28 Oct 2019

October in the Deep Bay area

White-shouldered Starling

Cooler weather means much nicer conditions to be out and about, with the added incentive of some migrating birds. White-shouldered Starlings (above) may have bred in Hong Kong and are about to leave.

October can be a month of rarities - but not so much this year after Long Valley’s Red-backed Shrike.

Sand Martins, Blue-tailed Bee-Eater and Chinese Grosbeak - not rare but welcome.

Red-billed Blue Magpies are now breeding at Mai Po. 

I made a couple of visits to the boardwalk at Mai Po Nature Reserve.  

Out in Deep Bay, duck, such as Garganey and Pintail are growing in number.

Whimbrel like to roost on top of the boardwalk hides, so can be easily photographed. 

Other waders are around, too...PG Plover, Marsh Sandpiper and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper below -

Black-faced Spoonbills had increased to about thirty the day I took this - HK's "peak count" has been over 400 in November.

Nearby, Whiskered Terns were over the fishponds at Tai Sang Wai, they are not as fine-looking as in spring, but beauty is only feather deep ! 

A single White-winged Tern (centre)....

The terns will move on, but Grey Heron numbers increase in winter. 

Birding in HK is not a "wilderness experience" - foreground: abandoned pig farm, bananas and scrub-covered hillside. In the background, the high-rise on the centre and right is much-needed public housing.

Amur Falcons…. this adult male is unusual, but typically distant….

there…at least this AF is closer !

2 Oct 2019

Birds on the move

Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio
Hong Kong’s 7th or 8th Red-backed Shrike was found (Thanks, JAA) at Long Valley on Sept 28th.  So far (Oct 2nd) it’s the only “Rarity” seen in Hong Kong during this autumn migration season.

But October can be a busy month, so perhaps other things will turn up.

Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio

Meanwhile, some shots from the last few days, mostly migrants or arriving Winter Visitors. 

Warning ! One of these is not a migrant and not a bird either !

Common Redshank - Tringa totanus

Whimbrel - Numenius phaeopus

Small Asian Mongoose - Herpestes javanicus

Pied Harrier - Circus melanoleucos
 For me, this is a typical Pied Harrier view !

Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago

"Swintail" Snipe - Gallinago megala/stenura

Long-toed Stint - Calidris subminuta

Pacific Golden Plover - Pluvialis fulva

Marsh Sandpiper - Tringa stagnatilis

Black-naped Oriole - Oriolus chinensis

Black-naped Oriole - Oriolus chinensis

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Blue-tailed Bee-eater - Merops philippinus

but a small party on 30th September along Mai Po Access Road seemed a good birding harbinger for October.

Heaven knows, we'll need all the distraction we can get.