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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dinner Time----Scaly-breasted Munia

Unlike the wintering waders, the Scaly-breasted Munia (Spotted Munia) is a Hong Kong resident.   

The size of the Scaly-breasted Munia is slightly smaller than that of a Sparrow and they mainly feed on seeds. 

   When I was passing an open grassland a couple of days ago, I saw a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias foraging for grass seeds. Watching these little birds feeding made me think that they might be much more intelligent than we have given them credit for. See if you agree with me after viewing the following pictures.
   To overcome the fact that most single grass stems were not strong enough to support their body weight, they grabbed several stems together with both feet for stable support.

    If a seed stem was too far away to reach, one of the feet would be used to grab/hold it.

    The youngsters are fast learners too. These juvenile birds were doing a very good job as well.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Amazing Swarms of Shorebirds----Continued

In addition to the Pied Avocets, the Eurasian Curlews are also winter visitors at Mai Po Nature Reserve. Although the flock was not as large as that of the Pied Avocets, it was still quite impressive.

When the sun is setting, the birds will find a quiet spot to spend the night on the mudflats.  

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Amazing Swarms of Shorebirds

The Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong is famous for housing thousands of wintering birds each year. When the tide is right, these beautiful birds often put on a magnificent display. Watching these spectacular shows is always the highlight of my day there.

When I visited the Reserve last week, I was amazed to find the biggest swarms of shorebirds I have ever seen on display. 

The number of Pied Avocets is often huge, but that day it was enormous!

Because they prefer to feed in shallow water, these birds would fly with the low tide which gave us birdwatchers a real treat!  


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