I love my business trips to Hong Kong. The work is always quite demanding but rewarding, and best of all I get to spend a weekend here to see the sites and take photographs.
I made the decision this time to bring some gear fit for photographing dragonflies – the Canon 300mm F/4L IS plus 1.4TC, and the Sigma 105mm Macro and flash. I also brought along the Rolleicord but more about that in another post.
Lion’s Nature Education Centre, Sai Kung
I got a taste for the wonderful insect life here a few years back when I visited Tai Po Kau. This park has a great dragonfly pond towards the centre, accessed by a long path winding through the tropical forest. This time round I decided to visit Lion’s Nature and Education Centre in Sai Kung, having been advised from a fellow Flickr member that there are some good dragonfly ponds there.
I had a fantastic morning – seeing and photographing quite a large variety of dragonflies – some of which are very spectacular indeed, with coloured wings and very brightly coloured bodies and eyes. Most were taken at the dragonfly pond, although dragonflies were common around much of the reserve. The dragonfly pond is very well laid out, the vegetation being around the circumference of the pond making photography possible. Unfortunately, there is a fence around the pond, so it’s pretty much impossible to do very close up true macro photography. Instead I relied on the 420mm long lens and tele-converter which did the job quite well. I wish I’d bought the 70-200 and 500D close up diopter. Next time….
There are also quite a lot of butterflies in the reserve although I didn’t spend too much time trying to photograph them this time. There were also two HUGE Golden Orb Weaver spiders; both larger than my out-stretched hand and with bodies longer than my little finger.
As far as I’ve been able to determine today, from the information boards near the pond I saw the following species:
- Russet Percher (seen before in Tai Po Kau- beautiful but a little small to photograph with the 300mm + 1.4TC. I did find one compliant specimen in the vegetation away from the pond so got some macro shots)
- Common Flangetail (large impressive dragonfly with a clubbed-tail)
- Common Red Skimmer (incredible colouring)
- Common Blue Skimmer (not unlike the UK species – larger though with stronger colouring)
- Crimson Dropwing (beautiful – and sticks its abdomen vertically when perched unlike any UK species which make it rather special for me)
- Asian Amberwing (small and quite hard to photograph – only got one of two shots)
- Indigo Dropwing (only saw one and got one or two shots)
Enjoy the pictures!