Thursday, 7 January 2021

Solid First Week of 2021

The first week of 2021 started quite well with good birding near home, personal favourite being over twenty Common Rosefinches at Wu Kau Tang! I usually see them at Shek Kong Airfield, to see them somewhere quite close to home was extra special, especially when it was such a decent sized flock! There were far fewer males in the group, but those that were present were quite good looking.

Common Rosefinch - male & female

A pair of Eurasian Jays were reported at Wu Kau Tang on the 1st, but I failed to relocate them on two visits, I was however rewarded with both a young male and an adult male Mugimaki Flycatcher. Although the adult male didn't show well, it was still a very good looking bird to encounter.

Mugimaki Flycatcher - juvenile male & adult male

Along the footpath were a few fruiting trees, which attracted decent numbers of thrushes, mainly Eyebrowed and Japanese Thrushes, but a few Grey-backed Thrushes were also seen.

Eyebrowed Thrush

Japanese Thrush

At Bride's Pool a single Indochinese Green Magpie showed exceptionally well, I have gotten so used to seeing these stunning birds in the area, where I daresay I actually see them more often now than Red-billed Blue Magpies! They are still incredibly beautiful to look at and I still marvel at their out of worldly plumage every single time.

Indochinese Green Magpie

As flowering trees are about to bloom, Orange-bellied Leafbirds become much more active, a pair showed well at Bride's Pool, mimicking a wide range of bird calls including Besra, Blue Whistling Thrush, Grey-chinned Minivet, Japanese Tit, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Ashy Drongo...the list goes on and on! The best bird at Bride's Pool was however a single Chestnut-flanked White-eye within a large flock of Swinhoe's White-eyes, it showed briefly before disappearing for rest of the morning.

Orange-bellied Leafbird - male

Chestnut-flanked White-eye

At Tai Mei Tuk Catchwater, the pair of Grey Bushchats stuck around through the new year and were still present at the exact same spot. While the pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles finally paired up, now seen at their nest daily. I am also observing pairing of Black Kites in the area. The best bird at this site was no doubt an Alstrom's Warbler found by Roman on the 4th, but I was not able to relocate the bird.

Grey Bushchat

Black Kite

Tai Po Kau continues to be very productive, with a good cast of more common woodland species showing extremely well in the large bird wave. Here is a collection of some of the most photogenic species on my visit. Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers continues to be very prominent within the bird wave.

Grey-chinned Minivet - female

Indochinese Yuhina

Red-billed Leiothrix
Huet's Fulvetta

Chestnut Bulbul

Mountain Bulbul

Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher

We have unusually high numbers of Hartert's Leaf Warblers this winter, and they were in no short supply within the bird wave, and many of which showed very well. Usually I will be lucky to get just one good photo of this species on any given day, but I got plenty of good looks and good photos on just one morning! Individuals of race fokiensis were present but in fewer numbers than before.

Hartert's Leaf Warbler - goodsoni

Hartert's Leaf Warbler - fokiensis

There were at least two Sulphur-breasted Warblers still present, none of them came close for a photo, but their dark lateral crown stripes and yellow underside were always very eye-catching amongst the other warblers.

Sulphur-breasted Warbler

I saw at least two Kloss's within the bird wave, although there could have been more. Having seen them quite a few times now I have gotten a lot better at picking them out within the flock, they are much shorter than Hartert's with overall shorter tail, giving them an almost Pallas's Leaf Warbler jizz, they are very pale on the underside with faint yellowish tint on the vent. They are often vocal and you can hear their calls within the bird wave quite easily. I have found the undertail pattern to be tricky to nail, and it doesn't always show up on every angle, but if you get a good look it can be a good indicator in helping with the identification of this species.

Kloss's Leaf Warbler

The star bird at Tai Po Kau remains to be the long staying Alstrom's Warbler, it proves to be very elusive and after a few visits I have only seen the bird twice, but it is always very rewarding to see them well. I got much better photos this time round.

Alstrom's Warbler

No comments:

Post a comment