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 !