查看完整版本: Winter at Shing Mun/Lead Mine Pass

tsheunglai 2/12/2014 19:29

Winter at Shing Mun/Lead Mine Pass


[b][size=5][color=Black]December 1st, 2104 (Mon)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=SlateGray]Coldness mild enough to keep my shorts and short-sleeved shirt, overcast with N-easterly, temperature from about 16 to 20 Celsius[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=5]Avi-visitors keeps coming in and out [/size][/b][color=DarkSlateGray][/color]
[b][size=5][color=DimGray]Quickening of cold-fronts causes bird scene changing [/color][/size][/b]

The morning started normal enough to find [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Ashy drongo [/color][/size][/b]on the same tree, evidently there being enough flying insects to satisfy its morning appetite, with minivets of both local kinds present nearby, together with [b][size=4][color=Purple]a Black-winged cuckoo shrike [/color][/size][/b]missing from previous two or three visits.

[b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]Collared crows [/color][/size][/b]keeps on increasing in the area, two seen on the Dam and one elsewhere. [b][size=4][color=Purple]Brown-collared Yuhinias [/color][/size][/b]made twice their appearance between wide distance, possibly different lots deserving more careful observation of their numbers.

Lack of good birdwaves made flycatchers scarce their encounters, resulting in seeing just [b][size=4][color=Purple]one Grey-headed [/color][/size][/b]and [b][size=4][color=Purple]one female Mugimaki flycatchers[/color][/size][/b], the last two species recorded, the latter the only one observed in the first butterfly garden.

S L Tai

N.B.: [b][size=4][color=Purple]Two Small niltavas  [/color][/size][/b]of both sexes were photoed on previous several days at the deep road curve with a side road further up but not seen or shot on my Monday visit.

JohnC 2/12/2014 23:41

This morning (2/12/14) a chestnut-eared bunting was on the top of the dam.  I did not see any flycatchers.


tsheunglai 4/12/2014 21:44

[b][size=5][color=Black]December 4th, 2014 (Thursday)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Cloudy with light rain, strong northerly wind brings down temperature to below ten Celsius[/color][/size]
[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateGray]A Check on New Winter Arrivals
[/color][/size][/b][b][size=4][color=DimGray]Usual Wintering Flycatchers Present but Thrushes Refuse to Show Appearance[/color][/size][/b]

The new temperature trough to below ten Celsius afforded a chance to press wintering birds to feed on roadsides and open grounds but prospect turned out to be half and half; wintering flycatchers mainly came out with bird waves but thrushes refused to appear in the open.

[b][size=4][color=Plum]The Little egret [/color][/size][/b]in desperate hunger struggled with the surging water at the catchment outlet. Feeding on small live fish proved to be a hard job. It had to change position constantly to enhance his chance, evidencing before human eyes the hard trial of evolution.

Farily quiet along the catchment and the first Butterfly Paradise. [size=4][color=Purple][b]Four Grey-headed flycatchers [/b][/color][/size]were each seen in a mixed flock, three among bulbuls chiefly and one with small babblers. I walked down to one big patch of dried up reservoir side and met bulbuls again, this time accompanied by [size=4][color=Purple]an Ashy drongo [/color][/size]and [b][size=4][color=Purple]a first winter male Verditer flycatcher[/color][/size][/b],not so bright in plumage with pale streaks on the breast, putting the number of local Verditers to three for different sexes and age alone. [b][size=4][color=Purple]A Black-winged cuckoo shrike [/color][/size][/b]was seen in one of the bird flocks.

Cold days were good to see [b][size=4][color=Purple]Red-flanked bluetails[/color][/size][/b]; [b][size=4][color=Gray]a female [/color][/size][/b]was seen feeding on side of the kerb and flew up back to rail and disappeared.[b][size=4][color=Gray] A male [/color][/size][/b]repeated the same way of encounter when a diversion to Picnic Site 12 was made.

At the dried up area beyond P.S.12 [b][size=4][color=Purple]a flycatcher judged to a Red-throated [/color][/size][/b](believing to be the same previously seen) from its calls was seen well after following it half of length of the area. Nearby [b][size=4][color=Purple]a male Daurian redstart [/color][/size][/b]was also seen.

All the way thrushes were heard but none fed openly.

