Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sweating it out at Mai Po

I headed into the New Territories today, catching an early morning train from my base on Hong Kong Island. HK's metro line really does put London to shame - super efficient, air conditioning and even TV in some of the carriages. Not bad. However, they have a still have a little bit to learn on the food front. I asked at my hotel last night 'is there anywhere decent to eat?' and was told 'yes, there is a McDonald's and KFC just up the road'. Oh well, I guess they'll realise in time. Found myself a decent noodle house tonight, £4 for the lot and even managed to eat it (just) with chopsticks.

PGP and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
So, the birds. I know August isn't meant to be a great month at Mai Po, but with a bit of hard work I managed to get a list that included most of the super rare Asian shorebirds on the British list. It was particularly nice to see a handful of Red-necked Stints, all adults in variable stages of moult and I was pretty chuffed with the PGP and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper side by side (the only ones of these species I saw all day); also loads of Terek Sandpipers and Greater Sand Plovers. Oh, and I also saw five Black-faced Spoonbills - a little distant but really good to finally see this endangered species.
Derek the Terek

Sharp-tailed Sand - Siberian breeder on its way to Oz?

Greater Sand Plover with crab
Oh yeah, just to finish this one off. Reckon I must have shed the odd pound today in sweat; one of the stickiest days I've ever had. And, if that wasn't enough to think about when in the mangroves I had to duck under several of these bad boys too... the size of my hand, including the legs.

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