Thursday, 7 October 2021

Starlings & Harriers - Deep Bay Day Out

Still no major rarity yet this autumn, the best birds I managed lately was a juvenile Rosy Starling at Tai Sang Wai, Yuen saw an adult male a few days ago, making it the second bird this month. Among the same flock of starlings was a single Daurian Starling, which seems to be in no short supply this year! I am not complaining, as they are quite good looking birds. They were feeding on the Chinaberry trees, which often attracts lots of starlings.

Rosy Starling - juvenile

Daurian Starling - nice looking adult

The fish ponds around San Tin and Tai Sang Wai are always worth a look during passage, I was hoping for Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, but was disappointed to find the overhead wires empty. A distant Black-winged Kite was probably the best bird I managed other than the starlings. A few extremely confiding Little Ringed Plovers provided plenty of photo opportunity, while a few returning dabbling ducks was a pleasant sight, I saw both Eurasian Wigeons and Northern Shovelers swimming around the fish ponds.

Black-winged Kite

Little Ringed Plover

Eurasian Wigeon

Mai Po was a little bit quiet, although two Eastern Marsh Harriers gave quite a wonderful show in front of hide 3. Both birds were juvenile, but one showed conspicuous white rump. 

Eastern Marsh Harrier

The other bird with barely any white rump. For some reason, most wintering birds in Hong Kong are of juveniles, adult male or female are rather uncommon. A Pied Harrier been seen lately, but didn't show up while I was there.

Eastern Marsh Harrier

The only other bird of interest on the scrape was a single Ruff that was very far away. Wader numbers now in higher numbers, although mostly just common species, such as numerous Eurasian Curlews, I scanned for Far Eastern Curlew with no luck. I found a flock of Pacific Golden Plovers along the fenced road, now in their modest looking winter plumage.

Ruff - amongst other common waders

Eurasian Curlew

Pacific Golden Plover

A Fairy Pitta was reported at Ho Man Tin on 6th, I managed to go there after work in the afternoon, managed a good look of this incredible species, despite this individual being very shy. It is always a thrill to see this spectacular looking bird, and even more incredible to think that they come through urban areas every year! 

Fairy Pitta


  1. Hide 3 has been good these past few weeks, hasn’t it ? Fairy Pitta is an excellent bird anywhere...

    1. Fairy Pitta is a bird we are never going grow tired of!