Kitaura in Ibaraki-ken, December 20, 1998

The aim was to have a look at the Canvasback, a rare visitor of Japan, which was supposed to occur at the Mute-swan site in the south of Kitaura, close to Itako. We did find it there, and it showed itself at wonderful close range. Much larger than Pochard, the beak is very long and slender. Entirely dark. The eye is dark red, and the red of the head is blackish. The white/grey on the back is lighter than that of Pochard.

The Mute-swans supposedly belong to a feral population in Utonai-ko in Hokkaido and migrate every winter to Kitaura. (Mark Brazil in [BoJ] mentions Kasumiguara..., but Kitaura seems to be the regular site). This day there seemed to be less birds than last winter, now about 15. At this south west corner of Kitaura the Swans are being fed by the local people.

Of interest were also the assortments of grebes and the terns.

Participants: Ikenaga Hiroshi, Honda Chikako, Katayama Shusaku and Fer-Jan de Vries.

Weather: Nice, clear winterday. Sunny and partly overcast. Windy at times, but not too much.



  1. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus [Kanmuri-kaitsuburi]
  2. Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus [Mimi-kaitsuburi]
  3. Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis [Hajiro-kaitsuburi]
  4. Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis [Kaitsuburi]
  5. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo [Kawa-u]
  6. Mute Swan Cygnus olor [Kobu-hakuchoo]
  7. Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus [Oo-hakuchoo]
  8. Mallard Anas Platyrhynchos [Ma-gamo]
  9. Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha [Karu-gamo]
  10. Canvasback Aythya valisineria [Ou-hoshi-hajiro] December 20, 1998
  11. Pochard Aythya ferina [Hoshi-hajiro]
  12. Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula [Kinkuro-hajiro]
  13. Herring Gull Larus argentatus [Seguro-kamome]
  14. Mew Gull Larus canus kamschatschensis [Kamome]
  15. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus [Yuri-kamome]
  16. White-winged Black Tern Sterna leucoptera [Hajiro-kurohara-ajisashi]
  17. Whiskered Tern Sterna hybrida [Kurohara-ajisashi]
  18. Common Tern Sterna hirundo [Ajisashi]
  19. Little Egret Egretta garzetta [Ko-sagi]
  20. Great Egret Egretta alba [Dai-sagi]
  21. Gray Heron Ardea cinerea [Ao-sagi]
  22. Common Coot Fulica atra [Oo-ban]
  23. Black Kite Milvus lineatus [Tobi]
  24. Gray Starling Sturnus cineraceus [Mukudori]
  • (Northern) Lapwing Vanellus vanellus [Tageri]
  • Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus [Oohashi-shigi]
  • Common Buzzard Buteo buteo [Nosuri]
  • Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus [Chuuhi]
  • Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus [Choogenboo]
  • Black-backed Wagtail Motacilla lugens [Haku-sekirei]
  • Japanese Wagtail Motacilla grandis [Seguro-sekirei]
  • Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus [Mozu]
  • Dusky Thrush Turdus naumanni [Tsugumi]
  • Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus [Oo-jurin]
  • Tree Sparrow Passer montanus [Suzume]
  • Carrion Crow Corvus corone [Hashiboso-garasu]

    Birds of Japan and Asia ,
    December 20, 1998,
    Fer-Jan de Vries.