Hong Kong Birding Sites - October 2011
HONG KONG ISLAND
Hong Kong Park
Located next to the High Court, Hong Kong Park was opened in 1991 and is by far the biggest park in the urban area. It also has the largest air-conditioned greenhouse in the Southeast Asia. As the Park is built along the hilly landscape birding here can be interesting as flying birds are often seen at the eye level. Of particular interest here is the Yellow-crested Cockatoo. The population of this species in its native Indonesia has dwindled significantly, but the largest naturalized population in the world can be found in Hong Kong.
Target bird species: Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Chinese Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Blue Magpie, Magpie Robin, Masked Laughing-thrush, Black-crowned Night Heron.
Estimated time required: 1.5hrs.
Transport: MTR (Exit C1 at Admiralty Station).
Lung Fu Shan
Lung Fu Shan is a small area behind the University of Hong Kong with a footpath leading to the Peak. Every spring and autumn it is a good place to see different species of warblers, flycatchers, thrushes and even birds of prey. This is also one of the best places to view Mugimaki Flycatcher.
Target species: Spotted Dove, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Masked Laughing-thrush, Black-throated Laughing-thrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Asian Brown Flycatcher (winter), Grey-streaked Flycatcher (winter), Dark-sided Flycatcher (winter), Mugimaki Flycatcher.
Estimated time required: Depends on the route taken.
Transport: Take route No 23 (First Bus), No 40 (City Bus) or No 40M (City Bus) outside the entrance to Pacific Place (88 Queensway) in Admiralty and get off at the west entrance of the University of Hong Kong at Pokfulam Road. Walk straight to Haking Wong Building of the University and take the lift to 4F. Ascend from the University Drive up to Lung Fu Shan.
Located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island within the boundary of the Aberdeen Reservoir Country Park, the Aberdeen Reservoirs comprise the upper and lower reservoirs. Starting from the Wan Cahi Gap Park at Mount Cameron Road at the mid-levels, follow the Aberdeen Reservoir Road which is lined by mature secondary forest all the way to Yue Kwong Chuen, a housing estate in Aberdeen. During the migration season this is the place to view different species of warblers, flycatchers, thrushes and even birds of prey. Aberdeen Reservoir is also a night roost site for Black Kite.
Target species: Blue Whistling Thrush, Hwamei, Greater Necklaced Laughing-thrush, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Black Kite, plus different species of warblers, flycatchers and thrushes (during migration seasons).
Estimated time required: 3 to 4 hrs.
Transport: Take route No 15 (First Bus) from Admiralty and get off at the stop by the Police Museum (Magazine Gap Terminus), walk to the other side of the road to the Wan Chai Gap Park and the Aberdeen Reservoir Road starts from the rear side.
The birding route is a circle around the Peak composed of Harlech Road and Lugard Road. Many passage migrants such as warblers, flycatchers and thrushes are found here in spring and autumn. The Peak Tram Station and Victoria Peak Garden are also worth visiting to search for new species.
Target species: Blue Whistling Thrush, Hwamei, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Black Kite and passage migrants such as warblers, flycatchers and thrushes.
Estimated time required: 2 hrs.
Transport: Take route No 15 (First Bus) from Admiralty or the Peak Tram and get off at the terminus.
Mount Davis is a small patch of habitat on the western side of the Hong Kong Island near to Pok Fu Lam. Good numbers of passage migrants can be found here, especially during spring. Clear views of the sea can obtained here and there is also a youth hostel on the peak. Different species can be found along the footpath on the hill.
Target species: Passage migrants (particularly in spring).
Estimated time required: Depends on the route taken.
Transport: Take route No 5 (City Bus) or route No 101 outside Pacific Place (88 Queensway) to reach Mount Davis Terminus.
Completed in 1989, Kowloon Park is situated in downtown Tsim Sha Tsui and is like an oasis in the city. It is popular with both local and overseas birdwatchers. The lush vegetation in the park, including the nature conservation areas, open lawns and waterfowl pond, attract many species of wild birds. Over 100 species have been recorded in the Park to date. It is also a hot-spot for watching passage migrants in spring and autumn.
Target species: Alexandrine Parakeet, Japanese Thrush, Grey-backed Thrush, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Magpie Robin, Chinese Bulbul, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Blue Magpie, Black-crowned Night Heron.
Transport: MTR (Exit A at the Tsim Sha Tsui station).
Mai Po Nature Reserve
A wetland of international importance, Mai Po Nature Reserve at the north western outskirts of Hong Kong has been widely acclaimed as a superb birding location. It is managed by WWF Hong Kong and is an important feeding ground for passage and winter migrants, most of which are wetland birds. In spring a great number of waterbirds and shorebirds arrive at Mai Po to fuel up, whilst the Reserve is also a stronghold for a number of species of duck and egrets. The Reserve comprises mangroves, shallow shrimp ponds (gei wais), freshwater swamps and dredging ponds and has a number of birdwatching hides. The hides on the mudflats enable visiting birders to view the spectacular scene of shorebirds approaching to feed as tides go up or down. The optimum height of tide for birdwatching at these hides is 2.2m. You can check the latest tide times for Tsim Bei Tsui at the website of the Hong Kong Observatory in advance.
Target species: Chinese Egret, Black-faced Spoonbill, Dalmatian Pelican, Saunder's Gull, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Asian Dowitcher, Nordmann's Greenshank, Imperial Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle.
Estimated time required: About 5 hrs.
Transport: Take route No 76K (KMB) at Yuen Long and get off at the "Mai Po" stop, then walk along the Tam Kong Chau Road for 20 mins to Mai Po. Alternatively, take the red mini-bus route No 17 which goes between Shui Che Kwun Street in Yuen Long and San Fat Street in Sheung Shui and get off at "Mai Po", then walk along the Tam Kong Chau Road for 20 mins to Mai Po itself. From Hong Kong Island see Google Maps.
David & Amanda Mason
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