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Due to heavy reconstruction of this webpage, this blog is temporary suspended to renew in this summer, it will be updated again after late-autumn, thank you for your visits in these 9 years.

25 June 2016

Blue-breasted Kingfisher

Blue-breasted Kingfisher (藍胸翡翠)
São Tomé e Príncipe (2015)
3rd February, 2016. São Tomé

The blue-breasted kingfisher is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in tropical west Africa. This kingfisher is essentially resident, but retreats from drier savanna areas to wetter habitats in the dry season.

This is a large kingfisher, 25 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue head, back, wing panel and tail. Its underparts are white, but it has a blue breast band. The shoulders are black. The flight of the blue-breasted kingfisher is rapid and direct. The large bill has a red upper mandible and black lower mandible. The legs are bright red.

The blue-breasted kingfisher is a species of a variety of well-wooded habitats. It perches quietly in deep shade whilst seeking food. It is territorial but wary. This species mainly hunts large insects, arthropods, fish and frogs, but will also eat the fruit of the Oil Palm.

It has a striking display in which the wings are spread to show the white linings. The nest is a hole in a tree termite nest. A single clutch of two round white eggs is typical.

18 June 2016

Birds of Peru

From left to right :
Groove-billed Ani (溝嘴犀鵑) ; Slender-billed Finch (細嘴雀鵐)
Peru (2014)
18th February, 2016. Lima
29th February, 2016. Hong Kong

The Groove-billed Ani  is an odd-looking tropical bird in the cuckoo family with a long tail and a large, curved beak. It is a resident species throughout most of its range, from southern Texas, central Mexico and The Bahamas, through Central America, to northern Colombia and Venezuela, and coastal Ecuador and Peru. It only retreats from the northern limits of its range in Texas and northern Mexico during winter.

The groove-billed ani is about 34 cm long, and weighs 70–90g. It is completely black, with a very long tail almost as long as its body. It has a huge bill with horizontal grooves along the length of the upper mandible. It is very similar to the smooth-billed ani, some of which have bills as small as the groove-billed and with grooves on the basal half. The two species are best distinguished by voice and range. In flight, the ani alternates between quick, choppy flaps and short glides.

The Slender-billed Finch is a species of finch-like bird traditionally placed in the Emberizidae family, but it may be more closely related to the Thraupidae. It is restricted to southwest Peru and northern Chile, and inhabits mainly riverine vegetation along coastal valleys. It has been considered endangered due to loss of habitat. Riparian thickets that were common are under pressure from logging by farm owners. Some information has indicated that it has adapted to threats using olive trees areas and other artificial habitats successfully.

11 June 2016

Historic Huts

Brown Skua (褐賊鷗)
British Antarctic Territory (2015)
17th November, 2015. Base Rothera

From left to right ;
66p : Weddell Seal (韋德爾氏海豹) ; 66p : Adelie Penguin (阿德利企鵝)
76p : Brown Skua (褐賊鷗) ; £1,01 : Antarctic Shag (南極鸕鶿)
£1,22 : Orca (虎鯨)
British Antarctic Territory (2015)
17th November, 2015. Base Rothera
29th April, 2016. Stanley, Falkland Islands

The brown skua also known as the Antarctic skua, subantarctic skua, southern great skua, southern skua, or hākoakoa (Māori), is a large seabird that breeds in the subantarctic and Antarctic zones and moves further north when not breeding. To further confuse, it hybridizes with both the south polar and Chilean skuas, and the entire group has been considered to be a subspecies of the great skua, a species otherwise restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. This is the heaviest species of skua and rivals the largest gulls, the great black-backed gull and glaucous gull, as the heaviest species in the shorebird order although not as large in length or wingspan. It is 52–64 cm in length, 126–160 cm in wingspan and has a body mass of 1.2–2.18 kg.

Base Y in Horseshoe Island was established in March 1955 and closed in August 1960. The scientific research carried out at the station included topographic survey, geology and meteorology. Extensive survey trips, often covering hundreds of miles and lasting several months, were undertaken from the station using dog sledges.

The excellent condition and completeness of both the buildings and artefacts are of considerable historical significance; together they provide a very special time-capsule of British life and science in the Antarctic during the late 1950s. There are an estimated 10,000 artefacts on site and the nearby 'Blaiklock' refuge hut is considered an integral part of the site.

It was designated HSM No. 63 in 1995. Conservation work is scheduled to start during the 2016/17 season by the UKAHT.

4 June 2016

Stanley Bustard

Stanley Bustard (黑冠鴇)
Indonesia (2015)
25th January, 2016. Lome
15th February, 2016. Hongkong

Denham's bustard is the largest species in the Neotis genus, although is smaller than the bustards in the Ardeotis genus (as well as the great bustard). The male is 9 to 10 kg and 100–116 cm, the female is much smaller at 3 to 4 kg and 80–87 cm. The back is brown, darker and plainer in the male, and the underparts are white. The neck is pale grey with an orange nape. Its grey crown is bordered with black, and a black line runs through the eye with a white line forming an eyebrow above. The long legs are pale yellow. The wings are strikingly patterned in brown, white and black, the male showing more white in flight than the female or young birds. The long legs are yellowish in color and the bill is whitish horn in colour.

The male inflates his throat when displaying to show a conspicuous balloon of white feathers. This species is usually silent.
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