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 passé  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.


  1. A simply stunning array of flight shots, John, with the White-breasted Kingfisher shot being especially spectacular. Well done!

    1. Thanks David, a mirror-like creek background helps !

  2. Somes superb BIFs even if they species are a bit passe for the HK regulars...........

    1. I'll just keep working on getting better shots of the regular stuff...!!

  3. Your photos certainly make me want to visit NSW more often...The only rarity I've found there is a Ferruginous Duck years back during BBR.

    1. I can offer a distant (too far for a photo) Black-tailed Gull from last Thursday, Matt, - almost a rarity....

  4. NSW is my favorite place for BIF too! Although I couldn't get the beautiful kingfishers & ducks like yours, I still enjoy capturing the larger birds like heron and Great Cormorant. I'd like to try Shek Kong Catchment. Could you pls advise the exact location to see the birds?

    1. Hi Kent, I usually start at the eastern end of the catchment at the junction with route TWISK. There is a sign "Tai Lam country Park" about a kilometre from the end of the catchment road, and the 2-3 kilometres after that have the best woodland around the road. (and the best birds). but patience is required...

    2. Thx John! But do you mean walking from here?

    3. Yes, by the No.72 Green Minibus terminal is the start of the path. You have to go in maybe one kilometre before the trees surrounding the road are good.

  5. Marvelous series of pictures, I like all of them. Congratulations.