Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A New Spot

Just a day before getting on a plane to Bangkok, I took a train to Oita city, the capital of Oita Prefecture southward of Beppu. My purpose was to check around the Oita River if there're any new species. I walked from Oita station towards the river and when I arrived, I started walking northward towards the start of the river. I finally found it a very nice area for birding. There were many reedbeds along the banks with grassy areas full of buntings, on one bank side filled with hundreds of gulls roosting and bathing. Most of the gulls were Black-tailed, Black-headed, Vega and Kamchatka(Mew) Gulls. Few Taimyr(Heuglin's) Gulls were also found mixing with the Vegas. A non-breeding Great Crested Grebe along with its cousin, Little Grebe, and Great Cormorants were floating and diving in the river. A flock of Eurasian Wigeon was also presenting well with about 5 Mallards and a pair of Chinese Spot-billed Duck. Black-eared Kites were very common and a male Osprey was also spotted. The buntings were mainly Black-faced and Chestnut-eared Buntings, but several Common Reed Buntings were also seen and became my lifer. The place was so good but I hadn't got much time to explore more, so I have to go back again next time, April? may be.

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