S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 4/12/2014 21:51 [/i]]

tsheunglai 10/12/2014 19:52

[b][size=5][color=Black]Dec 9th, 2014 (Tue)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Cool but became very warm towards noon
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Chats and Robins Harder to See after Cool Front Had Receded[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=Gray]Thrushes All Heard But Not Seen Yet[/color][/size][/b]

The wintering chats had evidently taken up their staying stations. For the second time [b][size=4][color=Purple]the female Daurian redstart [/color][/size][/b]showed well on the iron fence above the visitors centre adjacent to the catchment. So was [b][size=4][color=Purple]the male [/color][/size][/b]on the near-dried up ground beyond P.S.12. The same happened to the Red-throated flycatcher which became a lot more alert by keeping a long distance for unknown reasons.

Walking up the road for a short distance above P.S. 12, lots of bulbuls were seen foraging among berry-bearing trees, but thrushes remained heard only although frequency of calls was greater than elsewhere. The spot would be revisited again when temperature fell sharply again.

[b][size=4][color=Purple]Brown-collared/Striated yuhinas [/color][/size][/b]were found in two flocks, the old one with twenty-five or more and one fifteen or more casting away my previous doubt of their separate presence.

Overall a fairly quiet morning.

S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 10/12/2014 19:55 [/i]]

tsheunglai 18/12/2014 18:52

[b][size=5][color=Black]17th Dec 2014 (Wed)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]The morning started a bit chilly with northerly wind at about eight Celsius but sunny weather soon raised it up beyond ten.[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateGray]Fulfilment of a Year's Cycle[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=SlateGray]Thrushes Seen At Last[/color][/size][/b]

We live in cycles as days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months which in turn turn into seasons and finally into years. The birds come and go also cyclically. We expect this to happen during our lifetime if not eternally. The same wish drives us to see that birds do not stop doing so by becoming scarce or even extinct, producing in us the determination for bird conservation.

During the past several weeks thrushes were heard, some in the way like Grey-backed, but as a birder who prefers much to sightings rather than hearing records alone, I tried hard to find my chance. It came on the morning when I had learned where I probably would see a White's. The spot was on the base of a bushy slope where it ended down with large and small dead tree trunks and semi-bared soil on the left when facing out to the waters of the reservoir beyond P.S. 12. The hint that a photo was taken of the bird by a bird-photographer lent weight to my confidence.

Arriving to that particular ground with having seen [b][size=4][color=Purple]a female Red-flanked bluetail and two Ashy drongos [/color][/size][/b]on my way, I took a long moment's survey, finding [b][size=4][color=Purple]the male Daurian redstart [/color][/size][/b]and [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Red-throated flycatcher [/color][/size][/b]led to them by their calls and a careful look of the latter's features, it was without disappointment that thrushes were nowhere to be found though a Blackbird was heard. I took to the opposite end and returned some moments later. A thrush with scales and streaks all over was moving near a dead tree trunk. I stopped to see it jump up on it and even down to fully exposed ground, cautious in manner all the time. [b][size=4][color=Purple]A White's thrush [/color][/size][/b]. Not even one. [b][size=4][color=Purple]Two[/color][/size][/b] more,  one male adult and an immature in the form of [b][size=4][color=Purple]Grey-backed thrushes [/color][/size][/b]came also into view. However, when one jumped upon another, they flew out of sight, obviously up to the bushy slope. The White's followed in no time.

S L Tai

tsheunglai 31/12/2014 21:35

[b][size=5][color=Black]December 31st, 2014 (Wed)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=SlateGray]Cold but sunny pushing morning temperature from around eight degree before eight to twenty Celsius towards noon. North to North-easterly continues to blow
[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateGray]Twist of luck versus hard work [/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DimGray]Turning the tables by a single bird
The morning started ordinarily again as the one on last Monday December 22nd, the latter so insignificant that it was regarded as unworthy of going public.[b][size=4][color=Plum] The female Daurian redstart [/color][/size][/b]was again spotted at the catchment section that ran above the Visitor's Centre. But no more of the Ashy drongo, Black-winged cuckoo shrike and Verditer flycatcher likely to be seen before the road barrier was passed. Possibly prolonged cool period had forced some if not most of them to lower elevations.

The only flycatcher seen was [b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]a Grey-headed flycatcher [/color][/size][/b]. The only unexpected was seeing [b][size=4][color=Purple]a White's thrush [/color][/size][/b]feeding on the road side about two hundred metres before P.S.8. It was interesting to find the bird shaking and waving sideways before pecking up some deaf leaves of the upper layer first and catching a worm in the flicker of some tenth of a second next. The body movements seemed to stimulate the worm under cover to move more causing a  detection of the prey's location. Possibly a typical catching tactic of a Zoothera thrush on the ground.

