Po Toi April 2016

Po Toi April 2016

A struggle to find anything today, the weather has been too 'good' with warm southerly winds.
It was also responsible for a very heavy fog on the approach to Po Toi although the sky was clearer over the island itself.

I eventually managed three flycatchers, one Ferruginous, one female Blue-and-white and a third which I'm fairly sure was a Japanese Paradise Flycatcher but I couldn't get my binoculars on to it before it flew off and couldn't be refound.

Here the Ferruginous and a group of four Pacific Reef Egrets at the harbour entrance, maybe an early family party.

The weather change forecast for Sunday may give us the chance of some new species next week.



Grey-streaked Flycatcher 灰紋鶲

Blue-and-white Flycatcher 白腹藍姬鶲 1 male and 1 female

3 Red-necked Phalarope were taken on the way to Po Toi


I05_2678c1.jpg (72.8 KB)

7/04/2016 22:32



Well done Leo - at least three species of flycatcher on a difficult day on Po Toi.


Thanks Geoff


Tuesday 12th April

A much busier day today with the rain and easterly wind on Monday bringing in lots of new birds.

Seabirds from the Ferry, seven Greater Crested Terns in two flocks although no Red-necked Phalarope, a bit unusual with these conditions at this time of year.

On land, four species of flycatcher, Asia Brown (at least two) and female Mugimaki, Blue-and-white (two) and Japanese Paradise Flycatcher.
Here some photos of all four species, three photos from me and two thanks to James Yau (the first and the last photo)


Also present, an Intermediate Egret, five or more Chinese Sparrowhawk, a Dollarbird, two Swinhoe's Minivets and the first Black Drongo of the year.
Here the egret and a Chinese Sparrowhawk enjoying a dragonfly, of which there were many (photo thanks to James Yau)

Also seen on the island by John Allcock, a Brown Shrike and 3 Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warblers and a Grey-faced Buzzard from the Ferry

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 13/04/2016 09:30 ]


One of the greater crested tern & Swinhoe's minivet that Geoff mentioned

Also on the trip back to Aberdeen, we saw a group of cattle egrets flying over the rough sea, and a white-bellied sea eagle which flew so close to the ferry


Swinhoe's Minivet a.jpg (26.98 KB)

14/04/2016 01:02

Swinhoe's Minivet a.jpg

Greater Crested Tern 1a.jpg (145.45 KB)

14/04/2016 01:02

Greater Crested Tern 1a.jpg

Cattle Egrets 3a.jpg (137.99 KB)

14/04/2016 01:02

Cattle Egrets 3a.jpg

WBSE 2a.jpg (134.48 KB)

14/04/2016 01:02

WBSE 2a.jpg


2016-04-14 Thu

Hi Geoff, here is the bird we are not sure what species it is. I only have the back of it and would others who has the front part post it for sake of discussion. Thanks in advance.

There is another bird I would like to ask for id please. I am thinking whether it could be a Besra.

Other species found today:
池鷺 Chinese Pond Heron
牛背鹭 Eastern Cattle Egret many
中白鷺 Intermediate Egret
小白鷺 Little Egret many
岩鹭 Reef Heron at least 2
赤腹鷹 Chinese Sparrowhawk Male and Female
黑鳶 Black Kite
珠頸斑鳩 Spotted Dove
褐翅鴉鵑 Greater Coucal
白腰雨燕 Pacific Swift at least 2
家燕 Barn Swallow
普通翠鳥 Common Kingfisher
紅耳鵯 Red-whiskered Bulbul
白頭鵯 Chinese Bulbul
黑臉噪鶥 Masked Laughingthrush
八哥 Crested Myna many
鵲鴝 Oriental Magpie-Robin
灰紋鶲 Grey-streaked Flycatcher

北灰鶲 Asian Brown Flycatcher
紫嘯鶇 Blue Whistling Thrush (I saw 1, others saw 2)
鴝姬鶲 Mugimaki Flycatcher female (others saw male too)

仙八色鶇 Fairy Pitta (saw, heard but no photo)

There are species saw by other birders, I consolidate the list first and please post the photos.
海南藍仙鶲 Hainan Blue Flycatcher
綬帶 Amur Paradise Flycatcher
白眉鶇 Eyebrowed Thrush
三寶鳥 Oriental Dollarbird
四聲杜鵑 Indian Cuckoo x2 (heard)


Thanks KK

The flycatcher looks much less green on my screen than on the camera - I've had this before. So more likely to be a first-winter male Narcissus. Let's wait for Leo's photos showing the front of the bird.

I'm not sure we can see enough of the hawk but a Japanese Sparrowhawk is much more likely than Besra in April on Po Toi so could be this.

I'll report on the Fairy Pitta saga later when I have time.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 15/04/2016 09:38 ]


Thanks Geoff


Thursday 14 April

Any day that you see a Fairy Pitta is a red-letter day, they are such stunning birds. This one was not the easiest to see, in fact it was only seen by two people, and frustrated many. But it was easy to hear.

