Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and squeak, for those of you who may not know, is a delicious and doubtless unhealthy British dish. It is basically fried up leftovers from yesterday’s (usually roast) meal. My father loved it. Which is probably why he dropped dead of a heart attack at 65. I am hoping to go the same way though not necessarily at the same age. The point is that all you get today is leftovers from yesterday’s trip to Mai Po. And as you evidently found it less boring than I did I hope it will pass muster. Thank you all for your generous comments.

The spoonies of course are the stars. Black-faced spoonbill is an endangered species and if you are interested you can read more here.  It also happens to be a very charismatic bird. We love having them in HK each year.

Wow! Says Spoony. I wish I could do that.Clever The other two feign indifference to the neck twisting tricks of the Eurasian interloper.Head-twist Mr. Heron on the other hand is hoping to make a big splash.Heron-landing Whichever angle he lands from…..Landing

He doesn’t really mind if someone is below him. The Avocets don their tin hats when Mr. heron is on a flightpath to their bit of the runway mudflats.Lookoutbelow This shot is just a ‘record’ shot but Roughly asked why the Grey wagtail wasn’t called  Yellow as it has a fair amount of yellow in its plumage. Alas and alack, someone got there first, namely the Yellow wagtail itself, Motacilla flava flava. So here is a rather distant shot of a Yellow Waggy. The YW comes in a Kellogg’s Variety pack of races. They are extremely beautiful. This is the race Tschutschensis. For those of you with a keener interest I recommend Per Alström and Krister Mild’s magnum opus, Pipits and Wagtails of Europe, Asia And North AmericaYellow-wagtailAnd to illustrate that nature likes monochrome too, here is a White Wagtail, Motacilla alba.  This is of the race leucopsis. (Taken at Ma On Shan the previous day).White-wagtailAnd finally, to complete my wagtail set for now a reprise of the Citrine Wagtail at Long Valley earlier this year.



This has to be one of my favourite families. I hope you enjoy bubble and peeps.




Spoonbills on parade………

On the command………Sargeant-MajorWAIT for it……….eurasian-spoonbillEyes….. LEFT!HarmonyPrivate Pike, no leapfrog on parade!LeapfrogAnd for the Empress herself a clear case of “all fur coat……”All-Fur-CoatHere’s the bill.Egret-billAnd some ghostly shots to finish.Ghost-waders WaderblurI think it is fair to say I was bored in the hides today. Yawn…….

Back focus on birds

I mentioned recently that I was switching how I focus with my 2 main Canon bodies. I went out to Nam Sang Wai this morning to give it a go. It is odd after so many years of using one method to suddenly switch to another but strangely I found the change relatively smooth. I took about 300 images and here are the 5 keepers. I thought about posting them one at a time but why? Here they are all together.

Number 1 is the 9.50 from NSW Park,  the Avocet Derby and its the far bird winning by a head.


Next is a beautiful Black-faced spoonbill checking its reflection – just perfect, Spoony.


And here is Spoony having a jolly good slurp. Manners!!


A little egret in close up showing off its beautiful plumage. Beats a Norwegian Blue, I reckon.


And finally a SpotShank, banking to land. I just liked the feather detail in this.


The birds can come quite close at Nam Sang Wai – within kicking distance on occasions although this is officially frowned upon and considered bad form. Some stay a bit distant. I had an 800mm lens mounted on my 5D3 and a 400mm lens mounted on my 1D4. The 400mm was far more use and the 5D3 just doesn’t have the grunt to fire off 10fps with the 800mm – in fairness its claim is only 6fps but the 1D4 blasts through the frames and I found the focus pretty much spot on all the time. Who needs a 1DX??? (I do!) So in Antarctica I shall keep the 5D3 for penguins waddling around at slow speed (not unlike me I suspect) and the 1D4 will be for birds in flight from the deck of the ship.  I do recommend disabling the shutter for AF and switching to the back button for focus. It was a revelation.