Thursday, 5 April 2018

Other Birds in Kasai Rinkai Koen

In the pond at Kasai Rinkai Koen Bird Observatory, wintering ducks were still seen as well as the resident birds.

 female Pochard (Hoshihajiroホシハジロ)
 Male Tufted Ducks (Kinkurohajiroキンクロハジロ)
 male Tufted duck & male Teal (Kogamoコガモ)
 female Tufted duck & female Pochard
 male Teal
 Moorhen (Banバン)
 a Great Egret (Daisagiダイサギ) flew in

a pair of Spot-billed Ducks (Karugamoカルガモ)


Spot-billed Ducks usually breed in this park and we will see cute ducklings in a month or so:)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Kasai Rinkai Koen by the sea

Kasai Rinkai Koen, which is one of the best birding places in Tokyo, was my destination today to see a friend, who was in England when I was in Wales, and for her to see some Oystercatchers in the park.

We spotted an Oystercatcher (Miyakodoriミヤコドリ) within the first 10 minutes after we met each other!

At the seaside part of the park, we saw ...

Black-tailed Gull (Uminekoウミネコ)

Little Egret (Kosagiコサギ)

Grey Heron (Aosagiアオサギ)

a Great Crested Grebe (Kanmurikaitsuburiカンムリカイツブリ)
and Greater Scaups (Suzugamoスズガモ) resting & preening on the sand

Little Grebe (Kaitsuburiカイツブリ)

Red-necked Grebe (Hajirokaitsuburiハジロカイツブリ)

Many people with huge canon-like cameras were lining up on the spit and we later found out that a wintering Black-faced Spoonbill was their target.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Chiba Port Park - the shore

By the harbour, a great number of the Great Scaups winter every year and now many of them have left for their breeding grounds in Siberia. A few dozen of them were still resting in the water quite close to the shore.

The males have a beautiful breeding plumage now with a bit of greenish sheen on their heads.

The three of them really got into foraging in the shallows, right by the human activities.

A lone Black-headed Gull (Yurikamomeユリカモメ) was near them, also picking something out of the shallows.

Cormorants (Kawauカワウ) were all out of water, drying and warming in the sun:)
 There were over 50 of them on the concrete blocks, some looked rather young and others were in breeding plumage.

On the little sandy area (I am not sure if I would call it a 'beach'...), people were clamming.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Chiba Port Park - inland

The Hanami (parties under cherry blossoms) season has gone like a flash as it does every year, and the temperature is going up and up day by day.

I cycled to Chiba Port Park to see if I could see Brown-eared Bulbuls (Hiyodoriヒヨドリ) supping the necter from the cherry blossoms.

They were everywhere in the park and making the most of the time with the blossoms:)


I heard Japanese White-eyes, which are other necter supping birds, but could not locate them as they are such tiny birds that they can easily hide themselves among the leaves and flowers.

A Hawfinch (Shimeシメ) was preening quietly away from the party goer bulbuls:)
It is nearly time for them to go to their breeding grounds in the north.

A small flock of Grey-starlings (Mukudoriムクドリ) were foraging on the grass.
It must be a great joy for them as there are so many insects emerging out in the sun.

A pair of Oriental Greefinches (Kawarahiwaカワラヒワ) were bathing in a small puddle.

A bulbul was singing in the fresh green although his tune is not like a song...

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Whale-watching in Amami

During the winter, humpback whales travel from the north to stay in the sea around the Amami area and most of them are mums who come here to give birth or who have very young calves. It is not impossible to see them from land but if anyone who would like to have a closer look at them, taking one of the whale-watching boat trips is the best way.

A storm was expected in the afternoon so we took a boat in the morning. It was quite choppy even then.

A while after we left the harbour, the very first one was spotted!
Goodness me! It was HUGE!!
I know it sounds silly but even only the bits which were on the surface of the water looked enormous!

It was actually a mother and a calf.


The boat staff told me that there were 2 adults and 1 young one, and that they thought that one adult is the mum and the other is a male, which has been following her expecting to become her mate as the calf looked large enough to wean soon.

Anyway, during the 3-hour boat trip, we were able to see the whales very closely for 2 hours or so. It was very exciting but at the same time it was an occasion to make me think about the eco-tourism.

The boat staff were all nice, but there was no explanation whatsoever about the reasons why the whales winter here or the ecology or anything. I am curious and interested in that kind of thing so I asked questions, then they gave me answers personally and kindly. I wished they had done it to everyone on board so that people have an opportunity to learn something new.

That is all from our Amami trip in March 2018✋