Monday 27 March 2023

Waders Incoming!

Spring is a good time to scan for migratory waders, and it seems wader season is now underway! With an increase in many species compared to earlier in the month. At Mai Po, Bar-tailed Godwits are now turning up to join most of the wintering Black-tailed Godwits. Curlew Sandpipers are also returning, some starting to moult into their breeding plumage. A few wintering Dunlins remain, but I expect them to be gone pretty soon. Great Knots are now also returning, this young bird showed well as it came relatively close.

Bar-tailed Godwit & Grey Plovers

Black-tailed Godwit

Curlew Sandpiper


Great Knot & Common Redshanks

Caspian Tern is a regular spring migrant in Hong Kong, this large tern is always a welcoming sight at Mai Po, their large red bills often make them stand out from the rest of the birds.

Caspian Tern

Many large gulls lingers on, mostly Lesser Black-backed Gulls (heuglini), here are many examples of our most common large gulls. A single Pallas's Gull mixed in with them was the only more interesting gull left.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (heuglini)

Pallas's Gull

San Tin is providing many excellent birding opportunities at the moment, including a drained pond which attracted over 50 spoonbills! Most of which were Black-faced Spoonbills in their glorious breeding plumage, but also over a dozen Eurasian Spoonbills. A couple of Oriental Pratincoles were seen on the dried pond, a few Common Snipes were also seen on the edge of fish ponds. Many Chinese Penduline Tits were still around, while many Zitting Cisticolas were present, there was a Golden-headed Cisticola around but I didn't get a photo.

Black-faced Spoonbill

Eurasian Spoonbill

Oriental Pratincole

Common Snipe

Chinese Penduline Tit

Zitting Cisticola

Not a lot happening at Tai Po Kau, a distant Chinese Barbet was the best I managed, while a pair of Bay Woodpeckers were quite vocal and active near the entrance. Most of the common resident species are now starting to pair up, we are seeing fewer large bird waves. A very vocal Chinese Hwamei on the grassy slope showed relatively well.

Chinese Barbet

Bay Woodpecker - male

Silver-eared Mesia

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Mountain Bulbul

Chinese Hwamei

A bit of rain this week may help to bring in some migrants, I am counting on it!

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