Okku-Nikko and environs in Tochigi-prefecture, November 15-16,1997

Observations made during an outing with the Tan-cho-kai.
The twelve participants were (in alphabetic order): Neil Fergusson, Fujikubo Mariko, Fukuda Atsunori, Fukuda Aiko, Higo Kenichi, Honda Chikako, Ikenaga Hiroshi, Kamiyama Shinya, Katayama Shuusaku, Tachikawa Hirotomi, Tanaka Akiko and Fer-Jan de Vries
Weather was excellent. Sunny, some clouds, hardly any wind. Sunday felt even as a warm day after the night just below 0.

Neil Fergusson's Summary of the trip to the kantory list:

Several of us drove up to Nikko over the weekend for a wonderful
birding trip. Although we failed to find our two main target species,
we were all rewarded with a great view of a HODGSON'S HAWK EAGLE [Kuma-taka].

Many thanks to Ikenaga-san and Katayama-san for driving/coordinating, 
and to Tachikawa-san for organizing the lodging.

 11/15-   Nikko; Stayed in Lodge (coop w/ Forestry-Agric. instit.):
 11/16           Nikko Ryuzu Yamano-ie (Nikko Ryuzu mountain lodge)
	  On the afternoon of the 15th and morning of the 16th, we
	  birded around the area near the lodge, including the trail to
	  the Yu-taki, and Senjougahara marsh.
	  The two basic targets were SOLITARY SNIPE [Ao-shigi] and
	  Northern Shrike, but we failed to find either.
	  After birding, we onsened at the lodge, then ate dinner.
	  On the 16th we again visited the trail to Yu-taki,
	  and Senjougahara marsh, followed by Yunoko and Ashiyo copper-
	  mine area (for GOLDEN EAGLE [Inu-washi], but dipped), and  
          Chuzenjiko lake.

