Tuesday, 22 December 2015

First days in Japan

I've only been in Japan since Sunday, and that was a day of travel across Tokyo. I'm here with Mick S and Josh J to have a decent look around the place and focus on a few target species we all want to have a look at. One thing that has been apparent right from the word go is the cleanliness and politeness of this place. Just a quick post for now though, what with bird filled days and the remnants of jet lag still about slightly.

Sunday was all about arriving in Tokyo and getting across the city from one aiport to the other, in order to get our late afternoon internal flight to Kagoshima. A couple of pleasant diversions at the Meiji Jingu shrine on the way through (as well as the more elusive Grey Bunting): -

Black-faced Buntings Meiji Jingu, Tokyo December 2015
Varied Tit Meiji Jingu, Tokyo December 2015
The next day, Monday, was spent around Hyuga and Kadagowa - we drew a blank on the Japanese Murrelet front but the Black-tailed Gulls and Vega Gulls played ball and so did the Black-eared Kites: -

Black-tailed Gulls (adult and 1st-winter) Kadogawa, Kyushu December 2015
adult Vega Gull Kadogawa, Kyushu December 2015
Black-eared Kite Kadogawa, Kyushu December 2015
And then onto this morning where there was fine weather at Lake Miike - some good birds seen in the end including Ryukyu Minivet, Forest Wagtail, Yellow-throated Bunting and a nice looking male Red-flanked Bluetail.
Forest Wagtail Lake Miike, Kyushu December 2015
Red-flanked Bluetail Lake Miike, Kyushu December 2015
Yellow-throated Bunting Lake Miike, Kyushu December 2015
Onto the Yatsushiro Estuary for the afternoon, and with the target being to see and photograph Saunders's Gulls on the incoming tide we were able to take our time. Black-faced Spoonbills, Falcated Ducks, Chestnut-eared and Meadow Buntings were some of the side show on offer.

Saunders's Gulls Yatsushiro Estuary, Kyushu December 2015
Black-faced Spoonbill Yatsushiro Estuary, Kyushu December 2015
And so that's where we're at currently - lucked out on weather so far, though with some rain tomorrow and just a couple more days of Kyushu warmth, it'll be Christmas Day in the far north on Hokkaido.

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