Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A hot autumn morning at Tai Po Kau

It's supposed to be Autumn though it feels anything but! These kind of weather leave you two choices if you want to go outside, either go very early or very late. I chose to be early this morning, arriving at Tai Po Kau right around 7:15am. It wasn't cool but it was bearable. On the way up I immediately encountered two active Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, both hopped right to the edge of the path.

Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler

A few Rufous-capped Babbler joined in, one of them with it's tail feathers completely missing! I wonder what happened to it, but no worries, it will grow back very soon. At the mean time it will resembles a Wren-babbler. The hills were filled fruiting Sterculia lanceolata, a type of tree that is commonly seen in Hong Kong, the birds seems to love it and were very active around those trees. Sivler-eared Mesias in particular were finding these fruits irresistible.

Rufous-capped Babbler

Silver-eared Mesia feeding on Sterculia lanceolata

I went up the Red Walk, things were pretty quiet until I got to another fruiting Sterculia lanceolata, a flock of White-eyes surrounds the tree. I notice an odd bird in the flock and got my bins on it, the bird was pretty pale overall but had some wing markings and when it raised it wings I saw that it had yellow rump! A Yellow-rumped Flycatcher it was! We get most of this species as Autumn migrants, and most of them are either female or juvenile. The one I saw was a typical 1st winter male. However, I could not relocate it therefore no photograph this time.

Things got very quiet, it wasn't until I got to picnic area 2 that I heard a Pygmy Wren-babbler calling, I played a recording and waited a few minutes, and sure enough one popped right out from the undergrowth! These are very responsive birds, and are a lot of fun to watch. It remained in the area for a few minutes before hopping back into the undergrowth.

Pygmy Wren-babbler

The rest of the way was pretty quiet with little action. Mountain Bulbuls kept me accompanied along the way, there were quite a lot of them today, on some days you will have none at all. Migration season seems to be at full swing and we should get more flycatchers very soon!

Mountain Bulbul


  1. Stunning babbler.. Beauty !!!

    1. Thanks Nigel, no doubt one of my favorite babbler of all time!

  2. I really like the second SBSB shot....and all the Pygmy Wren-babbler shots inspire me to visit TPK or other woodland more often!

    1. Thanks John~ TPK really can be wonderful, though most visits for me are quite quiet, it still have this magical charm about the place.