Friday, December 3, 2010

Bungo Toyo-oka

These are quite old photos taken on November 10th. I visited Bungo Toyo-oka (豊後豊岡), a small town just north of Beppu, as suggested by Furuso-san. It only took a few minutes by train from Kamegawa Station (亀川駅). As the train rapidly moved through the field of Sekino-E, I saw the two geese standing nicely in the warm morning sun of autumn. The town of Bungo Toyo-oka is very quiet and peaceful. The weather was brilliant and I had a good time walking through the urban area out into the wild. There are more rice fields here than in Beppu, all were harvested. Black-eared Kites were very common. I saw lots of them throughout the morning walk.
First-year Vega Gull (Larus vegae)
First-year Common Gull (Larus canus Kamtschatschensis)
There was a big flock of gulls bathing in a small harbour near the town. Most of them were Black-headed, Black-tailed and Vega Gulls. There were also a few first-year Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus), and an odd first-year Common Gull (Larus canus Kamtschatschensis), a bird I don't see very often around here. There were also fresh footprints of a weasel on the sandy shore, too bad I couldn't find one. Common Sandpipers and Little Egrets were feeding along the small canal nearby as well.
Female Bull-headed Shrike (Lanius bucephalus)
Male Eyebrowed Thrush (left) with male Brown-headed Thrush (right)
Male Brown-headed Thrush (Turdus chrysolaus)
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

Male Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis bengalensis)
I chose to walk upstream to the mountain side. Along the way, I came across a very big flock of thrushes, mostly Dusky, Pale and Eyebrowed with several Brown-headed. The Brown-headed and Eyebrowed are not the birds that I often see in Beppu. The birds seemed to be enjoying some kind of wild berries fruiting along the riverside. Unfortunately, all of them were so shy so I couldn't get any decent shot of them. All of the above shots were cropped.
Japanese Weasel (Mustela itatsi)

Male Eyebrowed Thrush (Turdus obscurus)
While I was photographing the thrushes, a Japanese Weasel popped out of the bush in the river below. I tried to get some nice photos of it, but it was really difficult to catch up with. It moved so fast through the bushes and the rocks. The above shot was the only acceptable shot of it in the open. There was a Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) soaring high up in the sky while I was watching the thrushes as well. It was later chased by a flock of Large-billed Crows. Daurian Redstarts and Common Kingfishers were along the river in quite a good number. I later took a bus back to Beppu around 11.30 as the wind started to get too strong and the birds began to disappear.


Russell said...

A nice set of photos. I like how you show the environment the birds are in. Japanese Weasels are cool but they don't stay still for long.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Thanks a lot Russell! Your photos of the weasel are great! I see them a lot lately, but mostly at night running along the canal in the city.