I was walking down from the small Upper Reservoir above the Sister's Cafe at about 11.30 when I saw a bird hopping around the flooded path below me. I wasn't prepared and was stunned when I saw through binoculars it was a Fairy Pitta. Too slow to take the photo, the bird flew away up the stream.

Then started the quest - where did it go? After about 30 minutes, it started calling from deep scrub on the other side of the path. Easy to hear but impossible to see.
Here is the sound recording and sonogram - with a bit of the excitement coming over in the recording  

Other species around are listed above by KK and maybe some more photos to come from others.

Will it still be there on Saturday? I don't know, but please don't rush there and scare it away, then nobody will see it.

PS thanks also to Edward for his good photos of the Swinhoe's Minivet and Greater Crested Terns on Tuesday.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 15/04/2016 09:40 ]


Original posted by kkchang168 at 14/04/2016 22:53
2016-04-14 Thu

Hi Geoff, here is the bird we are not sure what species it is. I only have the back of it and would others who has the front part post it for sake of discussion. Thanks in advance.
25 ...
Would you mine to tell me your birding route?  Although I have been Po Toi for many times, but most of the time can't see such number of birds.

I always walk around the area from ferry pier to heliport and stay at each spot (Sister's cafe, school and heliport) for 15 to 30 mins.  No sure this is a good way to wait for birds.

[ Last edited by coconutcat at 15/04/2016 16:13 ]


Land birds are generally more difficult to find than waterbirds. Many are found by call.
Also nobody sees all the birds, these are lists of birds found by several people (at least five people on Thursday).

Your route is quite reasonable except you need to get off the concrete paths sometimes and wander on the dirt paths - see this map

The dirt paths between the School and the Sister's Cafe can be good.

Also, ask people what they have seen. And watch for the groups which assemble around the good birds.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 15/04/2016 17:20 ]


Birds seen during the HKBWS outing of 16 April. There were 47 participants. Below is a list of migrants reported by various people:

The highlights were a Fairy Pitta seen by one or two lucky people in the area where one was found two days earlier and a male Olive-backed Sunbird just below the Sisters Cafe.

Grey-faced Buzzard
Chinese Goshawk at least 8
Lesser Cuckoo
Oriental Cuckoo
Blue-tailed Bee-eater 12
Fairy Pitta
Ashy Minivet
Swinhoe's Minivet
Yellow-browed Warbler
Two-barred Warbler
Arctic Warbler
Eyebrowed Thrush
Siberian Blue Robin female
Asian Brown Flycatcher at least 4
Grey-streaked Flycatcher at least 2
Narcissus Flycatcher 2
Mugimaki Flycatcher 3
Blue-and-white Flycatcher 1
Olive-backed Sunbird

Rather few birds seen at sea during the outing:

White-bellied Sea Eagle 3
Cattle Egret 6
Red-necked Phalarope 71
Greater Crested Tern at least 1
Common Tern 1
Bridled Tern probably 2
Whiskered Tern 1 in breeding plumage
White-throated Needletail 3 zoomed past the boat very close


Olive-backed Sunbird
Po Toi 16-4-2016


Add to Richard's list

Oriental Pratincole - photographed by our young friend Brian Chan, a really good birder in the making

plus Indian Cuckoo, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler and other flycatchers photographed, Hainan Blue and Japanese Paradise plus a photo of one of the Needletails

These three birds flew up fast behind the boat and easily overtook it - on migration to the far north

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 17/04/2016 12:30 ]


About 12 birders & photographers took the ferry to Po Toi today (19 April). It was pleasantly cool for the time of year but rather windy. No sightings of the Olive-backed Sunbird. Migrants found:

Cattle Egret at least 1
Chinese Pond Heron at least 1
Oriental Pratincole 1
Chinese Goshawk 1
Japanese Sparrowhawk male
Indian Cuckoo 1h
Northern Boobok 1
Pacific Swift at least 4
Fairy Pitta 1
Brown Shrike 1
Black-winged Cuckooshrike 2
Ashy Minivet 3
Swinhoe's Minivet 1
Dusky Warbler at least 1
Pallas's Leaf Warbler 1h
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler-type 1h
Arctic Warbler-type 2
Eyebrowed Thrush at least 1
Asian Brown Flycatcher at least 2
Ferruginous Flycatcher 1
Mugimaki Flycatcher 1
Narcissus Flycatcher male & female
Little Bunting 1
Chestnut Bunting male

From the ferry:

Red-throated Diver (just outside the breakwater of Aberdeen Harbour)
Greater Crested Tern 1
White-bellied Sea Eagle 1 ad


Just to share my first owl (record photos): Northern Boobook


Po Toi

Add to Richard's list on 19 Apr.

That's my first trip to Po Toi, feeling happy to see them :

little bunting, just next to my feet
black drongo,
ferruginous flycatcher,
silberian stonechat,
asia brown flycatcher,
narcissus flycatcher,

will visit them more and more...


Good list and photos Eva. Also KK, great photos of a difficult bird.

