Closed Border Area (West) – Nature

The western end of the closed border area is a wide expanse of mostly active, manmade fishponds reclaimed from Inner Deep Bay. Some of the fishponds found alternative use as duck-ponds (to meet the insatiable demand of Peking Duck in the downtown restaurants of HK).

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When the abandoned duck-sheds fell into disrepair, the remaining framework provided ideal roosts for herons and egrets

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...or Chinese Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis

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Fish farmers guard their ponds jealously. A group of us came across this unfortunate Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis wrapped tightly in a mist net strung across the bund. Two other birds, including a pigeon were dead. My colleagues and I spent 10 minutes delicately cutting the net which was tied in knots several times around each limb. Eventually, the bird was free and flew off to fish another day.

The remaining habitat of the ‘sanctuary’ is river valley, hills and farmland (mostly inactive).

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Wandering Glider Pantala flavescens the most widespread and common dragonfly in HK

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Common Mime Chilasa clytia topping up on salts and minerals.

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Coastal Glider Macrodiplax cora

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Blue Dasher Brachydiplax chalybea flavovittata

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Common Flangetail Ictinogomphus pertinax

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Another view of the Common Flangetail

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Variegated Flutterer Rhyothemis variegata arria this species can occur in swarms. A colleague of mine with a PhD from HKU one identified this species as a butterfly. An understandable mistake for a layman, but for an ecologist on his home turf, a dreadful mistake. What's more, the Doctor argued his case adamantly...even when I showed him the field book.

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Asian Amberwing Brachythemis contaminata almost everytime I saw this species it was around dirty, polluted ponds

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Orange-tailed Sprite Ceriagrion auranticum ryukyuanum

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Asian Pintail Acisoma panorpoides panorpoides

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-469" title="LMC 0919035" src="https://envirohk.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/lmc-0919035.jpg?w=300" alt="Crimson Darter Crocothemis servilia servilia” width=”300″ height=”261″ />

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Common Evening Brown Melanitis leda

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Paris Peacock Papilio paris a large, beautiful swallowtail butterfly

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Staff Sergeant Athyma selenophora

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A breeding pair of Grey Pansies Junonia atlites

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Common Tiger Danaus genutia

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Great Egg-fly Hypolimna bolina

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Checkered Keelback Xenochrophis piscator non-venomous

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Tailed Jay Graphium agamemnon resting on a very dusty leaf near the Lok Ma Chau crossing expansion works.

Despite a comprehensive manual describing how to reduce ‘fugitive dust’, the site engineers failed to enforce requirements to stop mud being tracked onto roads.

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It starts here. The bank of a fishpond was far from ideal for use as a site access road for heavy construction vehicles. The bank is collapsing in the photograph and mud is tracked on the wheels and tyres from here to the metalled road.

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Mud on the road turns to airborne dust which can be wind dispersed as a nuisance to neighbouring properties, or landing locally coating and clogging plants

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After delivering a load of concrete, I noticed this empty truck stop on the exit road near a culvert.

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After the mixer truck had gone, I found that he had indeed been flushing out the mixer and dumping the wash into the channel

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Sediment run-off from the site contaminates the same channel. Compare the colour of the sediment with the colour of the ground beneath the Common Mime

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Another day, another shade of run-off into the channel. This channel drains to the Shenzhen River and ultimately to Inner Deep Bay (a Site of Special Scientific Interest and internationally recognised Ramsar wetland)

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The project environmental manual also required noisy and smokey machinery to be fixed or shut down. This was also ignored by the resident engineer.

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