Winter returnees

Black-necked Grebe

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.

Glaucous-winged Gull

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.


Red-necked Pharalope

There were some Red-necked Pharalopes around yesterday: 7 at Yakumo and 3 at Oshamanbe.

Red-necked Pharalope

They were a variety of ages and plumages…………..

Red-necked Pharalope

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.

The commonest?

Siberian Stonechat

Siberian Stonechats (sometimes split as Stenjeger’s Stonechat) are one of the commonest summer visitors and on the grasslands they are abundant at this time of year.

Siberian Stonechat

The young have just left the nest and the adults tanely sit atop bushes and reeds watching over them. Very easy to photograph………..

Siberian Stonechat

Golden Week 2019 #4

Chestnut-cheeked Starling

In the fishing ports local fishermen leave the nets out to dry. I guess the nets contain rotting seafood and in early May some kind of fly lay their eggs in the stinking netting and when the insects emerge they are food for any birds in the area.

Chestnut-cheeked Starlings are common summer visitors and flocks of them were feasting on the flies………..

Chestnut-cheeked Starling
Chestnut-cheeked Starling

Golden Week 2019 #3

Intermediate Egret

Not a vintage Golden Week for birds. Despite fine weather and lots of time off and traveelling around SW Hokkaido I didn’t see anything particularly rare or unusual. Yakumo still had plenty of wildfowl on the 4th/6th including Garganey, Falcated Duck and White-fronted Geese and both species of Scoter were offshore at Oshamanbe. Other summer visitors to arrrive included Oriental Reed Warbler, Brown-headed Thrush and Oriental Cuckoo. On passage there were lots of Dusky Thrush and a nice male Rustic Bunting (at Yakumo) but not much else.

The above Intermediate Egret was at Yakumo. All 3 species of commoner egret weer evident across the region at the weekend: this is the scarcest of the 3.