College News

CIE ENCS Students go bird watching at Mai Po Nature Reserve

20 Jun, 2014

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A group photo outside the WWF Mai Po Education Centre.

As part of an ecology and environmental exploration series, 18 students and staff from Environmental Conservation Studies (ENCS) visited the Mai Po Nature Reserve earlier this term.


The nature reserve is an internationally recognized important wetland area for migrating birds which stop over during the winter months. Led by Dr. Stephen Cartwright, Lecturer of ENCS and Mr. Peter Chan, Representative of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, the students were able to explore the area and experience the fun and challenges in finding and identifying birds in the field.


Birds were viewed from the safety of the bird hides, overlooking large areas of wetland using binoculars, telephoto lenses and a spotting scope. Some of the birds spotted included the endangered Black-faced Spoonbills (黑面琵鷺), Great Cormorants (普通鸕鶿)and Purple Herons (紫鷺) to name a few. Hong Kong has a very rich diversity of bird species despite the small size of our city, and bird watching can be enjoyed as a family activity for recreational purposes, or taken to more advanced levels by individuals as a hobby, and even as topic for academic and conservation research.


“The purpose of the trip was to continue to develop the interests of our students, and provide an opportunity to visit this unique location, reminding them that even amongst the urban sprawl of Hong Kong, biodiversity hotspots like this exist, and are worth protecting.” said Dr. Cartwright.

Spotting birds across the wetland habitat from the bird hide.
A sunbathing Great Cormorant.