Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hiking From Wun Yiu (碗窰路) to Shing Mun Reservoir (城門水塘), Hong Kong

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.
I waited patiently and was rewarded with a few shots of  this Taraka Hamada .

Continued walking leisurelly, I encountered a few damselflies.
A few meters before reaching the Lead Mine Pass, I stumbled upon a green and slender snake slithering across the dirt track.  
 The 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.
I followed  my original plan, heading towards Tsuen Wan and  Shing Mum Reservoir.
I could not help but spending some time to savour this beautiful scene of tranquility.
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)
It was an easy and pleasant walk along the paved road towards the reservoir -  the shade provided by the gigantic trees help to shield off the afternoon sun.
This Rapala manea had a short perch - it scooted off when I was adjusting myself to compose a different shot. 
Cypha erymanthis erymanthis is a very common butterfly in Hong Kong but getting a good shot of it is difficult - because it is an extremely alert species and never stay still on the ground.
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).
I like the infornation board on the life cycle of the White Dragontail (Lamproptera curius walkeri).
Nearer to the entrance, there is another butterfly garden. 
The upperside of a Common Hedge Blue (Acytolepis puspa gisca) was my only shot in this garden.
Opposite this garden is the entrance to the Lung Mun Country Trail  where I spotted a puddling Paris Peacock (Papilio paris).

I am not sure what this small creature is - may be a nymp of  a bug?
This planthopper, a Ricania species seems to be very common in the past few weeks.
It was a long but a very enjoyable and fruitful hike for me.