The first day of spring?

The calendar says February 28th but the wildlife says it is springtime on HK Island. I must have seen more than a dozen species of butterfly today. Several were 'high flyers' that never gave me a chance of a photo. Many seemed to be Dysphania militaris.

My highlight today was not one but 5 Blue-tailed Skinks, Plestiodon quadrilineatus. I honestly don't recall having seen them before in Hong Kong. We used to have Long-tailed Skinks on our patio in Sai Kung but never this attractive blue-tail. The first one I saw disappeared before I could even lift my camera. I thought I was destined to be frustrated by this brief sighting but I had gone no more than 3 or 4 paces before I saw another. This allowed me 3 frames before it slid off into the leaf litter. Two more on Harlech Road and a fifth on a wall on Old Peak Road left me somewhat bemused. You wait twenty years to see one then five come along in an hour.

Birdlife is quiet. Or rather low profile. There is an abundance of birdsong but few sightings. Once again I watched a Blue Whistling Thrush giving a quiet sub-song, which I don't find mentioned in my reference texts. A gentle, low burbling noise.

I failed to find any drangonflies today but the stream at the end of Pik Shan Path showed some signs of life with the water skaters I added to my observations.

It is amazing what a little warm sunshine can do!

Posted by andrewhardacre andrewhardacre, February 28, 2018 10:46

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