Donald Tsang

Lesser spotted dicky bow hits Mai Po

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 April, 2006, 12:00am

Birdwatchers who spend hours peeping through binoculars in Mai Po may spot a bow tie rather than feathers the next time they visit the nature reserve close to the mainland border.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, whose love of koi carp is well known, will cultivate 'patience and concentration' in the run up to next year's election by spending more time watching birds. He described patience and concentration as key qualities of leaders.

In an RTHK programme yesterday, Mr Tsang said the activity had a calming effect and gave him a sense of harmony with nature.

'Most of you know that I enjoy raising koi. I am, in fact, also fond of watching birds. Birdwatching is a perfect hobby to sooth the nerves of a short-tempered person like me,' he said.

'Whatever your station in life, you cannot control the movement of birds in the wild. All you can do is wait quietly with your binoculars to catch a closer glimpse.'

He told students last year one reason he loved his fish was 'they will never scare you and argue with you after being fed'. He said yesterday his passion for birdwatching was a refuge from his busy schedule.

'So what is the fun of birdwatching? I challenge you to venture into something quieter - try watching birds, in silence, in the woods, with a pair of binoculars. It is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle.'

But other than helping to 'ease the mind from the strains and stresses of modern life', it might also help Mr Tsang to sharpen his abilities as a political leader in his expected bid for another stint as chief executive next year.

'While watching birds you learn to exercise restraint, patience and concentration ... some of the key qualities of leaders,' he said.

Mr Tsang also said the threat of bird flu and the subsequent closure of Mai Po for two months had made him reflect on people's relationship with nature, and that 'mother nature is apparently taking revenge' with people's disregard of the environment.

So with Mai Po already reopened and the stressful campaign season for the next chief executive race starting in the next few months, there's no prizes for guessing how will the chief executive chill out.

'Since assuming office as chief executive, I have already paid two visits to Mai Po. In any case, I will be heading for Mai Po again soon,' Mr Tsang said.