Monday, 28 March 2016

Afternoon at Local Patch

Didn't really want to go anywhere far this afternoon so thought I would head home to walk around my local patch to see what had turned up in Spring. For those who don't already know, Wonderland Villas had been where I grew up and naturally it's also my local patch, some good birds had turned up here through the years, but birding can be very slow here at times. Autumn and Winter are usually quite good, with traditionally very weak Summer and relatively quiet Spring. Things started off pretty usual, but still pleasant in form of the half a dozen Tristram's Buntings that had been around all winter. The males are starting to moult into breeding plumage and are looking smart. They were quite cooperative today, skittish at first but were feeding at close range once they got used to my presence. Patience paid off...

Tristram's Bunting - male

A few females came even closer...It's been a good year for this species at Wonderland Villas, I hope they can return every year, they are quite entertaining.

Tristram's Bunting - female

Down at the gully, Grey-backed Thrushes were very apparent, I counted more then a dozen but all were skittish, so I didn't bother with photos. A single Rufous-tailed Robin was present, likely have been here all winter. Colours looking a little less dull now in Spring. But as usual, very difficult to get a good photograph of.

Rufous-tailed Robin

A surprise came in form of a beautiful male Blue-and-White Flycatcher. It's been a good year for this species around Hong Kong, quite a lot had been recorded in various locations, a very regular Spring migrant. This is however a patch tick for me personally! I have never seen them at Wonderland Villas before, so it was delighting to add this beautiful species onto our patch list. I personally think this is the subspecies intermedia due to the blueish breast, however I am no expert in this field so I will leave this call to the experts. 

Blue-and-White Flycatcher - intermedia (I think) a new patch tick for me!

Finally, a large shadow that swooped right passed me at the gully turned out to be a Crested Goshawk. This is our resident accipitar, quite common at Wonderland Villas, no doubt they keep the numbers of small birds in check...It only perched shortly before flying off into the forest without a trace, ending my two and a half hour local patch walk with an exclamation mark!

Crested Goshawk - King of the jungle here...