Sunday, 9 October 2016

Consolation Prize - Black-naped Oriole

Considering we are in the midst of the autumn migration, things have been pretty quiet for me. Partly because I have been quite busy, but also that I haven't had much luck during those times when I was out birding. No matter, a birder should not be deterred or discouraged from not seeing much!

Black-naped Oriole - one of our regular migrants

I kept going back to Shek Kong Catchment partly because of the good species others have had luck with, most notably Forest Wagtails, but I kept missing on that species whenever I went. I have been having much luck with the Grey Treepies there however, one showed reasonably well on my last visit.

Grey Treepie - a species I've had luck with lately

It's ok to not have as much birding luck at this time of the year, as there are always plenty to see after sun down. My night walks at Tai Po Kau had been a little bit more productive, although nothing particularly rare, it's still nice to see all the creatures out and about before the weather gets cooler and the insects disappearing. Asian Painted Frogs are always nice to see, and Hong Kong Newts are now extremely active, you can easily find them walking along footpaths and roads at this time of the year. One of the most "amazing" find was a very large Mitten Crab that was found along the stream, I estimate it's shell to be at least 5 inches, and nearly a 10 inches with legs! This was much bigger then any I have seen even in wet markets, I guess not many can grow out to this size without getting caught.

Asian Painted Frog - also known as Banded Bullfrogs

Hong Kong Warty Newt - preparing for their breeding season

Changeable Lizard - in deep sleep obviously...

Spilosoma obliqua - ID credit to Hoiling

Heteropoda venatoria - also known as Huntsman Spiders

Centipede - not familiar with their identification, but they all give me goosebumps...

Macrobrachium vietnamense - interesting to saw this one out of water

Eriocheir sp. - also known as Mitten Crabs, a very large individual

Back to the birds, I visited Mai Po briefly in the afternoon. There was a Watercock at bird hide #3 in the morning but it was long gone when I arrived. I only managed an Eastern Marsh Harrier there, a long with a few fly over Pale Martins gave only brief looks, a flock of 20 Magpies flying together was a personal record count for me. Nothing interested appeared afterwards, when it got to a point where I took a few photos of a Green Sandpiper out of boredom, I knew I had to go somewhere else...

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Green Sandpiper

I headed back to the tower hide to try my luck there, there weren't a lot around but a flock of 16 Red Turtle Doves on a single tree (another personal record count) were a little bit more interesting. Seeing that it was getting late I headed back out to the car park, as I was walking along I noticed a bird flying with a very buoyant flight pattern high above, I looked through my bins and confirmed my suspicion that it was a juvenile Black-naped Oriole. It gradually came down and landed on a tree near the car park, so I hurried there and immediately found it perched on top of a tall tree when I got there. Black-naped Orioles are mainly migrants in Hong Kong, and often you will find newly arriving birds perch on top of tall trees to rest before they scurry away into cover. A good consolation for the birds I missed over the weekend and a much happier end of the day!

Red Turtle Dove(s) - 16 on one tree

Black-naped Oriole - wonderful birds when seen well!

1 comment:

  1. I think that many of us would consider a Black-naped Oriole first prize! nice flight shot of the Eastern Marsh Harrier.