查看完整版本: Ho Chung 蠔涌

handrew 9/04/2007 12:44

Ho Chung 蠔涌

I have posted separately a picture of what I suspect is Oriental pratincole taken at Ho Chung this morning. There were also some Black-faced buntings and one possible Japanese yellow bunting - the bird showed two very strong distinct white wing bars, a white eye-ring and chestnutish wings. It was almost lemon yellow underneath. It had 2 clear white outer tail feathers. I only saw it briefly twice in the cultivated area of the valley where it stayed down in the vegetation most of the time but popped up briefly on to bean sticks a couple of times. The eye was the striking difference from the Black-faced buntings. Other birds seen were:

Chinese pond heron; Little egret; Cattle egret [2]; Black kite;  Crested serpent eagle;  Crested goshawk [4];  White-breasted waterhen; Spotted dove; Large hawk cuckoo; Koel; Plaintive cuckoo (heard); Lesser coucal [2]; Common kingfisher; Barn swallow [common]; Grey wagtail; Chinese, red-whiskered and Sooty-headed bulbul; Chestnut bulbul [heard]. Magpie robin; Plain prinia; Common tailorbird; Streak-breasted scimitar babler [1. New species at Ho Chung for me]; Hair-crested drongo [7+]; Blue magpie; Black-collared starling; Crested myna; Black-faced bunting [4];

kmike 9/04/2007 23:35

Hi Andrew

You bird sounds likely for Japanese Yellow Bunting. In addition to the eye ring, which is certainly a good feature, the whole facial expression is gentler than Black-faced, as there is no hint of a supercilium.  The head is also an olive green which is usually a lighter and yellower shade then BF Bunting.

A very good run of records for your neck of the woods!

Mike K

tmichael 28/04/2007 23:04

Like Lamma to describe Ho Chung as a 'hot spot' is probably overstating things a little, but it has been pretty good during the last few days.

Last Sunday and Monday up to seven Dollarbirds were along the wires at the top of the valley, along with up to eight Grey Treepies, a local speciality, which I hear on nearly every visit but don't always see. Of course the cuckoos  (Large Hawk, Indian, Plaintive and Chestnut-winged) have all been calling: today I heard Chestnut-winged giving the high-pitched chattering call they give when actively interacting with each other, and thus giving a good chance of an actual sighting, and though I didn't see them, I did see them in my village, about 1.5km away, during the week - what magical birds they are.

Today there was a beautiful Chinese Goshawk giving great views near the end of the catchwater road - I photographed it 'well' through the windscreen of my car but you can imagine how that turned out!

There was also my first Velvet-fronted Nuthatch at Ho Ching and a pair of Scarlet Minivets, and during the week Hainan Blue Flycatcher has been singing, but not this morning.

Also of course the full 'supporting cast' - Chestnut Bulbuls, Rufous-capped Babbler, Greater Necklaced and Black-throated Laughers, Crested Goshawk, Serpent Eagle, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, and Pacific Swift.

I usually concentrate on the catchwater and woods, though the lower woods (where the Birdwings and other butterflies can be found) and lower valley, where it seems a presumably released group of Grey Laughers may have taken up residence, are also worth a visit.

Mike Turnbull

handrew 2/05/2007 18:18

I agree Ho Chung isn't really a hot spot but it has its moments. Today I saw Brown shrike and Hwamei together at the same time as I could hear 3 dfferent cuckoos incuding Chestnut-winged. I was actually house hunting at the time. My wife thought my interest in the house was solely due to the birds. She was probably right. Sadly lots of areas are being given over to development and the village houses in Tai Lam Wu are going for HK$11m+, one even for HK$22m. The world has indeed gone mad.

ckwokwing 12/05/2007 17:20

Pak Fa Lam

Orange head thrush singing on the tree in Pak fa Lam this morning on 12/5.

Juvenile seen around the same place on 11/5 morning.

tmichael 14/05/2007 13:48

Dear ckwokwing,
I assume by Pak Fa Lam you mean up the steps to Customs House Pass/ Fei Ngo Shan, but I'd be grateful for further directions to these birds, in a personal message if you prefer. I'd like to have a look for them this week some time.

Personally I've found Chestnut-winged Cuckoo quite easy to actually see on the catchwater recently, including two yesterday, when I also saw two Grey-streaked Flycatchers, and a pair of Grey Wagtails.

Mike Turnbull

handrew 14/05/2007 14:18

I would also like better directions (pm is fine please) altho I'm unlikely to get a chance to look for a while as I'm off to London on business on Wednesday :-(

ckwokwing 14/05/2007 15:25

Sorry, I don't know where Customs House Pass is. From Grave of SUN's mother along cemetery in Pak Fa Lam down to the cross road and turn to Ho Chung direction. Seen the Orange headed thrush around the cross road area.

Found also juveniles of Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker along Traditional Path to Ho Chung last weeks.

Which point of catchwater can I find Chestnut-winged Cuckoo? I only seen Black Throated laughingthrush, Lesser Coucal, Dollarbird and Grey Treepie in Ho Chung valley.

tmichael 14/05/2007 19:50

I'll have to dig out a map to interpret your directions (I rarely go up as far as Madam Sun's grave, though have been in the past), though I think your 'crossroads' may be Customs House Pass, which I must find out the Chinese name for (another reason to look at the map!).

As for the Cuckoos from the bottom of the steps into the woods at Tai Lam Wu head along the catchwater in the direction of Sai Kung ie towards Kai Ham village, and the best area to see the Cuckoos is about half way along (c500 m along?) where there is a large amount of bamboo on the down slope with a bit of a clearing. The key to seeing them is to catch them doing the chattering call - late afternoon/evening seems best - when they seem invariably to be interacting with each other. Try whistling the call and if you get the note just right they should be attracted to it, giving at least flight views and perched views in the bamboo if you are lucky.

Mike Turnbull

ckwokwing 23/05/2007 10:12

I first heard of the song of Orange head thrush from recorder by someone in TaiPoKau last month. It is so attractive. I am lucky to hear and see this thrush just a month later. In PakFaLam on that day, just heard many bulbul singing as usual, but one very outstanding singing up the tree nearby attracted me, with so rich tone. Go along the side track, search a few minutes and found amazingly an Orange head thrush singing on the tree, few more minutes and the thrush left.
On last Friday, it was so quiet in PakFaLam up until the conventional track down to Ho Chung. There was only one bird singing with some different tone intermittently from the undergrowth not very far away. Try to search the undergrowth behind quietly and see another orange head thrush. I guess this is a younger bird than the one before as identified by their singing.
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