Friday, May 26, 2017

Bulletin 293 - Hong Kong #1 - birds around water

I had a quick 1 week vacation in Hong Kong last fall and had  1 day birding with guide David Dinkins of Hong Kong walks. We visited several locations in the New Territories.

Because this was my first trip to Asia, almost all the birds seen were lifers and new photos. So I thought I would start with the sandpipers and other water birds. For those bird listers, some of these names will be familiar.

The best sandpiper was the 10" Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), This is the Eurasian counterpart to our Wilson's Snipe and were considered a single species until split in the last 20 years. If you have looked for the Wilson's Snipe, you know they flush and fly rapidly away and are hard to see clearly. Well we were on a boardwalk in a marsh. This bird flew in and landed on the boardwalk about 20 feet away, allowing a few photos before taking off again.

Common Snipe

The 9" Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) is plain in winter plumage with dark wings.

Green Sandpiper

The 9" Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) has a white eye stripe and dark spotted wings.

Wood Sandpiper

The 6" Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) is a typical small plover with 1 ring on his chest.

Little Ringed Plover

The Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is of course an easy ID with the long pink legs.

Black-winged Stilt
There were several herons and egrets, some of which have an obvious North American counterpart. The 38" Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) is a large gray and white heron.

Gray Heron
The 24" Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) also has yellow feet like our Snowy Egret.

Little Egret

The 35" Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) is said to be a secretive bird feeding in reed beds and usually only seen when flying between feeding spots as this bird.

Purple Heron
The 19" Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) is brownish with streaked neck in winter. It has no obvious New World counterpart as this genus is confined to the Old World.

Chinese Pond Heron - non-breeding
The 36" Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a Eurasian species that also appears on east coast of North America and is in the Sibley guide. The non-breeding adult here is black with a white throat.

Great Cormorant - adult non-breeding
The juvenile has white underparts.

Great Cormorant - juvenile

There are over 100 species of kingfishers but only 6 are in the Americas. Many of the Old World kingfishers are beautiful. The 6" Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) is blue above and orange below with red feet.

Common Kingfisher
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2017 David McDonald

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