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.


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


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]