in the field -
a hong kong
a hong kong
Out in Deep Bay, the end of March is a productive time for birds. The tides are good and there is a mix of remaining winter visitors (albeit in much reduced numbers for most species) and arriving passage shorebirds. I went out to the northern hide early on March 29th. The mud was still exposed hundreds of metres out in the bay and most of the birds were distant specks. However, the green mat of algae in front of the hide seems to attract a few waders even when the tide is low, and Black-faced Spoonbills were feeding on crabs and mudskippers in the nearby creek.
I had gone out to photograph the birds and it was a productive session. The tide came in slowly and drove birds towards the hide before eventually covering all of the mud in the bay. The following are a few of the images I managed to take on that morning.
And a few waders:
To study their migration, waders at various location on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway are caught and fitted with leg-flags. White over yellow, as on this Grey Plover, indicate that the bird was flagged in Hong Kong. The alphanumerical U5 means that this bird can be identified individually when seen again in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Most birds with flags seen on the Deep Bay mud flats show this colour combination, as would be expected. However, there have already been reports this spring of a Curlew Sandpiper and a Greater Sand Plover with single orange leg flags, indicating their wintering range is probably in Victoria, Australia (where they were originally caught and flagged) . There have also been reports of Red-necked Stints with blue over yellow leg flags which were shows they were flagged on migration in Bohai Bay, China.