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 at Oshamanbe were on holiday and there were almost no people anywhere to be seen.
Small numbers of Dunlin were poking around among all the fishing machinery……..
Not much else in the ports except a few common ducks.
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 (!).
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.
There were some Red-necked Pharalopes around yesterday: 7 at Yakumo and 3 at Oshamanbe.
They were a variety of ages and plumages…………..
Must have been rough out at sea for them…………
Other waders around included small flocks of Red-necked Stints, 5 Sanderling, 2 Terek Sandpiper, 1 Kentsish Plover, 2 or 3 Mongolian Plover and 1 Great Knot.
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 a couple of Whimbrel outside town this afternoon as well as half a dozen Grey-tailed Tattler. A few Black-headed Gull and Brent geese are all that reamins of winter now………….