Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Early Migrants - Amur Paradise Flycatcher

It's been a while since I ventured up Tai Po Kau during day time, weather had been incredibly hot with some days exceeding 35°C! But, recent happenings and political crisis in Hong Kong had dragged on with our government not wanting to listen or actually make a change, sometimes you just have to escape from all the news and have some alone time. Tai Po Kau provided a quiet sanctuary, with not many hikers in the midst of summer, I nearly had the whole nature reserve to myself the whole morning. The best species was no doubt a pair of Amur Paradise Flycatchers in two separate mixed flock, both showed well but not quite well enough for a good photo, I still managed record shots of both though. Amur Paradise Flycatchers are usually one of the earliest autumn migrants returning from their breeding grounds up north, we will likely get more of them coming through in September.

Amur Paradise Flycatcher

Other interesting birds seen includes a single Speckled Piculet, although it was gone by the time I wanted to get a photo. Most of the common forest birds were present, and most showed pretty well. Silver-eared Mesias were in good numbers, as were Blue-winged Minlas. Surprisingly, I only encountered one flock of Huet's Fulvettas.

Silver-eared Mesia

Blue-winged Minla

Huet's Fulvetta

A few Black-throated Laughingthrushes showed well at close range, there were also quite a few Pygmy Wren-Babblers calling by the footpath, but only one showed well enough for me to get a decent photo.

Black-throated Laughingthrush

Pygmy Wren-Babbler

Both Mountain and Chestnut Bulbuls showed well, I am still surprise by how slowly Black Bulbuls had been in colonising Hong Kong, considering breeding populations in Guangdong is fairly close.

Mountain Bulbul

Chestnut Bulbul

A pair of Velvet-fronted Nuthatches on my way down were my last species added to the morning list. With around 29 species recorded, it is not a bad count for a session in summer.

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Let's also not forget that Tai Po Kau is a wonderful place to visit even without the birds, the forest and cascading stream make the walk very scenic and well worth the effort.