30 April 2012

Golden Week 2012 #1

Asian House Martins at Kikonai yesterday.

A cluster of national holidays known as Golden Week kicked off yesterday and spring well and truly arrived, it has been warm and sunny, indeed I got sunburned today and consumed not 1 but 2 ice creams...............

Yesterday morning started at Akagawa, lots of activity in the forest before the dirt bikers showed up to scare everything off. Lots of Narcissus Flycatcher and Eastern Crowned Warbler were singing, other stuff included Japanese Thrush, Whites Thrush and Long Tailed Rosefinch. In Kikonai and Shireuchi there wasn't so much around.............a lone Bewicks Swan, a couple of Great Egret, a Greenshank, several Little Ringed Plover, Lathams Snipe, Osprey and a few Brent Geese, Wigeon and Red Breasted Merganser offshore.

Lots of Asian House Martin everywhere now...........

At Kamiiso yesterday there were no waders but lots of summer plumage Black Headed Gulls...........these look very exotic here (we usually only see them in winter plumage and there are no other common hooded gulls in Japan). Shame I grew up in England where they are so common birders probably don't even look at them..............

Today I walked the long walk down the beach in Kamiiso to look for waders: all I could find was 1 very flighty Whimbrel. We headed over to Asabu, there were some good birds here but nothing posing for the camera. Pacific Swift, Wryneck, more Osprey and lots of Siberian Stonechat and Chestnut Eared Bunting were singing...........here's one of the latter, a shy bird that flies off as soon as eye contact is established even through a car window.

Back at Kamiiso I waited in vain for the Ospreys to come close and eventually gave up and concentrated on the local Black Tailed Gulls which were courting. Like the Black Headed Gull this is a beautiful bird I maybe take for granted.............the second one here is a Slaty Backed Gull, the common resident large gull.

I don't know if I'm being paranoid but I'm sure I used to take better quality photos of more interesting species than I have been doing lately.

Roy Hodgson? I'm underwhelmed to say the least but he's done well using scant playing resources with mid ranking teams..........maybe he won't be a total disaster with England then.

Thanks for clicking this link........



  1. Great! These photos look pretty darn nice to me. Better birds than I've been getting so I've given up in recent months. Love the Martins. I went out looking for gulls last month with the intention of doing a post on them and only found 3 Black-heads one week and then just 1 the week later. Only noticed a few "Common" ones getting around recently. Funny as previous years they were so abundant (Black-heads, Black-tails and Commons) I ignored them. Even the crows are shorter in number now. Must be the disappearing trees and radiation down this way.

  2. Plenty of us back here still look at BHGs on a daily basis Stu

    Martin pics aren't so shabby



  3. Hi Stu

    Lovely images and I will certainly not take the gulls for granted! They are so photogenic, especially where your superb 'shouting' pose image. Brilliant and beautiful.

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    Russell-es there do seem to be fewer birds this year or are we just imagining it?

  5. Always nice to see your "common" birds in their breeding finery...... many of them winter here in HK and don't look quite this nice.

  6. Stunning shots of the house martins once again. The ones here still look so pristine. Never seen them closely like that before.


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