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 (!).
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………….