28 Jan 2021

On the beach at Pak Nai, northwest New Territories

 A couple of days ago we bashed out to Pak Nai in the Wild West of the New Territories, to try to see the Oystercatcher first reported there some weeks ago.

Pak Nai overlooks Deep Bay, famous in Hong Kong for its’ cultivated oyster beds. The Deep Bay water quality has plummeted in recent decades, and the oysters can now contain more heavy metals pound-for-pound than a Tesla car battery.

But I digress.  But anyway, where else should an Oystercatcher hang out ?

On a hazy morning we searched in vain for the target bird, but the conditions were favourable to photograph two Black-faced Spoonbills, feeding in a shallow creek beside the beach; -

....and a couple of other characteristic “winter seashore” species besides, Little Ringed Plover,  two ocularis” White Wagtails, and a Grey Plover.

Lunar New Year (and the official Cantonese spring) is only days away.

13 Jan 2021

Mid-winter ground frost

We’re at sea level here, but several kilometres from the nearest warming ocean at Mai Po.

Frosty plants are a novelty to photograph, but cold weather can be an extra hazard for wildlife.

Wood Sandpiper

Still cold in the shadows, but Blue Magpies were active.

Green Sandpiper

Masked Laughingthrush

Ground frost can damage winter crops like lettuce.  Frost is relatively rare (we’re in the tropics, after all) so not many field areas in the New Territories are protected against it.

We’d had a clear, cold night, but a warm sun was coming up !

4 Jan 2021

New Territories, New Year

Clear and cool, and we enjoyed the view of Ma Tso Lung, here with Shenzhen in the background,

House Swift, one of the first birds of the New Year....

At Mai Po in the evening, Pied Avocets in a frisky mood.

Some of the thousands of Great Cormorants now wintering at Mai Po.

Eurasian Wigeon on Pond 11, Mai Po.

And January 3rd we “Twitched” the Greater Scaup in the river at Shatin.

 Happy New Year !