Rain, rain, go away

I headed off to Mai Po this morning and knew the forecast was not too good. It was dry when I arrived and the tide was a long way out. We set ourselves up for the wait happy that we had a seat for the show. That turned out to be the only good thing we did as the hide was overflowing with people. Many seemed put out that they were late for the hide seats. There was constant chatter behind us. Add to this two illegal mudskipper collectors  out on the mudflats and the onset of very dark clouds and torrential rain and the result was a very disappointing session. I took hundreds of frames trying different apertures, shutter speeds, ISO settings, all to no avail. You can’t make a silk ear out of a sow’s purse.

What we did see was a small group of seven Asian Dowitchers Limnodromus semipalmatus. This is a migrant through HK, much more common in Spring than Autumn. Still, seven in a group was good. It is regarded as a HK speciality alongside Black-faced spoonbill, Spoonbill Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank.

Here are a few shots of the Dowitchers.Asian-Dowitchers Dowitcher-pair Single-dowitcherThere was also an acceptable shot of a Turnstone.Turnstone A  Curlew sandpiper just about passed muster in the gloom:Curlew-sandpiperAnd to show just how wet it was, even the Bar-tailed godwits looked fed up.Barwit-rainAnd in sheer boredom I played with some distant terns. The first shot is monochrome – your eyes are not playing tricks.Terns-BW TernsI did take one shot in the dry. Here it is. Taken in the car park in murky light. And with this White-shouldered Starling I too will say “merci” and au revoir. Wish me better  luck with the light next time.White-shouldered-starling