Thursday, January 05, 2006

Shinobazu Pond

Location: Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Park, Ueno

Black-headed Gull, Shinobazu Pond, Jan 5th 2005Access: Shinjuku Station to Ueno Station - JR Yamanote Line. Access Shinobazu Pond (SW side of Ueno Park) via Park Exit

Weather: Cloudy, Cold, Breezy

Time: 3.45pm - 4.45pm

Birds: Great Cormorant, Mallard, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Shoveller, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Coot, Rock Dove, Common Black-headed Gull, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Jungle Crow

Comments: With dusk falling and a cold breeze blowing off the water, my bird watching on Shinobazu Pond was only ever going to be cursory. Amongst the homeless, the new year devotees at Bintendo Temple, and a few lingering tourists, I marched the footpath leading around the lake. Famous for its lotuses, now brown and dormant in the winter - perches for flocks of Eurasian Tree Sparrows, the pond was deserted but for a lone couple in a swan-shaped paddle boat; and a myriad of commonly seen ducks and flocks of Common Black-headed Gulls.

The ducks are virtually tame, well fed with bread, and easily approached by cameras. Northern Pintail seemed to be the most common species on the water, with the Tufted Duck coming a close second. A single Great Cormorant, resplendent in breeding plumage, brought notice to himself by 'clacking' repeatedly with his bill as he preened himself on an unsteady branch overhanging the water; and white geese, escapees from the adjoining Ueno Zoo, competed with Mallard for the share of crusts being handed out by a bag-lady.

2006 Japan Bird Count: 34 Species


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