Spring migrants in April

Four holidays made it an official long weekend. My girlfriend and I made a visit to Long Valley. Just after arrival, I met an old friend there. He is a retired man. We have met each other in famous birding spots like Tai Po Kau and Long Valley. However, because I went birding less frequently last year. We have not seen each other for quite a long time. I call it a reunion.

The target bird is the Oriental Pratincole. The facial pattern is special. This year, more than 10 individuals have been recorded in Long Valley. They concentrated around the fields near Shek Sheung River. The individuals we saw today were mostly roaming on plowed soil, looking for insects. Some of them were resting. They are not particularly afraid of human. Some of them even walked towards the photographers. What a nice scene to see that both the birds and human are co-existing there!

Four Greater Painted Snipes were seen standing completely still. They stand on the verge of some vegetation, giving everybody a clear view. A dozen of photographers waited there, hoping the Snipes will move around. This time, waiting is the real challenge. But the waiting seemed to be futile as the Snipes remained motionless in the whole afternoon.

On the adjacent pond, a secretive Eastern Water Rail have been seen since February. This is a contrasting situation to the Greater Painted Snipes. The Water Rail only made two appearances, moving extremely fast between the dense vegetation.

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