Double the joy!

Thanks to blogging, on Monday I was able to meet Ton Yeh, a bright youngster who will embark on his study in Oxford. I gave him a tour in Lung Fu Shan Country Park. Unfortunately, only a few common forest residents turned up that day. Still, I introduced some spots where some of the most exciting records were registered.

A day has passed and I tried my luck again. I was in good mood because a reputable academic journal has accepted my article. The afternoon birding doubled the joy. The first bird greeting me was the Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica). 

But it soon flew as it was disturbed by a giant in its eyes, a Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea). It was scrapping the wood of a dead tree, perhaps grinding its ever-growing beak. I seldom see them in the relatively denser part of the forest as they usually travel along the verge between the urban and the woodland. Is it a sign that the urban community has grown to a size that some of them have to utilized the more natural wooded area?

I walked the trail surrounding the derelict Pinewood Battery. But there were only common birds such as bulbuls, white-eyes and tailorbirds. Surprisingly, a flock of Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush es (Garrulax pectoralis) was chatting in front of me on the way back. Some of them are juveniles! They were attempting to go across a hiking trail. But the leading bird jumped back and forth indecisively after crossing. The remaining flock waited quietly. Finally the leader returned to the origin and retreated into the bamboos. Fortunately, one of them preened for quite a bit of time inside the woods. It cleaned itself thoroughly and stayed long enough for me to take some decent footage.

Near the end of the relaxing walk, some gregarious Red-billed Blue Magpies (Urocissa erythroryncha) appeared. It is easy to tell that some birds in the flock are still young. Full-grown adults are characterized by a well-defined white crown on a black helmet. 

But these clever lads, from the crow family, learn quickly as this one is able to chip away the bark of a branch and pull a larvae out.

After the Blue Magpies moved on, a rather large flock of Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris) revealed themselves in low shrubs. Perhaps they kept silent when the much larger Blue Magpies were nearby. After the colourful critters headed back to their roosting place, I enjoyed a concert by a Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus). The hike ended with another Asian Brown Flycatcher.

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