Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Aomori Holiday - Ashinokoen

Location: Ashinokoen, Kanagi-machi, Goshogawa-rashi, Aomori-ken

Access: Car

Weather: Clear, Cool-Warm, Light Breeze

Time: 11.30am - 12.30pm

Birds: Black Kite, Barn Swallow, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Blue-and-white Flycatcher, Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Comments: Ashino-koen (Ashi Park) at Kanagi in the Tsugaru Peninsula, is one of Japan's 100 best sites for viewing Cherry Blossom; but alas, on the occasion of the Cherry Blossom Festival today, the blossoms are still mere buds.

After lunch, and a shamisen concert, we take the opportunity to take a stroll around the 120 acre (50 Ha) lake, Ashino-ko. Picturesque with suspension and floating bridges, it is all but devoid of bird life. Not a duck graces the blue-green water, and we have all but given up on seeing any birds at all when suddenly we find two new birds for the year list.

By the edge of the lake Blue-and-white Flycatcher dart across the water from bank to bank, swooping on any insects in their path. Returned from South-east Asia where it winters, this migratory songbird breeds in Japan (as well as Korea, China and Russia).

In a small reed covered corner of the lake an Eastern Crowned Warbler proves difficult to watch, but is easily identified by its faint median crown-stripe. Excellent pictures and descriptions are found at
this website.

Links: Identification of Japanese Phylloscopus; map

2006 Japan Bird Count: 88 Species


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