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  1. MKinHK

    Exploring Sydney - and further afield.

    My wife Carrie and I moved from Hong Kong to Sydney just over a month ago and I'm amazed to find no-one is currently posting regularly on BF from anywhere in Australia. So ... having enjoyed the BF community in sharing my Hong Kong birding and my overseas trips I hope this thread might fill a...
  2. MKinHK

    New beginnings ... Sydney's Northern Beaches

    Many thanks gents. It's a huge change since I was born in Hong Kong and spent my whole career there. It's certainly been an interesting first few days. Notable firsts include: First vegemite sandwich - an iconic moment in my cultural history after loving the 1980s Men at Work song Down Under...
  3. MKinHK

    New beginnings ... Sydney's Northern Beaches

    Eight days ago Carrie and I ended fifteen years of discussion and finally made the move to Australia. During that time birding has hardly been the priority, but one of the nicest things about Australia is that birds are plentiful and easily seen. We decided to base ourselves in an AirBnB in...
  4. MKinHK

    Phyllosc, Hong Kong

    I'd appreciate any thoughts on this phyllosc I photographed yesterday in poor light. The dark bill and legs and the flatter, greyer colour tones have me thinking about Hume's Leaf Warbler (there have been a few already recorded this winter), but unfortunately it didn't call. Cheers Mike
  5. MKinHK

    Marsh Harrier, Hong Kong

    This harrier which was hunting yesterday afternoon at San Tin surprised my by showing brown and grey upperwings, which is a pattern I associate with Western Marsh Harrier, but don't know if Eastern Marsh Harrier can show such uniformly brown back and coverts. While its a lousy shot the views...
  6. MKinHK

    Bustard sp at Nairobi National Park Aug 2016

    Any thoughts on the ID of the bustard photographed in Nairobi National Park in Aug 2016 would be most welcome. From my review of Stevenson & Fanshawe it seems to have spots rather than bars or vermiculation on the back of the neck, . This pushes me towards Hartlaub's, but I'm very happy to be...
  7. MKinHK

    Three weeks in Kenya July/Aug 2016

    Five years ago my godmother very kindly invited my mother, my wife and I and my sister's family (five, including six-year old twins!) to spend three weeks in Kenya with her to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday. She and my mother had shared a flat and - I kid you not - a butler called Jeeves in...
  8. MKinHK

    Eurasian or American Wigeon, at Mai Po (Hong Kong)?

    Very interested to hear your thoughts on this odd-looking wigeon sp. filmed via my phonescoping set-up yesterday at Mai Po. It was was in with a few score of Eurasian Wigeons and showing in bright sunlight. Unfortunately the video has a rather dusty cast, which mutes the differences between grey...
  9. MKinHK

    For sale: iPhoneX adaptor for phonescoping

    Having just left my old company and given up the company iPhoneX I have a barely used Kowa iPhoneX adaptor case for phonescoping that is now surplus to requirements. Please note that the adaptor ring which attaches to the scope is NOT included as I will get a new adaptor case for my new phone...
  10. MKinHK

    Pied Harrier, Hong Kong

    Harrier sp., Hong Kong Any thoughts on this harrier photographed last weekend on my San Tin patch in Hong Kong would be most appreciated. At the time I thought it was Pied, but any further insight would be most welcome. Cheers Mike
  11. MKinHK

    Blue Snow/ Ross's Goose, Sacramento River, California

    Interested in your thoughts on the left hand bird of these two. It looks to me to be significantly smaller and shorter-billed than the obvious Snow Goose on the left, making suspect it could be a Ross's Goose. But I understand that "blue" Ross's Geese are very rare. So, given I have only seen...
  12. MKinHK

    Conference Birding: Oakland and the Sacramento River Delta

    This week's conference takes place in Oakland on the western side of San Fransisco Bay, and stepping off the redeye from Hong Kong I was met for a day's birding by Cedric Duhalde and taken straight to the steep coastal cliffs at Devil's Slide where we almost immediately found my first lifer - a...
  13. MKinHK

    Phonescoping - shots, settings and combos

    As various camera threads have their own page to share shots and settings, and inspired by my recent acquisition of the Kowa/Otterbox adaptor to connect my Kowa 883 to my iPhoneX I thought I'd start one on phonescoped images, the most effective settings and the phone / scope / software...
  14. MKinHK

    Is there a phone scoping adaptor for Kowa TSN 883 and iPhoneX?

