Sunday, December 31, 2017

Butterflies at Sha Lo Wan (沙螺灣), Lantau Island

On the last day of the year 2017, I have to discipline myself to complete this long over due blog post. 

Many thanks to my usual butterfly-shooting friends who invited me to join a butterfly-hunting trip to the Sha Lo Wan ( 沙螺灣) on a lovely Saturday morning (11 Nov). Situated at the northwestern part of the island, Sha Lo Wan is accessible either by ferry service or on foot.

A scheduled ferry service from the Tung Chung ferry terminal is available. After disembarking at the Sha Luo Wan Jetty, we had to walk along a well-paved coastal path before reaching our hunting ground. 
My first shot of the morning was this puddling Malayan (Megisba malaya sikkima).  A rather copperative guy which stayed on the ground for all of us to take some shots.
There was a similar lycaenid puddling nearby - this is a female Acytolepis puspa (Common Hedge Blue).
Though there weren't many puddling butterflies at this sandy area, occasionally, we did spot some common butterflies foraging under the sun. This is Catochrysops panormus exiguus feeding on a wild flower.
There were quite a few skippers zipping past us.  I believe this is the Parnara guttata which is the largest of the three Parnara species that can be found in Hong Kong.
In the field, I can never be sure what a brown skipper would be such as this one - so I just took a shot. Having a closer look at the picture, I believe this is a  Borbo cinnara.
Shan spotted a very small skipper. When I looked at her shot, I noticed that it was not a usual skipper -  so I waited patiently for it to re-appear. It did come back and allow me to take some quick shots. This is Aeromachus jhora - my first shot of this not-so-common skipper in Hong Kong.
Its uppersides
It looks like another speciemen of the Aeromachus species but very worn out?
From far, I saw a small yellow skipper with the typical body shape of a Ampittia species. I was hopping to find Ampittia virgata but it turned out to be the more common species the A. dioscorides resting on top of a rock.
Once the sun was high up, butterfly activities became intense. A female Ixias pyrene (Yellow Orange Tip) was enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on a leaf.
Here is the male.
Very frequently, we tend to photograph aYellow Orange Tip feeding on flowers like this.
When this guy was in flight, the irridscent blue on the upperside of the wings was very prominent. Yes, this is the Jamides bochus, a rather common lycaenid in many country parks in Hon Kong.  
Though a rather remote place, Sha Lo Wan is a promising site for butterfly-hunting ground - worthy of another visit in the year 2018.

On the eve of year 2018, wishing everyone a healthy and fruitful new year.

Hope that by the end of June 2018,  I  would photograph a lot more HK butterfly species than what I did in 2017.

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