Hong Kong - March 2012

Published by Paul Davis (davispm AT tiscali.co.uk)

Participants: Paul Davis


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

Fork-tailed Sunbird
Fork-tailed Sunbird
Scaly-breasted Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia
Daurian Redstart
Daurian Redstart
Blue Whistling Thrush
Blue Whistling Thrush
Oriental Magpie Robin
Oriental Magpie Robin
Masked Laughing Thrush
Masked Laughing Thrush

FLIGHTS - Heathrow to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific

On arrival at Hong Kong airport I headed for the train station and purchased an Octopus card, which is a multi-purpose travel card, that can also be used in shops and vending machines all over Hong Kong. The transport network is excellent so pretty much any part of Hong Kong is accessible with a bit of pre-planning.

SITES VISITED - Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Park, Shing Mun Reservoir, Hong Kong Wetlands Park, Victoria Park, Tai Po Kai nature reserve and Long Valley. The Peak is also worth a visit, the circular walk can turn up a few species and there are spectacular views. I stayed in the Ibis hotel in North Point, fairly basic but clean, comfortable and pretty reasonably priced. The hotel is also close to the train station, ferry port and a bus terminal. The ferry across the bay was very cheap and a quick way to the mainland, it also allowed great views of the numerous Black Kites that circle around the bay. There are also quite a number of Black-crowned Night Herons hanging around the port in the mornings and evenings.

The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society website has a list of all the best sites to visit and how to get there, which was a great help to me on my trip. They also have gatherings at some of the parks, which everybody is welcome to join in and is a good way of picking up some local knowledge. HK Park and Kowloon park hold many of the commoner species to be found in the region and a few rarities from time to time.

I spotted Masked Laughing Thrushes, Blue Whistling Thrush, Oriental Magpie Robins, Lemon-crested Cockatoos, Spotted Doves, Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-whiskered Bulbuls, Chinese Bulbuls, Black-collared Starlings and Common Tailorbirds on every visit. There are also large groups of Eurasian Tree Sparrows looking for a friendly visitor to feed them and the ever present Black Kites are circling above.

At Tai Po Kai nature reserve, a hidden treat, I saw some more unusual species. At the visitor centre at the top of a pretty steep walk was a group of Coral trees, whose flowers attract the beautiful Fork-tailed Sunbirds. Japanese White-eyes and Olive-backed Pipits were also close by ,and in the trees I spotted Scarlet Minivets, Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, Silver-eared Mesia, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha and Asian Koel.

At Long Valley, which is an agricultural area, strewn with paddy fields and allotments, I saw a different group of species. Along with several waders, were Plain Prinia, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Daurian Redstart, Greater Coucal, Common Moorhens and Azure-winged Magpies. The wetland park is close to Mai Po marshes and doesn't hold the same quantity of species, but is easier to reach and access is more staightforward. Here I saw Black-faced Spoonbills, Marsh Sandpipers, Chinese Pond Herons, Black-capped Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher and many other waders and Herons, Prinias and Bulbuls. Shing Mun reservoir is another great site for forest species and butterflies, of which I saw over thirty species.

Species Lists

Blue Whistling Thrush
Black-throated Laughing Thrush
Masked Laughing Thrush
Olive-backed Pipit
Asian Koel
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Chinese Bulbul
Japanese White-Eye
Fork-tailed Sunbird
Daurian Redstart
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Plain Prinia
Common Tailorbird
Scaly-breasted Munia
Azure-winged Magpie
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha
Greater Coucal
Silver-eared Messia
Common Stonechat
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Black-collared Starling
Oriental Magpie Robin
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Scarlet Minivet
Spotted Dove
Lemon-crested Cockatoo
Ring-necked Parakeets
Black Kite
Common Mynah
Great Tit
Chinese Pond Heron
Grey Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Marsh Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Black-winged Stilt
Little Ringed Plover
Black-faced Spoonbill
White-breasted Waterhen
Common Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Common Moorhen