Ma Wan in Summer, 2012

Ma Wan in Summer, 2012

The call from the wild
(Date: 7th Aug 2012)
It was the calls of a Long-tailed shrike for the past several mornings that lured me to take a round trip along the fringe of Ma Wan Island, a one-day break from my Tai Chi drills which had been almost non-stop for the past three weeks. I started from the gate of Parklisland nearest the sloppy road that leads straight up to a service reservoir.

As I wasn't in a hrurry for any target bird -anyhow Long-tailed shrikes are not secretive and quite vociferous too- I stopped at a smallish Tin Hau Temple and copied down the rhymed pairs of words at the door, found a juvenile Chinese bulbul before I arrived at the service reservoir path.

I was at the moment also butterfly and dragonfly-watching. It was before I had picked up three species of butterflies and one dragonfly before the shrike flew up into view, accompanied with its indentifiable

I left the sloppy path part of the island and walked towards Tin Liu Village and walked along the hill-fringe behind the service reservoir, with the purpose of finding a Blacked-eared kite that the kind of which frequent - an electic wire that runs lengthwise along that part of the the island - with one side almost overhanging above the sea. Soon a kite soared low within sight.

It was at the old pier with a small typhoon shelter that gave me a mild surprise. A total of four Night herons were found, three perching on the rafts of a fishfarm far outnumbered by a total of twenty little egrets on the other side of the rafts.

Suddenly, the hurried rapid calls of a Common kingfisher caught my attention - a species I am still uncertain it being a seasonal visitor or a resident. It did not show its appearance until I reuturned from a diverted walk of ten minutes, with its blue back showing well. No, it was not just a single kingfisher that was there. There was yet another, which had caught a little fish with its bill and found its perch on the top of scaffold that supported a dilapidated, deserted wood house.

I stopped when I did not find any Reef egrets that favour the shoals just a short distance from the modern ferry pier, with a modest list of fifteen species on my list.  

S L Tai

[ Last edited by tsheunglai at 9/08/2012 18:39 ]


Dear all

Thanks for reading my humble report. After all, I haven't been forgotten after a period of two months for short memory of modern humans.

The birding trip I reported on the seventh is not a single and random one. It's meant as a good start
for a bird survey that I think will last till early summer of next year.

On the 8th I heard a Magpie and today the 9th I saw a Jungle crow, a Reef egret and at least one Common sandpiper, the latter being quite unexpected and possibly two. Overall, my Ma Wan list now stands at nineteen (19).

S L Tai

[ Last edited by tsheunglai at 9/08/2012 18:56 ]


Morning of 31 October 2012

It is admitted time and other committments kept me from regular going-arounds of the island,
though attention is kept to any unusual happening. And this morning is one example.

What could the cold front do to such a degraded bird habitat as Ma Wan? I was finishing the rest
of my breakfast at home when I caught sight of some Grey herons flying at the conrner of the bay
next to the hilllock of the water service reservoir, an uncommon sight.

I picked up my binoculars and went to the spot. On the hill slope facing the sea I counted 15 of
Grey herons and more in number of Little egrets, resting on tree-tops, strongly suggesting they
were migrants taking a day's respite before flying south.

A sigle juvenile of Black-crowned night heron and Moorhen were seen on the other conrner of the bay,
the latter straightly a surprise. It was also nice to find my first two of Olive-backed piptits on
the island and hearing and sighting a Blackbird, stretching my expectation to seeing thrushes again this

S L Tai

[ Last edited by tsheunglai at 1/11/2012 19:40 ]


7th November 2012

The female Blue rock thrush appeared again on the rocky shoals near the new ferry pier, second time of seeing it.

Observing unaided with binoculars afforded me to concentrate on its overall structure and behaviour -
slender necked with a medium-lengthed bill, bit heavy bellied, standing almost upright, 75 degrees,to
be exact, jumped on a rock, stood and flicked its tail slightly three times observing surroundings,
jumped down on the sand and pecked (food I suppose) and flew showing pointed wing-tips and a little
chestnut kind of brown on upper wings, otherwise blended so well with surroudings that its hardly
possible to find when it remained immobile.

It had companions of two Common sandpipers which have become regular morning visitors mainly feeding at the same place.

S L Tai

[ Last edited by tsheunglai at 7/11/2012 19:33 ]


a very nice description of the BRT Mr Tai.

Mike K
Mike KilburnVice Chairman, HKBWSChairman, Conservation Committee