North-east New Territories Autumn 2010

North-east New Territories Autumn 2010

I had a good day of birding yesterday in the north-east New Territories, with some very pleasant sunny weather. Among the highlights:
Oriental Greenfinch x30 (Kuk Po) Kuk Po and Lai Chi Wo seem to have developed into a real hotspot for this species, at least in winter, and I've seen them on several visits over the past couple of years, sometimes in good numbers
Blue-winged Minla x2 (Kuk Po) A very unusual species in this part of Hong Kong
White-bellied Erpornis/Yuhina x2 (Kuk Po)
Olive-backed Pipit (Kuk Po) My first this winter
Richard's Pipit (Kuk Po)
Grey Treepie x2 (Kuk Po)
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch x1 (Mui Tsz Lam) Possibly the first record in this part of Hong Kong?
Pied Harrier x1 (Lai Chi Wo) Unusual away from Deep Bay
Red-throated Pipit x2 (1 flyover, 1 at Sam A Tsuen) Unusual away from Deep Bay
Scarlet Minivet x2 (Luk Keng)
Common Blackbird (Luk Keng)
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Luk Keng)
Eurasian Woodcock (hills between Luk Keng and Pat Sin Leng) My first this winter
Also 60+ Great Egret apparently migrating south at dusk.

Among other wildlife, there were lots of Hong Kong Newt in the streams near Wu Kau Tang, a big diversity of butterflies, and I disturbed 2 boar in the mangroves near Nam Chung at dusk


North-east NT autumn 2010

Dear John

It is quite unusual for professional birders who carry on birding on Sundays in stead of
joining 'beering parties' (forgive me for being inventive of terms, no time to refer to a dic.,
perhaps later). Kuk Po and Mui Tsz Lam are places I have never been to and your report about Greenfinches
in sizable parties over there is attractive. I probably will pay them a visit or two some days in short


S L Tai


Mr Tai,

Beering parties or spending time with families?  I guess it does not matter as we are free to spend our time as we see fit.

What a silly thing to say.



Don't know most of those locations but sound good.  I went to Ho Pui reservoir yesterday evening and was very pleasantly surprised- first because it was nice and quiet but even better, it had some decent birds.  The reservoir had a single pheasant-tailed jacana,some little grebes and a party of ten ducks- which may have been pintail; the light was fading and I'm only going on jizz- Paul C couldn't quite make them out either but thought them most likely too.  Also grey treepie, crested serpent eagle, mountain tailorbird, streak-breasted scimitar babbler and other forest species.  I'm planning to get back there early to give it a proper go.  Right, off for a beer- us amateurs don't just do it on a Sunday.


PS apparently don't know my East from West... I blame the beer.

[ Last edited by subbuteo at 19/10/2010 06:31 ]


Kuk Po - Feb 2009

Pygmy Wren babbler

Leopard Cat

Apparently a good spot for wildlife.


John, can you comment on how to get to Kuk Po?  I have been quite curious about birding in the Starling Inlet area but not really sure of the logistics.


If you're relying on public transport, it's unfortunately not as easy as I would like. The easiest way is to go to Luk Keng (minibus 56K from Fanling KCR) and walk around the coastal path.
The other option is to go into the area via Wu Kau Tang. There are infrequent minibuses from Tai Po, but I usually end up taking a taxi. There are also buses on Sunday to Bride's Pool, from where you can walk to Wu Kau Tang in about 15 minutes.

There is a good path from Wu Kau Tang to Luk Keng via Sam A Tsuen, Lai Chi Wo and Kuk Po. It takes a few hours to walk the full route, but is usually worth the effort!


you could try this website to plan and estimate the trip.


Before I homed in on Po Toi, I used to go regularly to Kuk Po via Nam Chung (56K from Fanling MTR as mentioned by John) and Luk Keng around the coastal path.

It's a really pleasant walk and Kuk Po is very interesting to wander around - lots of derelict old buildings, a good marshy area and quite good for birds although I don't remember Oriental Greenfinches then.  Very quiet, hardly any people, especially during the week - my kind of place.

The walk to Wu Kau Tang was a bit far for me, I only did it once.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 19/10/2010 18:10 ]


I had got Velvet-fronted Nuthatch in Mui Tsz Lam too, but on 13/9.
which follow the bird-wave with Chestnut Bulbul,Red-whiskered Bulbul and Asian Paradise Flycatcher.

sorry! I get it mui tsz lam, which is in Sha Tin =.=  not in NE. NT

[ Last edited by lalan at 25/10/2010 00:55 ]


Thanks to Dylan's report I went Ho Pui reservoir. It is a very pleasant spot.  Many of the birds were heard only which is always very frustrating.

1 Little Grebe
1 Striated Heron
1 Eurasian Hobby (perched on high electric tower)
1 Greater Spotted Eagle, see ID page
1 Grey Wagtail
2 Scarlet Minivets
1 Pygmy Wren Babbler (heard only)
1 Grey Treepie (heard only)
1 Bright-capped Cisticola (flyover, heard)
3 Arctic Warbler (seems to be getting late for these)

[ Last edited by brendank at 25/10/2010 14:52 ]


Hobby.JPG (33.49 KB)

24/10/2010 22:54


minivet.JPG (69.53 KB)

24/10/2010 22:54


arctic.JPG (94.7 KB)

24/10/2010 22:54



14 November 2010--Luk Keng and Kuk Po

I figured there would be enough people looking at the Crested Buntings today.  Thought I would try to explore the Kuk Po area today.  I walked from Luk Keng to Kuk Po.  It's sort of strange that there was so much activity in Kuk Po but non Luk Keng.  Such a nice marsh in Luk Keng but I couldn't find much there.

5 Common Teal
20 Common Greenshank
1 Crested Goshawk
1 Bull-headed Shrike
1 Lesser Coucal
1 Manchurian Bush-warbler (even got a blurry photo!)
1 Black-faced Bunting
20+ Grey-capped Greenfinch (are these a feral population? I don't see why there are so many at this spot)  

[ Last edited by brendank at 15/11/2010 07:20 ]