10 April 2013
Meet the Locals #5
A male Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
All pictures taken in south Hokkaido over the last 3 or 4 summers.
This is a very common summer visitor to this part of the world. They generally arrive in mid to late April and the last ones leave for the winter in mid October. It is widespread across temperate Asia and winters in SE Asia and also NE Africa. It is closely related to the European Stonechat.
There are several subspecies, not surprising in such a wide ranging bird. The one we get in Hokkaido is (I think) S. m. stejnegeri.
Of course I saw Stonechats back in the UK but never in the numbers I see them here. They are abundant in open habitats in summer and are commonly seen roadside.
The male is a very attractive looking bird, much more so than the European I think.
Their mournful short song is one of the sounds of summer in the grasslands and padis.
Around the time the young are born they become exceedingly tame.
The females appear to be very similar to the European...................
Near my flat they appear in mid April as they migrate up the river, in early September they make the reverse trip in much larger numbers, the majority being immature birds. A small piece of waste ground just upstream from my place has held a singing male the last 2 or 3 summers. Outside of town they are everywhere.....................it seems that every 50 meters or so you can see singing males perched on roadside wires or bushes.
Linked to WBW.
Thanks for clicking this link.......
Labels: Siberian Stonechat