查看完整版本: S L T at 65 (Micellaneous Local Trips) 2015

tsheunglai 10/09/2015 21:33

S L T at 65 (Micellaneous Local Trips) 2015


[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Introduction: [/color][/size][/b]I'm somewhat proud of the fact that being at the age of sixty-five, I remain one of the few (probably the only local) Chinese birders who go on active local birding, be it autumn, winter or spring. This autumn and probably thence onward, I'll extend my regular trips to some other important sites and try to
(re)discover some new birding locations and share my joys and discoveries with readers of the Forum.
Hopefully my simple writing style would continue to attract them despite my reports be void of bird photos.

[b][size=4][color=Indigo]Long absence makes a revisit all the fonder[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Tai Po Kau on 10th September, 2015 (Thursday) on a moderately hot autumn day[/color][/size][/b]

Reaching the site at seven-fifteen, I was ready with binoculars, note-book and pen for action.
No surprise on the bottom area before the access road, lots of bulbuls only.

The access road was quiet, no big birds perching on the opposite side of the valley. On reaching the top I diverted to AFCD Office area to visit the Outdoor Study Centre, again quiet, inside or outside.

Picnic Area One (the water-dam and the stream before upward stairs start shortened as PA 1) was also void of flycatchers and warblers except [b][size=4][color=Plum]two White wagtails [/color][/size][/b]around the dam.

Soon I went past the part that begins with outcrop-size rocks on both sides and reach Picnic Area Two (PA 2)that has a small wood-made rain-shelter in the centre, not rewarded with even an Asian brown flycatcher.

I went through the Flycatcher Alley (FA), past the concrete short bridge over a rapid stream, stopped a bit to check the terrace on the left. Again nothing interesting. On reaching the top stair I turned left as old habit dictated. All quiet when I examined all favoured stops, including the shallow waterfall, banana patch, iron rail and the U-turn. The scenery was all same as old, bringing back fond memories but no nice birds! I started to turn back.

It was all continual walking until I reached FA again. [b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]The Bay woodpecker[/color][/size][/b], which was heard previously near PA 1, suddenly uttered a loud cry (somewhat a third kind I'm unfamiliar with) and soon showed its location. The only visible position revealed only its back and then tail and next flying out of sight and in two quick-changing positions disappeared on the other side. Meanwhile I spotted [b][size=4][color=Purple]an Asian paradise flycatcher[/color][/size][/b], a target-bird of an English birder who I met on the access road earlier on.

The only sighted flowerpecker was [b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]a first-winter Buff-bellied[/color][/size][/b] albeit various ones heard all the way.

The day's result brought back the hard fact that [b][size=4][color=Sienna]TPK, to be rewardful, needs hardwork and an above average share of luck[/color][/size][/b].


S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 10/09/2015 21:42 [/i]]

wgeoff 11/09/2015 18:32

Thanks Mr Tai, 65 is a good age to start something new.

Look forward to your special reports.

tsheunglai 24/09/2015 19:37

[b][size=4][color=Black]23rd September, 2015 (Wed)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Clear sky & hot
[b][size=4][color=DarkRed]Lung Fu Shan & Po Shan Road
Lung Fu Shan had been frequently visited by undergrauates & post-graduates of The University of Hong Kong for birds which attracted birders of all ages when good birds like Small niltavas were found. I went there to check.

I went up the stairs adjacent to Kotewall Fire Station. Lots of morning hikers, as usual. However, they are all quiet walkers or joggers, causing no inconvenience to birders in anyway. This morning the bird scene was quiet. No migrants and local birds largely heard. Perhaps due to good weather that migrants leave soon or not land at all.

The Po Shan Road Patch was largely discovered by Brendan Klick who found a Brown-chested jungle flycatcher and a Japanese robin there during his stay for his doctorate for more than two years. I went there and found construction work on the road nearby and the Gammon slope construction on the path that runs to the west for about a kilometer was continuing, though the sharp-turn sloppy road part was largely intact. However, it was again quite quiet.

Probably both patches will be visited again when weather favours.

S L Tai

tsheunglai 29/09/2015 10:56

[b][size=4][color=Black]29th September, 2015
[/color][/size][/b][b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Good weather with hot sun staring down on a sweating birder

[/color][/size][/b][b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Target Area: Village built-up area below Man Tak Temple in the Ng Tung Chai area
[/color][/size][/b][b][size=4][color=DarkRed]Target Bird: Grey-backed strke
With a light heart but hopefullness I missed the target area, thinking that it was the farming area that was on the left near Man Tak Temple below the footpath to the falls. Fortunately telephone calls to M who directed me back to the right location.

