13 Sept 2012

Mai Po waders - "Here today..."

Andrew Hardacre and I arrived at Mai Po's boardwalk hide in bright sunshine to find the water just receding and a few waders circling about, looking for somewhere to land.

Neil Fifer was already there, and tipped us off that there was a Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) lurking in the thick grasses in front of the hide.  It wasn't long before the bittern came briefly out into the open. With some down on the head, this was obviously a juvenile, which might have bred in Hong Kong.

Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis)

Great Egrets (Casmerodius albus) were, as usual, much more obvious.

We waited to see what else would drop in. Here are shots of a variety of southbound migrant waders seen today.

Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris)

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) - (Edited 18th Sept.  - Siberian race "baueri" has been proposed as a "split" in 2010.... but the suggestion doesn't seem to have much traction.)

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) - some moulting going on here !

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) - rear left

Grey-rumped Tattler (Heteroscelus brevipes)

So we were not disappointed.  But don't take my word for it - Andrew's blog post is here:-

A " Cold Front " arrived around six o'clock this evening. There should be a few birds behind it.

One cold front does not an autumn make, but by golly, it's a lurch in the right direction !


  1. Ha! Much better selection than mine. A very enjoyable session. I thought I'd photographed the Tatty. I must look again!

  2. Ah, but I've got no dragonflies to show off... nice to have bright light - let's do it again.

  3. some brilliant action shots there John..............

  4. Really great shots of waders in flight!
    That's something I'd never achieve...

  5. Stu, Ayuwat, - Thanks for the kind words, but you can't go wrong in bright light !

  6. WOW, these are great photos John, isn't it amazing how the presence of light does so much for each image? I'm still trying to fully understand this in my work so viewing these pics really helps - thanks!

  7. Jeremy,

    I always try to do more "action" shots if light permits...easier with a camera than a brush, I know.