8 September 2013

It's September - Are we having fun yet ?

Early last week I made a couple of woodland forays with Andrew Hardacre.  He's much more diligent about recording insects and landscapes than I am. 

We glimpsed a few interesting birds but they were mostly too quick for me. But a couple of residents were more co-operative.

Emerald Dove - Chalcophaps indica
A patchy-plumaged female.  Juvenile, perhaps ? 

Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius - eyeing moth pupae

Around the fishponds there are a lot of juvenile Greater Coucals. I thought this one looked very dinosaur-like. 

Greater Coucal - Centropus sinensis

Long-tailed Shrike - Lanius schach

White-cheeked Starling - Sturnus cineraceus

And an actual passage migrant - a single Red-necked Phalarope.

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

At Mai Po the wader passage is going on, some juvenile Curlew Sandpipers here:

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (with Redshank, Marsh Sandpipers)

Sometimes there is a stark reminder that some of the waders are not going to go any further…

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus

And the species said to make the longest migration flights on the planet, Bar-tailed Godwit. Some birds fly across the Pacific from the Aleutian Islands non-stop to their wintering grounds in New Zealand.  

Not ALL of them do, obviously, as there are some that pass through HK every autumn, a few dozen in recent years.  These (mostly the form "menzbieri") may be wintering in Australia, as Australian-banded birds have been seen in Hong Kong, and vice versa.. 

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (menzbieri)

Late August and early September see numbers of Whimbrel peak.  Hong Kong's are the east asian form, "variegatus". A common bird on autumn's tidelines.

Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus (variegatus)

Whimbrel  - Numenius phaeopus (variegatus)

At sunset yesterday I was keen to photograph anything that would oblige...

Black Drongo - Dicrurus macrocercus

A few starlings around...

White-shouldered Starling - Sturnia sinensis

A "mixed bag" of starlings at a roost… mostly Grey-cheeked, a few White-shouldered...

 and three passage migrant Daurian (Purple-backed) Starlings...

Daurian Starling Agropsar sturninus

Daurian Starling Agropsar sturninus*

*A new (to me) latin name, gleaned from the 2011 HK Bird Report !

In answer to the question posed above; "Are we having fun yet ?" - the answer is "Yes" ....autumn migration is ON.

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