The Dunlin flock north of Yakumo were still around on Monday and in summer plumage too.
Not many waders around this Golden Week though: 1 Mongolian Plover, and several small flocks of Grey-tailed Tattler were the only passage shorebirds around and there were the breeders: Latham’s Snipe, Common Sandpiper and Little-ringed Plover.
In the fishing ports local fishermen leave the nets out to dry. I guess the nets contain rotting seafood and in early May some kind of fly lay their eggs in the stinking netting and when the insects emerge they are food for any birds in the area.
Chestnut-cheeked Starlings are common summer visitors and flocks of them were feasting on the flies………..
Not a vintage Golden Week for birds. Despite fine weather and lots of time off and traveelling around SW Hokkaido I didn’t see anything particularly rare or unusual. Yakumo still had plenty of wildfowl on the 4th/6th including Garganey, Falcated Duck and White-fronted Geese and both species of Scoter were offshore at Oshamanbe. Other summer visitors to arrrive included Oriental Reed Warbler, Brown-headed Thrush and Oriental Cuckoo. On passage there were lots of Dusky Thrush and a nice male Rustic Bunting (at Yakumo) but not much else.
The above Intermediate Egret was at Yakumo. All 3 species of commoner egret weer evident across the region at the weekend: this is the scarcest of the 3.
An Osprey at Kikonai yesterday. Not much around: Pacific Swift, Common Sandpiper, Black-throated Diver and Great Egret being the most interesting. Inland the first Eastern-crowned Warbler of the year and a few common species were present but that’s all.
Nearer Hakodate there were a few ducks still around including Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup and Wigeon as well as Great-crested Grebe offshore. 5 species of gull included summer plumaged Black-headed………..
There were also 11 Brent Geese………….
Beautiful spring weather as you can see but when the weather is so clear migrants just pass straight through.
In Yakumo/Oshamanbe yesterday there were 40 or so White-fronted Geese, Great and Little Egret, a dozen or so species of duck including at least 8 Garganey, Eastern Marsh Harrier, osprey, Buff-bellied Pipit, Little-ringed Plover, a lone Whimbrel, and 7 species of gull.
We’re coming up to Golden Week, a Japanese holiday in late April/early May.
n Hakodate it usually co-incides with the cherry blossoms in full bloom and is also the start of the 2-3 week spring migration peak.
The last 3 years have seen local rarities turn up during Golden Week at exactly the same spot in the west of town. The above Caspian Tern showed up 2 years ago. This is a very scarce bird in north Japan and only the second one I’ve seen here. There were loads in Hong Kong when I visited earlier this month.
Ditto Black-faced Spoonbill, which turned up here 3 years ago. 1 of only 3 I’ve seen in Japan.
It was accompanied by a Eurasian Spoonbill. 1 of only 4 I’ve seen in Japan.
And last year this Saunder’s Gull stayed about a week. 1 of only 4 I’ve seen in Japan.
There were lots of duck species around at Yakumo today. The avove Falcated Duck and a male Garganey were the most interesting and there were also Gadwall, Shoveler and another dozen or so species as well as Mandarin Duck and Smew at Onuma.