Sunday, June 25, 2017
Though a rather hot Saturday morning on 10 June, I decided to go for a long hike on my own. After having a heavy breakfast at Tai Po Market MTR station, I boarded a 23K mini-bus bringing me to its terminal station at Wun Yiu Road 碗窰路.
Before heading towards the Wilson Trail Section 7, I detoured to Yuen Tun Ha (元墩下), a popular butterfly-hunting ground. Except for a colony of the Euploea midamus midamus (Blue Spotted Crow) and Ideopsis similis similis , I could not find any other less common butterflies.
While going further into the foresed area, I encountered a solidary Tree Flitter (Hyarotis adrastus praba)
Realising that the butterfly activities were rather disappointing, I decided to head towards to Shing Mun Reservoir(城門水塘), via Wilson Trail Setion 7 towards the direction of the Lead Mine Pass.
The trail begins with cement steps going up hill gradually.
After climbing a few hundreds of steps, the terrain becomes rather rocky.
I spotted a few small lycaenids flitting erractically amongst a clump of tall and shady bamboos at the beginning part of the Wilson Trail.
Continued walking leisurelly, I encountered a few damselflies.Lead Mine Pass is not only a nice and serene campsite area.
It is also an ideal and a necessary resting point for hikers before they start their final ascent to conquer the highest mountain of Hong Kong, the Tai Mo Shan via the Maclehose trail stage 8.
Apart from heading north to the highest mountain, there are three other different routes leading to three different places.
At the Shing Mun Reservoir, there was a group of Graphiums puddling on the moist sandy ground. I only managed to take a hasty shot of a very skittish Graphium cloanthus clymenus.
There were some Tigers congreting on the ground and on flowers too. This is a Blue Tiger (Tirumala limiace)
This Rapala manea had a short perch - it scooted off when I was adjusting myself to compose a different shot.
On the contrary, this Chestnut Angle (Odonatoptilum angulata angulatum ) was rather tame and it rested on a fern for a while.
Though the butterfly garden is not very big, the wild flowers there did attract some Blue Spotted Crows (Euploea midamus midamus).
Opposite this garden is the entrance to the Lung Mun Country Trail where I spotted a puddling Paris Peacock (Papilio paris).
Monday, May 29, 2017
It was a beautiful Saturday morning on April 8, I ventured to Hok Tau (鶴藪) located at the north- estern part of New Territories, Hong Kong (HK). Mini Bus 52B from Fanling MTR Station took me to the terminal station at Hok Tau village where I began my slow hike to the Hok Tau Reservoir. After that I continued my hike heading towards Sha Lo Tung and Fung Yuen at Tai Po.
The Papilio paris is a very common butterfly in HK. We can find them visiting wild Lantana flowers along roadsides. But most of the time, they were hyper acctive and flapping its wings at a high speed.
I could see some butterfly activities along the service road that leads us to the Hok Tau Reservoir. While taking a short break at the barbecue and picnic site, I noticed some Grass Blues were flitting around me - one of thme was a Zizeeria maha.
When I reached the reservoir dam, I was delighted to see some different butterflies feeding on a row of Bidens flowers. The Neptis hylas is a common butterfly that we can find in many wild places and country parks in HK.
I cound sense that a skipper with some white patches was zipping past me a few times. I patiently waited for it to land. Yes, it turned out to be the Gerosis phisara - my first sighting of this rather uncommon skipper in Hong Kong.
When this brown skipper - a Baoris farri, perched closer to me, I quickly snap a few instinctive shots.
This loving pair of Hypolimnas bolina made me busy for a while as they were quite sensitive to my presence. After changing their perch a few times, they settled down on a cement wall.
At a T-junction, I walked left towards Sha Lou Tung. It was an easy hike on a level and well-paved forest trail with good shade. However, for a long period of time, I didn't have a clear chance to take any shot.
There were very few shooting opportunies at Sha Lou Tung and Fung Yuen too. When I was about to call it a day, this pristine Water Snow Flat (Tagiades litigiosus) made me go round the flowers to compose some shots.
I don't get to see Lemon Pansy (Junonia lemonias) often at Fung Yuen. Though it was not a perfect specimen for photography, I decided to snap a few shots for my own record.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
It was a yearly affair (last year) for many Hong Kong butterfly enthusiasts - to photograph the Papilio agestor (Tawny Mime) during the month of March and April on a hilltop at Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve.
My first visit this year (in late March this year) with my usual butterfly-photography group was a disappointing one due to bad weather. However, my second visit on 1 April was rewarding.
I left home early as it was a long journey to Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve. Strolling up to the hilltop leisurely and after climbing the final 300 steep steps, I reached the hilltop at noon.
When the weather is good, this particular location is deeming with life. There were two individual Tawny Mime (Papilio agestor) on this hill top.
A slow-flying butterfly, Tawny Mime tends to perch high on foilage. So the blue sky and the red leaves of another tall tree make the background of this shot colourful.
It usually perched with wings open. Occasionally, its closed wings posture enticed many of us to line up to photograph it.
A different pose for some of us. Shooting it from I stood, unlike from the previous shot, the iridescent blue structural colour of the butterfly scales does not show at all.
The Constable was rather cooperative - it was oblivious to our presence for a long period of time before it decided to stay away from us on a high perch.
Perhaps due to the hilltopping behaviour, most butterflies liked to perch on above our heads. This White Commodore (Parasarpa dudu) was no exception.
A mating pair belonging to the Udara species created some excitement amongst the photographers. After a few shots, they decided to stay away from our sights.