Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Lai Chi Kok Park does it again.

Today there was a Lesser Whitethroat at the southern end of the park.

It was first found at about 8am and was still there at 11am.


The bird favours two areas just outside the park

It was first found in the middle of the slip road just outside the southern end of the park. The circular area contains a number of low bushes and due to maintenance  there is a small area of water.The bird was seen twice coming to wash in the water. I think this area could be good for other birds coming into drink and wash so may be worth staking out

The rest of the time the bird is in the south east corner of an area of grass land next to a large car park on east and Po Lun Street  on the north.

This is the third record for HK

HK Twitcher


A great find by Graham - looking forward to seeing the pix (still showing at 2:15 according to the photographers).  

I have made a map, which for some reason I cannot upload. It shows the location of the Lesser Whitethroat to the SE of Lai Chi Kok Park. PM me with you email address if you want to know here to look for the bird.

The Pale-footed Bush Warbler is in the same area, but very difficult to see.

If birders treat these birds with the same respect as the crake and night birds in Lai Chi Lok there is no risk of harming the bird.

Other birds present included Grey-backed Thrush, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Chinese, Red-billed and Black-collared Starlings, Common Buzzard, Dusky Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler

Mike KilburnVice Chairman, HKBWSChairman, Conservation Committee


Lesser Whitethroat
Lai Chi Kok
11 Jan 08


Tonight I went there to have a jogging. I found a little story about the Lai Chi Kok mystery:

Actually, every night there is an old lady go to the bare ground (next to  the car park) to feed the stray puppies there. She said she will also feed the birds too. Many rodents are also  there to share the foods.

She told to me that there were some photographer there today and she worried about the puppies would be caught by AFCD. (So, be mercy, please dont ask AFCD to catch the dogs. I will keep on to discuss with her about the stray dogs problem)

She also told to me that this abandoned land will be developed to Manhattan Park in Feb. Therefore, this "birds party" maybe disappear very soon.


2008.1.11 (5.45pm)
Lai Chi Kok

Love photographing Creator's work


I think this is a Desert Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia minula.

Based on photos of this bird (including a number of excellent photos taken by Martin Hale) the following features are significant:

Extensive white in the outer tail
Uniform head and earcoverts (ear coverts looking dark only at certain angles)
Marked contrast between the crown and matle/closed wing (this is less obvious in dull light)
Obvious sandy tones to mantle and closed wing
Paler fringes to greater coverts
Pale tips to primaries
Lack of obvious grey on the rump and lesser coverts
Proportionatly long tail

In combination I think this eliminates all other taxa within the S. curruca complex.

This is the third 'Lesser Whitethroat' in HK.  The first was a bird at Long Valley which was accetped as Lesser Whitethroat.  I believe photos of this bird show features which are consisitent with it also being a Desert Lesser Whitethroat.  The second 'Lesser Whitethoat' was a bird trapped at Mai Po two autumns ago.  This bird was identified at the time as being a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (S. c. blythi) and this was subsequently confirmed by DNA analysis of feathers collected form the bird.

So it looks to me as though the LCK bird is the second Desert Lesser Whitethroat in HK.


no sign of the whitethroat today but an asian stubtail warbler and a grey-backed thrush was seen inside the bush near the southern end of the park.


Thanks to Kwan and Christina for posting their photos so we can all get a view of this rare and interesting bird.


Thanks all to share the photos and comments about this Whitethroat. I am also posting a picture of the Lesser Whitethroat for your comparison. This is the bird from Long Valley.



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15/01/2008 14:47