Flora n fauna on Cheung Chau
Plants and Animals
Though autumn is well underway, there has been something of a dearth of migrants on Cheung Chau (and in Hong Kong generally) so far. Rather more interesting today, though - with a Northern Hobby giving superb views, as it caught dragonflies over Italian Beach in the afternoon; this falcon is like a smaller, more agile version of a Peregrine, specialises in catching aerial feeders such as swallows and dragonflies. Maybe my first Hobby on Cheung Chau.
Video clip showing two male Rat Snakes in combat - the winner (strongest) can win rights to territory and breeding.
Seen in Fa Peng valley.
Yesterday, had superb views of a male Schrenk's Bittern, in the concrete channel stream just above Kwun Yam Wan. This is a scarce passage migrant in Hong Kong - yesterday's was only my second on Cheung Chau; even so, over 20 were seen at Po Toi a couple of days before.
Posted on 10 May, but "lost" from site due to an unsuccessful webhost change:
Out this aft, and heard a Black-naped Oriole in the private garden at Sai Wan - where I occasionally here this species in spring, suspect it breeds (if so, it's one of few sites this oriole nests in Hong Kong).
Swallows are arriving to nest in the village; saw my first on Sat 15 March, perched just above a shop, singing - so already claiming territory. Seen at least two more since, swooping over the narrow streets in search of insects. With the weather relatively warm, should be no trouble for them fiding food at present.
A couple of days ago, heard an Emerald Dove singing near the cemetery above Sai Wan; also a "Mandarin" Blackbird at Fa Peng Valley.
Late to post: but last Sunday (24 Feb), I saw a Peregrine falcon fly low over Kwun Yam Wan, calling loudly. Not sure if only my second Peregine on Cheung Chau.
Out sw Cheung Chau today, and not too much about: three or four thrushes I coudn't identify; just one Pallas's Warbler, didn't noticed any Yellow-broweds (large prroportion having died during the cold spell?).
Walked southeast Cheung Chau this aft: saw two male Japanese THrushes just above Kwun Yam Wan, heard a Siberian Rubythroat; also five or so unidentified thrushes - but no Yellow-browed or Pallas's Warblers.
I covered much of southern Cheung Chau this morning; with cold spell continuing, and good thrush numbers in Sai Kung and Shing Mun over past couple of days, hoped to find more of hard weather influx. But, not high numbers of birds.
Southeast Cheung Chau thsi morning: saw a fairly close male Japanese thrush (very smart bird), also a female Grey-backed Thrush.
Lunch on waterfront (King's Cafe): two Common Buzzards circled low overhead, calling, drifted north. I occasionally see Common Buzzard on Cheung Chau during winter, but mainly over the northern hills - these were my first over the main village.
After what seems ages of grey, bleak weather with some drizzle n rain (tho nothing like the nighmare w snowstorms in much of s China), had a fine day - even feeling warm w some sun. Out to walk about, and found some decent birds, albeit still nothing like the influx of thrushes etc I'd have expected with harsh winter in China.