Monday, May 2, 2011
SEA EAGLE NEAR SAI KUNG
Since moving to the US quite a few years ago I have fortunately had the opportunity to travel back to Hong Kong quite often. I still think of the place as my old stomping ground and miss almost everything about it! And sometimes being in the right place at the right time is just the ticket. I happened to be in Hong Kong when with great excitement in the birding community there, an immature White-billed Diver (Loon) was mentioned as being seen just off the coast of Sai Kung in Eastern Hong Kong. The next morning 30 or so birders and photographers assembled at a pier to board a rented boat especially for the purpose of sailing out and seeing if the bird was still in the area - luckily for us it was! An amazing bird and was watched for almost an hour mostly between dives. Many photos were taken, descriptions of the bird were noted and I managed a few sketches - not easy in a pitching boat looking through binoculars! I still have to paint the bird seen that day and plan on getting to it soon. I believe this was just the third record for White-billed Diver in China at the time so it was a major tick! While returning back to the pier, I saw a White-breasted Sea Eagle nearby and did a small painting of it later on. Approximately 10 pairs breed in and around Hong Kong and they are always a welcome sight when I return. In the painting, I kept the bird small as I wanted to record the area and the atmosphere of that particular day more than anything. The watercolor is 5.5" X 7.5".