14 Jul 2013

Midsummer Madness

Mad dogs, Englishmen and desperate Hong Kong birders go out in the midday sun of July to look for birds. 

Earlier this month I went out to the boardwalk in the early morning on the clearest and brightest of summer days and the ardeids were showing well.

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Eastern Cattle Egret (Bubulcus coromandus)

Eastern Cattle Egret (Bubulcus coromandus)

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)

Also Common Moorhen and White-breasted Waterhen showed well....

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)

A flock of Greater Sand Plovers dropped in as the tide dropped.

Greater Sand Plovers (Charadrius leschenaultii)

A Lesser Coucal popped out of the mangrove bushes.

Lesser Coucal (Centropus benghalensis)

Today there were a few more waders around.  Even though it's the time of year when the spring passage for many species ended in June and the autumn records don't start until August, it's obvious the birds haven't read the book.

A few Black-tailed Godwits have over-summered in recent years, perhaps these have summered here but I don't know.  Some are showing quite a lot of breeding plumage, so perhaps, just perhaps, they are their on their way south.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Greater Sand Plovers (Charadrius leschenaulti) (Edited caption, thx Dave B.)

Common Redshanks and Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri)

And finally, a surprise. Three Little Terns out on the mud with the Sand Plovers.  They breed in Eastern Guangdong and Fujian, but this would be only HK's third summer record of this species. Typhoon Soulik has been lashing the coastline further northeast of us, so maybe that is why they are here.

Little Terns (Sternula albifrons)

There seemed to be one yellow-billed adult and two black-billed juvenile birds.

A warm, sweaty trudge back to the carpark was followed by a welcome cool drink !