Hung Shui Kiu

With China’s economy booming, HK’s appeared to have peaked. Manufacturing had moved north, HK’s own shoppers all headed for Shenzhen every weekend (tourists were following them). As a desperate roll of the dice, the HK government threw a load of cash at Disney to build a theme park on a remote shipyard.

About 2km along the highway from Yuen Long to Tuen Mun lay an extremely unprepossessing area called Hung Shui Kiu. I use the past tense (lay) because the intention around the turn of the century was to build a new town of 200,000 people from scratch. The town’s new inhabitants were expected by the Planning Department to come from China, though how they were expected to earn a living was never explained. Perhaps they could compete with HKers for part time jobs dressing up as oversized mice, talking ducks and idiotic dogs.

A circle was drawn around Hung Shui Kiu on the map because it looked as if there was nothing of value to slow development.

HSK

View from the hills above Hung Shui Kiu towards Tin Shui Wai (on the left) and Yuen Long on the horizon.

HSK

View across Hung Shui Kiu. The long buildings in this and the previous photo are pig or poultry sheds. The land in between is agricultural. The area had been surveyed for the proposed railway, but only a handfull of very common urban species were found.

Surveys of the same railway project that missed anything of value in Kam Tin valley appeared to have the blinkers on in Hung Shui Kiu too.

HSK

From the ground, the place isn't nearly so bad as it looks from afar.

HSK

Just a few hundred metres away were a series of abandoned ponds surrounded by woodland and scrub. Recovering habitat.

HSK

A coupling pair of Grey Pansies Junonia atlites

HSK

A Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea, a migrant species visiting in winter.

HSK

Blue Admiral Kaniska canace

HSK

Purple Sapphire Heliophorous phoenicoparyphus

HSK

The same displaying its upper wing

HSK

Paris Peacock Papilio paris

HSK

Common Blue Skimmer Orthetrum glaucum male

HSK

Indigo Dropwing Trithemis festiva male

HSK

Common Red Skimmer Orthetrum pruinosum neglectum coupled pair

HSK

Yellow Featherlegs Copera marginipes male

HSK

Staff Sergeant Athyma selenophora male

HSK

Green Skimmer Orthetrum sabina sabina

HSK

Red-faced Skimmer Orthetrum chrysis male

HSK

Dark Cerulean Jamides bochus

HSK

A formation of Wandering Gliders Pantala flavescens

HSK

Over the course of six months, I systematically revisited the same areas. And systematically found trapped snakes in a concrete channel. This is a Checkered Keelback Xenochrophis piscator

HSK

HSK

HSK

Plumbeous Watersnake Enhydris plumbea

HSK

Indigo Dropwing Trithemis festiva

HSK

Asian Amberwing Brachythemis contaminata

HSK

Common Flangetail Ictinogomphus pertinax

HSK

Asian Pintail Acisoma panorpoides panorpoides

HSK

Changeable Lizard Calotes versicolor

HSK

Crimson Darter Crocothemis servilia servilia

HSK

Crimson Dropwing Trithemis aurora

HSK

Crimson Dropwing female

HSK

HSK

A White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus stalks the twitcher. A Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis searches the background

HSK

Cattle Egrets foraging in the abandoned farmland

5 responses to “Hung Shui Kiu

  1. I live in Hung Shui Kiu now. There hasn’t been much development around here from what I can see from your pictures (the railway is here now, of course, and the villages have expanded but aside those and a few new highrise buildings, the landscape seems reasonably similar) but I’ve been hearing in the news lately that they’re now picking up the issue and planning a new MTR station along the West Rail for Hung Shui Kiu, and that area would be developed much furhter. Let’s see what will happen. Any loss of the natural low-lying areas is a loss for Hong Kong. I don’t understand why the people in charge don’t see it.

    • I think if the station is going ahead, the other development is a certainty. They’ll need the traffic to justify the investment.

  2. Thank you for this post. I lived in Hung Shui Kiu till I was seven before leaving left for Australia. That was over 30 years ago. I have vague memories of the quail farm I grew up in, and seeing your photos of the butterflies and insects and snakes is like a layer of fog lifted. I can almost hear and smell it again. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog.

    • Hi Vicky, Thanks for looking in at what is really my memoire of my 7 years of living in HK and the new territories. I’m very pleased that you found some evocative photos – have a look at the post ‘Wheels around Yuen Long’ and ‘Tung Shin Lei’ – I spent many months surveying the HSK, YL and Tin Shui Wai countryside and photographed many old buildings and a lot of wildlife.
      Thank you for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s