15th December, 2016 (Thursday) Remaining cool and overcast with wind from N/NE keeping the temperature from 15 to 20 Celsius
Beginning of the morning was good enough to have two Grey-headed flycatchers recorded as one seen and one heard among a middle-sized birdwave with them as obvious flock leaders, singing their four-note melody and displaying active short flights. Another notable bird nearby was an Ashy drongo, heard and seen. The same Eastern buzzard was again seen on the far side of the Pineapple Dam's top, confirming it being a wintering species.
All the rest of the morning was passed with no more birdwaves met, resulting in birds seen progressively at best; worth mentioning here were among local birds just the wintering male Daurinan redstart on the wet patch beyond Picnic site 11 and a nice Goodson's leaf warbler on the return leg of the trip.
S L Tai
[ Last edited by tsheunglai at 2/01/2017 19:34 ] Author: tsheunglai Time: 2/01/2017 21:37
30th December, 2016 (Friday) Overcast with wind from N/E keeping temperature cool from 13 to 19 degrees Celsius
Delight to have fellow birder as trip companion The table of fortune turning to favour on second half of trip
On the top of Pineapple Dam my companion, who preferred not to be named, found the wintering Eastern buzzard perching on top of the same tree as previous time as I was looking at two flying Black-eared kites nearby.
It was not good omen to have just heard an Ashy drongo calling several times without seeing it. Luck seemed more deserting without hearingor seeing Grey-headed flycatchers around the catchment before the road barrier, which was inadequately compensated by seeing the flock of some thirty Chestnut-collared yuhinas filling one big trees later on.
Trip sightings remained monotous, with just the male Daurian redstart being seen on the wet patch beyond Picnic site 11, though to my companion's delight. We saw a pair of Grey-backed thrushes when we took a short rest under the Pavilion on the picnic site.
Commonplace being the case until we heard a noisy lot of mixed birds on top of the long slope with a road branching out from the Reservoir Walk. I suggested walking up a bit the branch road if we could find something good. We soon found with some satisfaction in witnessing an Ashy drongo displaying its foraging skills below the canopy with rapid but accurate flights through short-distanced tree branches, with the purpose of catching preys for food. My companion agreed when I pointed out that the forked tail of the bird, like all else of the species, was not symmetrical, with one longer than the other. I suggested it was evolved to facilitate deep and shallow troughing and circulating in air. The highlight of the morning came when we almost simultaneously saw a Speckled piculet, being a life and Hong Kong tick of my companion. We also enjoyed the sight of a Goodson's leaf warbler among other birds.
The day's count was twenty-eight in species, average by all account but the sighting of a Speckled piculet would surely make the trip lasting long in memory.
S L Tai
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