Subject: Hong Kong engraved leg flags 香港號碼足旗 [Print This Page] Author: ajohn Time: 27/08/2010 14:13 Subject: Hong Kong engraved leg flags 香港號碼足旗
Hong Kong leg flags (using the colour combination White over Yellow) have been used for about 10 years. In this time, we have received some useful information about the movement of waders from Hong Kong due to resightings of birds here and overseas.
Because all waders from Hong Kong use the same flag combination, however, it has not previously been possible to recognise individual birds in the field. This limits the potential information which can be gained about the movements of individual birds and the duration for which an individual remains in Hong Kong. For example, we still do not know whether Marsh Sandpiper individuals remain in Hong Kong all winter or whether there is passage through Hong Kong, despite the fact that good numbers of this species have been flagged.
During this summer, the Hong Kong Ringing Group (HKRG) has obtained some engraved leg flags. These will allow individual birds to be recognised, so that we can gain this additional information. Engraved leg flags like these have been used successfully elsewhere for several years, and some Australian birds with engraved flags have been resighted in Hong Kong.
Last night, the HKRG was able to trap waders at Mai Po and we have fitted the first of the Hong Kong engraved leg flags. So far, 39 birds have been ringed: 22 Common Redshank, 9 Marsh Sandpiper, 5 Common Greenshank, 2 Greater Sand Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper. As usual,all have been fitted with the Hong Kong combination of White over Yellow. Both flags are engraved with a single letter followed by a single number (e.g. A1, B2, etc.) - the combination is the same on both flags. Photos are attached for Common Redshank, Common Greenshank and Marsh Sandpiper.
If anyone is at Mai Po over the coming weeks and months, I would like you to look out for these waders (and for any waders with leg flags). You can report them on the website, or by contacting me directly (jallcock @asiaecol. com.hk) All reports will be useful to gain a pattern of the birds behaviour in Hong Kong, and to see how long birds stay in this area. We hope that there will also be sightings from overseas. We plan to continue trapping over the course of the autumn and winter, so expect to see more of these birds (hopefully including more species) turning up in coming months.
As always, thank you to WWF-HK and Mai Po staff for their help with managing the reserve and giving permission for us to visit the site to conduct this research.
A New Chapter Opens on Wader Migration Research in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Bird Ringing Group (HKBRG) in collaboration with WWF-Hong Kong kicked off the bird ringing season at Mai Po Nature Reserve this month by employing a bird marking technique new to Hong Kong.... Read more
Is it common redshank? Its legs are orangey red but the bill is yellowish green not red at the base that I know
Author: ajohn Time: 4/10/2010 09:31
As you guessed, your bird is a Common Redshank. It is a young bird (hatched this year), which often are not particularly red on the bill. Can you please let me know when and where you photographed the bird, so that I can add it to the list of resightings.
Thanks, John Author: msamuel Time: 4/10/2010 09:41
Sorry, forgot it. The bird was resighted on 26Sep2010 outside Mai Po HKBWS bird hide.
Samuel Author: ckuifai Time: 7/10/2010 22:03
B5 & C4 at Mai Po Boardwalk 米埔浮橋 07-Oct-2010 .
Author: John Holmes Time: 8/10/2010 18:26 Subject: A 1 sighting
From the boardwalk, MPNR 2010-Oct-07
I had imagined that Whimbrel "A1" would have been the first bird flagged here....
but perhaps the first flags out of the box were "A0" ?
A1 Common Greenshank @ Mai Po boardwalk - 2010-10-21
Author: ajohn Time: 22/10/2010 12:53
Thank you for continuing to update the records. Please continue to post sightings of these leg-flagged birds. The Common Greenshank has been in Hong Kong now for about 2 months (flagged on 26 August) and the Greater Sandplover for over 1 month. Author: Sze Time: 22/10/2010 15:46
FYI! someone took a photo of a flagged bird at NSW!
Sze, thank you for drawing this to my attention. I have looked at the photos on HKWildlife. The flag number is very difficult to read, but appears to be A2 - this is another Greenshank ringed in late August. Author: madcat Time: 22/10/2010 19:36
The following photos were taken by Philip Tang, a HKBWS member, and were posted here with his permission.
