Thursday, 17 November 2022

Still Busy...But Some Birds!

Still really busy lately, though I haven't got much birding time, I did went out a few times in between work to take a break and got a few easy birds. One of the better birds lately is a juvenile Von Schrenck's Bittern at Jordan Valley, a stretch of concrete channel is now naturalized and certainly created great habitat for migrants! This bittern showed very well and likely one of the most showy individual I have seen in Hong Kong. 

Von Schrenck's Bittern - juvenile

Other than migrants, the channel now provide plenty of shelter and feeding spaces for common resident species, such as Long-tailed Shrikes and White-breasted Waterhen. To my surprise the channel even attracted an Eastern Water Rail! The best bird there however was a heard only Baikal Bush Warbler, which I heard deep in cover, but unfortunately didn't show itself.

Long-tailed Shrike

White-breasted Waterhen

Eastern Water Rail

A brief morning at San Tin was quite productive, with common winter visitors such as Amur Stonechats and Chinese Penduline Tits now everywhere. A few Little Buntings were feeding a long the road, as confiding as they can possibly be! A few Red-throated Pipits were also seen, a male still with breeding plumage was quite eye-catching in the morning light. While a Taiga Flycatcher was seen calling, we should see a lot more of these very soon.

Amur Stonechat

Chinese Penduline Tit

Little Bunting

Red-throated Pipit

Taiga Flycatcher

A very showy Bailon's Crake been spotted at San Tin lately, this one attracted by the wet bread thrown into the water for the fish. Light wasn't particularly good in the morning, I managed a few better photos when it clouded over for a few minutes.

Bailon's Crake

Plenty of ducks now returned to the fishponds, including numerous common species such as Eurasian Wigeons, Eurasian Teals and Northern Pintails. A few Tufted Ducks were also present. I saw three Mallards, two males and one female, with one of the male in eclipse.

Northern Pintail

Tufted Duck


The best duck though were a pair of Ferruginous Ducks, the female showed briefly before disappearing somewhere, likely flew off when I wasn't looking. 

Ferruginous Duck - female

The male was far more cooperative and showed exceedingly well, it allowed me to get into a good position for some decent photos. Other people also reported Common Pochards, but those were nowhere to be seen.

Ferruginous Duck - male

My recent night time ventures yielded a Savanna Nightjar, sitting in the middle of the road as always. While out filming Hong Kong Newts, I got a Striped Stream Snake, this one was very red and very unlike any Striped Stream Snakes I've seen before! So, I consider it a cool observation.

Savanna Nightjar

Striped Stream Snake

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