Sunday, February 28, 2010

East Hokkaido Trip III

I left Kushiro at 7:35 in the morning as the Akan Bus(阿寒バス) departed from Kushiro Eki. It's quite a long way to Rausu but the scenery along the way was very pleasing. Along the road from Kushiro to Shibetsu was very good for buzzards. I saw quite many of them perching on the electric poles. I think one of them was a Rough-legged Buzzard but as I couldn't watch it more carefully with a binocular, I'll just keep it for the next time. Though the weather had been very sunny since leaving from Kushiro, it's got super cloudy and snowing around Naka-Shibetsu. As the bus departing from Naka-Shibetsu, the weather became better again. I saw my first Steller's and White-tailed Eagle on the bus around Shibetsu area. The landscape of Shiretoko Peninsula was so spectacular but I just couldn't go ahead to Rausu town because I have to check-in to a small minshuku I've reserved in Kasuga(春日町) town, about 20 minutes before arriving Rausu. The minshuku's name is called Tabi no Tochu(旅の途中)and the owners were very kind and welcoming. I really like the place! Shame it's just too far away from Rausu. Below is the river near Tabi no Tochu. There were lots of gulls and ducks resting at the river mouth also.
Kasuga Ōgawa

Here's the look inside of Tabi no Tochu

And here's what it looks like outside

After settling all my stuffs down into the room, I went out and did a little bit of birding walk. At the river mouth there were Slaty-backed, Glaucous, Glaucous-winged and Common Gulls resting and bathing along with several Common Mergansers, Mallards and Eurasian Wigeons. In the sea were flocks of Harlequin Ducks, Common Scoters and Common Goldeneyes. I was so surprised on how common the Harlequin Duck was. I thought it'd be something special, but they were actually everywhere. Some female Harlequin Ducks even come into the river close to me.

Slaty-backed Gull

First-winter Glaucous Gull

A male Harlequin Duck

And the females

Glaucous, Glaucous-winged, Slaty-backed & Common Gulls
A flock of Common Scoter

All the birds flew out as soon as I walked down to the river mouth, so I sat there and waited for them to come back but only 1 male Common Merganser came into close range. I just noticed that the species has a very beautiful salmon-pink underpart. I spent time sitting there for about an hour before giving up because of the strong wind that made it too cold for me to stay any longer.

A male Common Merganser


Russell said...

A wonderful sounding trip. Really like the photos of the Merganser splashing around and of course the Steller's heading your page. It may have been cold but you had some nice blue sky.

Unravel said...

Oh you're fast! I was writing the new entry. It's finished now, I'll continue the rest later. Thank you so much for all your comments both here and in my Bird Forum gallery!