From Red-cheeked Starlings to Red Phalaropes

  • Ami and Miho coast of Kasumigaura
  • Kamisu along the Tonegawa
  • Choushi and Hasaki at the Pacific Ocean:

    April 17, 1999.

    This Saturday was a nice warm spring day. We spent the morning 7.30 - 12.30 checking out the wonders of the beautiful coast of Kasumigaura near Ami and Miho.
  • Bulbuls and Jays were migrating in little groups to the NW.
  • Four Red-Cheeked Starlings were feeding in the Sakura-trees near the entrance of the military (?) complex near km 41.
  • A Mute Swan was flying near Kihara.
  • Common Snipes could be found on almost every wetland.
  • Golden plovers and Little Ringed Plovers seemed to prefer the more drier fields.
  • Painted Snipes seemed not to be present yet, but the search for them revealed a Water Rail in the small marsh west of Kihara.

    When Mathias made pictures of two lotus farmers, the friendly farmerswife climbed out of the Lotos paddy and presented Mathias with a bag full of lotus roots.

    Then we decided to head for Choushi. Along the Tonegawa river we found a large group of Whimbrels, near the east of Kamisu-machi. A Spotted Redshank and a Marsh Sandpiper could be seen among them.

    In Choushi there were still many gulls. A nice variety of species, including a Black-tailed Kitiwake which appeared to fly with only one and a half wing. But no Common Gulls. To my disappointment the wet wasteland near the Lighthouse that last year attracted a number of nice wader species was now a flattened into an almost concrete type of smooth stony surface. There were even no Rock Thrushes around...

    The artificial landscape of Hasaki is similar dynamic. What last year was a hill from which one could observe the terns on the island in the Tonegawa was now a big and uninviting looking puddle. The beach and the harbour had not not changed that much. There where pairs of Oystercatchers, Great Knots and Eared Grebes and even a pair of Red (Gray) Phalaropes.

    When we were ready to turn home just before sunset, a Kestrel came racing by, flying very low. He sped upwards just in front of a big white building where an innocent blackish bat was flying around. The bat responded quick enough and either with sudden drops or sharp turns it managed to escape a series of attacks by the falcon until we lost both them out of sight.

    On the way back we listened again near Kihara for Painted Snipes, but no success.

    Participants: Catrin and Mathias Jaschhof and Fer-Jan de Vries.
    Weather: Dry, and sunny in the morning, overcast in the afternoon along the coast. The temperature was pleasant, near the coast it became somewhat cooler.

