1 May 2020

Hong Kong Spring Migration 2020 - End of April

I was under compulsory quarantine for 14 days on my March 19th return from Chile/Australia, and could only go out from April 4th. Still, that makes me more fortunate than everyone else stuck indoors.

So far, HK has avoided the worst of the “Wu Flu” (Covid-19) outbreaks, due mainly to having quarantine requirements for arrivals by air, sea and land.  And HK residents - after SARS in 2003 - have been diligent when it comes to  masks and hand/face hygiene. We’ve got to hope it stays that way.

We had a gentle stroll up to the (former HK Governor) Sir Edward Youde Pagoda above Nam Chung, NE New Territories on April 9th.

A Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) circled below eye-level.  Two noteworthy things - it was carrying a Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) prey and (I only spotted this later) it had a ring on its’ leg. A mystery.

In Deep Bay, Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) were assuming breeding plumage prior to heading back to Korea to breed.

Visits to Mai Po Nature Reserve showed up Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea)... 

and Asian Dowitchers (Limnodromus semipalmatus) in their finest breeding plumages.  

Elsewhere, a female Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) passes a fish to her mate.  They must have young to feed locally.

A Little Curlew (Numenius minutus) at Long Valley on 19th...

and White-throated Needletails (Hirundapus caudacutus) on 24th were "bonus birds.

The last week of April seems to be peak migration period for Grey-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseiticta) so here’s one from the 28th.

I’m participating in a Nightbird Survey - it’s been a chance to reaquaint myself with some old friends like Savanna Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis).

Finally, here are two long-distance migrant Chlidonias Terns over the fishponds of Tai Sang Wai, Whiskered Tern (C. hybrida) and White-winged Tern (C. leucopterus).

And now its May...


  1. Glad you survived quarantine, John. Some great shots here, especially as the birds transform into breeding plumage. The last couple of times I tried to leave a comment on your blog I was unable to do so. But it seems to be working now.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, “aviceda” - that’s one of my favourite bird families...

  3. As always, some great photos! Wish I was there to enjoy these birds too.

  4. I can thank April’s great waders !