Luckier still I was below the bare tree that I found [b][size=4][color=DarkRed]the Grey-backed strke[/color][/size][/b] near the top of the leaf-bare tree. Some minutes later it flew down and disappeared among a thick patch tall reed-back like leafy plants. Time was found to be about nine.


S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 29/09/2015 11:28 [/i]]

tsheunglai 14/10/2015 20:04

[b][size=4][color=Black]12th October, 2015
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Mai Po NR
I went for [b][size=4][color=Purple]the Pygmy cotton-goose [/color][/size][/b]which I missed on previous occasions. I found the bird which was being aimed at by half a dozen photographers.

On the scrape I found a flock of [b][size=4][color=Purple]seven Grey-headed lapwings [/color][/size][/b]- the largest single lot I've ever seen on the reserve.


S L Tai

tsheunglai 30/11/2015 20:21

[b][size=4][color=Black]29th November, 2015 ( Sunday)[/color][/size][/b]

[b][color=Blue]Mai Po Boardwalk[/color][/b]

I took the exception to bird on Sunday.

I went for [b][size=4][color=DarkRed]the Franklin's gull,[/color][/size][/b] a very probable HK-first.

Waiting and seaching of more than two-hours resulting in sighting at a far yet idenifiable distance.


S L Tai

rosefinch 30/11/2015 22:17

Thank you very much, Mr Tai, for spotting out the gull @ WWF hide, and helping me to ticked this bird. I went to the society hide afterward, and the gull is a bit closer, thanks again Mr Tai!
BTW, which scope and combination you're using, it's much more clear than mine.

[[i] Last edited by rosefinch at 1/12/2015 00:29 [/i]]

tsheunglai 1/12/2015 18:12


My scope was first-generation HD Swarovski with a wide-angle 30X eyepiece. OK for general purposes.

S L Tai

tsheunglai 18/12/2015 21:14

[b][size=4][color=Black]18th December, 2015 (Friday)
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Chao Kung Tam (Tsuen Wan)[/color][/size][/b]

The place, made well-known by its first bird of Hong Kong -[b][size=4][color=Green]a Slaty-backed flycatcher[/color][/size][/b] in one winter - is just some fifteen minutes' walk from the MTR station via a covered and air-conditioned passenger-way provided by Discovery Park. The place begins when the Tsuen Wan Circuit Sports Centre is seen.

The shallow waterway in the middle of a canal attracts both White and Grey wagtails. The shallow rocky pool at the end today yielded no Plumbeous redstart, a species I first saw here. The pool itself was quiet today. But when I walked up a short way on the right side of the pool I encountered my first[b][size=4][color=Purple] Red-tailed robin [/color][/size][/b]of the season. It was first heard and then flew down from above.

[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Totally fifteen species[/color][/size][/b] (could be more with wintering flycatchers, thrushes and local babblers) were seen or heard, the last being [b][size=4][color=Plum]a Little egret[/color][/size][/b] which seemed watching my departure with uneasiness on a powercable overhanging the terminal of the MTR.

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 18/12/2015 21:15 [/i]]

tsheunglai 23/12/2015 22:12

[b][size=4][color=Black]23rd December, 2015 (Wed)[/color][/size][/b]

Given the hint that there had been [b][size=4][color=YellowGreen]Northern (Common) House Matin(s)[/color][/size][/b] at Pui O, Lantau, I visited the site to check.

With ease [b][size=4][color=Purple]two martins [/color][/size][/b]were spotted in the morning over the field on which there was a herd of buffalos.

I took the quick chances when the martins flew low enough to have background less bright than the sky and confrimed they were indeed samples of the species. Blackish face, pure white all over underbody including vent, wide pure white rump patch that extended a bit beyond trailing edge of wings and up to tail's inner edge, underwing almost uniformly sometimes dark sometimes light brown and finally comparatively forked tail shape helped to reach my conclusion.

Another interesting bird seen during my brief visit was a handsome[b][size=4][color=Purple] male Red turtle dove [/color][/size][/b] with its grey head, deep rufous-red wing coverts and mainly pale pink/reddish underbody wtih a distinctive black neck collar dressed like a gentleman.

S L Tai

[[i] Last edited by tsheunglai at 23/12/2015 22:13 [/i]]

tsheunglai 8/01/2016 20:10

[b][size=4][color=Indigo]Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve again after an absence of a little more than three months[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]8th January, 2015 (Friday)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Bit cold with N/E wind; temperature from 15 to 20 Celsius; clear sky[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=4][color=DarkGreen]Comfortable weather makes general birding pleasurable[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=SeaGreen]Habitats, scenes, strolling and birdwatching well blended[/color][/size][/b]

Starting from home at six in the morning (earliest from Park Island, Ma Wan) via bus to Tsuen Wan resulted in birding from access road to the reserve at six past seven. Moderately quiet all the way, except when meeting twenty pupils from an international school near Picnic Site 2 largely satisfied the demand for concentration while observing and noting birds and their calls.

