Fall of scarce migrants at Fung Lok Wai

Fall of scarce migrants at Fung Lok Wai

A visit to Fung Lok Wai for the last two hours of light offered a terrific cross-section of autumn migrants yesterday:

As we arrived a second Black-winged Cuckooshrike flipped in front of us and the first reed-fringed fishpond we looked in held the first two of four Yellow Bitterns and two each of Black-browed Reed Warbler and Oriental Reed Warbler. So Far so so-so.

We next found a large drained pond with a couple of pools and the edge recently dredged to create a shallow moat. The pools held a couple of Black-winged Stilts, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, and better still a couple of merrily spinning Red-necked Phalaropes. Further investigation revealed half-a-dozen Pacific Golden Plovers, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, Fantail and Swintail Snipe. We did find a lone Grey-headed Lapwing - a major claw-back after dipping at Kam Tin - and even more surprising a couple of male Greater Painted-snipe, which has not to my knowledge been recorded previously at this site. I assume these were migrant birds newly arrived in Hong Kong. The same pond also held a single macronyx Yellow Wagtail

Even better was in store in an area with a few more mature trees around some distant ponds - a Black-winged Kite - presumably the same bird which has been seen regularly at Mai Po, showed well, if a little distantly. There were many more migrants in the shape of a good 20 Black Drongos, a lone Brown Shrike and a distant Black-naped Oriole. A single call from a Savanah Nightjar was a minor, but welcome surprise.

This patch of the fishponds appeared to be a major roost site. Our attention was first drawn to the numerous Collared Doves - at least 25 and perhaps as many as 30 of these proliferating feral imports. More importantly at least 100 Red Turtle Doves were spread along a number of stretches of overhead wires, and probably the best birds of the day were three Daurian Starlings and three Chestnut-cheeked Starlings! They again afforded good bust distant views, and certainly enough to confirm that both of these rare migratory species were present. As the light was fading we watched at least 100 Starlings, of which only 10 male White-Shouldered Starlings could be identified in the gathering gloom.

As a grand finale 44 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters appeared from the north, circled once and then headed off to Tsim Bei Tsui to roost. This exceeds by half the total numbers of bee-eaters I'v eseen in HK in the last 15 years.

All told a stunning close to a wonderful day's birding (see Ng Tung Chai thread for the birds seen there in the morning)!

Mike K
Mike KilburnVice Chairman, HKBWSChairman, Conservation Committee