4 Oct 2013

A quick "Twitch" for Red-backed Shrike

Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago
I started 2nd October in my "Tragopan" portable hide, overlooking the concreted creek where a few autumnal waders pottered about ( "Pottered" - I hope this sounds scientific and disciplined.)

Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis (bengalensis)

Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis (bengalensis)
The good news is that a Common Kingfisher did me the honour of briefly field-testing my perch !

"WoodSand" and "GreenSand" also obliged with close views. 

Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareola
(Note to self: - Must clean the litter off the possible background areas... !) 

Green Sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
THEN: a tip-off from Andrew Hardacre that he was in Long Valley, looking at a Red-backed Shrike (possibly HK's fifth), that had been originally found there the previous day. 

"Long Valley" - a rare patch of cultivated lowland in Hong Kong
After some directions were given, I found the right field, found Andrew (and James Lambert) and found the bird. 

Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio

It was perched on a wire above a patch of wet reeds. It was regularly diving into the foliage for caterpillars. The ginger-brown overall colouration, traces of grey on the hind neck, and squarish tail all seemed like good ID "pointers" to separate from Brown Shrike, our most-likely confusion species.

As I'd missed Hong Kong's previous Red-backed Shrikes, this was a "HK Tick" for me.

Nearby, a "bonus" Red-necked Phalarope, whirling away on a flooded paddy field.

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

More photos and shrike identification debate on the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society website : 

And what lovely cool weather we're having, too !

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