    Observed species

    1. Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis [Hajiro-kaitsuburi]
      • Hasaki: 2 ex swimming and diving in harbour.
    2. Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis [Kaitsuburi]
      • Kasumigaura
    3. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo [Kawa-u]
      • Kasumigaura: at least 50 ex.
    4. Temminck's Cormorant Phalacrocorax filamentosus [Umi-u]
      • Choushi: several hundreds
    5. Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus [Hime-u]
      • Choushi: 2 ex.
    6. Mute Swan Cygnus olor [Kobu-hakuchoo]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex.
    7. Mallard Anas Platyrhynchos [Ma-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    8. Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha [Karu-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    9. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata [Hashibiro-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    10. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca crecca [Ko-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    11. Falcated Teal Anas falcata [Yoshi-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    12. Gadwall Anas strepera [Okayoshi-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    13. Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope [Hidori-gamo]
      • Kasumigaura
    14. Black Scoter Melanitta nigra [Kuro-gamo]
      • Hasaki: 1 male, 1 female in harbor
    15. Slaty-backed Gull Larus schitisagus [Oo-seguro-kamome]
      • Choushi
    16. Herring Gull Larus argentatus vegae [Seguro-kamome]
      • Choushi: about 20, the adults in Summerplumage.
      Herring Gull Larus argentatus "yellow" [Seguro-kamome]
      • Choushi: about 3 adults with yellowish leg instead of pink. Eyes appeared dark. Summerplumage. One male with a brownish gonal spot on lower mandible instead of the bright red spot like other adult L.a.vegae.
    17. Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris [Umineko]
      • Choushi
    18. Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens [Washi-kamome]
      • Choushi
    19. Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus [Shiro-kamome]
      • Choushi
    20. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus [Yuri-kamome]
      • Kasumigaura: at least 100 ex.
      • Choushi
    21. Black-legged Kittiwake Larus tridactylus [Mitsuyubi-kamome]
      • Choushi: 1 ex in winterplumage flying with an apparent one and a half wing.
    22. Little Tern Sterna albifrons [Ko-ajisashi]
      • Hasaki: at least 5 ex.
    23. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax [Goi-sagi]
      • Kasumigaura: 2 ex on posts in the water
    24. Little Egret Egretta garzetta [Ko-sagi]
      • Kasumigaura: about 3
    25. Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia [Chuu-sagi]
      • Kasumigaura: about 20
    26. Great Egret Egretta alba [Dai-sagi]
      • Kasumigaura: about 2
    27. Gray Heron Ardea cinerea [Ao-sagi]
      • Kamisu: 2 ex.
    28. Common Coot Fulica atra [Oo-ban]
      • Kasumigaura
    29. Common Gallinule Gallinula chloropus [Ban]
      • Kasumigaura
    30. Water Rail Rallus aquaticus [Kunia]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex near Kihara
    31. Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus [Miyakodori]
      • Hasaki: 2 ex on beach in harbor
    32. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius [Kochidori]
      • Kasumigaura: at least 10 ex. Some appared ready fro breeding
    33. Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus [Shiro-chidori]
      • Hasaki: at least 8 ex on beach in harbor
    34. Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva [Munaguro]
      • Kasumigaura : at least 200 ex in groups of 20-60 ex.
    35. Sanderling Crocethia alba [Miyubi-shigi]
      • Hasaki: 4 ex in plumage ranging from winter to summer plumage
    36. Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris [Oba-shigi]
      • Hasaki: 2 ex in winterplumage
    37. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis [Ko-ao-ashi-shigi]
      • Kamisu: 1 ex in summerplumage
    38. Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos [Iso-shigi]
      • Kasumigaura
    39. Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus [Tsuru-shigi]
      • Kamisu: 1 ex in winterplumage
    40. Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica [Oo-sori hashi-shigi]
      • Kamisu: about 16 ex, some in winterplumage others in summerplumage
    41. Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus [Chuushaku-shigi]
      • Kamisu: about 36 ex
    42. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago [Ta-shigi]
      • Kasumigaura: at least 50 ex
    43. Latham's Snipe?? Gallinago hardwickii [Ooji-shigi]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex? : bird with erect posture, lacking the more brownish tone of Common Snipe. General impression blackish. Upperwings without white edges.
    44. Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius [Haiiro-hireashi-shigi]
      • Hasaki: 2 ex in winterplumage. One ex seen flying and then swimming: head on profile showed broad beak and dark phalarope spots around the eyes. Grey with wingbars. Slow, heavy wingbeat. The other was swimming in harbor with similar erect neck and horizontal back.
    45. Black Kite Milvus lineatus [Tobi]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex
    46. Gray-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus [Sashiba]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex
    47. Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus [Chuuhi]
      • Kasisu: 1 ex
    48. Northern Goshawk Accipter gentilis [Oo-taka]
      • Kasumigaura
    49. Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus [Choogenboo]
      • Hasaki: 1 ex hunting just before sunset at a lonely black medium sized bat, which managed to dodge many attacks.
    50. Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola thoracica [Kojukei]
      • Kasumigaura: calling
    51. Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus [Kiji]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 male walking around, and one sleeping female.
    52. Rufous Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis [Kiji-bato]
      • Kasumigaura
    53. Rock Pigeon Columba livia [Do-bato]
      • Kasumigaura
    54. Japanese Skylark Alauda japonica [Hibari]
      • Kasumigaura: many
    55. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica [Tsubame]
      • Kasumigaura: several
    56. Black-backed Wagtail Motacilla lugens [Haku-sekirei]
      • Kasumigaura
    57. Japanese Wagtail Motacilla grandis [Seguro-sekirei]
      • Kasumigaura
    58. Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta [Tahibari]
      • Kasumigaura: summerplumage
    59. Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis [Hiyodori]
      • Kasumigaura: several migrating groups of several tens of birds in NW direction along the coast.
    60. Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus [Mozu]
      • Kasumigaura: at least 2 ex.
    61. Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius [Iso-hyodori]
      • hasaki: 1 ex.
    62. Brown Thrush Turdus chrysolaus [Akahara]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex.
    63. Dusky Thrush Turdus naumanni [Tsugumi]
      • Kasumigaura
    64. Bush Warbler Cettia diphone [Uguisu]
      • Kasumigaura
      • Kamisu
    65. Japanese Marsh Warbler Megalurus pryeri [Oo-sekka]
      • Kamisu: singing
    66. Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis [Sekka]
      • Kasumigaura: singing
      • Kamisu: singing
    67. Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus [Oo-yoshikiri]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 ex singing
    68. Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala [Aoji]
      • Kasumigaura
    69. Japanese Reed Bunting Emberiza yessoensis [Ko-jurin]
      • Kamisu: 2 ex.
    70. Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus [Oo-jurin]
      • Kasumigaura: at least 20.
    71. Oriental Greenfinch Carduelis sinica [Kawarahiwa]
      • Kasumigaura
    72. Tree Sparrow Passer montanus [Suzume]
      • Kasumigaura
    73. Gray Starling Sturnus cineraceus [Mukudori]
      • Kasumigaura
    74. Red-cheeked Starling Sturnus phillippensis [Ko-mukudori]
      • Kasumigaura: 1 male and 3 female in cherry trees along the road to the military coplex on the dike east of Ami.
    75. Jay Garrulus glandarius brandtii [Kakesu]
      • Kasumigaura: in total 9 ex migrating over the hills in NW direction.
    76. Carrion Crow Corvus corone [Hashiboso-garasu]
      • Kasumigaura
    77. Jungle Crow Corvus macrorhynchos [Hashibuto-garasu]
      • Kasumigaura

      • Bat sp.
      • Fox

      Birds in Japan and Asia
      Last modified: April 19, 1999.