July is always a quiet month in south Hokkaido and for various reasons July 2021 has been even quieter than usual.
It’s been really really hot too. Last Sunday it was foggy in the morning which provided temporary relief. Not great for photos but juvenile Ospreys were practicing fishing and the first of the ‘autumn’ waders were passing through.
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 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.