Tung Ping Chau Autumn 2010

Tung Ping Chau Autumn 2010

Recently I have been thinking that Tung Ping Chau could be a great island birding location and with regular coverage could get some of the rarities which show up at Po Toi.  Well I didn't have too much there today but seems there are not many migrants anywhere in HK from the lack of posts recently.

On the ferry ride

2 Red-necked Phalorope
2 White-bellied Sea-eagle

On the island

1 Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler (only warbler of the day)
1 Asian Brown Flycatcher
1 Striated Heron
2 Black Drongo


It certainly has potential, as any island does, but does not seem to benefit from a 'special position' as Po Toi does in relation to the Dangan (Lima) Islands in spring at least.

Also it seems difficult to work - not that Po Toi's easy but birds mostly concentrate in and near the 15-20 banyan trees around the harbour.

Tung Ping Chau received quite a bit of attention in the early-mid 90s, but never delivered the birds Po Toi has - though we had no idea how good Po Toi could be until much more recently.

Having said all that, regular visits to TPC will be very interesting to hear about!

Mike Turnbull


While I do agree that geographically Po Toi maybe better situated for migration, I can't help but think that some of difference between the two island is logistic.  Ferries only run to Tung Ping Chau on the weekend and only once a day and it is 11:00 am by the time you reach the island.  Furthermore, Ma Liu Shui is far from convenient to get to.  Po Toi island of course has Geoff doing constant monitoring and on the weekends usually half a dozen or more birders during migration. I rarely ever see a report from Tung Ping Chau.


I think it's more convenient to get to Ma Liu Shui than to Aberdeen though (just depends on where you live).
But when you compare the ferry fee to Tung Ping Chau and the one to Po Toi, you will instantly see why birders go to the latter!


As Mike says, Po Toi is better located for spring migrants coming across the sea, either direct or via the Dangan Islands which catch a lot of incoming migrants. Tung Ping Chau is in the shadow of both the HK eastern coastline and particularly the Xichong peninsular.

I don't think there's much difference in autumn.

Po Toi is still only part covered, nobody at all for at least two days a week and only one ot two watchers for another three days. I estimate we miss at least half the good birds there. Still much better coverage than Tung Ping Chau though.

Haven't heard anything from Pui O recently - another good location that deserves regular watching, particularly late autumn.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 4/10/2010 12:10 ]


I agree that Tung Ping Chau is underwatched. The same is also true of a number of other sites in Hong Kong (see for example SL TAi's recent posts about Leadmine Pass). I think this is largely the result of birders in HK tending to visit a site that has a reputation - Po Toi is one such site, and gets a huge amount of observer coverage (Thanks Geoff!)

I try to visit TPC at least once per season (I have often posted sightings on the forum). Living in the northern New Territories, it's actually much easier for me to access than Po Toi. On some days it can be very frustrating, especially because you arrive late in the day. On other days it can be packed with birds - this is especially true in winter when the shrubland on TPC is full of thrushes. As Mike has mentioned, one problem is that there is a lot more potential habitat for birds to disperse into than on Po Toi, and a lot of this is not accessible. The best areas seem to be inland, around the police station in the north of the island and behind the reservoir in the south of the island.


John's comment about not enough areas in HK being covered is well taken and I certainly agree.  I would like to check Tung Ping Chau more frequently.  I rather like the environment there more than Po Toi as sometimes on Po Toi I wish for more habitat to check and I think the restaurants are better at Tung Ping Chau.  Unfortunately, it is just not convenient for me to reach Ma Liu Shui.  I would try to check it a few more times this fall but certainly not on a weekly basis.