I don’t really go to any country specially for birding – except for the Fraser Hill and Tanjong Tuan’s trip. But I want to. But I also want to hike and explore other places and it is kinda difficult to do all these in one short trip. Anyway, for M’s birthday, we decided to go up to Hong Kong. Do a bit of hiking and a bit of birding. I brought along a 300 mm lens, not very satisfactory but didn’t want to be bogged down by the weight of a longer lens and M had her trusty P900.
First stop was Kowloon Park. Why Kowloon Park. Because there wasn’t much choice. We reached Hong Kong around noon and after lunch and checked in, it was already 3 pm. And since we were staying in the Kowloon side, the nearest place to get some birds was Kowloon Park according to some Hong Kong birding websites. I was a bit sceptical that there will be many birds in such a built up and busy area but surprisingly Kowloon Park despite its small size was pretty well covered with trees. And there were birds! The first bird we heard were not unexpectedly, Red Whiskered Bulbuls. Many of them in fact and which we were to discover later was all over the place – almost like the situation back here with our Tree Sparrow.
Kowloon Park is about 13 hectares in size and comprised many up and down concrete trails. There is a small lookout, a fountain and even a small aviary! Entry to the aviary is free but I wasn’t interested in birds in cages though. There is also a small pond with Swan, Flamingos and Hawaiian Goose.
Other birds we saw at Kowloon Park beside the Red Whiskered Bulbul were Chinese Bulbul, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Spotted Dove and Red Breasted Parakeet. About the only birds that we didn’t see back in Singapore and which we spot here is the Cinerous Tit.
We can hear many more but we ran out of time. The weather was quite bad – foggy and damp most of the time and it got dark too soon and we had to abandon the birding after just 2 hours.
The next morning, we went to the Hong Kong Wetland Park hoping to do some “real” birding and we got it! More about this in a separate post.
Later in the afternoon, at the Central, Victoria Harbour area, we got a Black collared Starling and many Black Kite flying over the sea. Again, the gloomy foggy side made it too dark for a decent shot but we were still pretty thrilled to see Black Kites swooping so low just over the water.
On the last day before we went back, with some time to kill, we went to Hong Kong Park since it was nearest to the airport’s town check in and we could check in our luggage early and walk around.
Hong Kong Park is another town park over on Hong Kong Island. There are more facilities here including a much bigger walked-in aviary the Edward Yourg Aviary. Amazingly, admission to this place is also free and there are many many beautiful birds here. More about this place in another post. At Hong Kong Park, we got more Red Whiskered and Chinese Bulbuls and some Yellow Crested Cockatoo but the star was this Crested Goshawk!
All in, with no bird guides and venturing only to easily available places, the bird species spotted are mainly what the locals will probably called “common birds” or Singapore birders called “lup-sut”/dirty birds but still pretty satisfying experience for us.