Friday, February 4, 2011

Oita River

These photos were all taken earlier in January at Oita River. I started my day by dropping out at Kaku Station, then made my way upstream along the river to Onozuru and Taromaru. The scenery of Mt. Yufu and Mt. Tsurumi was perfect in the warm morning light. I just wished there were more snow on the mountains. Along the reeds, there were many Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus), but they mostly kept hiding inside the reeds and rarely popped out into the open. A small flock of Common Teals and Mallards were resting in the rivers, as well as a pair of Ruddy-breasted Crakes, which I heard them making weird sounds inside the reeds.
A view of Mt. Yufu (left) and Mt. Tsurumi (right)

Non-breeding Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone orientalis) calling
Around Kaku area, I spotted a single Northern Goshawk soaring high up in the sky. The bird later landed into a very thick bush on the river side. There was another female Common Kestrel flying around the area as well. Actually, the target of the visit was the Japanese Waxwing, of which a small flock was photographed a few days earlier. I searched through the area but found nothing but the common stuff, including a flock of Long-tailed Tits, Meadow Buntings, Japanese Grosbeaks and Oriental Turtle-Doves.

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus trivirgatus)
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)
Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis)
I walked over Kaku area and reached Onozuru. There were lots of Common Coots (Fulica atra) around this area of the river. At first, I only found a small flock of 7 birds, but then I later came across a large flock of more than 50 birds swimming in the river. They were much commoner than I though. Lots of Little Grebes were feeding along with the coots, as well as a few Common Moorhens. A view over a dam at Onozuru was spectacular. There were flocks of Eurasian Wigeons, Common Teals and a pair of Gadwalls resting in the dam as well.
A female Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus); a nice comparison to the Goshawk
A view over the dam with Mt. Yufu and Mt. Tsurumi in the background

Common Coots (Fulica atra)

Common Teal (Anas crecca)
Female Long-tailed Rosefinch (Uragus sibiricus); a lifer!
Roosting Chinese Spot-billed Ducks (Anas zonorhyncha)

Female Bull-headed Shrike (Lanius bucephalus)
Japanese Weasel (Mustela itatsi)

A roadkilled Japanese Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus)


John said...

Looks like a good birding area.

Happy "Year of the Rabbit" !

Peng said...

Beautiful sequence of the Common Teals.
Pity about the raccoon dog though.