[Ducks] Cotton Pygmy-goose

Cotton Pygmy-goose

This remarkable photograph of what will surely be accepted as Hong Kong's sixth record of Cotton Pygmy-goose was taken by Yam Wing Yiu from the Po Toi to Aberdeen ferry at about 4.45pm last Saturday when the ferry was five minutes from the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour and in the East Lamma Channel.

Several people saw the bird but only one, Yam Wing Yiu, was fast enough to get the photo so thanks to him for allowing us to display it here. Also my thanks to Owen Chiang, who also saw the bird, for letting me know. Owen must have an affinity with this species because he found the fourth Hong Kong record at Shan Pui on 24th October 2009.

This is the first record of Cotton Pygmy-goose away from the Deep Bay area. It also seems to be a very consistent species as far as timing is concerned, two spring records have been seen on 10th and 12th May and four autumn records between 23rd and 31st October.


Wonderful - congratulations to Yam Wing You on an extraordinary record!

This raises interesting questions on where it might have wintered and where it might be heading to breed. Not sure how much is known about migration of CPG.

Mike KilburnVice Chairman, HKBWSChairman, Conservation Committee


Yes, I agree Mike, where does is winter and breed?

This is where I find the internet version of Handbook of Birds of the World, HBW Alive, so useful.
That gives a distribution map (which I can't show here because it is copyrighted) with south and central China breeding only, south east Asia to Singapore all-year distribution and some islands of Indonesia and northeast Australia as wintering areas.
So maybe this bird is a migrant to south China having wintered in south east Asia or Borneo.

This map from Birds of China is similar

but HBW Alive shows all of south China as breeding only.
Maybe some of our China birds experts can elaborate.

By the way, Owen Chiang assures me he was not the one who found the Shan Pui bird, just one of the many who saw and photographed it.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 14/05/2014 06:48 ]


In recent years, the Cotton Pygmy-goose has been recorded in a few sites along Yangtze river (Poyang Lake of Jiangxi, Hubei, Anhui, Zhejiang) during summer months. So, I think the birds found in HK would refer to individuals breeding in that area.


and Dong Ting Lake in Hunan.