Sunday, January 6, 2013

More critter spottings on Luk Wu Plateau

Does this sign mean that deer can be spotted in the area
or that the trail requires hikers to be sure-footed like deer?
 The largest non-human creature spotted on today's hike

This other grasshopper was smaller and harder to spot
on account of its great camouflage :)
What a difference a week can make -- at least in terms of temperatures here in Hong Kong!  For whereas I felt chilled to the bone even while wearing four layers of clothing at various points last Sunday when my hiking buddy and I went on Wilson Trail Section 4, this afternoon saw me peeling off two layers of clothing (i.e., my turtleneck sweater and sweatshirt) upon getting off the bus that brought us to the starting point of today's hike out in Sai Kung East Country Park.
Despite the warmer weather however, few critter spottings were to be had -- with my photographic highlights being a  couple of grasshoppers, one of which blended pretty well with the dry twigs on the ground... at least until it got all skittish and started jumping around.  (On a general grasshopper note: I never realized until I started hiking in Hong Kong how varied they can be in color, size, etc. (see here and here for some contrast).  Even so, I still was amazed to learn that the Big Lychee is home to 124 different species of grasshoppers!)
The lack of critter spottings was all the more noteworthy since when I last hiked in the Luk Wu Plateau area back in April, my two hiking buddies that day and I had caught sight of a good-sized lizard up on a tree there. In addition, the area is home to a number of markers with a deer's head carved onto them -- and I have to admit that I remain unsure if they are meant to indicate that this is deer territory or where one needs to be sure-footed while going along the trails since all the ones I've been in the area are generally unpaved and also, in some cases, are on the worn (away as well as down) side.
And lest there be anyone who wonders, yes, there are (wild) deer in Hong Kong! More specifically, there are muntjacs (AKA barking deer) -- and among the lucky folks who has seen and taken photographs of them to prove it is Phil (AKA Oriental Sweetlips ;b) of Hong Kong (and Macau) Stuff.  What's more, he -- *envy, envy* -- saw and snapped photos of them from the bedroom window of the apartment he was living in at the time!!! ;O


sarah bailey knight said...

Hi ytsl,

Photos of insects and animals who blend into their surroundings are very cool. You have a sharp eye to notice them.

Anonymous said...

ooh *blushes* many thanks Yvonne. To be honest it was just pure luck they were there and I seem to have invoked the envy of quite a few others.

In the meantime I have moved to Kowloon and although I don't look onto a slope covered in Muntjacs, I do have some big trees out front that quite often play home to some large troupes of monkeys.


YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I think the eye comes with practice. I didn't/couldn't see many critters on my first few hikes but now I do expect to see at least one or two on the majority of my Hong Kong hikes. :)

Hi orientalsweetlips (aka Phil) --

Aiyee, give me muntjacs over monkeys any day! Hope those monkeys don't visit your home... ;b