09 January 2012

Nature spotted recently

Over Christmas we made a trip to Cheung Chau.   As we were sat on the seafront, minding our own business and watching the fishing crews sort out their nets we saw five or six kites wheeling around and diving down to pick up scraps floating in the harbour.  Nothing new there except for the arrival of a very sleek falcon that  seemed to be joining in the fun too.   It was too far away to identify it properly.   It was obviously smaller than the kites by about 25% or so and had the classic falcon wings but with a rather long and squarely shaped tail.

(June 25th - Now after much trawling of bird books and silhouette images, I am pleased to say the bird was or was probably an Eastern Marsh Harrier.   Another first for me too.)

Out at Man Kok Tsui on New Years Day we watched a large and powerful bird of prey cruising the updrafts from the hill sides.  Square winged with fingered feathers and a wide rounded tail.  Alas, again it was just a silhouette and we had no way of sizing it against other birds but it was certainly large and soured perfectly.

Over on the Mui Wo side we were treated to a great daytime view of a Muntjak deer that had wandered out onto the raod from the hillside at Nam Shan.   Somehow, despite the rattling diesel engine of our taxi the deer seemed completely unflustered and after blocking the taxi's path for a few seconds it decided to turn back and calmly sauntered off into the trees.

A splendid example of a red billed blue magpie was seen sunning itself in the treetops in the Tung Chung Road pass between Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak on Sunday morning and later that same day I spotted a Jay hunting in the treeline at the Western side of the airport (near to the business aviation buildings).

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