Monday, 6 March 2017

Springing to Life!

Hill Blue Flycatcher - the star bird recently

It's spring, you can just feel it in the air, Koels singing constantly now and air is getting quite humid again. These few days had also been considerably warmer. Bombax ceiba trees are all in full bloom, a beautiful sight to behold, they are also attracting plenty of birds. This tree at Shek Kong attracted numerous Hair-crested Drongos.

Hair-crested Drongo - feeding on a blooming bombax tree

Also at Shek Kong Catchment I saw a few Grey-chinned Minivets the other day, both males and females gave pretty good views. They should start their breeding season pretty soon.

Grey-chinned Minivet - they always come in two colours

The Crested Serpent Eagles are also quite vocal lately, I found a pair circling above me the other day. Probably not quite a display yet, but things coming in pairs do stir up some 'springy' feeling.

Crested Serpent Eagles

We still have plenty of winter migrants with us, but many of them should be getting ready to head north for their breeding grounds. Daurian Redstarts are still very much present and regularly seen. Dusky Warblers are still in very good numbers. Great Cormorants are starting to assume their breeding plumage and it feels like they will be going away very soon, leaving their roosting trees empty. Black-faced Spoonbills are still very abundant around Deep Bay area, regularly seen flying to fish ponds to feed.

Daurian Redstart - female

Dusky Warbler

Great Cormorants

Black-faced Spoonbills

Other wildlife had also been much more active. Me and Hoiling came across a Red Muntjac at Tai Po Kau the other night! A great surprise for us which gave prolonged views of this magical creature. Not too many amphibians are out yet, but Brown Wood Frogs were certainly very active and calling constantly at Tai Po Kau. Moths numbers and species had also increased dramatically, here are two of the most beautiful moths which are common lately, first a Barsine striata which have this amazing grid pattern of red and yellow, the second being Milionia basalis which in my humble opinon is likely one of the most colourful and beautiful moths! You can't help but to become mesmerised by their amazing colours.

Red Muntjac - our only deer in Hong Kong

Brown Wood Frog

Barsine striata - stunning...

Milionia basalis - stunningly gorgeous...

Talking about colourful creatures, a 1st winter male Hill Blue Flycatcher had been spotted lately at King's Park; an urban park in the heart of Kowloon. So, I woke up early to head over there before work. The bird was already in song when I arrived, and it didn't take long before it showed itself in all it's glory right before my very eyes. All cyronis flycatchers are beautiful to look at, and this one was no exception. They are quite similar looking to the Chinese Blue Flycatcher I recently saw at SK Catchment, but Hill Blues have a much broader throat 'wedge' and shows more orange in front, equally handsome in my opinion!

Hill Blue Flycatcher - the many faces of this handsome guy


  1. Gee, now I wanna come right back to Hong Kong and go out at night with you!

    1. Yes night walks are always fun! Heard Brown Wood Owls calling lately as well!

  2. Great Muntjac shot - haven't seen one for ages.
    Grey today but everything is calling as you say...

    1. Yup, Large Hawk Cuckoos, Plaintive Cuckoos...I am waiting for the Chestnut-winged Cuckoos to arrive!