16 Dec 2018

Rays of sunshine

White-spectacled Warbler - Seicercus affinis
On the 30th November we joined some other keen birders to go to Po Toi Island to “twitch” HK’s first Silver Oriole, seen the previous day.

Well, we didn’t get the oriole but but the company and weather were just fine.  This “White-spec.” was some slight compensation.  

It was dark under the canopy where I took this, but the image quality is a tribute to the Image Stabilising on a handheld 500mm f4 lens.

On another fine evening, I went to Pond 14 at Mai Po to try for shots of the Chinese Penduline Tits reported from there.  They are attractive birds, but usually small, distant and skulky. 

Chinese Penduline Tit - Remiz consobrinus

Chinese Penduline Tit - Remiz consobrinus
Meanwhile, back in the woods, a steady procession of December “usual suspects” revealed themselves.

Red-throated Flycatcher - Ficedula albicilla

Daurian Redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus

Chinese Bulbul - Pycnonotus sinensis

Blue Whistling Thrush - Myophonus caeruleus

Japanese White-Eye - Zosterops japonicus

Grey-backed Thrush - Turdus hortulurum

(Asian) Brown Flycatcher - Muscicapa latirostris

Fork-tailed Sunbird - Aethopyga christinae 

Rufous-tailed Robin - Larvivora sibilans

Most of my Rufous-tailed Robin views have involved birds glimpsed through undergrowth, and this one was no different.

2 Dec 2018

Nam Sang Wai and Shek Kong Catchment, 29th Nov 2018

Black-faced Spoonbill - Platalea minor
Hazy sunshine and a low tide predicted in late morning made NSW seem like an attractive place to visit for the first time in over a year.

Common Teal - Anas crecca

White-breasted Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis
I get the feeling that many of the more experienced HK photographers consider NSW a bit passĂ©  And someone recently pointed out to me that hardly any real rarities turn up there. 

Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea

Northern Shoveler - Anas clypeata

Pied Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta

Pied Kingfisher - Ceryle rudis

But the  slipway near the AFCD post is still great place to practice “birds in flight” photography.

Woodland birding sites can be pretty quiet after mid-morning, but a low winter sun meant that there would be plenty of dark gullies along the track at Shek Kong Catchment, so there I went.

As it turned out, the first noteworthy bird was another “BIF” -  a displaying Crested Goshawk.

Crested Goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus

Crested Goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus
I’ve seen them do this often before, but rarely so close and in such strong light.

Later on, a mixed feeding bird flock found me in a shady corner and I got shots of a couple of the more colourful species under the tree canopy.

Yellow-cheeked Tit - Parus spilonotus

Silver-eared Mesia - Leiothrix argentaurus
Daurian Redstarts, having mostly arrived for the Hong Kong winter three to four weeks ago, have established their territories and become more cautious of humans. 

Daurian Redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus

But this male gave me a brief photo opportunity as I returned to the end of the catchment road.