Yellow-browed Bunting

Yellow-browed Bunting

Not a great photo but a pretty scarce bird. I saw the above male Yellow-browed Bunting in one of the parks just outside town this morning. It was hopping unobtrusively around in the shade and I noticed it in the distance and though oh right just another Black-faced Bunting. I pointed my camera at it, noticed the head pattern and thought it was a Rustic Bunting at first but then the bird’s head caught the sun and I saw the yellow eyebrow……….

Difficult to get close to but I was very happy to see it: my 4th lifer of 2020.

A very quiet start to spring

Black-throated Diver

A very slow last 2 weeks. Not Covid19 related. I had a dodgy knee, a wisdom tooth extracted and the weather has not been great either. All my birding luck from the first 3 months of 2020 appears to have run out: very few interesting birds around in south Hokkaido at the moment.

The above Black-throated Diver was near town today. Yesterday at Yakumo a single Ruff was the most interesting bird and today out west there was nothing noteworthy anywhere. The Crossbills have all vanished too.

Various summer visitors have shown though……..Siberian Stonechat, Asian House Martin and Japanese Bush Warbler among them.

A familiar sight

Black-necked Grebe

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.

A rainy Sunday

Black-crowned Night Heron

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…………