21 September 2014

Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Mai Po - a September surprise

Found by Ivan TSE of the HK Birdwatching Society this morning on Ponds 16/17 Mai Po Nature Reserve.  This Critically Endangered Species is "difficult" to find here in spring, and even rarer in Autumn.

A few record shots:

Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus
Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus

Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus


Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus

Yesterday (Sept. 20th) there were about sixty Great Knot on the outgoing tide.

Great Knot - Calidris tenuirostris


Great Knot - Calidris tenuirostris

Great Knot - Calidris tenuirostris

Great Knot - Calidris tenuirostris

And - as a useful comparison - three Red Knot were close to the hide, here is one of them

Red Knot - Calidris canutus


In the bay, though, the most noticeable Great Knot was struggling for it's life in the retreating tidal waters while a Peregrine tried to pluck it out of the sea.






The Great Knot moved closer to one of the old marker poles and this disturbed the rhythm of the swooping raptor.



And, to our surprise, eventually the Peregrine gave up and flew away.

Peregrine - Falco peregrinus

Peregrine - Falco peregrinus


Unfortunately for the Great Knot, though, it had a gash on it's chest and probably won't get much further.


6 comments:

  1. At least the Peregrine didn't nab the SB Sand...................

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  2. I like this post. The spoonie is always a treat. I feel sorry for the knot but at the same time, I love Peregrines. So, some mixed feeling here. Great shots as usual.

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  3. Thanks, Mun ! Yes, raptors have got to eat, too. In this case the Great Knot is probably doomed and the Peregrine didn't get a meal….no-one is a winner.

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  4. John, love the sequence. Would love to have captured this myself. I saw your Eastern Marsh Harrier post at HKBWS. Yes, it's secondary as it's just an annual routine. However, if it was a male. Either the Eastern or Pied would have us all in saliva mode!

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  5. Thanks, Ah Kei. Adult male Pied Harriers are rare but regular - it must only be a matter of time before someone really gets some great shots of one in HK.

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