E3 Common redshank @ Mai Po Boardwalk 2010-10-20
A9 Common Greenshank (???) @ Mai Po boardwalk - 2010-10-21
Thank you for the resightings John. The Redshank and Greenshank were flagged in September and the Godwits were flagged in January. The Broad-billed Sandpiper resighting is perhaps the most interesting of your observations: only 11 have ever been flagged in Hong Kong, all in April 2004. I have not heard of any previous resightings of flagged individuals of this species.
Please keep these records of engraved flags coming, as they will provide interesting information on the behaviour of waders in the Deep Bay area. We hope to put more flags on over the next few weeks as waders stop over in Hong Kong.
[ Last edited by ajohn at 21/03/2011 09:12 ] Author: wcaptain Time: 21/03/2011 09:46
Is it possible to post an excel file of the flag no and the ringing details on the forum (or the download section)? So birders (both local and int'l) can view the details about their resightings without too much disturbance to you.
This file can be regularly updated in accordance with the resightings reported here.
Just a suggestion. Pls don't mind.
Captain Author: ajohn Time: 21/03/2011 11:14
Thank you for the suggestion, Captain. One reason I have not been doing this is that I am concerned that by providing the information publicly, people may just look up the date on which their bird was flagged and may not report the details to me. If this happened it would be counter-productive, as we could end up receiving less details about the observations. I will reconsider this position and may post something in future.
I am also considering ways in which we can make it easier for people to report resightings and increase observer awareness of the various marking schemes taking place in Hong Kong and elsewhere along the flyway. For the moment I am happy to respond to any observations which are reported to me, and if anyone has any questions about a particular individual I can provide details directly. Either post questions here or send me a PM. I will respond to any PM (or email) and will also respond on the website for any sighting which I consider to be significant.
I intend to post an update summary on the engraved flags in the coming weeks, to let people know about the resightings received so far and what these tell us about the waders in Deep Bay. Author: HKBWS WY Time: 21/03/2011 13:51
Report bird No. A5
Time : 1700 hrs. on 5/3/2011
Location: No. 17 of Mai Po Marshes
25-Mar-11: Black-tailed Godwit B1 at Gei wai #11 again.
Interesting to see it coming back to the same area everyday, I wonder how long it will stay in Hong Kong before migration.
Katherine Author: ajohn Time: 25/03/2011 17:27
I agree, it will be interesting to see how long some individuals stay.
For example, Black-tailed Godwit B1 was flagged in late January, so we know that this is an individual from the wintering population - does this mean it will depart earlier than the passage migrants currently arriving?
In this respect, keep a look out for Curlew Sandpipers. I am surprised that Bena's sighting is the only report so far - we flagged a large number of these earlier this week (so hopefully more sightings this weekend). These are obviously migrants and it will be interesting to know how long they stop over in Hong Kong. Author: ajohn Time: 26/03/2011 23:05
I saw the following at Mai Po today:
Black-tailed Godwit B1
Common Greenshank A5
Also another Godwit with engraved flags (but I couldn't see the combination) and at least 2 Marsh Sandpipers with plain Hong Kong flags.
On 26/03/2011(Sat.), a HK-flagged Black-tailed Godwit "B7" was seen on mudflat. Also seen was another HK-flagged Marsh Sandpiper, but could not see the number properly. Author: hkinni Time: 29/03/2011 01:40
Thanks for the continued sightings being posted here. We have now flagged over 250 birds using the engraved flags, and there are plenty to see.
Yesterday (5th April) at Mai Po I saw:
Pacific Golden Plover J0
Greater Sand Plover E8
Marsh Sandpiper A8, B0
Common Greenshank A6
Red-necked Stint A5
Curlew Sandpiper A4, B9, D7, J1, J5, L8, M4
Thanks for the sightings Katherine.
Marsh Sandpiper B0 is interesting - it was flagged at the end of August 2010 and was not reported between August and April. Perhaps it has spent the winter elsewhere and is now returning north. Author: Sze Time: 15/04/2011 23:44
I have tried to summarize the resightings in a excel file. Share with all of you.
