Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Park & Birds - Tsing Yi Park

White-throated Kingfisher - one of the many attractions of Tsing Yi Park

I've always found birding in urban parks quite exciting, I think mainly because your expectations aren't as high, so anything not 'ordinary' will become more interesting then they really are. Sunday afternoon saw my Father and I went for a little stroll in Tsing Yi Park, a large urban park next to the Tsing Yi MTR station, very convenient spot for a few hours of excursions.

My main reason for this visit was for a Red-breasted Flycatcher that had been spotted there, but I didn't have much luck with this bird and it never showed for me, same for the many other birders and photographers at the supposed stakeout. So, I turned my attention to the other side of the park. First bird of interest was a single Grey Heron, seeing one at Mai Po I would not have taken any notice of it, but seeing this big guy in an urban park made it that much more special!

Grey Heron

We sat down at the small cafe next to the lily pond to enjoy a glass of iced milk tea and freshly made french toasts, this was good for Black-crowned Night Herons, where a lot of them can be seen at extreme close range. Very dramatic lighting created some beautiful portraits for these good looking birds.

Black-crowned Night Heron

A pair of Common Kingfishers were present as well, an urban gem that everyone can enjoy! Another Kingfisher dropped by the pond in form of a beautiful White-throated Kingfisher, this one came very close and gave excellent views! Even a lot of non-birders stopped to look at this magnificent bird! At one point this obliging individual came as close as 5m! What a bird!

Common Kingfisher - female

White-throated Kingfisher - an absolute stunner!

Red-billed Blue Magpies were quite common here, a few of them took their turns coming down to the pond to drink, they do turn some heads with their magnificent tail!

Red-billed Blue Magpie

I was a bit disappointed not getting the Flycatcher, but I got a consolation prize in form of a beautiful male Grey-capped Greenfinch, this rather uncommon species is scarce but widespread in Hong Kong, often found in urban parks with suitable food source, most often seeds and fruits of Lagerstroemia speciosa, a common flowering tree in Hong Kong urban areas. A living proof that birding in urban parks can be rewarding and exciting!

Grey-capped Greenfinch - feeding on Lagerstroemia speciosa


  1. Well, some fine birds at a park I've never been to...Thanks for highlighting this.

  2. As you say, Matt, urban parks can sometimes deliver great surprises. The usual becomes exciting and the odd rarity exhilarating.