Autumn sunshine

Harlequin Duck

Beautiful clear autumn weather the last few days and a clear change in some of the bird species. Harlequin Duck and Glaucous-winged Gulls gave reappeared on the coasts.

Glaucous-winged Gull

A flock of Whooper Swan were flying south yesterday as were lots of Eurasian Jay. Lots of common ducks on the rivers and Great Egrets are becoming more numerous. Northern Goshawk and Daurian Redstart were other noteworthy species near Esan.

Hakodate is pretty quiet: a flock of Rustic Bunting were in one of the local parks today and There are still some Night Herons on the river.

Black-crowned Night Heron

And the Esan area always seems to have a Peregrine…………..


Local Ospreys


I sometimes complain about how dull summer birding can be around here but then I think well at least we have Ospreys fishing in the local ports………..


Also around town today were Goosander, late Scaup and Goldeneye as well as Chestnut-eared Bunting, Oriental Reed Warbler and Siberian Stonechat.

Not there

Varied Tit

There has been a family of Oriental Scops Owls showing well in one of the local parks and we went to look for them this morning……………….but couldn’t find them.

Quite a few birds around though: Coal and Varied Tit, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Common Crossbill, Narcissus Flycatcher and Kamchatka Leaf Warbler.

End of the blossoms

Red-cheeked Starling

With one thing and another it wasn’t really possible to photograph many birds in Goryokaku Park this spring. The park re-opened at least but unlike some previous springs there was very little of interest around. Lots of Red-cheeked Starlings walking around though: the cherry blossoms have all fallen as you can see.

Red-cheeked Starling

The smallest


The smallest bird in Europe is also the smallest bird in Japan.

There were 3 of them in the trees next to the river today, presumably just arrived from across the Tsugaru Straits this morning. I also saw my first Bullheaded Shrike of the year and yesterday got my first Red-flanked Bluetail of 2020 too.