Year ending 2018

A Black-winged Cuckooshrike at the Chinese University campus (not a rarity, but a first for that location) on the last day of 2018 brought up my 500th observation on i-Naturalist, while the White-tailed Robin at Lung Fu Shan was my 50th bird species at this small but rich country park. So there are some excuses for celebrating the New Year with my first journal entry.
The White-tailed Robin was so tame as to look like an escaped cage bird, but it turned out to have been fed by some of the photographers surrounding it. Interestingly, it is already described as a 'confiding' bird, like European Robins (but unlike the skulking Rufous-tailed Robin). The HKBWS guide notes that there are a few records from HK every winter in suitable habitat. According to Craig Robson in 'Birds of Southeast Asia', White-tailed Robins also make local movements, presumably moving downhill and/or southwards from their breeding grounds in winter. Towards the eastern end of their breeding range there are some populations in northern Guangdong province which could be the source of our winter visitors. So this may well have been a wild bird -- at least until tamed by feeding. My main concern with such baiting is that a small bird which is a sitting duck for photographers is also a sitting duck for the ubiquitous feral cats, as well as natural predators such as the resident Crested Goshawks. It was sad to see the robin waiting still for its mealworms long after the photographers had moved on.
Also at the end of 2018 it was good to see Red-flanked Bluetails back in residence at Lung Fu Shan after a couple of mild winters in which they were scarce. Chestnut Bulbuls have also been more abundant than usual, reflecting an influx of winter visitors on top of the resident population in the New Territories.

Posted by stephenmatthews stephenmatthews, January 01, 2019 02:50 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Chestnut Bulbul (Hemixos castanonotus)

Observer

stephenmatthews

Date

December 17, 2018 02:27 PM HKT

Photos / Sounds

What

White-tailed Robin (Myiomela leucura)

Observer

stephenmatthews

Date

December 28, 2018 01:59 PM HKT

Description

Tame and being photographed at close range by a crowd of observers

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-winged Cuckooshrike (Lalage melaschistos)

Observer

stephenmatthews

Date

December 31, 2018 02:14 PM HKT

Description

Feeding together with scarlet minivets

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