Today, more sunshine but still some good birds around including (not all seen by me)

Chinese Sparrowhawk
Brown Hawk Owl (Northern Boobook) - 2
White-throated Needletail
Fairy Pitta - seen again but just by one lucky person
Brown Shrike
Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike
Arctic Warbler
Eyebrowed Thrush
Asian Brown, Grey-streaked, Narcissus (at least 3), Mugimaki, Blue-and-white Flycatchers
Little Bunting

Plus the Red-throated Diver, seen just outside Aberdeen harbour going out but inside coming back.

Have I missed anything?

The weekend weather should bring in more birds for Festival Week.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 24/04/2016 18:54 ]


thanks wgeoff for the update, much appreciated. Glad to hear that the Fairy Pitta is still there - hopping that it will still be there over the weekend - was it spotted in the same place you mentioned in your post previously, as has it moved around the island ? Thanks.


26/4 Cloudy turned sunny

It's the first day of festival ferry timetable. But it might not be an excellent festive day for birders as many migrants seemed to have left.

The Red-throated loon紅喉潛鳥, which might be the same one found in Lamma last month, was found just beside the breakwater of Aberdeen harbour.

A group of over 100 bridled terns褐翅燕鷗 were flying upon the Castle Rock 螺洲石排

On the island, my list of birds were:
Common Sandpipers 8 磯鷸
Black drongo 2 黑卷尾
Long-tailed shrike 2 棕背伯勞
Asian brown flycatcher 北灰鶲
Cattle egret 1 牛背鷺
Blue whistling thrush 1 紫嘯鶇 (@ the lagoon)
Striated heron 1 綠鷺 (@ the lagoon)
Common kingfisher 1 普通翠鳥 (@ the lagoon)
Common tailorbird 1 長尾縫葉鶯
Masked laughingthrush 黑臉噪鶥

On the way back to Aberdeen, a white-bellied sea eagle was standing on the no.86 lighthouse on Round Island銀洲


Asian Brown Flycatcher 1a.jpg (140.77 KB)

27/04/2016 23:13

Asian Brown Flycatcher 1a.jpg

Bridled Tern 1a.jpg (79.96 KB)

27/04/2016 23:13

Bridled Tern 1a.jpg

Striated Heron a.jpg (111.65 KB)

27/04/2016 23:13

Striated Heron a.jpg


Thanks to Edward's list

Besides those listed above, the followings were what I saw:
大嘴烏鴉 Large-billed Crow 2
黄眉柳鶯 Yellow-browed Warbler
褐翅鴉鵑 Greater Coucal
八哥 Crested Myna (Many)
黄嘴白鹭 Chinese Egret 2



Other than those usual species, interesting species included:

褐翅燕鷗 Bridled Terns
黑枕燕鷗 Black-naped Terns ?

灰背椋鳥 White-shouldered Starling
灰紋鶲 Grey-streaked Flycatcher
烏鵑 Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo

[ Last edited by kkchang168 at 30/04/2016 09:15 ]



Many people around as they came for the dragon boat racing and celebrating Tin Hau bday, noisy but birds are still around.  

I met :

pacific golden plover
grey streaked flycatcher
black drongo
grey drongo
Chinese pond egret

got many mosquito bites too



other than the usual species, followings were saw:
黑枕燕鷗 Black-naped Tern

四聲杜鵑 Indian Cuckoo

紅尾伯勞 Brown Shrike

白眉鶇 Eyebrowed Thrush

灰紋鶲 Grey-streaked Flycatcher

白腹姬鶲 Blue-and-white Flycatcher

Others saw:
紅翅鳳頭鵑 Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
綬帶 Amur Paradise Flycatcher ??

褐翅燕鸥 Bridled Tern

黑枕燕鷗 Black-naped Tern
白翅浮鷗 White-winged Tern

四聲杜鵑 Indian Cuckoo
紅尾伯勞 Brown Shrike
極北柳鶯 Arctic Warbler
灰紋鶲 Grey-streaked Flycatcher
小鵐 Little Bunting

[ Last edited by kkchang168 at 7/05/2016 07:15 ]



One Sulphur-breasted Warbler (In the bush between the toilet and Helipad) &
One Black-capped Kingfisher (On the way to Helipad, just 2 mins walk after the folk (one to helipad and another one to school)
were see.



That would be a very late record of Sulphur-breasted Warbler. Do you happen to have any photos?



It was too quick that i couldn't take a photo of it.

But black and yellow stripes, green upperparts, golden underparts, black upper bill and light yellowish under bill were clear.

In addition, It's call was like two short high note (bi-bi), followed by around 6 lower but quicker note (the former three are slower and the later three are quicker).

I'm not sure if there are other warblers' call like this but i hope it helps to identify.  


[ Last edited by kennethchiu at 8/05/2016 00:12 ]


Po Ti, 7th April 2016

I didn't see ANY phylloscs or flycatchers, but that is not to say they weren't there.

It was hot and settled weather, and apart from an arriving flock of Cattle Egrets, just this Siberian Rubythroat.  Rather late.


Rubythroat_9109.jpg (98.15 KB)

8/05/2016 06:18