An awesome day and privilege to photograph at the Mai Po marshlands on the border between Hong Kong and Shenzen China. Not easily accessible as you need to arrange special permission to visit. To get to this hide I had to hike a few km through the reserve including across a narrow boardwalk floating on barrels which took us through some mangroves via a waterway. Slow going with all my camera gear. Then access to the hide on the China side behind a border gate. Here I was photographing across a flat area with the tide out looking towards the imposing skyscrapers of Shenzen and the ever approaching urbanisation. Mai Po is one of the last strongholds for migratory birds which pass through Hong Kong. It is under pressure from developers who want to build closer and closer to the boundary of the reserve. Mai Po is a good example of sustainable development thanks to the retention of the traditional gei wai shrimp farming method. From the WWF Mai Po website "Gei wai not only support vast numbers of aquatic and marine invertebrates and fish, they are also a food source for other wildlife including waterbirds, mammals and reptiles. Non-commercial fish and shrimp are left in drained down gei wai and become food for waterbirds. A single gei wai can attract up to 1,600 individual birds from many species, including the globally endangered Black-faced spoonbill. These traditional shrimp ponds are a good example of how coastal wetlands can be managed sustainably in a way that benefits both local communities and wildlife while minimizing impacts on the natural environment". I was indeed lucky enough to see a pair of Black faced spoonbills from this hide. Iconic and endangered birds with only about 3000 remaining in the wild. Images to follow after bird expert ID of one exciting species observed in particular..