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 first of the wintering Eastern Marsh Harriers.
Wintering ducks have also started arriving, with lots of Eurasian Wigeon in eclipse and a few Mandarin Duck. Flycatchers, warblers and starlings are all passing through now, although the warblers are difficult to identify as they stay quiet on autumn migration. Many other passerines that are normally quite vocal during spring migration pass by with barely a noise in the fall, such as Fairy Pitta.
Lots of egrets are also moving, with many Cattle Egret and Intermediate Egret among them. Soon the buntings and thrushes will replace the flycatchers and warblers, and then the wintering species will arrive in greater numbers. One of my favourite birds will also arrive soon – the Amur Falcon. Every year small numbers migrate through Isahaya, with a few staying for as long as ten days or so.
Normally these birds are juveniles or immatures, but sometimes an adult female will appear. For some reason, males tend to use the smaller islands for their route, such as Tsushima and Goto. Recently I checked on the migration status at Kabashima and Isahaya.
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