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Get out now!

In the last 3 weeks I have seen 5 different pythons, 3 types of eagle, buzzards and Peregrine falcons, too many kingfishers to count (3 different species), brilliant jumping spiders, lots of mantids, a leopard cat, a mongoose, barking deer, and so many other wonderful birds that I was unable to identify before.

The wonder of Hong Kong is that most of these animals can be seen within a 30-45 minutes transport, and a short hike. But what you may need is a good guide. I am no slouch when it comes to spotting wildcreatures but most of the above animals were shown to me by guides that I hired over the last few weeks. Yes, even with current restrictions, you can hire a guide to take one person out (or wait a bit and go with friends and/or family for a wonderful experience). Now is the time for birding, the big raptors, fishing cormorants, sunbirds, kingfishers galore. Later in the year go for a night safari. I have yet to meet anyone who has been disappointed with a Snake Safari (still too cheap/amazing value for money) run by Will of the facebook page Hong Kong Snakes. Or join a night hike with Lung Fu Shan, WWF, Kadoorie, or other specialist tour operators. Go see the fireflies and bats in Tai Po Kau. So many things to do. Need some inspiration or contacts see the free guide/scroll down at

I would like to make some personal recommendations here:

These are still my "go to" books when I want to look up a good nature walk. David Diskin is a wealth of information and a fantastic guide (dare I say, a legend in his own lunchtime?). Check out his excellent birding blog and other books at:

Then of course we have the indomitable Doc Martin (Dr Martin Williams). Also a brilliant guide and someone who I am sure you recognise from his many animal and nature features in the SCMP. He can be found at his site, along with his publications:

Lastly, but by no means least, is a young man who has been described as a "mongoose magnet" (yes, its true, he pointed the mongoose to me in my recent blog), and has a wealth of knowledge of birds and beasts, Matthew Kwan. He also has his own blog, and I highly recommend him as a guide.

Also, pop into your local tourist office (don't worry, its empty, but full of helpful staff, who know nothing about nature guides, or seeing animals in Hong Kong) BUT they do have these two little free publications which are excellent value for money. Nicely designed (which is a change), well written and interesting. Pick them up and get inspired.

Go on, you know you want to see an eagle/kingfisher/firefly/snake. Stop dreaming and hire a guide.


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