29 April 2013

Things happening.........................


A very springlike day and one of my best days birding for ages...................

We started off at Onuma, not much around in the morning except this Intermediate Egret...............


This isn't so common in Hokkaido and as you can see it is in its breeding plumage, it was in a pond where I usually see Great Egret or Grey Heron. There were also some Mandarin Duck about as well as lots of Dusky Thrush everywhere. Jaapnese Thrush, Black Faced Bunting and Jaapnese Bush Warbler were singing in the forest but it was a little overcast and chilly so we headed up to Yakumo.

There were 4 Bar Tailed Godwit in the river (one in summer plumage) and several Osprey hunting..............



A group of about 10 Great Egret were there too...........


On the north side of the river was this lone Marsh Sandpiper, I couldn't get close enough for a decent shot.


No other waders around except this trio............


Common Redshank. I would barely raise my camera to my eye for them in England (at this distance anyway) but this is only the 2nd time I've seen them in Japan and the first time I've photographed them. They flew off noisily just like they do back home...........

Other stuff at Yakumo included Eastern Marsh Harrier, Whooper Swan, Glaucous Gull, various species of duck including Shoveler, Wryneck and lots of Siberian Stonechat.

Further north at Oshamanbe I found a tame flock of Dunlin in one of the ports. Many were coming into summer plumage................






Also at Oshamanbe were several groups of displaying White Winged Scoter (well offshore) and Glaucous Winged Gull.

We stopped back at Onuma on the way home. There were some noisy and active Black and Grey-headed Woodpeckers but they didn't come close enough for any pictures.

The tame tits and nuthatches did of course.




The day finished at Kamiiso with another Osprey.............


And yesterday's Black Winged Stilt was still present.



A long long day but worth it. Late April to late May is the best time of the year for birds here and it really felt like it kicked off today...............

So the footy season is fizzling out, maybe the last day of the season will have all 20 clubs with nothing to play for. Liverpool and England are slipping into medicrity, thank god for Game Of Thrones and the upcoming Ashes.
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7 comments:

  1. Very nice photos of Dunlins on seaweed. Haven't seen any around here... and I didn't even know that Common redshanks are rare in Japan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ayuwat, they only breed in east Hokkaido and seem to be much much less common on passage than Spotted Redshanks.

      They are the 'default' medium sized wader in the UK and are a common resident breeder so I'd imagine most birders/photographers don't bother with them so often.

      Delete
  2. Ospreys are avoiding me here Stu, seem to spot me and then give me a wide berth...do they know something I don't?

    Cheers

    DaveyMan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll swap you an Osprey for a tame Redshank..........

      Delete
  3. Smart Dunlin shots and Stilt too - those legs are mental. LOL on the Redshanks - I only look at them for Spotteds! I suppose the local rarity of them makes you appreciate them better.
    Have you sorted out the Marsh/Willow Tits? I only saw my first UK Willow in the past couple of weeks and it had to call and sing for me to be 100%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stuart, they are even trickier here as the calls/songs are different from western races..........

      Marsh have a glossy cap. small bib and longer bill. Willow have a stockier neck, shorter tail and bigger less neat bib and white wing markings. Unfortunately worn plumage in Marsh Tits may render some of those ID points irrelevant......

      I think the ones I post are Marsh but TBH I'm not 100% sure. Usually there are 2 in this place and they seem to be typical Marsh Tits but occasionally there are more and some bully the others........I read somewhere that Marsh is dominant?

      Having said that I've probably posted pics of 'Marsh' Tits that were actually Willow Tits. One of these days I'll look at all the pics on this blog and on my hard drive and try and pick out some Willows.

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