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John Holmes
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In praise of - Pied Kingfishers
Pied Kingfisher - Ceryl rudis Exuberant, noisy, full of life - Pied Kingfishers brighten a great swathe of the "Old World" from East Africa to South China... Pied Kingfisher -  Ceryl rudis Pied Kingfisher -  Ceryl rudis Pied Kingfisher -  Ceryl rudis Pied K...

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Qinghai Province - a Snow Leopard Quest, 25th to 30th August 2017
Early morning, south Qinghai Province We had first heard about the possibility of seeing Snow Leopards in China when we read Terry Townsend’s “Birding Beijing”  blogposts earlier this year. https://birdingbeijing.com/2017/04/22/snow-leopards-in-qinghai/ htt...

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Qinghai - Birding around Yushu, 22nd to 24th August 2017
Tibetan Ground Tit - Pseudopodoces humilis We arrived in Yushu, se Qinghai on 22nd August.  We were due to join some friends for a fairly intensive high-elevation tour on the 25th, so arrived early to acclimatise.   Yushu (“Jyekyundo” in Tibetan) lies at 3,...

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Inner Mongolia, March 2017
Shore (formerly "Horned") Lark - Eremophila alpestris There’s nothing like the swelter of August in HK to cause me to hark back to the cool few days in March we spent in Inner Mongolia, near the Chinese border with Russia. We travelled with Mengxiu TONG of ...

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European Golden Plover - a "First" for Hong Kong
LAST Sunday things got off to a slow start.  I missed the rising tide and settled for a couple of shots of a nice male Kestrel over the hills near Mai Po Nature Reserve. Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus Eurasian Kestrel -  Falco tinnunculus Later I wait...

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Fiji - Part II - Seabirding east of Viti Levu
Viti Levu, Fiji Tropical Cyclone “Ella” had stirred up Fiji’s weather, and we started out towards Gau from Port Denerau near Nadi, not Suva as originally planned. The main reason for going to Fiji had been to look for Fiji Petrel. Fiji Petrel is about as en...

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A welcome stranger - HK’s First Black Noddy
Black Noddy - Anous minutus Three species of tern breed on the rocky islets off the northeast coast of Hong Kong’s New Territories. Bridled, Black-naped and Roseate Terns brave the storms of summertime and man-made hazards such as anglers who land on the is...

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Fiji - Part 1 - Land birding near Suva
Golden Fruit Dove - Ptilinopus luteovirens This trip was centred on a ten-day boat trip to look for the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel, of which, more later.  Fiji is a direct ten-hour flight from Hong Kong, but despite the national team's success in the...

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Starting to feel like Summer
After the excitement of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher , it might seem strange that we returned to Po Toi Island the following day. However, a week earlier, a friend had offered to take us to Po Toi on May 3rd in a fishing sampan, owned and skippered by his ...

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Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher - and supporting cast.
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher May.   Another month has arrived and it feels like “Phase II” of spring migration.  The waders and flycatchers have mostly passed in peak numbers but the birds that breed closer to, or actually in Hong Kong, have started to show up...
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