Birdfair this year raised funds for projects along the “East-Asian Australasian Flyway”.  To have been selected from the dozen-or-so “flyways” in the world is, sadly, a sign that some of the birds here in East Asia are in deep trouble.

The “flyway” concept is a completely man-made one, but a great way of conveying the interconnected nature of the birds’ stopover and refuelling sites. And the presence in Hong Kong of birds from elsewhere in the flyway certainly reinforces the message, wherever they were originally flagged.
  


One Great Knot in my last posting, these were among 29 seen today.



Three species here (above) … Greater Sand Plover (7), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) and Broad-billed Sandpiper (2).



Whimbrel.....  common in Autumn, but relatively few HK-flagged birds are re-sighted here - a suggested reason is that individuals don't stay in Deep Bay for long.

And it's not just birds to look at ....


Fiddler Crabs on the mudflat.

10 comments:

  1. Enough to revive my flagging enthusiasm. I need a wader fix.

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    1. Andrew, Oh yes... and a flycatcher "fix" would be good, too !

      Anything Autumnal, so looking forward to seeing you next Thursday.

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  2. Expecting the unexpected - that's what makes birding so addictive. Great images as usual.

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    1. Thanks, Mun - the "Unexpected" provides a great incentive to keep our eyes and ears open, that's for sure.

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  3. Well I've never seen a mongoose...........

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  4. Stu, they're glimpsed quite regularly here, but it's hard to get a photo of anything other than their tails disappearing into the grass !

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  5. Great post! Never get enough of viewing waders at Mai Po - great shots of the mongooses/mongeeses or whatever. I think though that my fav is the Whimbrel in flight.

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    1. Thanks, Jeremy !

      I confess I clipped the wingtip, but liked the underside view, so kept the shot.

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  6. Lovely images of the mongooses..! And great wader images, too.. as usual! The Saunder's Gull is interesting. I wonder what has brought it down south so early..

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    1. Terry,

      It can discuss climate change with the Oriental Stork, another unseasonal visitor !

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