    I was surprised to discover that Kowa does not offer an adaptor for iPhone X for the TSN 883. Anyone know of third party products that do a good job, or if there is indeed a Kowa product I am not aware of? Tks Mike
  15. MKinHK

    Is there an adaptor for Kowa TSN 883 and iPhoneX

    I was surprised to discover that Kowa does not offer an adaptor for iPhone X for the TSN 883. Anyone know of third party products that do a good job, or if there is indeed a Kowa product I am not aware of? Tks Mike
  16. MKinHK

    Greater Scaup, Hong Kong.

    The central bird in the photo below is clearly a Greater Scaup, and I presume is a male given the absence of white at the base of the bill and the first signs of a pale grey vermiculated mantle starting to to moult through. What I'm curious about is the pale patch on the side of the neck, which...
  17. MKinHK

    New homes for old scopes

    Having just bought a new Kowa TSN 883 my wife is badgering me to chuck out my old and battered scopes which the Kowa has replaced. I have a Leica APO 77 with a zoom lens and a Zeiss 85 Diascope. Both have been dropped to the point that both the eyepiece and the object lens are visibly dented...
  18. MKinHK

    Birthday blessings - Karuizawa, Japan, 28 Nov - 1 Dec 2019

    A long weekend getaway for my 50th birthday combined the acquisition of my first new scope for 15 years with a few days in Karuizawa, the beautiful mountain resort an hour northwest of Tokyo. Nowadays I hardly use a scope as I do the vast majority of my birding on foot and by public transport...
  19. MKinHK

    Mountain Elenaia or? Bogota October 2019

    Any thoughts on the ID of this incredibly tame flycatcher I photographed with my iPhone in the Bogota Botanic Garden. Mountain Elenaia appears to be the best fit, but this pic appears to show an all-black lower mandible. Thanks in advance Mike
  20. MKinHK

    Conference birding: Chicago in the sunshine 4-6 November 2019

    It's slightly bad mannered to be starting a new thread before the previous one is finished, but there's nothing like writing a report on the day to capture the feeling of a good day's birding. And having said that I'll start with my thirty minute foray along the Chicago River on Monday morning...
  21. MKinHK

    Conference Birding - Scratching the surface in Bogota 19-21 October 2019

    Another airport meeting brought me via a maddening transit in Dallas (it took 2 hours to get through immigration for a transit, and to almost miss my flight) to a rainswept Bogota. Given my restrictions around travel I was fortunate to have most of the first of three days, a short afternoon on...
  22. MKinHK

    Cherries and lemons

    I have been planning to buy a new scope for the first time in more than a decade and, as I've read the insights by various experts and other scope users, it seems that the issue of product quality - finding the cherry among them lemons - is a critical issue in finding the right scope and...
  23. MKinHK

    honeyeater sp., Atherton Tablelands July 2019

    I'd welcome any thoughts on the ID of this honeyeater photographed at dusk at Lake Barrine near Yugaburra. Many thanks Mike
  24. MKinHK

    Broad-billed or Leaden Flycatcher in Darwin

    This Flycatcher was seen at East Point reserve in Darwin in early July. My best guess is female Broad-billed, but am struggling to nail it. Cheers Mike
  25. MKinHK

    Birding Australia’s Wet Tropics and the Top End - 5th - 19 July 2019

    5th July – Cairns Esplanade After an early arrival into a beautifully sunny Cairns after a dirt-cheap red-eye from Shenzhen we had to wait a few hours to check into our hotel overlooking the famous Esplanade, after picking up some cheap imports in the shape of House Sparrows, Common Mynas and...