17 May 2020

“Marsh” Terns on northbound migration

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus


“Chlidonias…” Marsh Terns migrate through Hong Kong in spring and autumn.  In spring they are much easier to identify at a distance, because they are in breeding plumage.

Hong Kong birding - NOT a “Wilderness Experience” !

At the end of April I saw a couple of dozen marsh terns circling over a particular partially-refilled fishpond in Tai Sang Wai.  They seemed to be feeding on prawns.

Chlidonias Terns on passage, Hong Kong

Exactly two weeks later, blustery conditions led me to go and check the same pond again in the late afternoon.

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

Kai Kung Shan ("Cock’s Comb Mountain") * is to the east of Tai Sang Wai. With the terns circling more or less at eye height the hill can make a good background for these black-and-white birds, especially as the sun gets lower. 

* a hill called “Nameless” by the British Army, pre-handover !


White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida

And there were Whiskered Terns in close-up, too.

2 comments:

  1. Great shots of very handsome birds, John.

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  2. Wow, quite superb WWBT photos. Only ever seen 1 and that was a juvenile in late summer.

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