The interesting lesson was that the habitat of the Solitary snipe is very different from Common snipe. Ikenaga-san showed us the spot where he could see the bird one year ago: for example, a 1.5 m deep sand "gorge" carved out by a tiny trickle of water in a very open forest area near the watererfall.
  1. Mute Swan Cygnus olor [Kobu-hakuchou] 1 ex. Escaped or set free member of the Imperial family, most likely.
  2. Mallard Anas Platyrhynchos [Ma-gamo] >80: on the lakes Yuno-ko and Chuzenji-ko as well as in the various shallow rivers.
  3. Spot-billed duck Anas poecilorhyncha [Karu-gamo] >20: Chuzenji-ko
  4. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata [Hashibiro-gamo] 1: Yuno-ko
  5. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca crecca [Ko-gamo] >6: on the lake Chuzenji-ko as well as in a shallow river.
  6. Falcated Teal Anas falcata [Yoshi-gamo] >2: Chuzenji-ko ***
  7. Mandarine duck Aix galericulata [Oshi-dori] >100: Yuno-ko ***
  8. Gadwall Anas strepera [Okayoshi-gamo] >25: Chuzenji-ko ***
  9. Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope [Hidori-gamo] >15: Chuzenji-ko
  10. American Wigeon Anas americana [Amerika-hidori] Possibly 1 female at Chuzenji-ko. An extremely pale, yellowish wigeon, especially the head was beige, the cheek even lighter. Lighter than the near by female mallard. Slightly smaller with a short greyish, blacktipped bill. ***
  11. Pochard Aythya ferina [Hoshi-hajiro] >40: Chuzenji-ko
  12. Common goldeneye Bucephala clangula [Hojiro-gamo] >3: Chuzenji-ko
  13. Tufted duck Aythya fuligula [Kinkuro-hajiro] >10: Yuno-ko and Chuzenji-ko
  14. Greater scaup Aythya marila [Suzu-gamo] >4: Yuno-ko and Chuzenji-ko ***
  15. Smew Mergus albellus [Miko-aisa] >6: Chuzenji-ko (2 males and 4 females)
  16. Common merganser Mergus merganser [Miko-aisa] >12: Yuno-ko and Chuzenji-ko (6 males and 6 females)
  17. Coot Fulica atra [Ou-ban] 1: Chuzenji-ko ***
  18. Hodgson's Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis [Kuma-taka] 1 juvenile ex, November 16, 8.30 am. Near Lodge near Yuno-ko. Very large compared with harassing crows. Characteristic rounded trailing edge to the wing. Underside white (hence non-adult bird), with dark narrow edge at underwing. Light brownish carpal patches. (My second! the first I have seen at October 20 in Asahi-renpo.) As described by Katayama-san: Look for a flying tatami mat!
  19. Black Kite Milvus migrans [Tobi] 8 at various places
  20. Common pheasant Phasianus colchicus [Kiji] feathers of one ex. presumably eaten by raptor. Near Ashiyo, the old coppermining area where in a nearby valley a pair of Golden Eagles is supposed to have breed.
  21. Rufous turtle dove Streptopelia orientalis [Kiji-bato] 4 at various places.
  22. Great spotted woodpecker Dendrocopos major [Akagera] Several indivuals at various places.
  23. Japanese pygmy woodpecker Dendrocopos kizuki [Kogera] Several indivuals at various places.
  24. Japanese wagtail Seguro-sekirei [Motacilla grandis] 1 ex. Senjogahara
  25. Brown-eared bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis [Hiyodori] 1 ex. : Yuno-ko
  26. Bull-headed shrike Lanius bucephalus [Mozu] 1. ex on the way back near Kiryu.
  27. Brown dipper Cinclus pallasii [Kawagarasu] > 12 almost any small river. Sometimes diving, sometimes merely standing in the shallow rapid water and pecking to the bottom.
  28. Winter wren Troglodytes troglodytes [Misosazai] Singing at various places in forest and along rivers. One pair was collecting nest material (moss and leaves) in some hidden cavity of a low riverbank. The wrens appeared to be rather dark brown. Very uniformly colored, the dots were barely visible.
  29. Japanese robin Erithacus akahige [Komadori] 1. ex seen by Kamiyama-san in and around Senjogahara.
  30. Daurian redstart Phoenicurus auroreus [Joobitaki] 1 ex. : Yuno-ko
  31. Goldcrest Regulus regulus [Kikuitadaki] Several ex. in and around Senjogahara.
  32. Willow tit Parus montanus [Ko-kara] Several ex. in and around Senjogahara.
  33. Great tit Parus major [Shijuu-kara] Several ex. in and around Senjogahara.
  34. Coal tit Parus ater [Hi-gara] Several ex. in and around Senjogahara.
  35. Long-tailed tit Aegithalos caudatus [Enaga] Many ex ( >100). in and around Senjogahara.
  36. Nuthatch Sitta europaea [Gojuu-kara] Several ex. in and around Senjogahara. Some singing.
  37. Common Treecreeper Certhia familiaris [Kibashiri] 3 ex in and around Senjogahara.
  38. Siberian meadow bunting Emberiza cioides [Hoojiro] 6 ex in and around Senjogahara.
  39. Black-faced bunting Emberiza spodocephala [Aoji] 2 ex in Senjogahara.
  40. Oriental greenfinch Kawarahiwa [Carduelis sinica] 2 ex. : Yuno-ko
  41. Long tailed rosefinch Uragus sibiricus [Beni-mashiko] >10 ex in and around Senjogahara.
  42. Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula [Uso] 1 ex in Senjogahara.
  43. Tree sparrow Passer montanus [Suzume] Several at various places in and around Senjogahara.
  44. Gray starling Sturnus cineraceus [Mukudori] Several on the way back near Kiryu
  45. Jay Garrulus glandarius [Kakesu] Several at various places in and around Senjogahara.
  46. Azure winged magpie Cyanopica cyana [Onaga] Several on the way back near Kiryu
  47. Carrion crow Corvus corone [Hashiboso-garasu] >100 in and around Senjogahara.
  48. Jungle crow Hashibuto-garasu [Corvus macrorhynchos] >50 in and around Senjogahara.
  • White-tailed eagle seems to be a yearly autumn visitor. Apparently we were two weeks to late.
  • Sarnojuse, a kind of Spanish moss, could be found at many trees.
  • Mistletoe at some places.
  • Japanese squirrel Scurius lis [Nihonrisu] i ex. in Senjogahara.
  • Sika deer Cervus nippon [Shika] Whistling all over Senjogahara. We saw one ex crossing the rather wide lake Yuno-ko.
  • Japanese Serow Capricornis crispus [Kamoshika] Near the station of Ashiyo... Apparently on that spot they are not shy of human beings, and one can see them on the cliff next to station.
  • Raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyoides [Tanuki] 1 roadkill near Showa-bridge along route 122.
  • Bat sp. 2 ex. along route 122 on the way to Koga.
    Back to previous page Last modified: November 16, 1997. Fer-Jan de Vries, ferjan@etl.go.jp