Sunday, 15 April 2018

Quietness Continues

Spring had been eerily quiet, at least it seems so to me anyway. I have not seen a single Blue-and-White Flycatcher or even any Asian Brown Flycatcher so far! Could be just unlucky, but I usually encounter at least one or two during late March to early April...The weather certainly haven't helped much, it's been one of the driest spring in recent years, we barely had any rain at all.

Visited Shing Mun this week, again I was hoping to find at least one or two migrating flycatchers, but saw none. The long staying Slaty-backed Forktail however showed well, it was still frequenting the same stretch of stream as it was a few months ago. It's certainly nice to have this species around, I've always enjoyed watching them flicking their black and white tail up while hopping through the rocky streams. Around the same area I heard a Speckled Piculet calling but it never showed itself.

Slaty-backed Forktail

There are a lot of Damselflies around at the moment, I found many Indochinese Copperwings along the river, a beautiful species that is widespread in suitable habitats in Hong Kong.

Indochinese Copperwing - Mnais mneme

More Hainan Blue Flycatchers had arrived, I counted up to five birds at Shing Mun, all singing males. One of which was singing particularly close to the road and gave excellent views at eye-levels. They seems to be the only flycatcher species I have been seeing all spring.

Hainan Blue Flycatcher - male

The only other bird note worthy was a scruffy looking Two-barred Warbler. It did not make it's diagnostic call, although dark legs, pale lower mandible and strong second wing-bar looks to be a good fit.

Two-barred Warbler

At San Tin, a drained fishpond attracted good numbers of waders, I counted at least 11 species in the pond. There were a couple of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers around, as well as Curlew Sandpipers and Long-toed Stints. Red-necked Stints and Greater Sand Plover were in smaller numbers. There was also a single Terek Sandpiper, as well as the other common wader species.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper & Long-toed Stint

Red-necked Stint & Greater Sand Plover

Finally, Whiskered Terns are starting to return, we should see many of this elegant species filling up our fishponds really soon before they fly further north to breed. So, enjoy while they last!

Whiskered Tern - breeding plumage

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