Friday, 22 June 2018

Tai Po Kau - Fledging Time

Although June is quiet, I still enjoy going out for walks, you are unlikely to spot anything rare, but there are plenty of resident species to go around, plus it's only this time of the year that you get to see some of the breeding behaviours of various species. At Tai Po Kau the other day, I encountered a family of Yellow-cheeked Tits, the two adults attending to two fledglings. The curious fledglings were obviously not very skilled at catching their own food yet.

It also seems that their parents were not providing them with bite size food items anymore, but big chunky caterpillars with a lot of prickly hairs...So, the young bird got to learn to flick all the hairs off before enjoying the juicy worm. After delivering a large caterpillar, the male seems to be too tired to bother and just perched there to preen for up to ten minutes...avian parenting is no easy task.

It was overall quiet, even most of the common species did not make it easy for photographs. I could not relocate the Brown-breasted Flycatchers, perhaps they decided to move somewhere else to nest? There were still a few Hainan Blue Flycatchers in song, a handsome male made an appearance. A small flock of Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes showed briefly, while I encountered a few small bird waves including a lot of Velvet-fronted Nuthatches and plenty of Chestnut Bulbuls. I heard the Bay Woodpecker in the distance, but it was way too far away that I didn't even bother trying.

Although summer is quiet for birds, there are plenty of other wildlife around to see. Giant Golden Orb Weaver Spiders Nephila pilipes are fairly easy to find at this time of the year, females can grow as big as your hand. Their webs are so strong that I've actually seen them trapping Japanese White-eyes for lunch!

Insects numbers are also near it's peak in the summer months, there were also plenty of interesting looking beetles around of various sizes. I am not sure of some of the ID, but the Neolucanus sinicus; a stag beetle was probably my personal favourite of the day.

Melanotus sp.

Languriidae sp.

Idgia oculata

Cantao ocellatus - I didn't even know they are carnivorous!

Neolucanus sinicus - brilliant looking stag beetle

Finally, a nesting pair of Blue Whistling Thrush near where I live is rearing their second brood this season! They found a spot near roof top park that is out of reach from people or cats. I took a closer look the other day and saw three chicks in the nest. This is one of the 3 known nest sites of Blue Whistling Thrushes near where I live, and probably the newest nest of all.


  1. Great to see the fledgling YC Tits, and the Hainan Blue Flycatchers look great too !

    1. Thanks! They certainly make birding in the hot weather worth while.