20 May 2007
Looking for waders
A Grey Tailed Tattler at Kamiso this morning. There were also around 20-30 Common Sandpiper, a male Scaup (see below), 2 male Shoveler and a few Teal.
We then headed up to Yakumo to check for waders. A flock of 20 or so Turnstone were the highlight, as well as more Common Sandpiper, Tattlers and a pair of Little Ringed Plover. Not much else though and certainly no interesting waders whatsoever. A few Ducks were still around. Wigeon, Shoveler and Scaup mainly. 2 Great White Egret were amongst the 30 or so Grey Heron. No smaller birds of note except for a male Reed Bunting and lots of singing Oriental Great Reed Warbler. Passerines tend to get more interesting towards the end of May. Several fishing Osprey were fun to watch. Here's distant one getting mugged by Black Tailed Gulls. It later lost its fish to a Black Kite......
We finished the day at Onuma. The usual commoner species were around but no real photo opps. Most interesting birds here were a group of Pacific White-rumped Swift and a (heard only again) Black Woodpecker.
The previous 72 hours saw almost non stop rain. On Friday we got out to Yunokawa and saw some small groups of Red Necked Pharalope about 500 metres offshore. Not the great spectacle of other recent years when calm clear weather allowed us to see tens or even hundreds of thousands close inshore. There were also some dark shearwaters too far out to ID. Sort Tailed Shearwaters probably.
Got drunk last night watching the dire FA cup final at the new Wembley. I was actually hoping for penalties when Drogba scored as it would have more exciting than anything in the turgid 120 minutes beforehand.
One word of advice for those traveling in Japan. If you ever stop at Hokka Hokka Bento and are tempted by the tasty looking picture on the menu showing the sirlon steak donburi don't be fooled. It's absolutely disgusting.
Around May 20th down the years:
Not much happening around this date..........what was I doing? Revising for exams I suppose (up to 1990 at least). Otherwise pretty quiet.
2005 (May 20th) 3 Little Egret and 2 Intermediate Egret flying over my neighbourhood. Also around were several Asian Brown Flycatcher. A couple of days later several Pacific White Rumped Swift flew over too.
2006 (May 21st) Set off on my first trip to East Hokkaido, visiting Furen-ko, Notsuke and Nemuro amongst other places. Japanese Crane, Blakiston's Fish Owl, Spectacled Guilemot, White tailed Eagle and lots of other goodies. You can read my report here