The azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyanus). The other day I was lucky enough to watch a flock (20-30 or so) of these lovely birds fly overhead off to go and get bread from the fish ponds nearby - and then return, giving me a photo fly by opportunity.
Flocks of up to 70 have been recorded. The largest groups congregate after the breeding season and throughout the winter months.
Here you can see the bread in its beak...
Their diet consists mainly of seeds and nuts, extensively supplemented by invertebrates and their larvae, soft fruits and berries, and also human-provided scraps in parks and towns.This lovely bird was feeding on a Papaya tree, near Mai Po.
I had walked past the tree earlier, scaring some feeding birds...so i set up my tripod some ways away, and decided to wait to see what birds would return.
Here he is full frame on the tree.
But here, as you can see, a few bolder ones flew up to taste the lovely fruit, gripping the edges with their long claws, and using their tails as a support, as you can see below. Which also provided a much more interesting photo opportunity.
A challenging day for photography, with a darkish overcast sky, and some wind, cutting light. Also, i was shooting into the light as you can see, which mean heavy shadows, or blown out highlights....hmmmmm, its all compromise. I tried bracketing the shots both + and - 1-1.5 stops, but found the original settings was the best result (without resorting to HDR).