Tuesday, 17 May 2016

End of Spring

It didn't seem that long ago that we were looking forward for the arrival of our spring migrants, and it was all over so quickly. You can just feel it in the air, the migrating season coming to an end. There were still some birds around, but nothing as exciting as before. Breeding was well underway for many species and it was very apparent. At Mai Po car park, a few pairs of White-shouldered Starlings were nesting in their favourite spots; electrical boxes on wooden pylons, these man-made boxes have provided a safe and convenient location for them each year, and it seems the numbers of breeding pairs have increased, seeing that all three boxes at the car park were occupied!

Prinias were all singing loudly on exposed branches, this one was no exception. It's a ringed individual, likely to have been ringed by HKBWS.

The pair of Asian Barred Owlets should have a nest somewhere, although we may not be able to see their nest directly. This poor guy was chased around by a pair of Magpie Robins for some time before finally settling back on one of it's favourite perch.

Most Purple Herons are winter visitors to Hong Kong, only a few remain over summer, usually young birds like this one. There have been a handful of breeding records most notably two pairs in 2013, but it's still a rare breeding species.

The only remaining "Springy" migrant I found today was a single Grey-streaked Flycatcher. This species is usually quite late compare to other migrating flycatchers, so whenever you see them you know the Spring is about to end. It hawked around for a good few hours, I saw it along the same group of trees when I was on my way out.

There weren't that many waders around, but a large flock of Red-necked Stints were present at scrape 16/17. This is probably the single largest flock of Red-necked Stints I have personally seen. I scanned long and hard for any Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Little Stints without much success. Although there were plenty of other waders mixed within, including Sanderlings, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Curlew Sandpipers, Broad-billed Sandpipers and Long-toed Stints.

So, a long and gruelling summer awaits.


  1. I'm getting that "spring is nearly over" feeling, too. Still we can all enjoy the White-shouldered Starlings for the next few weeks.

    1. Yes, they are fun to watch. I always wonder what would happen if the electrician needs to work on the boxes while they are nesting though.