10 Days in Hong Kong with work and my first bit of research was of course where to see gulls up close. The answer – No where. HK being maybe on of the only cities in the world without a single gull using the harbours to hang out or rubbish dumps to feed. This being said I still saw Pallas’, Saunders, a single 2cy Brown headed, an adult Slaty -backed, ‘ Taimyrensis’ Heuglins, what appeared, on primary moult to be a adult Vega and what the locals called Caspian which were Cachinnans Mongolicus. Albeit abit too distant to get totally to gripswith the younger birds with exception to the Pallas’ of which I saw a two 2cys I wasn’t really able learn that much from the other non adult birds. But with all the other delights around in abundance the disappointment soon washed.
Oriental Magpie Robin
The photos here are mainly common things or birds that came close enough to make an interesting subject really, there was a lot to take in as most things were new birds and I made the most of them through bins.
I did much birding in the city itself around parks and wooded areas such as ‘The Peak’, a lot of new asian birds to be seen including the Bulbuls, Starlings, laughing thrushes etc. I became a particular fan of the Oriental Magpie Robin and spotted dove which were common throughout the city and of course the constant calls of Yellow Browed Warblers just about stopped making me jump about a week in. This last species were literally everywhere even on a packed street in a single bare tree!
Red Whiskered Bulbul
The highlight of the trip was visiting Mai Po Marshes in the Northern Territories on my final day. Weeks before I had come across Local Birder John Holmes’ blog , I contacted him and we arranged to meet and I am truly grateful for his local knowledge, patience and generosity and thanks to him the day at Mai Po was probably one of my best days birding ever.
Here’s a rough list of birds with a focus on a relevance to birding in the western pal but there were lots of other amazing birds omitted. I’m not really a fan of lists like this on trip report type write ups so I’l punctuate it with Photos to keep you awake!
Black-faced spoonbill, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, purple, Grey and Chinese Pond Herons. The vagrant Siberian Crane (cool), Both Sand Plovers, LRP, Grey headed, Kentish and pacific Golden plovers, Marsh, Wood, Common, Broadbilled, Curlew and Terek Sandpipers…
Far Eastern Curlew
…Both Redshanks, greenshank and Nordmans Greenshank, Temmink’s and Red-necked Stints, Eurasian and far Eastern Curlews, Oriental Pratincoles…
…Gull billed and Caspian Terns, Pied, Common and White-Throated Kingfishers, Black Kites, Osprey, Bonelli’s Eagle and Eastern Marsh Harriers. Red-Rumped and Barn Swallows, House Swifts…
Chinese Pond Heron
Black Faced Bunting (personata)
… Yellow Browed, Pallas’ and Dusky Warblers, Durian Redstarts, Asian Brown Flycather, Long Tailed Shrikes, Stejneger’s stonechat, Black Faced Bunting, Eastern Yellow Wagtails, Richards and Olive-Backed Pipits…
Eastern Marsh Harrier
Female Durian Redstart
… and loads more, Basically a amazing day trip and the best day at work I’ve ever had!
Red-billed leiothrix/Pekin Robin
Thats about it. Hope to go back same time next year, and many thanks again To John Holmes.
Black Eared Kite