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Birding Day

November 13th, 2005

Today I got back to Seiseki, and spent some time at Sengenyama / Tama Reien. At Seiseki, I arrived to see an impressive array of telescopic equipment, including what looked like no fewer than two professional television-studio-quality video cameras. The birders had their heavy artillery out.


What were they watching? As it turns out, a Peregrine Falcon (Hayabusa • ハヤブサ) had settled on the riverbed some distance away, and everyone was excited about it:

1105-Peregrine Falcon0-450

After sitting there for about half an hour, it took off, and I managed a few nice shots of it as it did, the first being the best:

1105-Peregrine Falcon1-450

1105-Peregrine Falcon2-450

Not spectacular photos from my teensy camera, but good enough to identify the bird, and so good enough to add to my photographic life list for Japan: #80.

Not much else was happening there, however, so I went to Sengenyama and Tama Reien, adjacent parks good for birding, to see what I could see. However, the birding wasn’t too great there, either. However, there is one area on the northern border of Sengenyama Park (where the park meets the houses) which is fairly productive. I found one place where I could stand very still and a lot of birds (no new ones) would come in numbers, mostly Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers, Great and Varied Tits, and Japanese White-eyes. Alas, all of these birds are highly active, and rarely sit still for more than a few seconds, making photography problematic. But here are two photos that came out OK–a Pygmy Woodpecker hanging upside down with his head pointed at me, twisting up to feed from a knot in the branch:

1105-J Pygmy Woodpecker-450

And a Great Tit, showing the yellow-green coloring on his back well (even if, as usual, I had trouble focusing on this species–strange, as they contrast so much):

1105-Great Tit2-450

I’m thinking of coming back to that spot with a plate and a bag of bird seed to see if I could attract them to come down and feed in the open…

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