30 Aug 2021

End of August 2021 - Two “Hong Kong Ticks” at sea

On 29th August we joined umpteen other birders in a suitably masked, socially-distanced boat trip into Hong Kong’s southern waters, the general area being between Po Toi Island (HK) and the not-HK Islands to the south. 

Wet weather from the south-east was predicted and that’s what we got. An early highlight was a big pod of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)

Despite having done dozens of boat trips over the years, this was a Hong Kong “Cetacean Tick” for us and everyone else present.
Satellite dishes at Chung Hom Kok
And immediately afterwards we had a flyby Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma monorhis), photographed by several people, including yours truly. 

Hong Kong Observatory website

It seems that the rain fronts may have driven it further inshore than normal. There are, as yet, no accepted Hong Kong records for Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel, although Bart de Schutter saw and photographed a distant one from Po Toi Island itself a few weeks ago. (Added: AND a sick Swinhoe's S-P was found on Hong Kong Island in autumn 2020, rehabilitated by the KFBG people, and released about a month later)
A report form has been submitted to the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society Records Committee regarding this sighting. 

It would be a highly anticipated addition to the Hong Kong Bird List, as well as being a fine "Hong Kong Tick" for all the birders present on the boat.