Late Winter Trip 2022 Day 5 #9

Bean Goose

I only saw 1 Bean Goose (Taiga I think) amongst the main flocks in Mukawa. There was a flock of them a few miles east but they were impossible to get close enough to photograph.

There were also quite a few swans. Not photogenic in the harsh spring sunshine. Mainly Whoopers but I found at least 1 Bewick’s.

Bewick’s Swan

The nearest I could get to a comparison shot:

Bewick’s and Whooper Swans

A foggy morning in Onuma

White-fronted Goose

On Monday morning we went back to Onuma to check the huge geese/swan flocks.

But it was foggy……………

Some of them were resting on the lake.

Bewick’s Swan
Bean Goose

Also around were lots of ducks including large numbers of Pintail, 2 Steller’s Sea Eagle, 1 White-tailed Eagle, several Great Egret and a pair of Japanese Wagtail.


Bewick’s Swan

There were huge numbers of Bewick’s Swans near Onuma, in addition to the huger numbers of White-fronted Geese.

This is only a passage visitor to Hokkaido. Whooper Swans are common here in winter (and there were plenty of those around too ) but Bewick7s are always worth a second look in Hokkaido.

Bewick’s Swan
Bewick’s Swan

An ID Error

Bewick’s Swan

Oops. I thought I’d found a real rarity today at Onuma. This black-billed Swan was one of many Swans at Onuma today. I thought, wow……………….it’s a Trumpeter Swan. I even told some people there about it. And then I came home and double-checked the ID.

Oh no. It’s the North American race of Bewick’s Swan, sometimes called Whistling Swan. Cygnus columbianus columbianus. In my defence, I have no experience of this subspecies.

So if you are one of those Japanese birders I talked to today about the ナキハクチョウ all I can say is sorry I made a mistake. It is a アメリカコハクチョウ. Still interesting but not as interesting as I’d thought.

Oh the shame.

ナキハクチョウ じゃないです!!!