11 June 2011

A summer evening in the ricefields

I finished work early so I had time to check out the local ricefields. Always good at this time of year, today produced a surprise with these 3 Cattle Egret.

This is a scarce overshoot migrant to south Hokkaido, these 3 must have been wafted in with the warm winds from the last few days.

They are building a new highway in this corner of the ricefields, sadly next year I'm sure this habitat may well have disappeared. There is a a reedbed here, Siberian Stonechats breed here.

Also in the reedbed were Oriental Reed Warbler, Black Browed Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Chestnut Eared Bunting. I hope the reedbed is still around next summer. I got some nice shots from her last year. Also around were Common Cuckoo and Lathams Snipe. And lots of big trucks.

We then went to another location in the ricefields to check for Night Herons, all I could get was with this BIF shot.

More of the same here including the inevitable Stonechats.

Just before sunset we went to the rivermouth at Kamiiso to check for Ospreys. Nothing doing there but there were 2 Goosander and somewhat surprisingly 4 Harlequin Duck.

I've never seen these in this location and never in June in Hokkaido either. I tried to get close to them but they just swam away, they must be moulting.

No sport on TV tonight, thank god for beer.

Thanks for clicking this link.



  1. Wow, never associated Harlequin Ducks with summer in Japan before! All shots of the stonechats are really good. They are only winter visitor down here, but the Cattle Egret can be seen quite often around Kyushu.

  2. A nice evening out. Like the three egrets in the rice fields and super stonechats pics.

  3. We have too many Cattle Egrets here that we rarely try to photograph them. The inevitable Stonechats with greeny backgrounds look pretty.

  4. Thanks for the comments, Cattle Egrets are an exotic bird up here. I've seen loads elsewhere in the world but in Hokkaido they are a (fairly) exciting bird............

  5. Cattle Egrets in breeding plumage can be spectacular, I'd agree. Breeding plumage Stonechats pretty good too.

    Here in HK the Stonechats are "stejnegeri" split by the IOC now as "Stejneger's Stonechat". So, same bird, but third English name in HK use in the past 20 years. (Originally "Common" before "Siberian", of course.)

    Still, if you can't take a joke, you shouldn't be a birder !

  6. Love the second image...very interesting! Great serie and have a beer for me!


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