Sunday, 2 December 2012

Bird Watching @ Hong Kong Park

A close-up shot of a Green Imperial Pigeon
Yesterday after dim sum in Central, YTSL and I headed to Hong Kong Park to check out the aviary.

This bird is keen for visitors to identify, sitting near the board
I hadn't visited Hong Kong Park in a long time. Many years ago I lived for a few months up on Kennedy Road and would go through Hong Kong Park to get to and from Admiralty MTR station. Every night it was so refreshing to walk into the park after work and literally leave the buzz of the city and pass through such a quiet area where you could hear birds chirping or the flutter of wings.

When we went it wasn't too busy and we steadied our cameras the best we could to get some shots of the birds. The aviary was opened in 1992 and is named after the late Sir Edward Youde, who was governor of Hong Kong from 1982 to 1986.

Inside it is mostly a man-made space with a streambed with waterfalls and shallow pools and the aviary boasts some 600 birds from 80 species from what is called "Malesia", a biogeographical region between the boundaries of the Indomalaya ecozone and Australasia ecozone.

The birds don't seem to mind us humans being in the aviary
Visitors could identify the birds thanks to numerous postings with illustrations of the birds and their names.

While we probably saw at least 100 birds, there were 500 more we didn't see.

In the pond we saw the Australian pelican, who seemed to be grooming himself on a log as the fish swam near him. Were the fish taunting him, or was he just not hungry? And near the pond were two Golden Pheasants who enjoyed each other's company.

We saw the Bali Mynah, mostly white except for a few black feathers on its wings, and the Black-capped Lory, a very colourful bird pecking away at a whole piece of corn that was dangling from a rope.
Birds of a feather flock together with this pair of pigeons

There were also many Green Imperial Pigeon, and one in particular just sat there on a branch letting us humans take pictures of it. For the most part the birds didn't mind us being there, or were they resigned to the fact that we would be aiming strange machines at them?

In any event we had a lot of fun observing the birds and thought they had a nice place to hang out. For the most part, the walkways are kept quite clean, and so it must be a challenge scrubbing the place each morning before visitors arrive.

We'd like to thank the Hong Kong government for carving out some space for this park in the city; it's a welcome respite and fun place to visit -- for free!

A Bali Mynah calling out in gutteral tones
Hong Kong Park
Open daily 9am to 5pm

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