P.S. 12 was the last place visited where [b][size=4][color=Plum]the usual male Daurian redstart [/color][/size][/b]was seen but no thrushes. As the breadth of the bare patch of ground further out was traversed [b][size=4][color=Purple]a Hoopoe [/color][/size][/b]flew across the stream further out and perched on a tree. It was seen feeding on the ground some moments later, turning the morning from one of insignificance into one of considerable interest. A hoopoe around the area [b][size=4][color=Sienna]is a local first[/color][/size][/b] and seen by me.

It was worthwhile to record here that [b][size=4][color=Purple]a Bay woodpecker [/color][/size][/b]was heard calling loud twice on the return trip from P.S. 8 along Lead Mine Pass section.

S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 2/01/2015 19:04 [/i]]

tsheunglai 10/01/2015 22:51

[b][size=4][color=Black]January 9th, 2015 (Friday)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkOliveGreen]Cold morning from about nine degrees Celsius to 19 towards noon. North to North-easterly. Overall sunny[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateGray]In search of more winter visitors[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DimGray]Scene keeps changing with minor surprises[/color][/size][/b]

As the secondary woods around the reservoir are some decades younger than Tai Po Kau's, the variety of trees is less than the latter,
resulting in food in form of worms and berries are more fluctuating in supply. Unavoidable consequence like birds concentrate and disperse more widely and unpredictably becomes quite noticeable in winter. One good example is from past autumn to present winter only a pair of Orange-bellied leaf-birds were seen today when the only tree bearing Red-bell like flowers (吊鐘王)in January bloom. Another local species is the Emerald dove, being only seen twice over the past decade. Anyhow, the wooded area is also comparatively more extensive.

[b][size=4][color=Purple]A Radde's warbler [/color][/size][/b]near the second butterfly paradise afforded me close observation in quite open ground. In fresh plummage, upper body was olive-washed, lowerbody yellowish-washed, deep buffed/rusty buffed (according to Robson's) on undertails. In comparison, it's larger than a Dusky, and thicker billed. The tarsus looked rather thick and pale. The fold-wings looked also shortish, tip barely reaching outer end of uppertail converts. The long two-toned eyebrow with blurred darker beginning end up sharp and tilted up well behind eye was obvious. It was clear it's its first morning after landing, busily finding food among short grass and bushes, uttering no calls.

The Lead Mine Pass part was virtually fruitless and all hope fell on the damp ground beyond Picnic-site 12. [b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]The male Daurian restart [/color][/size][/b]was easily the first to see, dropping on the ground like a red-leaf in the distance. Next was [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Hoopoe [/color][/size][/b]which was busily digging up worms for its late morning part of breakfast. [b][size=4][color=Purple]The expected White's thrush [/color][/size][/b]was again seen around the big dead tree-trunk. On the moment of taking leave by the stony steps a White's thrush was seen. I looked back to check the one near the big tree trunk which remained at the same place, delighting me with the fact that[b][size=4][color=Purple][color=Indigo] two White's were seen [/color][/color][/size][/b]at a small location.

S L Tai

It must be added here [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Ashy drongo and Black-winged cuckoo shrike [/color][/size][/b]appeared again on the bare parts of the Formosa tree on the lawn before the road barrier.

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 11/01/2015 21:58 [/i]]

tsheunglai 23/01/2015 19:44

[b][size=4][color=Black]16th January, 2105 (Friday)
22nd January, 2015 (Thursday)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkOliveGreen]Both mornings were cold around 7 am at about 9/10 degrees Celsius but warm towards noon at about 13
[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateGray]A Dual-morning report[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DimGray]Under similar weather condition rendering birding situation similar[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateBlue]Morning of 16th[/color][/size][/b]
Both [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Ashy drongo and Black-winged cuckoo shrike [/color][/color][/size][/b]were seen on the same Taiwan Sheungsee tree. It was interesting to find that the latter did not appear until the former had made a successful aerial feeding sally whiling making its typical call.

[b][size=4][b][size=4][color=Purple]A single Grey-headed flycatcher and Grey-backed thrush [/color][/size][/b][/size][/b]were seen plus [b][size=4][color=Plum]two Daurian redstarts[/color][/size][/b].

[b][size=4][color=Purple]A Bay woodpecker [/color][/size][/b]was again heard on Lead Mine Pass at a distance.

[b][size=5][color=Blue]Morning of 22nd[/color][/size][/b]
This time only [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Ashy drongo [/color][/size][/b]appeared on the Taiwan Sheungsee tree. [b][size=4][color=Purple][b][size=4][color=Purple]A single Grey-headed flycatcher and White's thrush[/color][/size][/b][/color][/size][/b] were seen elsewhere.

