Journal archives for April 2020

April 24, 2020

Pandemic birding: birds take over the parks

Urban parks are especially interesting at migration times when they provide refuge for passing migrants. Usually the most productive parts of parks are the peripheral, no-man's-land areas. This is where cuckoos and flycatchers can be seen at Kowloontsai and Ho Man Tin. But in these pandemic times, sports fields have been out of use for months, becoming holding grounds for migrants. Today at Kowloontsai I counted 33 Yellow Wagtails on one field alone, while two snipe were resting in the middle of the main sports field. It will be interesting to see the impact of reduced human activity on bird populations. Reduced disturbance makes additional habitats available for feeding and breeding. On the other hand, famine is rising in the developing world and there are already reports of birds such as Great Ibises being hunted for food. Several theses can and should be written on these topics!
Postscript: four snipe reappeared in exactly the same field on autumn passage on September 6, 2020, when they were identified by local authority John Allcock as either Swinhoe's or Pintail Snipe (these two species are virtually identical unless held in the hand, so that they are often reported as 'Swintails').

Posted on April 24, 2020 03:32 AM by stephenmatthews stephenmatthews | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment