Saturday, February 04, 2006

Kiji Hunting (in vain)

Location: Maioka Park, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture

Access: Shinjuku Station to Totsuka Station - JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line. Totsuka Station to Maioka Station - Yokohama City Subway. Maioka Station to Maioka Park - 25 minute walk

Weather: Clear, Cool-Cold, Light Breeze

Time: 11.30am - 2.30pm

Birds: Eastern Reef Egret, Black Kite, Common Snipe, Oriental Turtle Dove, Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Daurian Redstart, Dusky Thrush, Japanese Bush Warbler, Great Tit, Japanese White-eye, Brown-eared Bulbul, Bull-headed Shrike, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Black-faced Bunting, Siberian Meadow Bunting

Comments: Kiji (Green Pheasant) is a frequently seen bird in Maioka Park (Japanese - Maioka Koen), but proved frustratingly elusive on this visit. However, we did see the much more common Kiji-bato (Oriental Turtle Dove - also known as the Rufous Turtle Dove).

Maioka Park was also the venue today for the 'Big Lens' camera club. Older Japanese men and women, carrying the fruits of a life-time of hard work (i.e. camera lenses bigger than bazookas), prowled the park in small groups, and were immensely useful in spotting a beautifully camouflaged Common Snipe close to the path in a rice field.

The Maioka Park habitat is an undulating country of rice fields, coppice, streams and ponds. In one stream we locate an Eastern Reef Egret, in the less common white form - similar in size to the Little Egret but with a pale yellow bill and legs. Black-faced Bunting and Japanese White-eye are the most commonly seen birds about the park, while a Japanese Bush Warbler proved as difficult as always to locate - preferring to stay close to the ground in thick scrub.

We also locate one squirrel!

2006 Japan Bird Count: 71 Species


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