Friday, 3 June 2022

Here Comes The Heat!

May marks some of our last remaining spring migrants passing through, though I've been drowning in work, I spared few hours to visit a pair of Pheasant-tailed Jacanas at Mai Po, one in particular was already assuming breeding plumage, although not quite in full breeding plumage yet, we don't often see one with 'pheasant tail' in Hong Kong.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

The fishponds and marshes around Mai Po attracts hundreds of marsh terns during migration, a flock of terns feeding on a fishpond at San Tin provided plenty of opportunity for photographers to test their gear's full potential, evidently my EOS R6 did a good job in tracking these flying acrobats. Many were White-winged Black Terns, all in breeding plumage.

White-winged Black Tern

The majority of marsh terns there were Whiskered Terns, I did find the camera tracked these slightly better, perhaps the White-winged Terns were darker and the camera's computer doesn't pick them up as easily.

Whiskered Tern

During our night surveys we continued our luck with owls, including a rather friendly Collared Scops Owl, as well as the resident Brown Fish Owl, although it prefer to keep its distance.

Collared Scops Owl

Brown Fish Owl

The breeding Black Baza returned yet again, unfortunately this year the news was somehow leaked to photographers, since then hundreds of photographers flocked to the site. Though I am not fond of huge crowds, I usually see no problem as long as everyone keep a good distance to the bird and try to keep disturbance to a minimum, but nesting bird is a whole other matter, especially such a rare breeding species, where this pair is now the only known pair left breeding in Hong Kong, it probably would've been best for the birds if the location of the pair was not publicized. Either way, there is no turning back from that, all we can hope for is the this pair can breed successfully despite the disturbance. That being said, the location is currently under construction, and that very patch where this pair breeds is unlikely going to remain there for long, I just hope they will relocate somewhere safe nearby in the future, and not abandon Hong Kong altogether.

Black Baza

Summer is a time to focus less on birds and more on herps! I start my herping season with a lovely juvenile Many Banded Krait, this one perfectly demonstrate how docile this highly venomous species can be, though being notoriously one of the most venomous snake in Hong Kong, fatalities from this species is almost unheard of here, as they rarely strike without any provocation, even when disturbed they almost always want to flee, and quite often will hide its head under its body.

Many Banded Krait

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