For many years the wader capital of the world and the only reasonable place to see Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann's Greenshank, Mai Po marshes are Hong Kong. There are various other sites, a small forest reserve and high grassland with a number of interesting species, but the majority of birders go to visit Mai Po. If you stay at the WWF centre, birding starts outside your room with numerous migrants such as Siberian Rubythroat, Paradise Flycatchers, Buntings and Thrushes. Black-faced Spoonbill and Saunder's Gull winter, and a spring visit (the best time for waders) usually sees a few lingering. However it is the possibility of up to forty wader species that really sets the pulses racing. Spoon-billed Sandpiper can be a bit hit and miss (I did on my first visit), Asiatic Dowitcher and the Greenshank are usually reliable, and Great Knot is virtually certain. Add to this Grey-tailed Tattler, Long-toed Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Mongolian and Greater Sandplovers and Grey-headed Lapwing, Painted Snipe and Pintail and Swinhoe's Snipe in nearby areas, the place is a "must" for any wader enthusiast.
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