One of the few breeding wader species near Hakodate is Kentish Plover. They nest on some of the local beaches and around now the eggs are hatching.
Not much around last weekend: a couple of stray Goldeneye, Osprey, Goosander. Near my apartment the Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler has stopped singing (I guess a lone male that has given up and moved elsewhere) but a Black-browed Reed Warbler continues trilling away and the bushes are full of the sounds of Chestnut-cheeked Starlings feeding their fledglings.
Well that was a pretty slow spring. No rarities and even the common stuff passed straight through. The weather was just too nice………….
The only waders around at the weekend were Lesser Sand Plover near town, lots of Grey-tailed Tattler everywhere and Dulin and Turnstone at Oshamanbe where there were also 6 species of Gull around including a Black-legged Kittiwake. Rhinoceros Auklet were offshore at Kaminokuni and Hakodate and Black-browed Reed Warbler, Siberian Blue Robin and Japanese Robin put in their first appearances of 2019.
Spring migration is still very slow. The calm sunny weather over the last couple of weeks might have meant most of the migrants have passed straight through. Today near my apartment there was a lone Asian Brown Flycatcher and yesterday in the west of town there were 2 Grey-tailed Tattler, 1 Brent Goose, I Goosander, 1 Wigeon and 1 Vega Gull.
I’ve also done something to my leg/back that is making walking difficult. It’s been present on and off for several weeks now. Probably sciatica and hopefully time will heal it…………..
There were several Red-necked Stints around today. this is the default small passage wader of Northeast Asia but in SW Hokkaido it is much commoner in autumn than spring. Sadly I don’t get to see them much in their breeding finery so it was nice to photograph this one up at Oshamanbe this morning………….
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.
On the 3rd day in Hong Kong another locally based birder, Yann, kindly showed me aome other sites in Hong Kong: Long Valley and Kai Po Tau. I saw many new birds, particularly in the latter site, but didn’t get many photos. Among the new birds I saw were Dusky Warbler, Long-tailed Shrike, Scarlet-backed Flowepecker, Hainan Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Scarlet Minivet, Yellow-cheeked Tit and Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike.
There were a lot of unfamilar birds and bird calls and it was reassuring to find easy to identify species such as the above Stilt and the Chinese Pond Herons which were everywhere.