Not again! Another failed attempt...

My mother just had her birthday last week. She wanted to go to Nam Sang Wai, not because of its nature but the fact that it was a frequent filming location of local TV drama from TVB. So the primary objective of the trip was to accompany my mother in the outdoor walk. The secondary one was to locate and photograph the Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), which has been reported in Nam Sang Wai.

Nevertheless, four Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) were seen feeding in shallow water. I wished to find a Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) among them but to no avail. Thanks to determined efforts in conservation, the number of Black-faced Spoonbill has already stabilised in recent years despite seasonal fluctuations. An uncertainty ahead would be the fate of their breeding sites in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Koreas. While the media focus on the peace talks led by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, we are quite interested on the future of the wildlife habitats as well. This is a perfect example of how international politics and the survival of an endangered species. 
Black-faced Spoonbill with breeding plumage
Walking hilariously.
Couples of Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) were sighted. Just like the spoonbills, the redshanks are starting to wearing their distinctive summer plumage. Their dark colour with pearly spots made them unmistakable among the sandpipers. Some birders called them "Spotshank". Another similar-looking species was Common Redshank (Tringa totanus).

Spotted redshank in breeding plumage
Black and white breeding plumage - spectacular contrast 
Spotted redshank in flight
Equally spectacular in flight
Common redshank in Nam Sang Wai, Hong Kong
Common Redshank looks stouter with a less slender bill.

One or two Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) was spotted steadily hovering above the river. Shortly after aiming for the fish, they dive into the water at top speed for their prey, putting on a fascinating show.
Pied Kingfisher finishes catching fish
On the way to another hunt
Pied Kingfisher hovering above river
Aiming at its prey
Other commonly seen waterbirds included Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus), Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) and Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis).

Black-winged Stilt in Nam Sang Wai
One of the most common waterbirds - Black-winged Stilt

Chinese pond heron in Nam Sang Wai
Breeding plumage that is attractive to both human and herons

Common greenshank in flight, Nam Sang Wai, Hong Kong
The slightly up-turned bill suggested that it was a Common Greenshank
Marsh sandpiper, identified by its needle-like, thin bill.
But the needle-like bill suggested this is a Marsh Sandpiper.
Walking along strips of short shrubs and long grasses, many Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) were either seen or heard. When discovered, they swiftly shifted position. But they could not escape my camera.

Plain Prinia calling loud
Standing on a stalk conspicuously

Plain Prinia stands in open position
A small bird with loud call

Upon leaving, a Super Puma, the workhorse of Hong Kong Flying Service, was carrying water to extinguish the blazing fire left by inconsiderate grave sweepers.
Helicopter fighting fire with aerial water bomb
Fight fire with aerial water-bombing
Deflated rubber duck
No luck for Glossy Ibis, maybe next time!

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