Monday, 30 January 2017

New Year Surprise - Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat - most unexpected find while out working!

While out working last Tuesday at Tsim Bei Tsui, I encountered a small bird that made an unfamiliar "tick tick" call. When I found the bird that was making the call, I immediately recognised it as a Lesser Whitethroat despite the fact that I did not have any binoculars or camera with me at the moment! The bird was merely 5m away from me, so it was quite clear what I was looking at. On Thursday I decided to give it another try. A few birders saw the bird earlier that morning after hearing the news, but the bird only showed briefly.

I waited along with them for another three hours before the bird reappeared! And briefly it was! It perched on an open branch for a few seconds before jumping into a tree giving very obscured views, shortly after it disappeared into the woods and not to be seen again. Luckily I managed to grab a couple of record shots. A nice tick of this rarity before Chinese New Year!

Lesser Whitethroat - a bird that really make you wait a long time...

On other birds during the Chinese New Year break, a visit to Shek Kong Airfield yielded a few female Common Rosefinches yet again, but I again didn't have much luck with any males, although the females showed quite nicely. The other nice bird there was a single female Black-naped Monarch, which was seen briefly.

Common Rosefinch - female

Black-naped Monarch - female

Common birds like Yellow-browed Warblers and Dusky Warblers were still in good numbers. But I didn't find any other interesting warblers amongst them. Both of these quick little birds showed well though, even posing long enough for me to take a few photos! A flock of Red-billed Blue Magpies again showed quite well, with this one perched right out in the open for a good minute or two.

Yellow-browed Warbler

Dusky Warbler

Red-billed Blue Magpie

I also visited Kam Tin River to try get some closer shots of the Grey-headed Lapwings there and with great success! I found a flock resting along the shore next to the road, I snuck up to them and popped my head and lens just over the low wall so not to scare them off. Turned out they were quite confiding and I managed to take some good photos before sneaking off again without disturbing them from their roost.

Maybe having a bird as the Chinese zodiac this year will bring more birds! We shall see!

Grey-headed Lapwing


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  2. Congratulations on finding the Lesser Whitethroat !