Having only glimpsed the spoonbills on the Saturday trip and with my booked trip for the Sunday shorter and more restricted, I decided to pay a visit to the Hong Kong Wetland Park in the morning before returning to Mai Po as the park is part of the same wetland.  Arriving in the park I was met with a horde of people (again noisy!) and despaired at seeing any birdlife.  The horde was short lived and seemed to be a number of organised tours which were on their way back to the park visitor centre.  Although there were numerous noisy people about, some birds did not seem worried and indeed perched close to the paths allowing some good photo opportunities including a female Daurian Redstart, a pair of Japanese Yelloweye and a Grey Backed Thrush.  I made my way to the hide that I had not been able to access during my previous visit due to maintenance in the hope of seeing some Spoonbills.  My first was a cartoon character asking people to be quiet as birds have ears – to no avail the hide was crowded with noisy people! Managing to get to a seat at a viewing window I was rewarded with a view of 25 Black Faced Spoonbills.  I spent some time observing them – mostly doing not very much other than some occasional preening until something spooked them and they flew off.  I was glad that I had gone to the wetland park as I didn’t see any more at Mai Po in the afternoon. The visit to Mai Po was similar to the first except we did not go to the mangrove area.  More good views of kingfishers, egrets, cormorants and herons were enjoyed.  My understanding was that I could only enter the Mai Po marshes as part of an organised group due to the restrictions, however the guide told me that as a visitor to Hong Kong I could apply for a one day permit for access to the marshes which would allow me free access – something to keep in mind if I have any further trips to Hong Kong.  The restrictions and the need to stay with a group was frustrating, however on reflection, and based on the hordes at the wetland park, if no restrictions were in place the hordes would likely descend here also. A lunchtime walk around a park area in Wan Chai along with a walk through Kowloon Park on the way to a meeting gave the chance for some opportune birding.  Ironically I had some closer and better views of some birds within the city than I had within the nature reserve. The Monday lunchtime walk in Wan Chai gave good views of Sulphur Crested Coockatoo (introduced species), Crested Myna, Red Whiskered Bulbul, Oriental Magpie Robin, Black Collared Starling and to my surprise a White Throated Kingfisher!  On Tuesday my walk through Kowloon Park gave great views of Black Crowned Night Heron (a roost of in excess of 30), Alexandrine Parakeet and Besra. All in all some good birding in an industrial wasteland!

3 Responses to “Hong Kong Birding 4”

  1. Ian January 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Neil, you have shown how resilient nature is when faced with galloping industrialism and a cacophony of chattering Cantonese. A brilliant show piece of if you want to explore nature, get out there. You demonstrate with the nearly fabulous picture of the two Japanese yellow eyes that landscape photography is easy compared to wildlife photography. In other words you can wait and time your waiting in a landscape till the light is right, but when will you ever have two Japanese yellow eyes posed like that, without that pesky nearly out of focus leaf in front of them?

  2. January 26, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Should be Japanese White Eye!They are either too far away for a good shot or when they are close there is generally some annoying foliage in the way.

  3. Ian January 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    yeh, well I did wonder, but having challenged you before on identification I usually lose. But they do not have yellow eyes, maybe translation corruption.

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