Patch birding

Nowadays I don’t go far afield. I make the odd foray to Malaysia for moths but my birding is almost exclusively local. All of these images were taken within walking distance of our apartment. I hope you enjoy them.

The cockatoo is important. An introduced species that has bred like rabbits. It is now considered endangered in the wild so HK’s population has suddenly become critically important. The birds are censussed and monitored by HK University. We have two strongholds nearby, in HK Park and very close to us on May Road. There is another bigger flock that roosts in Victoria Park. We get up to 8 on our balcony at times. They are pretty fearless and I can walk out and iPhone them sometimes.


Fringilla montifringilla

Radde’s Warbler

Phylloscopus schwarzi - Radde's Warbler

Zoothera aurea – White’s Thrush (one of my favourite Winter visitors)

Zoothera aurea

White-tailed Robin – female

White-tailed Robin - Myiomela leucura

Chestnut Bulbul

Chestnut Bulbul

Yellow-crested Cockatoo

Yellow-crested Cockatoo preening and removing feather

Peak Cisticola

This morning I did a pre-breakfast cardio work out and walked up to Victoria Peak Garden. I took with me a new Fuji X-H1 and the 100-400mm lens I use for birds. There were a few birds around but all high up. Not a good test for the new combo.

As I walked up to the top garden I spotted a bird perched on a low fence. The soft sunlight was shining on it.

Zitting Cisticola

The usual procedure is I edge closer and the bird flies away. That was what I expected. Instead it just hopped on to a nearby bush and I started my approach until:

Cisticola juncidis

Cisticola juncidis

Cisticola juncidis

I moved slightly to vary the background – the purple and the green are just different foliage behind the bird. Then I decided to try to walk around and photograph with the light behind me rather than across the bird. And then it flew. I never refound it.

This is a Zitting Cisticola and it really should not have been on Victoria Peak. But migrants can turn up anywhere and it will doubtless move on, possibly to Mai Po or Long Valley. I was very happy indeed with this new bird for my patch.

Most birds don’t allow close approach and this ‘bonus’ shot is more typical. Small in the frame this needed a decent crop just to get to this size.

Ficedula albicilla

This is a Taiga Flycatcher. Very similar to Red-breasted Flycatcher they can be separated on call and this one called. I confused them in my mind but after checking on Aves Vox this is definitely a Taiga, burning bright.

The time has come, the Woodpecker said

The nest hole is noisy. I think the kids are getting ready to fledge. Here are the parents during a very busy afternoon. Mum above and dad below. In this family dad gets to wear the lipstick.GWfemale

GWmaleIf you are looking for moths ask the woodpecker to open wide and say “aaahhhhhh”.