Archivos de diario de enero 2024

04 de enero de 2024

The curious tailorbirds

Tailorbirds are named for their nests which are built inside a cradle 'stitched' together from large leaves. Hong Kong has two "tailorbirds", though phylogenetic research reveals that they are not closely related.
The Common Tailorbird is a resident species, common in urban as well as country parks. It will often "scold" intruders with its insistent call.  
Our other tailorbird is the Mountain Tailorbird, a winter visitor and one of several forest species which have recolonized Hong Kong as the forest cover has increased and matured. According to Birds of the World, it favours "bushy thickets, bamboos and hanging tangles within broadleaf evergreen forest, especially along watercourses." This is exactly where it can be found wintering along streams on the campus of the Chinese University campus, as well as at Lung Fu Shan. As its name suggests, it prefers mountain habitats, although these sites are only 100-200 meters above sea level.
As my "record shots" attest, this is quite a secretive species, typically located by its distinctive piercing whistle or chattering call. However, both tailorbirds are curious creatures which will often approach an observer, offering a brief opportunity for a photo. After satisfying their curiosity they will disappear into the forest or return to their foraging.

Publicado el 04 de enero de 2024 por stephenmatthews stephenmatthews | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de enero de 2024

An uncommon gull at San Tin

Large flocks of Black-headed Gulls winter in Deep Bay and forage around the fishponds of San Tin, occasionally accompanied by other gulls. In January 2024 they have been joined by an immature Common Gull, which in Hong Kong is enough of a rarity to attract a crowd of birdwatchers and photographers. The main subspecies breeding in northeast Asia, known as the Kamchatka Gull, is rather larger that the European Common Gull. A single Whiskered Tern, the only tern species to be seen locally in winter, was fishing over the fishponds, along with a Pied Kingfisher. Also present were wintering ducks including Pintail, Shoveler and Garganey, Common Snipe, and Green, Wood and Common Sandpipers.
The winter of 2023-24 may be the last at San Tin as we (and the wintering birds) know it: a substantial chunk of the wetland area is to be the site of a San Tin Technopole, part of the Northern Metropolis development. Substantial loss of habitat and disturbance due to construction are to be expected, though a wetland park is included in the proposal. The gulls, at least, should be sufficiently adaptable to continue using the site.

Publicado el 13 de enero de 2024 por stephenmatthews stephenmatthews | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario