23 Mar 2021

Black-faced Spoonbills - all dressed up and somewhere to go

At the Mai Po boardwalk yesterday, most of the remaining Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) were in breeding plumage and feeding actively before they departed for their Korean breeding grounds. These individuals were twitching their wings like butterflies as they chased fish in the shallow water.
It's great to see these birds, but I'm also sad to report that numbers in Deep Bay are slowly dropping, even when the known population of this Endangered Species is still rising. Water quality is declining, probably as a result of increased development and urbanization.


  1. Time for them to move on and take care of the important business of raising the next generation. It's really sad to hear that water quality is suffering so greatly. I can well imagine which side of Deep Bay is causing the problem - and of course Deep Bay is not deep at all.

  2. Yes, David - actually very shallow water, with more crud being drained into it all the time.

  3. Great shots John, especially in breeding plumage.

    1. Thanks, Stu - the wing-fluttering as the BFS fed was actually very fast. The breeders will leave HK soon, but a few younger birds may over-summer.