Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Birding Day

Today I tried to wake up early to catch up with sunrise and I almost succeeded. I've been waking up very late for many days now, so I think it's about time that I should do some morning birdwatch. So I finally got myself out of bed around 7:30 and one hour later I was arriving at Minami Tatte-Ishi koen. It was a beautiful morning I've been yearning for for so many days. The sky was clear and blue and the cherry blossom was still quite splendid.
I just love the feeling of spring!

Mt. Tsurumi

I have a feeling that there are more Pale Thrushes than Dusky here in Minami Tatte-Ishi park, unlike Beppu park, where Dusky Thrush is notably more numerous. I tried looking for Brown-headed Thrush, which I've seen a male bird once here, but couldn't find any. Few Hawfinches were also feeding on the ground side by side with the thrushes. I walked to the center zone of the park, then a bird of a bulbul-size flew up and perch on the dead tree top. I almost ignored it, but then the bird gave a very trange call which I've never heard before so I pointed my lens towards it and bingo! it's a male Japanese Grosbeak (Eophona personata), a species I've yet to photograph. The bird perched up there and sang its short sweet song, a song I've never expected to hear from a grosbeak!

A male Japanese Grosbeak

The birds fed on cherry seeds.

I later noticed that there were another 3-4 birds feeding on a cherry tree nearby. Though the birds were not so shy, but I was too nervous and there were too many people walking all over the place, which made the birds flew out every once in a while, so I had a very hard time photographing these birds, and I still feel unsatisfied about the results.

A pair of Oriental Turtle-Dove

A male Dusky Thrush

Brown-eared Bulbul was very numerous.

A breeding male Grey-capped Greenfinch

One shy male Daurian Redstart was still presenting in the park.

Pale Thrushes here are very tame!

A breeding male Hawfinch

Other than the grosbeak, which was simply the highlight of the day, the normal stuffs were still presenting very well. Long-tailed Tits were common and Japanese(Great) Tits were singing. A Common Kingfisher flashed by quickly as usual. Lots of Grey-capped Greenfinches, very vocal and surprisingly tame. Several Japanese/White/Grey Wagtails were in a small stream in the back of the park. Lots of Barn Swallows were catching insects along the stream and a pair Siberian Meadow Bunting was showing in a small reedbed nearby. Before leaving the park, I came across an approachable male Hawfinch, so I finally have some nice shots of the species.


Stu said...

Some nice Pale Thrush shots again, i've never taken a Japanese Grosbeak one either.......

Great clear spring weather up here but not many birds around, I'm also without a car until next weekend.................hope the weather holds until then.

Phil said...

A brilliant selection of shots there. Hard to pick a favourite but the thrushes are a bit special and that Greenfinch is so much like ours. I like the blossom too.