Sharp island, Sai Kung

There were more than 50 bird photographers at the Sai Kung pier today.. Intrigued by what they were after, I was very soon “informed” that they were waiting for the White- bellied Sea Eagle. I remembered when I was a newbie in birding years ago, Sai Kung was the place to go! At dusk, black kites would fish around the pier for thrown away fish scraps by fishermen. There’s also a pair of white-bellied sea eagles residing on the islands near the pier too! Recently, there was a Frigate bird spotted at the pier that caused a stir.

But I  don’t have my gear or bins with me this time! So…what was I doing at Sai Kung pier then? 😛 During summer when there is nothing flapping around in the air, I would visit the ones flapping down under.. Yes, flapping fins! 😛 At the pier, we boarded the diving boat and headed off to Sharp Island.  Despite HK waters has poor visibility, the variety of sea critters can be surprisingly overwhelming on a gd day!

Here’s a short video of what I saw on my latest dive (taken by my GoPro cam).

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust.

Nature comes in all forms, really dun have to travel far to discover them!

Easy Birding in Langkawi- Day 3

No bird trip is complete without taking the boat ride in Langkawi! We 3 musketeers (Indera, Riz and I), took on a boat trip which covered the renowned Kilim Park. We boarded our boat at the Kilim pier and quickly head off into the mangroves.  Whilst I was trying to stabalise my tripod (it’s my first time photographing on a boat!), Indera spotted a Black Capped Kingfisher! I have seen black capped kingfisher before, but never so close! The boatman was obviously a pro. He silently manouvered the boat to the
hungry bird (feasting on crab) and we were so close to it that I held my breath, fearing it would fly away!

Black capped Kingfisher with its breakfast!

As our boat moved along the river bank, we saw more dusky monkeys and mangrove pit vipers (yikes!!) hanging and dangling on trees. My fear for snakes was soon distracted when we spotted Common Kingfishers, Collared Kingfishers and then the endemic Brown Winged Kingfisher! Thank God for that!

Collared kingfisher at Kilim mangrove!

Brown winged kingfisher

As we make way to the raptors “feeding ground”, I saw a White Bellied Sea Eagle perching right in front of us. And as our boat swerved to a corner, I knew we’ve arrived at destination. There were other boats idling along the waterbanks… Several tour companies in Langkawi organise boat trips to this area to see Bhraminy Kites, White bellied Sea Eagles and other raptors; and to attract the raptors, chicken meat were thrown into the river (I personally do not agree to such acts, but for now, let’s set aside this sensitive topic!)

Obviously, both Riz and I were in awe. There were so many raptors- soaring in the sky, fishing in the water, and even roosting on trees! I quickly changed to my zoom lens 70-200mm, which turned out to be a good idea as the raptors were so close!

The majestic white bellied sea eagle!

Bhraminy Kite fishing!

White Bellied Sea Eagle!

It was truly an enjoyable boating birding experience. Here’s a pic of us on the boat!

The 3 musketeers!

For your information, the Kilim Park is one of the geoparks to be officially endorsed by UNESCO. Click here for more information.