As experience directed, I started from the outdoor study centre near the AFCD office and staff quarters. Here my eleventh species of the morning was [b][size=4][color=Purple]a pair of Black-winged cuckoo shrikes [/color][/size][/b]which flew across my field of view above. Initially supposed to be a pair of bulbuls, binoculars' view revealed them to be otherwise, undertail, wings other features well seen while perching. It was seldom to find cuckoo shrikes flying and foraging alone, I took the chance to pay attention to their flying image - body broader and wings longer and sharper at tips, all slightly.

A small mixed flocks of mainly tits and babblers was found with[b][size=4][color=Purple] a Grey-headed flycatcher [/color][/size][/b]among them.

It gave a surprise to find no wagtails seen near the dam though vainly heard once or twice. The best bird seen for the rest of the walk on the Red-Blue Walk circuit was [b][size=4][color=Purple]a male Japanese thrush [/color][/size][/b]seen on the fringe of the stone-slabbed path on the Flycatcher Alley between Picnic Sites 2 and three.

Though fairly quiet bordering on disappointment birdwise, I found the walking pleasurable, mostly quiet, path clean, murmuring of running water on the stream and trees overhanging all along- refreshing to body and mind in spite of short of sleep by two hours at least.

On the way down the access road, [b][size=4][color=Purple]a Red-flanked bluetail[/color][/size][/b] appeared on top of the back of a stone-bench; foiled in my attempt to determine its sex with binoculars when a truck ran down past with noise and speed too much for my bird.

S L Tai

tsheunglai 14/02/2016 20:58

[b][size=4][color=Black]13th February, 2016[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=4][color=Indigo]Sek Kong Airfiled Road[/color][/size][/b]

Being absent from the site for almost five years, I went there, found a dozen photographers and some birders bringing only binoculars and saw [b][size=4][color=Purple]two female Common rosefinches[/color][/size][/b].

[b][size=4][color=Sienna]Bus 251 was cancelled[/color][/size][/b], resulting in taking bus 51 the only way to go from Tsuen Wan via Route Twist to Kam Tin.

S L Tai

tsheunglai 24/02/2016 20:16

[b][size=4][color=Black]23rd February (Tuesday)[/color][/size][/b]
[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateGray]Cold and overcast[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=4][color=DarkSlateBlue]Tsim Bei Tsui[/color][/size][/b]

After an absence of several years or more, I and Roy walked together when we got off a green minibus near the roundabout.

Highlights of the birds seen were three [b][size=4][color=Purple]Black bulbuls[/color][/size][/b] which were seen and soon flew away at the old observation point adjacent to the police compound, reminiscent of my rush to the spot for my Hong Kong list's first of the species; along the fence a total of four [b][size=4][color=Purple]Black-faced spoonbills [/color][/size][/b]were seen either feeding on the mangrove's marsh or flying over the fence.

Ducks were of common stuff like [b][size=4][color=DarkOrchid]Common teals, wigeons, etc.

[/color][/size][/b]S L Tai

tsheunglai 4/03/2016 20:08

[b][size=4][color=Black]1st March, 2016 (Tuesday)[/color][/size][/b]

Just a so-so trip bringing no surprise. Just [b][size=4][color=Purple]two Bay woodpeckers [/color][/size][/b]were heard, one of them briefly seen.

Old birding friends were met. All of them and other bird photographers seemed all arriving when I walked down the access road.

S L Tai

tsheunglai 15/03/2016 20:13

[b][size=4][color=Indigo]Tai Po Kau on 15th March, 2016

[/color][/size][/b]On seeing the photos of [b][size=4][color=Purple]a Chinese barbet[/color][/size][/b] taken at the above reserve, I went this morning in search of it from the access road to the Outdoor Study Centre outside the AFCD staff quarters. I did so on the advice of a birder who chose to remain anonymous.

Two hours of walking and waiting produced no sighting nor hearing. I went down to Tai Po Road to leave. However, when I was near the traffic control warden's hut I [b][size=4][color=DarkRed]heard[/color][/size][/b] some series of rapid loud calls which I've checked with Xeno-canto (spelling likely to be erratic) that indeed I had heard one. I waited but the bird remained stationary and far from possible sighting.


S L Tai
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