Home > Uncategorized > Back to the Birding…

Back to the Birding…

March 26th, 2005

Most of the day was spent doing grading and blogging (more responding to comments, mostly on the Schiavo case–that issue has brought this blog’s readership to an average of 2000 hits per day, mostly via search engines), but by sundown I found myself free and so decided to go down to the river and see what was going on. There was the usual assortment of ducks and cormorants (though I discovered that the cormorants started fishing at about this time of day, apparently), along with Wagtails (Japanese: Sekirei • セキレイ), both White (Haku-sekirei • ハクセキレイ) and Japanese (Seguro-Sekirei • セグロセキレイ), as pictured below).


Now, that’s not the best Wagtail photo I’ve gotten, but I almost got a great shot–and then foiled myself. That’s “foiled” with an “f,” thank you. Anyway, I had just figured out how to get good shots of the Wagtails. There’s a concrete embankment sloping at maybe 30 degrees before the water; the Wagtails like to run up and down the bottom of the embankment looking for morsels. I usually walk along the top of the embankment, but the Wagtails are particularly skittish and fly away before I can get close enough for a good shot. So I struck upon the idea of spotting the location of a wagtail, then walking ten feet or more inland from the embankment so I would be hidden from the bird; then, where the Wagtail was idling, I would sneak up and hold the camera over my head so that only that would peek above the embankment, not scaring off the bird. I did this, and had a superb shot lined up… and just at that moment the batteries went dead. I had failed to bring a fresh set (again! I gotta stop doing that), though I did have a spent set, which can usually be milked for a few extra shots. So I threw them in, followed the bird again, set up another good shot–and of course, they failed again. Yargh.

I did see a few new species, though. First of all, I haven;t differentiated much between crows before, but the pair I spotted on the riverbank today did not not the huge beak that Jungle Crows (Hashibuto-garasu • ハシブトガラス) have. Sure enough, they’re Carrion Crows (Hashibon-garasu • ハシボンガラス). Not the best shot here, but I like the lighting.


But the best discovery was one I did not expect: a Sandpiper (Japanese: Inshigi • インシギ). A Common Sandpiper, to be precise. It was wading along the same embankment edge that the Wagtails were. Actually, I came up with the sneak-up-on-the-embankment technique with this bird, and I did get a few good shots.



Categories: Uncategorized Tags: by
Comments are closed.