A flock of [b][size=4][color=Purple]Chestnut-collared yuhinas of more than fifteen [/color][/size][/b]were seen on lower Lead Mine Pass coming in from the Grass Hill side, pointing to the fact that trees bearing ripe berries were found at different locations as winter wore on, changing birds' foraging routes of which some might be at distances beyond visual observation.

S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 23/01/2015 21:30 [/i]]

ac130 5/02/2015 22:29

2015-Feb-05, afternoon, dry, cold and cloudy

Four kinds of thrush in the same place and 50 flying Grey-chinned Minivets were impressive!

Part 1, Shing Mun Reservoir
Minibus stop -> Pun Hang Pavilion -> Minibus stop

In the beginning:
Common Tailorbird
Blue Whistling Thrush

Bird wave near the second butterfly garden:
Pallas's Leaf Warbler
Chinese Bulbul
Rufous-capped Babbler
Japanese White-eye
Silver-eared Mesia 6
Huet's Fulvetta 5
Cinereous Tit
Chestnut-collared Yuhina 15

Pale Thrush 1 in flight

Before Picnic Site 6:
Red-throated Flycatcher
Olive-backed Pipit
Daurian Redstart 1 male
Red-flanked Bluetail 1 female
[b]Grey-backed Thrush
Japanese Thrush 1 first year male
Orange-headed Thrush
White's Thrush 1 in flight[/b]

Near Pun Hang Pavilion:
Chestnut Bulbul
Daurian Redstart 1 male
White Wagtail 3
Grey Wagtail 2
Pallas's Leaf Warbler
Cinereous Tit
Black Kite
[b]Grey-chinned Minivet 50 in flight[/b]
Common Kingfisher
Oriental Magpie Robin
Scaly-breasted Munia 1 on river
Fork-tailed Sunbird 1 heard only


--end of Part 1--

Part 2, Shing Mun Valley Park
Common Blackbird 3
Red-throated Flycatcher
Ashy Drongo
Hair-crested Drongo

--end of Part 2--

[[i] Last edited by ac130 at 7/02/2015 07:12 [/i]]

tsheunglai 6/02/2015 21:04

Dear A C 130

Would you mind telling here where did you find the thrushes? It seems that they were on the lower part of a slope.


S L Tai

ac130 6/02/2015 23:14

[quote]Original posted by [i]tsheunglai[/i] at 6/02/2015 21:04 [url=http://www.hkbws.org.hk/BBS/redirect.php?goto=findpost&pid=68581&ptid=22277][img]http://www.hkbws.org.hk/BBS/images/common/back.gif[/img][/url]
Dear A C 130

Would you mind telling here where did you find the thrushes? It seems that they were on the lower part of a slope.


S L Tai [/quote]

Exactly, you are right.  They all were on the slope.  
About 100m before Picnic Site No. 6, on right hand side, there is a step to the waterside.
I just walked down the steps, looked back at the slope and then found them.

[[i] Last edited by ac130 at 6/02/2015 23:16 [/i]]

tsheunglai 13/02/2015 21:04

[b][size=4][color=Black]January 30th, 2015 (Friday)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Cold from about eleven degree Celsius up to twenty or more towards noon. Sunny
[b][size=5][color=DarkSlateGray]Final check of wintering birds[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DimGray]Routine trip resulting in no surprise[/color][/size][/b]

On the Formosan tree before the road barrier [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Ashy drongo [/color][/size][/b]was seen again but without its companion of Black-winged cuckoo shrike, though [b][size=4][color=SlateGray]another[/color][/size][/b] of its kind was heard elsewhere.

[b][size=4][color=Purple]Grey-headed flycatcher [/color][/size][/b]was a lot harder to find. One was [b][size=4][color=SlateGray]heard[/color][/size][/b] on the whole trip.

Nothing interesting was found beyond Picnic Site 12; best bird found there being a uncommon [b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]Common kingfisher.[/color][/size][/b]

On the return trip [b][size=4][color=Purple]a White's thrush [/color][/size][/b]was seen on P.S.6 which had probably wandered from P.S. 12. A flock of noisy [b][size=4][color=Purple]Chestnut-collared yuhinas of more than twenty [/color][/size][/b]had returned to the area along Reservoir walk.

S L Tai

ajohn 14/02/2015 13:30

Both last week and earlier this week I have recorded Hume's Leaf Warbler at Leadmine Pass. Last week I only heard the bird, but this week (Tuesday 9th) I also managed to see the bird. It was very active in treetops on the Tai Mo Shan side of the pass, and calling fairly frequently (a very distinctive, disyllabic and downslurred tsee-oo)

tsheunglai 14/02/2015 22:22


Very interesting information. Good hill hiking plus good bird sighting.

S L Tai
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