Friday, 15 December 2017

Chinese Thrush - Shing Mun

Chinese Thrush - Turdus mupinensis

Things had definitely slowed down since December started, although interesting birds may still appear around the corner, especially with colder weather we should be expecting some eruptive species from further north.

The Ultramarine Flycatcher at Shek Kong Catchment was still present, although my second visit didn't get me the desired photos I wished, the bird behaved pretty much the same, staying high up near the top of trees or down to places with terrible lighting...My shots were pretty much the same if not even a little worst then my first encounter. It also continued as an early morning bird, having a tendency to disappear after late morning.

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Other birds at Shek Kong Catchment includes a large flock of Indochinese Yuhinas, noisily making their squeaky calls. A few photogenic Silver-eared Mesias are always welcoming, they are simply gorgeous birds to look at. A large bird wave contained plenty of busy Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, all crawling around foraging for food. Although a difficult species to see well in Hong Kong, I seem to have quite good luck with the Grey Treepies, one perched for a good minute for me to take a fairly decent photo. I also heard the Speckled Piculet on the same day, although that one refused to show.

Indochinese Yuhina

Silver-eared Mesia

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Grey Treepie

On Tuesday I got news of a Chinese Thrush spotted by Sherman at Shing Mun Reservoir. A species that I've missed on previous occasions, I went early Wednesday morning hopefully to get the bird. After a few hours of waiting, the bird finally showed itself first feeding on a Wild Coffee tree, it was later relocated at a gully and showed very well for over a dozen birders. It's feather condition was however not at tip top shape, being quite scruffy definitely a possibility of it being ex-captive.  Either way I will leave that call to the record committee, but the wild bird trade is still a huge problem in Asia.

Chinese Thrush - rather scruffy looking

There weren't that many other birds to be seen on the same day, I spotted a selengensis Ashy Drongo. Bird waves with mainly Pallas's Leaf Warblers and Japanese White-eyes dominated the pace. A single male Red-flanked Bluetail was spotted around the area where the Chinese Thrush was, although it kept a good distance away.

Ashy Drongo - selengensis

Red-flanked Bluetail - male

I heard two Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers in a bird wave but they never showed well, the two species of Minivets though were more then happy to offer some great eye-level views, a treat as always.

Grey-chinned Minivet - male

Scarlet Minivet - female


  1. Great series of images, Matt; brings back fond memories for me.

    1. Cheers David, I remember we got some pretty good views of Silver-eared Mesias, always a crowd favourite!

  2. Pity the Chinese Thrush is so shabby, I don't think the Rarities Committee will tarry long in classifying that one...
    Good find by Sherman, or whoever, though.