Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Underway! Autumn Migration

Autumn migration started for nearly half a month, unfortunately I have been busy with work and barely had any time for birds, finally got most of my work done and was able to free up a morning for some birding! My top target was a Daurian Starling thats been seen at Mai Po, I have seen them many times in Hong Kong but never been able to get any decent photos. I was delighted to find not just one, but two Daurian Starlings feeding in a few ficus trees along the access road! They showed briefly at first but finally came into one of the closer trees to feed and gave great views.

Daurian Starling

They were not the only starlings feeding in those trees, with them were lots of White-shouldered Starlings, they are similar size to the Daurian Starlings, therefore can be confusing when searching for the odd one out in the field, but their greyish white backs and pale eyes are a dead giveaway.

White-shouldered Starling

Its that time of the year again where hundreds of Arctic Warblers passes through, they were in no short supply, you can either find them gleaning for insects in the trees or hear their 'chit-chit' call up above.

Arctic Warbler

In the same tree as the starlings were at least two Asian Brown Flycatchers, these returning migrants are highly under rated, while a common species during passage, they are great fun to watch, the two were chasing each other from time to time and often gave close views when perched.

Asian Brown Flycatcher

It is no autumn migration without any Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, was happy to catchup with this one, also in the same tree as the starlings! It was really quite shy and only showed briefly before chased away by an Asian Brown Flycatcher.

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

I've not had much luck birding elsewhere, I visited Tai Lam and Tai Po Kau once earlier in the month, both outings were highly disappointing where I saw ZERO migrants. Although many of our local residents still showed well, including a Pygmy Cupwing, many Blue-winged Minlas, numerous Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and last but not least a few Speckled Piculet.

Pygmy Cupwing

Blue-winged Minla

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Speckled Piculet

One of the Brown-breasted Flycatcher at Tai Po Kau remained till early September, it showed well not far away from their nesting site, hopefully after this successful breeding season they will be back again next year.

Brown-breasted Flycatcher

Its never a bad time to look for Savanna Nightjar, while they are not vocal anymore come autumn, its not difficult to find them sitting quietly in the middle of the road at night, as long as you go slowly they can be fairly confiding.

Savanna Nightjar

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