Long Valley

Essentially patches of agricultural lands near Sheung Shui, this is the largest man-made freshwater wetland in Hong Kong. It is neither long nor is it really a valley, the English name is a translation from the Chinese name 塱原 (Long Yuen). This 25 hectares of land holds up to half of Hong Kong bird species, and is considered an IBA (Important Bird Area) along with Mai Po and Tai Po Kau.
In year 2000, KCR (former Kowloon Canton Railway) planned to build the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line right through Long Valley, it was proposed that a railway bridge will cut through the core area of the wetland. The green groups in Hong Kong became very concerned of the affects this may bring to both the wildlife and water levels of Long Valley, a protest against KCR raised public awareness of the situation. In the end, KCR agreed to build a tunnel under the wetland, though at a much higher cost. This was considered one of the greatest environmental victories in Hong Kong conservation history.

This site is home to several specialities, including the Greater Painted Snipe, Japanese Quail, Chinese Penduline Tit, Oriental Pratincole, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Ruddy-breasted Crake and much more. This is the best site in Hong Kong for Greater Painted Snipes, where they are regular breeder here. Recent re-introduction of paddy fields by green groups also have seen an increase in Bunting numbers.

Long Valley is the stronghold for Greater Painted Snipe in Hong Kong.

Ruddy-breasted Crake is one of many skulking species found in Long Valley.

Now listed as critically endangered, the greatly declined Yellow-breasted Bunting still frequently winters in Hong Kong.

Chestnut-eared Bunting is one of many species of migrating Buntings that pass through Long Valley each year.

It is best to bird here during Spring and Autumn migration as well as in the winter, passage migrants here includes Bailon's Crake, Blue-tailed Bee-eaters and Amur Falcons. Summer is quieter with only breeding birds remaining, we do get summer visitors here such as Yellow Bitterns.

Bailon's Crakes are scarce passage migrant.

Yellow Bitterns are summer visitors that frequents reedbeds and waterside vegetations.

To get there, take the 51K minibus from Sheung Shui MTR station to Ho Sheung Heung, get off at Ho Sheung Heung and walk across Sheung Yue River by the bridge and into Long Valley. Alternatively, a taxi ride from Sheung Shui will cost around $30, stop at Yin Kong Village for cheaper fares. There is no "correct" way to walk Long Valley, all paths running along agricultural fields are accessible.

* As of 2021, Long Valley is out of bounds for visitors, as it is currently under construction to be converted into a nature park. Details on when the park will open remain unknown, but suppose to reopen in third to forth quarter of 2023 or early 2024.

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