7 November 2014

Passage Migrants and Winter Visitors

Birds - strangely - defy human classifications, and so most species in this post fall into both these Hong Kong categories.

Here are some examples;

Black-browed Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus bistrigiceps

Black-browed Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus bistrigiceps


Oriental Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus orientalis

Eurasian Skylark - Alauda arvensis

Dusky Warbler - Phylloscopus fuscatus


At Long Valley, the wet fields also hold a few familiar species, most here for the winter now; -

Citrine Wagtail - Motacilla citreola

Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago

Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus


And, while everyone else was seeing rarer and exotic buntings the other day, the best I could come up with were these shots of one of our commonest winter visitors;

Black-faced Bunting (f) - Emberiza spodocephala

Black-faced Bunting (f) - Emberiza spodocephala

Yesterday I partially redeemed myself by getting a few shots of Yellow-breasted Bunting. Although an Endangered species, there were thirty-or-so around the area.

Yellow-breasted Bunting - Emberiza aureola

Yellow-breasted Bunting - Emberiza aureola

Yellow-breasted Bunting - Emberiza aureola

Finally a bird that really says "Hong Kong Winter" - Daurian Redstart.

Daurian Redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus

Daurian Redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus


Daurian Redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus

According to the Cantonese Lunar Calendar, today marks the start of winter.  It's very grey and cool outside this morning.


12 comments:

  1. We had our first Blackbirds this week. OBPs are around but no DR yet. The Dusky Wobblers were first to arrive. Last week we had an acro in the garden - very odd - and I suspect Black-browed but it was too fast for me to get a clean look. That was tick 74 for the garden. There are buntings around but always just silhouettes. Usually they are Black-faced when they deign to show. I must try LV next week if I feel fit enough.

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    1. Andrew, the weather has been lousy, but the birding was very good today at LV. Drop me a line if you're coming this way.

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  2. How did you get all those warblers to behave so well! Great shots as usual. Most be exciting times now in HK with the rarities starting to pour in.

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    1. It's been a good few days, just recently - after a mild and disappointing October.

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  3. A beautiful series of photographs. That last image does evoke the winter feeling!

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    1. Thanks for the comment : good birds but leaden skies !

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  4. Fantastic photos, especially the last one. Out of curiousity, what kind of lens do you use?

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  5. Hi John, Thanks…I'm using an 800mm lens, usually with a Canon 1D MK4. The birds here are not usually very confiding… so the longer lens is very useful.

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  6. I'm glad you're around to classify them. I'd need help with a few of these. We get Daurian Redstarts here much later and I always look forward to seeing them.

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    1. Thanks, Russell - I think I'm reasonably good at identifying "the usual (avian) suspects" here - but I'd struggle with anything new. Still, that's what shelves of old-fashioned books are for !

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  7. A lot of (common) species we get here too. In summer though................

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    1. The birds must be in more spanking plumage in summer, I'm sure !

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