No, this is not a short story. I met two old friends yesterday, to the left of the path to the Power Station Beach on Lamma, both of whom I hadn’t met in years. The first was a Greater Coucal (centropus sinensis), also known as the crow pheasant. Its haunting call is heard everywhere on this island, so there must be scores of them here if not hundreds, but this is the first time in two years that I’ve seen one. Here’s a link to a YouTube video that someone posted from Thailand.
The second was a bittern, whose European cousin I used to frequently meet among the reeds at the edge of a pond on the outskirts of Vienna, usually in late autumn. Here’s a mobile camera photo of the bittern that may be distinguishable if you can enlarge it on your screen.
Bitterns, and thousands of other species, are being endangered by habitat loss, so it looks like rethinking ‘development’ may be an idea whose time has finally come.