Friday, 28 May 2021

Grey-headed Swamphen & Other Early Summer Birds

A Grey-headed Swamphen found by Bart earlier in the week at Fung Lok Wai finally got me to head back out in the field after nearly two weeks without any proper birding. It took my third try to finally see this bird, where it came out briefly just before sunset. Grey-headed Swamphen is not a particularly common species in the region, but they are found regularly at certain locations in Guangdong, so the odd ones often wanders to Hong Kong occasionally.

Grey-headed Swamphen

On the same pond a pair of Common Moorhens were rearing a few chicks, often coming out to the edge of the long grass to feed. One of the better species in the area were at least two Cinnamon Bitterns, the male perched briefly and flew through for great views, this species was found breeding in Wetland Park a few years back, so quite likely they will be breeding the area.

Common Moorhen with chick

Cinnamon Bittern - male

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo is easily my favourite cuckoo species in Hong Kong, with their outrageous crest and colourful wings. I was delighted to find a very confiding individual near home, where I was able to observe it up close.

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo

Things certainly quietened down at Tai Po Kau, with no Chinese Barbets or Collared Owlet calling. Other resident and breeding species still fairly active, although many now much harder to see as they are well into breeding. Plain Flowerpeckers are still fairly easily heard around the reserve, while Hainan Blue Flycatchers are not as vocal as before, but with a little effort you often still get rewarded by a singing male.

Plain Flowerpecker

Hainan Blue Flycatcher - male

The best species around was no doubt a pair of Brown-breasted Flycatcher, now with nest that housed four chicks. Despite being next to the main footpath, the nest sits above the stream, so hopefully it will be enough to protect the chicks until they fledge. The parents were busy hawking for insects along the stream and bringing them back to the chicks.

Brown-breasted Flycatcher

Brown-breasted Flycatcher - nest with chicks

1 comment:

  1. Envious of your CWC shots, the ones around here are very shy. And Cinnamon Bittern in flight - very nice !