The Story of the Red Whiskered Bulbul (Part 2)

Can’t believe it happened again. After 1.5 months of laying 3 eggs, the bulbuls have come back again, to the same pine tree, same location and rebuilt a nest.

It didn’t take them a lot of time to rebuild the nest. It was totally redone in two days. The nest looks more sturdy and deeper this time. Also, the entrance is a bit smaller.

Same as last time, on each consecutive days and for 3 days, the female laid 3 eggs.

The parent is now resting in the nest, incubating the three eggs.

The story is going to repeat itself. In about 10 days time, the chicks will come out from the shells. The parents will restlessly feed them and the chicks will grow very quickly, developing feathers and then finally, they will come out of their nest and learn to fly. . . . . .

PS While I believe the bulbul parents were the ones who came and laid three eggs 1.5 months ago, I still have some doubts in my mind that whether they can recover so quickly from the last eggs laying etc.


The Quantum Biologist

It is one thing to take flight from the ground. A push-off, a grab of air with your wings, and you’re up. It is another thing entirely to take off from the water. You can get a good running start, but once your body’s airborne you immediately feel the awful gravity of what we land-dwellers call “the real world.” You feel how heavy the sky.

The flying fish takes such a running start at almost 40 mph. It shoots from the water like a bullet and sails like a brief kite. Some of them have pectoral fins shaped like dragonfly wings, some like butterfly wings, but all have curved front edges like those of birds and airplanes. Merely gliding, it can stay airborne for 45 seconds. When it comes down after its initial flight, which may have reached 200 yards in length, it can skate on the surface of the…

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Covid 19 – Hong Kong Perspective 3 – The Third Wave

Hong Kong was enjoying some coronavirus free days – no confirmed cases at all or a couple of cases in between . This trend was broken recently starting the second week of July.

The number of confirmed cases has suddenly climbed to over a hundred for many 12 consecutive days.

How did it all start?

We were too complacent; we can’t blame this entirely on the ordinary citizens. Many of them are practicing home stay or wearing masks in confined areas even there is no rule enforced.

The present situation is that, unlike the previous months, the virus is quickly spreading in the community and it is becoming difficult to identify the clusters.

There are loop holes in our system:

There are no regulations on incoming aircrew and seamen.

Aircrews and seamen are subject to few checks. The recent virus strains analysis show that they are highly correlated with those found in air crew from Kazakstan and also seamen from the Philippines and India.

Hong Kong is conveniently chosen as a location for changing of seamen. These seamen, subject to almost no checking, loiter around in the city, some without wearing any mask. Rules are now instigated to restrict their stay to 48 hours only. Not only that, they are not allowed to take public transport; only private transport from / to the landing point / airport is allowed.

Also, rules are tightened up on air crews; these apply to those manning passengers and goods carriers.

The virus now found are more infectious; they may have mutated to a even stronger strain.

The new rules which are more stringent means:

I need to put a mask on even in my daily hiking.

I can’t go out to eat in restaurants anymore as they only serve takeaways. After two days of trial, the rule is modified ; having breakfast and lunches ( but not dinners ) are allowed in restaurants in tables of not more than 2 persons, separated by at least 1.5m.

There are no longer venues open for my table tennis and tennis exercises.

Of course, I can’t travel outside HK.

More time now is allocated to practicing my calligraphy, watching TV and reading.

With the assistance of China, the government is going to implement a test of all residents for Covid 19; will see how it plays out.

I was too optimistic to think that the pandemic may end in Summer. It looks like it may only be under control when we have the vaccine.

Photo from Johns Hopkins Medicine