10 May 2022

Hong Kong Southern waters boat trip - 9th May 2022

Hong Kong’s Tern migration period is peaking, and eight tern species were seen on yesterday’s boat trip. In no particular order, they were: -

Hong Kong breeders (and passage birds)




and “strictly passing through”


Great Crested



Eastern Common

Throw in a couple of hundred Red-necked Phalarope and one close Short-tailed Shearwater, then one has all the ingredients of a memorable day out.

Like this

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

Short-tailed Shearwater - Ardenna tenuirostris

Short-tailed Shearwater - Ardenna tenuirostris

Short-tailed Shearwater - Ardenna tenuirostris

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

Bridled Terns - Onychoprion anaethetus

Aleutian Tern - Onychoprion aleuticus

Aleutian Tern - Onychoprion aleuticus

Common Tern - Sterna hirundo

Common Tern - Sterna hirundo

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus (mostly) - note Tuna

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus (mostly)

Little Tern - Sternula albifrons

Greater Crested Tern - Thalasseus bergi

Greater Crested Tern - Thalasseus bergi

Later on, the weather cleared up, but the terns continued to pass us....

White-winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus (mostly)

Common Tern - Sterna hirundo (mostly)

And home in time for tea !


  1. Nothing quite like a good pelagic, even if it's an inshore pelagic. Memorable I have no doubt, John.

  2. Thanks, David - comment replies seem to be stuck, anyway all the best

  3. Was a fun day and certainly one of the 'birdiest' boat trips I've been on!

  4. Gordon RobinsonMay 17, 2022 8:37 am

    Hi, I sent a comment earlier this morning but cannot see it here, perhaps because I sent it anonymously. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your always excellent photos, especially those in flight. I am new to birding and related photography and struggle with flight photos, especially small, fast birds (terns, for example).

    Wonder if you can briefly answer some no doubt basic questions (using Canon):

    a) focus mode: full screen or smaller?
    b) use Dot Sight or similar?
    c) reduce focal length to increase viewing area?

    Any other brief hints welcome.