Amur Falcon isn’t a myth in HK!

During migrating season, I’d often get messages about rare sightings of Amur Falcon sometime, somewhere in Hong Kong! But even getting to the site immediately to see the bird is almost mission impossible- after all, this little raptor surge is fast and furious and unpredictable! Its a myth to me and many birders too who heard lots of stories about Amur Falcon’s appearance but never got to see it in HK! To see an Amur Falcon in Hong Kong is all about chance and luck!

Lately, there were news about an Amur Falcon swooping around Long Valley and never would I thought I’d get to see it in HK! While I was waiting for the Pine Bunting, a small raptor surged in the sky; quickly someone identified it as an Amur Falcon! Despite my eyes were glued to my bins, I lost sight of it- it had already landed on a wire a few hundred meters away from me! Quickly, I grabbed my gear and sprinted as fast as I could to where the raptor landed and snapped a couple of shots before it took off!  It’s plumage looked pretty fresh to me- a juvenile I think! 🙂

It was a pretty intense moment for me- not that I’ve not seen an Amur Falcon before, but to me, Amur Falcon is no longer a myth in HK! 🙂

Amur Falcon in Long Valley, Nov. 2014

Amur Falcon in Long Valley, Nov. 2014

Birding at Laotieshan, Liaoning province- raptor watch

Laotieshan, located at the southernmost tip of Liaoning is probably the best place to watch raptors migrate in vast numbers in autumn in China! Waking up at 5am everyday and being at the same spot counting the number of birds till noon was no easy task unless you’re a hardcore birder! I was just there to take pictures, soak up the environment and watch the avid birders do the tough work…lol! 😛 The weather hasn’t been brilliant during my stay there-but there was no stopping of raptors trying to cross the sea to Shandong! Of course, there were a few solo raptors who aborted their onward flight when fog hits bad while some gathered in groups to fly together!

In early hours, small birds would migrate first-groups of Pechora pipits were heard and seen, Daurian starlings, Asian brown flycatchers, Black-Naped orioles, Siberian stonechats and even Dollar birds! Then came the raptors- Japanese Sparrowhawks in huge numbers with an Eurasian Sparrowhawk amongst them, Amur Falcons, Kestrels, Oriental Honey Buzzards and Pied Harriers!

Amur falcons are common in autumn migration

Amur falcons are common in autumn migration

oriental honey buzzards in Laotieshan

oriental honey buzzards in Laotieshan

Japanese sparrowhawks are plentiful at Laotieshan

Japanese sparrowhawks are plentiful at Laotieshan

On a foggy day, Gulls, Shearwaters, etc, seemed to near the coastal shore as well, which was brilliant for seabirding! I love seabirds!

Mongolian gulls and Black-tailed gulls

Mongolian gulls and Black-tailed gulls

the art of seabirding!

the art of seabirding!

It’s been a fun few days- every morning, we wake up with anticipation and by the end of the day, we rewarded ourselves with ice-cream and coke (but no lunch..@_@)! Can we have lunch included in the itinerary next time please?? >.<

a break for an ice-cream and coke!

a break for an ice-cream and coke!