Waders are pretty thin on the ground in Hokkaido in winter. The above Kentish Plover, near Hakodate today, is one of the few shorebird species around in the colder months and even this one is pretty scarce.
The ports are beginning to fill up with birds……….
East of town there were 2 or 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe and small flocks of Wigeon and Scaup.
Black-necked Grebes are very common here in winter and most ports seem to have a few in them until early April.
Great Egrets are common autumn visitors (with some remaining through winter). All the local rivers have several: the above individual was just outside Hakodate yesterday.
Sunday was a bit of a write-off because of the weather.
The Night Herons were still outside town as well as a few Pintail and a lone Osprey. In town last week near my apartment there were more Night Herons as well as Asian Brown Flycatcher, Brown Dipper, Varied Tit and Bull-headed Shrike.
Still warm, quite looking forward to the first chilly morning of the season…………
Summer is over, officially I guess. Heavy rain from the typhoon outside now but yesterday we were up in Yakumo/Oshamanbe. Lots of Great Egret around, Eastern Buzzards everywhere, small flocks of Common Teal and Pintail, the last flocks of hirundines at rivermouths: all signs of autumn.
Other stuff around included Peregrine, Osprey, Common Kingfisher and a handful of waders: 2 Red-necked Stint, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
The above Night Heron was near Hakodate, not a vintage day for photos.
I had a spare afternoon and checked out one of the local beaches. No car today so I had to take the train and lighter shorter lens.
Not much around: just a handful of Red-necked Stint, by far the commonest autumn shorebird in these parts.
Last week near my apartment there were a couple of Black-crowned Night Herons in the riverside vegetation and a few Asian Brown Flycatcher flitting around in the trees……………
Very hot weather returned this weekend, somewhat surprisingly. It was even hotter than the hot spell last month.
It was hard work looking for waders on the beaches in such hot weather but I did find this Marsh Sandpiper just outside Hakodate yesterday.
I saw loads of these in Hong Kong last spring but in Hokkaido they aren’t very numerous: I’ve seen them here maybe half a dozen times in all.
Not much else around………….just a couple of Grey-tailed Tattler and a small flock of Red-necked Stint.
At Yakumo today it was even hotter and there were more waders around: several Common Greenshank, a small flock of Whimbrel with a couple of Eastern Curlew. 3 or 4 Ruddy Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, several Common Sandpiper, flocks of Mongolian Plover and Red-necked Stint, a lone Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Terek Sandpiper and best of all a lone Temincks Stint, a lifer for me. Sadly only the lowest quality record shots survived the cull.
Other stuff around included lots of Great Egret, the first autumn flocks of Common Teal, Osprey, Peregrine, Pacific Swift and all 3 hirundine species and a singing Black-browed Reed Warbler (!).
In late summer Black-crowned Night Herons gather in the trees near one of the local rivermouths……….
In a few weeks they will be heading south…………..
These are all juvenile birds: the adults generally scoot off before I can get a shot.
The first ‘winter’ visitors of the year appeared the last week. The above Black-necked Grebe was near Hakodate and the Glaucous-winged Gull below was at Yakumo.
Other stuff around in the last week included lots of Osprey, a single White-tailed Eagle at Yakumo, Great Egret…………
Waders included Red-necked Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank and Eastern Curlew. No photos though.
Another typhoon is approaching and it brought more Red-necked Pharalopes. This time in Hakodate………..
There were 3 of them as well as 1 Terek Sandpiper, a dozen or so Red-necked Stint, a couple of Common Sandpiper and a lone Eurasian Oystercatcher. They were all very skittish. Except the Pharalopes.