15 Dec 2014

Getting the hang of things

In my last posting I mentioned that I had been loitering near a certain clump of reeds in the hope of a photo opportunity with Chinese Penduline Tits.

The tits did show briefly, and here are two out of the six in the small party that appeared.

Chinese Penduline Tit - Remiz consobrinus

Chinese Penduline Tit - Remiz consobrinus

Near Tai Sang wai, at a fishpond edge, a chance encounter with a Eurasian Hoopoe led to these photos.  Rather a scruffy individual, but it's about a year since I last saw one in Hong Kong.

Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops

Near Gei Wai 19 at Mai Po there is a small patch of banyan trees that can be quite good for migrating flycatchers (and, now I think of it - Fairy Pitta was seen there once).

On 29th and 30th November we got glimpses of a furtive "blue" flycatcher, which we identified as Chinese Blue Flycatcher. This will be about a fifth record for Hong Kong if accepted. The problem with all these blueish flycatchers is that they are popular cage birds, and it's funny how it seems to be usually males that turn up.

This one - and I'm not biased, honestly - was behaving in a naturally furtive manner.

Chinese Blue Flycatcher - Cyornis glaucicomans

More photos of the flycatcher here - http://www.hkbws.org.hk/BBS/viewthread.php?tid=22276&extra=page%3D1

One of my Field Guides (a book - you must remember books) introduced a species as "nondescript" - and then proceeded to describe it.  I can't recall the species in question now, but the bird Ben King called "Inornate Warbler" in his otherwise impeccable "Collins Guide to the Birds of SE Asia" (1975) suffers from the same human imposition of blandness.

They're common but I like them -

Yellow-browed Warbler - Phylloscopus inornatus
Well I'd better go and post my Christmas Cards before it's too late.  


  1. 3 species I've never seen there...................if I had to pick one to turn up in Hokkaido I'd choose the the Penduline Tits (always made me giggle that name: I must have a dirty mind).

    1. The PTs have the same effect on my mind, too. But I don't see them often enough to need counseling !

  2. Another nice set of images. The Hoopoe is so rare here in Malaysia that I have not seen one for more than a decade!

  3. Wonderful photos - especially of the Penduline Tits - I think we can be thankful they are called Penduline and not Pendulous! We saw a few when at Mai Po last year but the views were distant and fleeting so nice to finally see them close up. Really like the Hoopoe pics too, takes me right back to when I lived on Lamma as they were regular in winter there.

  4. Thanks Jeremy - All the Best to you for 2015 !

  5. I thought I'd commented on this as I remember the warbler. I saw my first Hoopoes this year in Kenya and Madagascar and they're rather extraordinary and special.

    1. Sonja, I agree Hoopoes are "special" anywhere - I think they've recently "split" the African ones

  6. Whenever I have been in Asia those phylloscopus warblers give me fits! If I am alone I think I pass on the identification of about half of them!

    1. David,
      As I live here, I should be more responsible, but they give me the fits, too - so many phylloscs are not looked at too closely...depends what else is around !