Archivos de diario de abril 2023

07 de abril de 2023

Spring passage at Po Toi

The island of Po Toi, readily accessible by ferry from Hong Kong Island, is a favoured spot for observing birds on migration.
Since much of the island is bare or has low scrub cover, the trees surrounding the village and along the creek behind it are the main 'hotspots' offering shelter for migrants. A variety of buntings pass through, which today included Black-faced, Little and Yellow-browed Buntings, mostly foraging in the tree litter on the north side of the creek. The trees beside the creek harboured a flock of Ashy Minivets, while a Pacific Swift was feeding with Barn Swallows near the harbour.
By mid morning, raptors can often be seen soaring on the thermals. Today these included two Grey-faced Buzzards on northbound migration and a Crested Serpent Eagle. Soaring with them was an immature Lesser Frigatebird, a scarce spring and summer visitor which typically pursues terns to rob them of their fish.
The ferry ride between Aberdeen or Stanley and Po Toi offers a chance to view occasional seabirds. For most of the year there are few birds on this stretch of sea, but resident White-bellied Sea Eagles can sometimes be encountered perched or in flight. In spring and autumn, Red-necked Phalaropes are often present on the water.
Another attraction of Po Toi is that several butterfly species which are scarce on the mainland are common here. The Green Flash and Yellow Orange Tip were examples today.

Publicado el 07 de abril de 2023 por stephenmatthews stephenmatthews | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de abril de 2023

Spring migration at San Tin

San Tin is a maze of fishponds, rather like an anarchic version of the nearby Mai Po Nature Reserve. In spring the ponds attract marsh terns, and today a flock of Whiskered Terns was busy fishing.
The fish farmers have apparently been persuaded to leave at least one pond half-drained of water to serve as a feeding site for passing shorebirds. In particular all four species of stint pass through in spring. Today saw a flock of Red-necked Stints, the most numerous of these species on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway; a few Long-toed Stints, which indeed have unusually long toes when one gets close enough to see them; and one or two Little Stints. The diminutive stints do not form a genus of their own, and one of their larger relatives, the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, is extremely similar in plumage to the Long-toed Stint. A reliable way to distinguish the two is to compare the size to "control" birds such as the resident Wood Sandpipers, which are about the size of the Sharp-tailed and much larger than the Long-toed Stint. As for the Little and Red-necked Stints, they can be difficult to distinguish unless the latter is in red-necked breeding plumage. By catching the two side by side one can spot subtle differences such as the longer legs (black in both species) and longer, more finely pointed bill of the Little Stint.
Other passage migrants present recently have included Curlew Sandpipers, Kentish and Pacific Golden Plovers, Oriental Pratincoles and Eastern Yellow Wagtails.

Publicado el 22 de abril de 2023 por stephenmatthews stephenmatthews | 12 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario