EAAFP supported the 2019 Hong Kong Bird Watching Marathon with Sony

2019 Hong Kong Bird Watching Marathon – Newbie Delight and Family Tournament was held on Sunday 14 April 2019. Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) organized the race and for the first time the EAAFP joined as an official supporter. Hong Kong is known to have recorded 551 bird species in the wild, which is about one-third of the number of China mainland, and one-twentieth of the world total. Mai Po -Inner Deep Bay (EAAF 003, 1996) in Hong Kong is one of the 145 EAAFP Flyway Network Sites (FNS). HKBWS has been actively involved in Working Groups and Task Forces under the EAAFP, such as Black-faced Spoonbill WG, Soon-billed Sandpiper TF to conduct front-line conservation work of the globally threatened migratory waterbird species. Sony Hong Kong sponsored the race following the successful collaboration between the EAAFP and Sony in the Republic of Korea, Singapore and China last year.

Group photo of Hong Kong Bird Watching Marathon (Photo credit: HKBWS)

This year’s race was very special in many ways because the HKBWS created a category for beginner bird watchers for the first time, in addition to the experienced groups. Ms. Yoon Lee, the external relations manager of EAAFP joined the race in the Black-faced Spoonbill team with Mr. Wong Kam-po, the world champion racing cyclist and Ms. Maria Chan, the former fencing athlete from Hong Kong.

Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP


Photo credit: HKBWS

Over 100 beginner bird watchers joined the Bird Watching Marathon. There were 12 teams from Family Tournament and 14 teams of Newbie Delight Tournament. For most of the participants, it was their first ever bird watching competition. The race started in Long Valley and moved to Mai Po wetland and Kowloon Park in searching for birds within 7 hours. The race ended with an award ceremony in a hotel near the Kowloon Park.

View of Mai Po Nature Reserve (Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP)

Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP

Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP

The rain did not stop the participants from bird watching (Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP)

A Black-crowned Night-Herons in Kowloon Park (Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP)

Mr. Apache Lau, the chairperson of HKBWS shared at the ceremony that “We believe a Bird Race should be an excellent activity that everybody could join and enjoy, and this is the main reason for us to organize the Bird race for beginners. We wish everybody was benefited to the pleasure it brought”. Ms. Yoon Lee, the EAAFP external relations manager thanked to HKBWS for inviting the EAAFP and explained about the Flyway Sites Network. She added that “Mai Po -Inner Deep Bay is considered as a model wetland that many organizations want to learn about. The EAAFP hopes to continue the good relationship with HKBWS going forward”.

(Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP)

Congratulations to the champions! The winner groups were “Chinese Crested Tern Team” and “Long Valley YBB Team” as both of them recorded 63 species of birds. Champion of the Family Tournament went to “DKnKids Teams”, as they have recorded 81 species of birds in just hours. Every champion was given a HX-99 Sony camera.

Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP

The EAAFP received an appreciation plaque from the HKBWS at the ceremony with other sponsors and supporters. The EAAFP appreciates the hospitality of the HKBWS. We know that many Partners want to organize a similar event to raise awareness among the public. EAAFP will share the lessons learnt from Hong Kong with other Partners in organizing a Bird Race in different countries.

Photo credit: Yoon Lee/EAAFP

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