Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April marks the return of the Fairy Pitta

A Huben Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha): photo courtesy of Richard Yu.

The Lunar New Year has come and gone and the Grey-faced Buzzards and Chinese Sparrowhawks are flying through the Baguashan area to the northwest of Huben on their migration to their northern breeding grounds. Waves of Purple Crow butterflies have moved through Huben on their way to northern Taiwan and with the see-sawing of hot-sunny and cold-wet conditions over the past three weeks you may still be able to view a few waves of this wondrous Huben spectacle.

April is always marks the return of Huben's most famous summer residents, the dazzling Fairy Pitta. The earliest arrival record to date is about April 12 so only about another two weeks to go. Every year the usual flood of enquiries about seeing the Fairy Pitta washes in around March and this year has been no exception. The special Fairy Pitta viewing area which was started last season will once again be open.

On a more sobering note, it is expected that this year's Fairy Pitta census will once again follow its tragic downward spiral as habitat within the Huben-Hushan IBA continues to vanish at an alarming rate. But as in previous seasons we'll be posting the news and we look forward to hearing the calls of the Fairy Pitta echoing through the Huben forests once again this summer...at least.

They're Back !

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