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

Hong Kong’s First- Pine Bunting

The Pine Bunting was spotted foraging on the remains of the harvested field as early as Nov.11! But due to its striking resemblance to the female Chestnut-eared bunting, no one took notice of it till someone posted a photo at the HK Birdwatching Society 3 days ago which caused a stir amongst avid birders! :-/

The very next day, I arrived at Long Valley even before daylight! I was soon joined by others and even “retired” avid birders, too woke up early for this HK’s first record! A cold, windy morning at Long Valley produced some quality birds which included the Rustic Bunting, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Yellow-browed bunting, etc! But the star bird only showed up in mid-morning! With so many chestnut-eared buntings hopping about, it was hard to ID without experts! Thankfully, with avid birders next to me, I could easily spot the difference! Here’s the Hong Kong’s first Pine Bunting. 🙂

HK first Pine Bunting landed in Long Valley.

HK first Pine Bunting landed in Long Valley.

yellow-browed bunting is a regular visitor!

yellow-browed bunting is a regular visitor!

yellow breasted bunting

yellow breasted bunting