Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Full day at Bride's Pool and Long Valley

Tuesday 9/12/2014

Took a day off with some of my remaining AL. Decided to give Bride's Pool a go, it's located at the far North Eastern corners of Hong Kong within the Plover Cove Country Park, a very popular destination for hikers and picnickers. There are some good patch of woodlands as well as wide mountain streams which attracts certain species of birds in the winter, such as Plumbeous Redstarts and various Flycatchers.

My main reason for visiting was for a Small Niltava that's been spotted a few days ago. A bird that's been high on my to tick list in Hong Kong but have yet to do so. My last encounter with this species was in Jiangxi Wuyishan quite a few years back.

First birdwave I had a Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher and a Black-naped Monarch. The Monarch proved to be too quick for me but the Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher was a bit more cooperative. We in Hong Kong call them little bananas, you kind of see why.

                               Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher

A bit further down towards the large barbecue and picnic area was a Mugimaki Flycatcher, a fine juvenile male.

                               Mugimaki Flycatcher

Goodson's Leaf Warbler was in quite good numbers here, saw atleast five individuals.

                               Goodson's Leaf Warbler

There were a lot of Flowerpeckers here, I guess the parasitic mistletoes are doing well here? Here is a Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, a slightly more uncommon counterpart to the Scarlet-backed.

                               Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

Other commoner species includes Cinerous Tits, Rufous-capped Babbler and Olive-backed Pipits, they were everywhere.

                               Cinerous Tit

                               Olive-backed Pipit

                               Rufous-capped Babbler

Plumbeous Redstarts frequent this stream, this female showed well, presumedly it will stay for the winter. The first photo show the bird at it's most natural habitat, fast flowing rocky streams.

                               Plumbeous Redstart

Finally, the Small Niltava I was looking for, not the best of photographs but at least I saw it. Job done!

                               Small Niltava

A mystery flycatcher have turned up here as well, got all experts baffled over it's identity, personally I think it's an Asian Brown Flycatcher with a bit of weird coloration, scruffiness of the bird indicate it as possible ex-captive bird. The call was very much similar to what I expect from an Asian Brown Flycatcher, too.

                               Bride's Pool Mystery Bird (Asian Brown?)

After the delightful morning at Bride's Pool, I decided to give Long Valley a crack too, the weather was just too good for the thought to subside!

The Citrine Wagtail was back at it's usual spot after dissapearing during John's Hong Kong visit the week before...

                               Citrine Wagtail

Most buntings have came and gone, a few remained including this Yellow-breasted Bunting and a Chestnut-eared Bunting which I saw only. Feeding amongst the paddies as usual.

                               Yellow-breasted Bunting

I had a personal high count of Painted Snipes with 8 individuals at one pond. Mostly males. I've always liked the Painted Snipe mentality; lay down and hope they won't see me.

                               Painted Snipe

Crakes are usually difficult to see, but sometimes you get birds like this one. This Ruddy-breasted Crake was back at it's usual patch of reeds, got some great lighting today.

                               Ruddy-breasted Crake

A pleasant drop in while I was waiting for the crake was a few Chinese Penduline Tits, lovely birds.

                               Chinese Penduline Tit

Other common birds includes Dusky Warblers, Intermediate Egrets, Teals, Little-ringed Plovers and Common Buzzards.

                               Dusky Warbler

                               Intermediate Egret


                               Little-ringed Plover

                               Common Buzzard

A single male Bluethroat showed well as the sun went down. Every so often we get a showy bird like this one. Really not a bad way to close off the day with!


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