Autumn Migration

Raptor and passerine migration is now well and truly underway in my region of Japan. The Chinese Goshawks have finished and now it is the turn of the Oriental Honey Buzzards, Grey-faced Buzzards, Eurasian Sparrowhawks and smaller numbers of Northern Hobby and Japanese Sparrowhawk. The Eurasian Kestrels have just arrived at Isahaya, along with the […]

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Japanese Night Heron, Gorsachius goisagi

This species had eluded me so far in Japan, so I jumped at the chance when I heard that there was a “friendly” bird in Kyushu. I observed it for about an hour and a half while it hunted in the grasses bordering thick woods for prey such as earthworms, frogs and snails. A big […]

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Recent Birding Tour of Northwestern Kyushu

Between September 16 and 19 I led a couple from Canada around birding spots in Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Saga, Fukuoka and Oita prefectures. Before the tour started, I took the ferry across to Kumamoto from Shimabara, spotting a large flock of Streaked Shearwater just out from Shimabara Port, and then Brown Booby as the ferry neared […]

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Chinese Goshawk Migration (Part 1)

Late this afternoon I decided to hike up Mt Kinugasa and see if there was any migration action. I arrived at the summit at about 16:30 and stayed until 18:00. During that time I saw a lone Chinese Goshawk, but it was quite far and on the sunward side of me, so I didn’t bother […]

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Summer Wildlife in Japan

For many people, Japan conjures up images of high technology, fast-paced modern cities, ancient temples and shrines, unique cuisine and intriguing traditions; but Japan is also well worth visiting for its wildlife, particularly during the summer months when escaping from the hot sweltering cities to the cooler, refreshing countryside is rewarding in itself. Not only […]

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August Migrant Shorebirds

I visited Daijyugarami, Saga prefecture, last Friday to see what birds had started migrating through. The highlights were a solitary juvenile Asian Dowitcher, a Long-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage, a Red Knot also in breeding plumage, a Broad-billed Sandpiper, a Long-toed Stint, four Black-faced Spoonbill, one Saunders’s Gull, a few Black-tailed Godwit and plenty of […]

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Doi Inthanon

My trip to Thailand has been spent mostly with the family, which together with adverse rainy-season weather has left little time for photography. However I did get the family together for a quick day trip to Doi Inthanon, and the weather cooperated nicely. I had a quick look at Checkpoint 2, where a group of […]

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Mount Aso Highlands

Last Friday afternoon I revisited the highlands near Mt Aso, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Usually I visit this location in the early morning, but I wanted to see what was happening in the late afternoon. Also, the light direction is better in the afternoon, so more options to photograph species active in the area. The scenery […]

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