Today I have received news that three Curlew Sandpipers with engraved leg flags from Hong Kong have been resighted in Bohai Bay, China. Bohai Bay is almost 1900km from Hong Kong, on the shores of the Yellow Sea. All three individuals were flagged in Hong Kong on 21st March and were resighted between 1st and 6th May (one was also resighted in Hong Kong on 2nd April).
These are the first sightings of our engraved flags reported from outside Hong Kong. We already knew that the Yellow Sea was an important stop-over site for waders migrating through Hong Kong, and there have been previous resightings from the area.
We have also now passed the landmark of 100 individuals resighted in Hong Kong (thanks to Katherine's last update). To date, over 400 birds have been fitted with engraved leg flags of 20 different species. Please continue to post records of any flags you see to help us build up a picture of the movement of these birds. Author: lkatherine Time: 6/05/2011 16:53
Another significant observation reported to me is a Black-tailed Godwit (B6) photographed at Cheongli County, near Beidaihe (Hebei province) in early April. This bird was flagged at Mai Po on 22 January. This is only the second time a Black-tailed Godwit with Hong Kong flags has been resighted outside Hong Kong. At about 1980km, it is also the furthest resighting for any of the HK Engraved Leg Flags.
I have also received a report of Whimbrel A2, which was flagged last September and is now passing back through Hong Kong on northward migration. Author: sbena Time: 16/05/2011 14:15
Southward wader passage is already apparent at Mai Po and surrounding areas, with moderate numbers of Redshank, Greenshank and Wood Sandpipers already present. The birds ringed with engraved flags last year may start to move through at any time now. At Mai Po yesterday, I noted one Redshank and one Greater Sand Plover with plain HK flags, both presumably on southward migration. I would like to remind any visitors to Mai Po to keep a look out for the engraved leg flags and report their sightings, either by posting here or by reporting to me directly (by PM or by email to jallcock AT asiaecol.com.hk). Thank you.
Of interest, at least two leg-flagged birds have spent the summer at Mai Po: Grey Plover C1 (which has been reported and photographed here) and Whimbrel A2 (which seems to have avoided most photographers!). Both are in their first summer (i.e. hatched in 2010) and it is not unusual for birds at that age not to return to the breeding grounds. Interestingly, the Whimbrel was flagged in September and obviously spent last winter further south before returning as far as Mai Po to spend the summer. Author: sbena Time: 20/07/2011 13:11
20 July 2011, 13:00, Gei wai #16/17, Mai Po.
Common Greenshank A6
Also a Curlew Sandpiper with HK flags
[ Last edited by sbena at 20/07/2011 13:19 ] Author: ajohn Time: 20/07/2011 13:56
Thanks Bena. This is the first resighting of a bird with engraved flags which appears to be returning south.
A6 was flagged last September and resighted twice in April. It is a first-summer bird so perhaps didn't breed this year, which may explain the early return date.
[ Last edited by ajohn at 20/07/2011 13:59 ] Author: lchunfai Time: 24/07/2011 19:09
Just a remarks: U6 is a Curlew Sandpiper! Author: ajohn Time: 25/07/2011 08:53
Thanks for posting this sighting - I would have missed this on the Chinese website. U6 was flagged at Mai Po in April and resighted at Mai Po in early May. The bird has presumably been to the breeding grounds and is now on southward migration.
This is now the greatest distance for one of the engraved leg flags (over 2000km).
If anyone is able to post to the website, I wonder if you could ask the photographer too submit the sighting to the Australian Wader Studies Group, who keep a list of leg flag reisghtings on the East Asia - Australia flyway. The contact e-mail is mintons @ ozemail.com.au Author: lkatherine Time: 28/07/2011 11:04
A1: Common Greenshank (ponds 16, 17)
B1: Common Redshank (ponds 16, 17)
A4, D3, D7: Common Redshank (forgot the number of that pond)
[ Last edited by hilldog at 17/08/2011 17:04 ] Author: ajohn Time: 18/08/2011 12:49
Thanks for posting the photos hilldog and kenneth. It is interesting to see all these birds now migrating southwards, and the observations will hopefully help us to biuld a picture of the movements of birds in Hong Kong and beyond.
