Buntings and an Osprey at Mt. Davis

Well, after a long and busy week of work, I was finally able to get a morning at Mt. Davis, right down the street. Temperatures were around 26C today at the top and it was breezy, so we had perfect autumn conditions well suited for an October morning. We taxied up right away (not without some protest from the cab driver) and were immediately greeted by a little bunting, a sure sign of autumn.

We heard some other buntings calling and saw some flyovers, so I’m fairly confident that this will be a good spot for buntings as the season rolls on, which is good news for me! But it seems the best strategy is to go early and catch them when they’re exhausted and cooperative (without disturbing them too much of course).

Another concurrent visitor we were pleasantly surprised to encounter was a Siberian stonechat. I’ve only seen these before in Long Valley, which I haven’t made my way to yet this season.

In addition to the usual assortment of large-billed crows, bulbuls, magpies, and white eyes at the summit, we also saw a few pale-legged/Sakhalin leaf warblers, and Arctic warblers, one of whom was very cooperative for a photo.

As it was very windy at the summit, I didn’t expect us to see too many raptors, and unfortunately I was right—at first anyway. Eventually at the summit, we saw a besra, a small raptor, but I couldn’t get a photo. We did, however, have a number of flyovers of at least 3 different crested goshawks.

The most impressive encounter today was in my opinion the one osprey we saw just as we began our descent. I was very surprised by this, since although they do occur in Hong Kong sporadically, I’ve only ever heard of reports from Mai Po. To see one hanging out at the top of Mt. Davis was definitely a treat.

I’m very pleased with our findings today and I’ll definitely be returning to Mt. Davis in the coming weeks as the fall migration continues.

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