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………….
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………….
There were loads of Grey-tailed Tattlers around this Sunday. This is the default medium sized passage wader in Japan………
Theye were everywhere today. I checked them all for Wandering Tattlers (a scarce bird here and a would be lifer) but nothing doing there…….
The Dunlin flock north of Yakumo were still around on Monday and in summer plumage too.
Not many waders around this Golden Week though: 1 Mongolian Plover, and several small flocks of Grey-tailed Tattler were the only passage shorebirds around and there were the breeders: Latham’s Snipe, Common Sandpiper and Little-ringed Plover.
Well the start of a new era in Japan, literally.
It was agrey drizzly day and just outside Hakodate there was a flock of 16 Ruddy Turnstone.
Other stuff around included Great-crested Grebe, 10 or so Brent Geese, a few wildfowl and duck stragglers, 1 Grey-tailed Tattler and 2 Common Sandpiper.
On the 3rd day in Hong Kong another locally based birder, Yann, kindly showed me aome other sites in Hong Kong: Long Valley and Kai Po Tau. I saw many new birds, particularly in the latter site, but didn’t get many photos. Among the new birds I saw were Dusky Warbler, Long-tailed Shrike, Scarlet-backed Flowepecker, Hainan Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Scarlet Minivet, Yellow-cheeked Tit and Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike.
There were a lot of unfamilar birds and bird calls and it was reassuring to find easy to identify species such as the above Stilt and the Chinese Pond Herons which were everywhere.
On my visit to the Uk I’d seen plenty of Avocets but they were even commoner in Hong Kong.
Again the terrible weather didn’t help photography but it was fun watching them feed so close……………..
There were 28 species of wader present last week in Mai Po.
3 of them were lifers for me: Greater Sand Plover, Nordmann’s Greenshank and Asian Dowitcher. The latter 2 are of course pretty rare and were my 2 target species for the trip. I could only get decent views of them through a scope and neither species came close enough to photograph.
Most of the common species of east Asian shorebirds were present. The above photo shows mainly Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew Sandpiper with a few Marsh Sandpiper and Common Redshank mixed in.
Curlew Sandpiper were especially common. I’ve only ever seen 3 lone individuals in Hokkaido but in Mai Po they were abundant. Some were in summer plumage as you can see.
It would have been even better if it had been sunnier and I’d had my big lens but the whole spectacle would have been worth witnessing even without a camera.
One of the commonest wader species at Mai Po was Marsh Sandpiper. This is a fairly scarce passage visitor in Hokkaido and I had only ever seen a handful of lone individuals before. But in Mai Po they were abundant.
The tide was pretty high and the birds came fairly close to the hide but at 400mm in very poor light the photos are not so good.
It was still a great experience watching flocks of them busily feed.
A Black-tailed Godwit at Leighton Moss. I had a quick look at this reserve, another old haunt, on my recent trip back to the UK. There were lots of Godwits, Avocet and the usual common stuff from this part of the world as well as several Marsh Harrier high in the sky.