So far I am aware of 15 birds which have been seen on southward migration (9 Common Redshank, 4 Common Greenshank and 2 Black-tailed Godwits). There are also two flagged birds which spent the summer in Hong Kong (1 Whimbrel and 1 Grey Plover) and, of course, the Black-winged Stilt chick which Katherine resighted which was hatched at Mai Po.
I hope to write a more comprehensive summary of the initial findings from the engraved leg flags soon, but in the meantime please keep reporting any sightings. Author: kennethchan Time: 18/08/2011 20:32
D7 Common Redshank 紅腳鷸
17-08-2011 morning at
newest floating hide 新觀鳥浮屋
Late, were you able to confirm that this bird was B7? It's difficult to see the number on the photos but I agree that B7 looks like the most likely number. B7 was seen at MP in August.
Of interest, I resighted a Wood Sandpiper (A1) at Kam Tin on Monday which had been flagged at Mai Po 10 days earlier. The engraved flags will hopefully allow us to understand more about the local movement of wader species within Hong Kong, as well as the longer-distance movements along the flyway. Author: Late Time: 25/09/2011 21:07
Reported by Mr. Steve Young (Olango Island Bird Sanctuary) Author: OlangoSteveUK Time: 28/09/2011 21:31
I also had one Marsh Sandpiper in the scrape where the Grey Headed Lapwing had been seen on the 23rd September. This one had a single yellow tag on the right tibia. Unfortunately I was unable to read it due to the fact the Sandpiper was constantly running around.
This coming Friday I will be conducting a wader count at Olango Island, Cebu. I hope to find some waders that have previously been tagged at Mai Po. Author: Paux Time: 28/09/2011 23:31
[ Last edited by hilldog at 1/10/2011 01:18 ] Author: ajohn Time: 30/09/2011 08:45
Thank you all for continuing to post your sightings. These should be useful in understanding the movements of waders in the bay, and beyond.
Most of the recent sightings are (not surprisingly) of recently-flagged birds, the exception being Common Redshank B6 (photo'd by Paux) which was flagged back in August 2010, and has not been reported since last November.
hilldog, the birds you have reported as Greenshank are in fact Marsh Sandpipers. Note the very thin, straight bill and the long, slender legs.
Steve, it would be great if you did manage to find any of our birds at Olango. We have never had a bird from HK reported in the Philippines, but I always wonder whether some of our birds end up over there.
Just a report of what I counted today at Olango Island. Unfortunately I didn't see any tagged waders but it was a great day nonetheless.
I counted them in the morning then at 2.30pm I found a huge collection of various species all running around.
The first figure is my morning tally, the figure in red is the afternoon tally. Please be aware that I was counting alone today so the counts are quite rough. Here goes
Whimbrel 250+ (Many Hundreds)
Eurasian Curlew 200+ (Many Hundreds)
Far Eastern Curlew 14+ (Looks like many more have just flown in)
Redshank 250+ (Many Hundreds, maybe over a thousand)
Grey Tailed Tattler (Many Hundreds almost certainly over a thousand)
Turnstone 50+ (Many Hundreds)
Sand Plover spp 250+ (Many Hundreds almost certainly over a thousand)
Grey Plover 150 (Many Hundreds)
Greenshank 100+ (Many Hundreds)
Terek Sandpiper 120+ (Many Hundreds)
Great Knot 150+ (Many Hundreds)
Red Necked Stint 50+ (Many Hundreds) + many Stints too far to I.D probably this species and Long Toed Stint.
Curlew Sandpiper (scores)
Asiatic Dowitcher 12+ ((At least 50 at very close range))
Bar Tailed Godwit 200+ (Many Hundreds)
Chinese Egret 14+ (20+)
Gull Billed Tern 68 (Many Hundreds)
Little Tern 10+ (25+)
Whiskered Tern 6+ (35+)
Unidentified Tern that looked very much like an adult winter Aleutian Tern.
White Bellied Sea Eagle 2
Chinese Goshawk 6+ (in flock early morning heading South)
Collared Kingfisher 80+
Common Kingfisher 1 Author: hilldog Time: 1/10/2011 01:19
John: Thank for pointing out my mistake! Author: lyatming Time: 2/10/2011 00:01