4 Feb 2020

Winter, turning to Spring - maybe

Eurasian Wigeon - Mareca penelope

We have lift-off !  And Wigeons have a new family scientific name, - who knew ?

Birding in HK is not a "wilderness experience", as I often remind people. 

This point seems more obvious when one views the fringes of the Deep Bay Ramsar site. On the northern (Shenzhen) side are some of the tallest buildings in Asia.

It’s nice to pretend they are not there, but really they are a fact of life. 

“Lok Ma Chau Loop"

View from Mai Po boardwalk hide, Dec 2019

Shenzhen's Ping An Centre behind this morning flock of Wigeon...

Three views over Gei Wai 8 at Mai Po Nature Reserve....

Shenzhen High Rise

Black-faced Spoonbills - Platalea minor

Phragmites Reed Beds, Mai Po

“Birds of a feather..."

Tin Shui Wai (HK) looms over a tidal pond

Enough concrete background, already !   

In damp weather last week at Tai Sang Wai I had a "wagtail-ly" and "pipit-ty  kind of day.

Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla tschutschensis (taivana)

White Wagtail - Motacilla alba (leucopsis)

White Wagtail - Motacilla alba (ocularis)

Buff-bellied Pipit - Anthus rubescens

Mai Po Nature Reserve still has the main Border Fence running through it.  In the 20th century  illegal immigrants had to cross or go around the fence to get into Hong Kong.

They still do, but times have moved on, and usually the Hong Kong Government permits tens of thousands of mainland tourists to visit every day. Illegal border crosser numbers have dwindled, but the towers and fence (dating from 1980/81) are still there.  

Due to the dreaded coronavirus Hong Kong is closed (almost !) to mainland visitors again, albeit temporarily.  I don’t think we’ll need the fence this time, though.

I don’t want real life to intrude too much on this blog, so I’ll end by noting that we have passed Lunar New Year and it’s officially the start of spring in south China. Koels are calling and Rhodoleia trees are blooming.  

Swinhoe's White-Eye - Zosterops simplex
Our White-eyes used to be “Japanese” but now they’ve been split and named after Robert Swinhoe, a pioneering ornithologist of the Victorian era. 

Fork-tailed Sunbird - Aethopyga christinae
And Fork-tailed Sunbird is named for Christina, Mrs Swinhoe.

And another thing -

Apologies again for my lack of response to comments - since the expiry of Google Plus my settings seem to be screwed up.  I can compose a post, but I can’t comment on the same post.

And don’t seem to be able to post comments on many other blogs. Some yes, some no.

Computers - grrrr... 

Never mind - I’m off on a trip, and -authorities and fates permitting- back in a few weeks.