Monday, January 30, 2012

Other Birds From Fukuoka

This will be the final post for my trip to Fukuoka during the year's end and new year vacation. I found Imazu a very nice place for birding, even though I couldn't get any photo of the Black-faced Spoonbill in close range. Apart from the c. 100 Falcated Ducks in the earlier post, there were tonnes of many other ducks staying at the river mouth. Most of them were Mallards and Chinese Spot-billed Ducks, but I also found interesting species like 1 male Baikal Teal and at least 5 Common Shelducks among the flocks as well. Northern Pintails and Eurasian Wigeons were also numerous, with some Red-breasted Mergansers, Northern Shovelers and Common Teals. I believe that if I had a telescope with me, I'd be able to pick out some more.
A view of Zuibaijigawa (瑞梅寺川) at Imazu

Chinese Spot-billed Ducks (left) and a male Baikal Teal (right)
A flock of Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Two resting Common Shelducks (Tadorna tadorna)
A crappy record shot of a 1st-winter Saunders's Gull (Larus saundersi)
On my second visit to Imazu, I also spotted a first-winter Saunders's Gull (Larus saundersi) resting on a sandbar along with the ducks. It is another globally endangered species which occasionally spends its winter in Kyushu. I've seen quite many of them back in 2009 when I visited Ariake Sea in Saga Prefecture. On the right side of the river, there were patches of rice fields where a pair of Tundra Swans was spotted earlier in December. Unfortunately, I wasn't lucky enough to see them. There was a flock of about 10-15 Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) in the rice fields though. I've never been able to get close to this shy species. Below are my best attempts of getting their photos.

Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus)
They liked to hide among the dried grass.
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica japonica)
Non-breeding Dunlins (Calidris alpina)
Eurasian Magpies (Pica pica japonica) were occasionally found in people's garden and along the roads. However, they were not as easy to photograph as I thought. After all, I could only get one (relatively) decent shot of it standing on the grass while picking up the food. In one of the small canals that flows into Zuibaiji River, I found a flock of about 50 Dunlins (Calidris alpina) resting and chirping like little chicks. I've never heard their voices before, but they seemed to be especially vocal at the time that I found them. They later flew out and made a nice aerial show for a few minutes before landing on the opposite side of the canal.
Female Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) carrying quite a huge lunch
An adult Eastern Great Egret (Casmerodius modesta) with nice breeding plumes
A young female Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Non-breeding Dunlins (Calidris alpina)
From the little research that I made before going to Fukuoka, Tataragawa River (多々良川) seems to be another great place to see Black-faced Spoonbills at close rage. I went there by walking quite a distance from the Kaizuka Station and asked local people about the area where the spoonbills are normally seen. I could finally find the place where the spoonbills are said to come and roost, but there was no spoonbill in sight. I waited until it was almost completely dark despite the biting cold wind and rain, but still no spoonbill came to the roosting site. Finally I had to leave for a warmer place and go back to the city without any photo of the spoonbill. To end this long post, below is a video of Dunlins that I took while waiting for the spoonbills at Tataragawa. I certainly need to pay a second visit to Fukuoka!


Russell said...

So many wonderful photographs I don't which to comment on first. Of course, I have to go with the osprey and would love to see one of those magpies. All the other shots are splendid.

Chris said...

Again a beautiful post with a lot of diversity. I would love to get a picture with a pintail, a wigeon and a baikal teal male on it like yours ;-) Gorgeous post once again!

Friend of HK said...

Great capture of the osprey! Congratulations~

Phil said...

can't believe i'm looking at photgraphs of Dunlin, Shelduck and Lapwings, but from half way around the world. A realy nice variety of birds there.

Stuart Price said...

I missed this post before, some great birds, I've never seen Shelduck in Japan (but lots in England) and I have seen only TWO Lapwings in 12 years in Hokkaido!