There are 2 very good birds at Mai Po at the moment – maybe three. The two I went for today were Oriental Plover and Spoon-billed Sandpiper. The latter is one of the rarest birds in the world. We get small numbers on passage each year. I have seen SBS several times but never photographed it. That remains the case. My photo-buddy for the day managed several distant but very commendable shots today but each time I managed to find this tiny bird at about 100m away it flew before I could focus. This bird is about 6″ in length and we hoped the falling tide would see the small waders drop in front of the hide but they landed too far away in the main. A few came close later but not the Spoony. We arrived about 2 – 2.5 hours before the tide dropped to the level we needed as it was going to be standing room only. And it was for people who were “on time”.
The Oriental Plovers were better but we had poor light. They were maybe 30-40m away but they are a ginormous 9″. Go figure. Here they are – record shots only but a new photo tick for me. I took these using Live View (i.e. not using the viewfinder) and the larger image was using stacked convertors. The camera shake was horrendous with this set-up but the image stabilization helped a bit.
Later on we saw plenty of waders – this is a decent group and see if you can work out how many species there are here.
And as you’ve been such a lovely audience here is a rather dim Oriental Pratincole:
and, based on the under-wing coverts I think this is Far Eastern Curlew.
For the avoidance of doubt I am saying the Pratincole was taken in dim light. I am not suggesting that the Pratincole lacks a stunning intellect.