Thursday, October 28, 2010

Geese & Ducks

The morning of October 10 saw me catching a train to Kitsuki, a city north of Beppu, in search for a new birding spot. The mission failed by the way. Though I did find some good birds, there was no such decent spot. I walked for about 5km from the train station east to the seashore. Along the way, there were many flocks of ducks in the river, mostly wigeons and pintails. While stopping at one intersection near the city, a flock of 3 Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) came flying passed over my head. I actually thought that they were cormorants from the distance, since I haven't seen any goose in Japan before. Actually, I've only seen 1 species of geese once in India, the Bar-headed Goose, and that was ages ago. So as soon as I realised that they were actually geese, I knew right then that I got a lifer!

Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
The birds flew out towards the west and disappeared in a distance. I continued walking towards the sea in the east, and about 15 minutes later, I spotted the birds came flying back towards the east again. This time they disappeared to the north and didn't come back.

Another nice species for me was the Falcated Duck (Anas falcata), a species I've only seen once in Thailand where it's a rare vagrant many years ago. I've seen a photo of a beautiful male taken at Sekino-e by the oba-chan I've met earlier this year. I wonder how could I not find it, since I've been there almost every week. This winter, I won't miss it, and the Mandarin as well! BTW there are 5 of them in the photos above, one in a more beautiful plumage and others in a drabbed brownish one.


Phil said...

Good to see you continuing the goose theme A. You are only 19,997 short now.

Chris said...

Well sometime, we are not finding what we seek but it is still a good experience and delightful moment. I guess you still did enjoy the exploratory walk.... We also have the greater white fronted geese over here in summer thought...