10 May 2016

Japanese Thrush

I just got back from a short trip.................

The first half of the trip was a bit of a letdown. I was hoping to see a lot of waders on the coast between Tomakomai and Shizunai but several of the main spots have been drained/developed and anyway there were hardly any waders anywhere.  Sanderling. Red Necked Stint, Grey Tailed Tattler and Pacific Golden Plover (one individual each) were at Mukawa and 1 Red Necked Stint, a couple of Little Ringed Plover and 4 Grey Tailed Tattler were at Shizunai and that's it. White Tailed Eagle was at Atsuma and there were a few common species around but it looked like the trip was a bit of a diappointment...............

The second half of the trip was excellent though. Near Tomakomai there is a artificial pond in the forest with a screen (with slits for cameras) that is great for the shyer forest birds.

I've never photographed this species much, it's a Japanese Thrush.

It's a fairly common summer visitor and its song fills the local forests. It looks a bit like a smaller more fashionable Blackbird and its song is similar too. But whereas Blackbirds in the UK hop across the lawn and sing from TV aerials this relative is a shy forest dweller.

The light was mostly good but there were a lot of shadows and although the pool was small my view was often restricted (there were 3 or 4 other photographers there).

The birds come to the pool to drink and bathe. There were some nice reflections............

It was great to be so close to this species which is usually difficult to approach...............

And this is the female..................

There were a dozen or so species that visited the pool, more to follow....................


  1. Brilliant pictures. I've never seen one. They do remind me of European Blackbird plus Indian Myna. They are quite attractive.

    1. Thanks Russell, you've probably heard them many times...............

  2. Great looking bird. It really does have that classic thrush jizz. Change the colouration and it could easily be an American Robin or any other turdus thrush - such as the Blackbird as you suggest.

    1. There are 5 turdus thrushes in Hokkaido, 2 of them are summer breeders like this one but they are both very shy, quite unlike some of their well known relatives like American Robins or European Blackbirds.

  3. Hello Stuart!:) Oh my, what a beautiful thrush, and your captures are gems, all of them.:) I just love the 2nd and 4th.:)

  4. Someone has definitely sewn a blackbird's head onto another thrush there... :P


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