17 October 2010

Some interesting stuff passing through town.

An Oystercatcher on the beach at Kamiso this afternoon in between some very heavy showers..........

Mid October is a great time for birding as there is lots of stuff passing through. It's the time of year when you think you may find rarities............

It isn't a great time for bird pictures though, despite the generally nice light everything is so darn busy and active.........

Yesterday at Onuma there were at least 3, maybe even 4 or 5 Mugimaki Flycatchers, a scarce bird here (I'd only ever seen one before). Here's a crappy record shot of one, a female I think.

It was a quite beautiful autumn day...........

Lots of stuff coming through Hakodate too. Pale, Japanese and Brown Thrush, Arctic Warbler, Red Flanked Bluetail, Japanese White-eye, Black Faced and Rustic Buntings. I just hope I can turn up something else rare this next week or so.

Today I met Kim and he told me where to find this Oystercatcher.

Very common back in the UK of course but this was only the second time I'd seen in Japan and it was a local tick.

And I think these are Bewicks Swans. Another local tick.............

They winter further south than Whoopers but seeing as they pass through Hokkaido I guess it was just a matter if time before I got them on my local list. I'd seen a couple of individuals elsewhere in Hokkaido before.

For some heavily zoomed pics go here.

I make these #197 and #198 on my Hakodate list. This isn't a full species as far as I know, if so I may be on 199.

The status of this bird is uncertain, the consensus seems to be that it is a hybrid between Vega Gull (the common 'Herring' Gull in NE Asia) and Heuglins Gull (a darker variant from central Asia). It is sometimes called 'Tamiyr Gull' but I'm afraid I can't count it. Actually Kim told me of half a dozen species he's seen in Hakodate in the last year or so that have yet to make my local list. I've seen almost all of them elsewhere in Hokkaido but not in the all important within 10 miles or so of downtown Hakodate area...............

Lots of Gulls on the beach now, the aforementioned Vega becoming more common, lots of Black Headed Gulls and the first Glaucous Winged Gull of the season. Offshore were Scaup and Black Necked Grebe, a flock of what I'm pretty sure were Rook flew over and the numbers of common Ducks on the river in Kamiso is rising, lots of Wigeon plus a few Tufted Duck and Pochard today........

The Night Herons are still around near my apartment.

I was feeling creative so.................

I got up to watch the second half of England's plucky draw with the mighty Montenegrins.

If someone had offered my 7 points from the first 3 games i'd have taken it after the dire World Cup. i'm struggling to get my head round Montenegro topping the group at this stage though.......

Liverpool seem to have sorted themselves out. If they can finish in the top 6 and win either the Europa or FA Cup it'll be just about acceptable.................hahaha who am I kidding, just to not get in a relegation battle would be OK for now..................

I watched 'Life during Wartime' last week. It is a follow up to 'Happiness', a movie I'd seen just before I came to Japan and, in my humble opinion,  a minor classic. The sequel used different actors for the same characters which was just bizarre. The film was OK but not a patch on the first one. Still it's not every day you can watch and even enjoy a movie in which a central character is a child molester.

Thanks for clicking this link.



  1. Wow an Oystercatcher! A very interesting species I still haven't seen. Really nice landscape shot of Onuma as well. The weather is becoming brilliant and colder now.

  2. Stu! You mentioned Siberian Rubythroat in a previous post. Do you get those near to you? They are without a doubt, my favourite bird in the world and would give anything to see a stunning male! Can I come stay with you hahaha?


  3. Hi Zac, yes they often pass through at this time of year, can be a bit tricky to see in the bushes though...........

    In summer they are much easier to see up north and out east..........

  4. I'll let you know when my plane is getting in ;)
    I plan to spend a whole year in Japan birding when I finish University.


  5. Hi Zac, sorry I didn't realise you were being serious about coming to Japan..............

    Well you'll know where to find me............

  6. Looks like your atumn is getting really interesting Stu. Good luck with finding those rarities, any one of those sounds fine to me but it seems odd of course to twitch an Oyk!

  7. Some quality stuff moving through Stu. Oyc are overlooked here in the UK - cracking birds when out of range!

  8. Wow excellent, congrats on your ticks... Funny to see that oystercatcher are so rare around your area. I can send you thousands if you want. They even did not live the country yet ;-)
    Hey mate, I'm sorry for Liverpool but it looks like they are quite ill ;-)

  9. Very nice read with excellent photos.

  10. Thanks for all the comments, yes Chris Liverpool aren't looking too healthy..................

  11. Hey Stu, great stuff here! Kive the landscape...vey nice. YOur montage is also very efective ;)

  12. Stu,

    Nice pics, as usual. The "osculans" east asian race of Eurasian Oystercatcher is considered a potential "split", I think.

    There are only 3 or 4 records here in Hong Kong.


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