Monday, 30 April 2018

End of April

You know the migrating season is coming near the end when you start seeing Grey-streaked Flycatchers, they are often the latest to arrive amongst the migrating flycatchers. They filled the hills of Ho Man Tin last week, I saw up to 3 at one time.

Grey-streaked Flycatcher

Hainan Blue Flycatchers had been seen regularly at Ho Man Tin as well, I finally caught up with the male there, although it was much shyer than the female I saw the week before.

Hainan Blue Flycatcher - male

I saw my 4th and 5th Narcissus Flycatchers on the 26th. A 1st year male was extremely well behaved and not at all shy which resulted in some pretty good photos. The female was also very cooperative and came down to eye-levels a few times, interestingly both birds had fairly pale legs for a Narcissus.

Narcissus Flycatcher - 1st year male

Narcissus Flycatche - female

Many first brood of birds had fledged, including up to 3 young Barn Swallows at Long Valley, they were still being fed by their parents, although they were perfectly capable of flying around already.

Barn Swallow

On the 30th I birded with Swedish birder Mikael Käll, his main target was the Chinese Grassbird and Russet Bush Warbler. We tried hard for the Grassbird but came up empty handed at both Tai Mo Shan and Robin's Nest. We had awesome views of two very friendly Russet Bush Warblers, the second one was especially showy and came to within 2m from us. Other good birds that day includes a Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo in full view at Robin's Nest plus a flock of up to 13 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters which flew past the summit of Robin's Nest, shame I wasn't carrying my camera at the time! But certainly a view to remember!

Russet Bush Warbler - not shy at all...

Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo - probably one of the best views I've had in a long time

Other than birds, Hoiling and I been out at night around Tai Po Kau on two occasions. Brown Wood Owls were actively calling, while we spotted a Collared Scops Owl just along the red walk, although it flew off before I could get my camera in focus. Slaty-legged Crakes were also calling around the hills. Other interesting animals we encountered includes a Chinese Water Skink which was extremely cooperative and even allowed me to place onto my palm.

Chinese Water Skink - a friendly little guy...

We saw very few snakes unfortunately, only a cute and docile White-spotted Slug Snake was found along the main road.

White-spotted Slug Snake

Frogs were also very active now, Gunther's Frogs were being very loud at the little pond. We also spotted Brown Wood Frogs and Green Cascade Frogs. Although I wonder if the lack of rain had affected some of the frogs breeding? Especially those that requires more seasonal streams or ponds to breed in.

Gunther's Frog

Brown Wood Frog

Green Cascade Frog

I know peak migration season had past, but I still have high hopes for May...Better keep an optimistic attitude!


  1. Hello Matt: It was great to have you visit my blog. Great series of images which starts out like a flycatcher seminar. As always you present a variety of taxa - always interesting, always informative.

    1. Thanks David, it is Flycatcher season afterall! Although I am definitely having a lack of species this year...hopefully autumn will be slightly better.

  2. Interesting, saw Grey-streaked Flycatchers yesterday in Davao (southern Philippines), so they're definitely not finished with migration. Most of our other migrant passerines are gone though. Great blog as always!

  3. Always a great "window on nature" here !