5 December 2016

Siberian Cranes at Mai Po

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus


Found by David Diskin at Mai Po’s boardwalk hides on the morning of Dec 2nd. 

An adult and a juvenile Siberian Crane were among the birds on the tideline in Deep Bay.  HK’s only previous record was of a juvenile in December 2002.

The cranes then flew into the reserve onto Pond 8 near the Tower Hide. Thanks to WhatsApp and other forms of mobile phone messaging a crowd of crane twitchers -including us- soon gathered.

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus


After an hour or so near the Tower Hide, the cranes moved to the south end of the Reserve, where I took these record shots in the late afternoon.


Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus


Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus


Both birds stayed overnight, and more people saw them on Saturday, Dec. 3rd.  

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus

Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus


Around midday the cranes flew off into Deep Bay, and in late afternoon only the adult came back to Mai Po.

It then overnighted and more birders got to see it on the Sunday (Dec. 4th).

More from Matt KWAN here : http://matthewkwanbirding.blogspot.hk

Will the adult stay ? Where is the young one ? What happened to the other parent ? Why have they turned up here and now ?

Plenty of room for discussion.

UPDATE:  As of Wednesday, Dec 7th the adult Siberian Crane is still around.   The Crane's usual wintering grounds are Poyang, but I dare say the habitat has worsened since my 1989 visit...possibly the reason the two birds came to Hong Kong






8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. A real treat, Stu - Christmas has come early !

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  2. Amazing! Now you have to make sure they stay there until the end of February!

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  3. I wonder where the juvenile went...so mysterious! Hopefully it is OK and will find it's way back to it's friend...

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    Replies
    1. Matt, Yes the absence from Mai Po of the juvenile is a concern...

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  4. Lucky you to see such magnificent birds. And lucky cranes to have protected areas to visit. If only East Asia would set aside more places like that, especially on the Korean Peninsula.

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    Replies
    1. Yes - and having set those places aside, regional governments actually might protect them from development!

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