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Recent Birdwatching

March 27th, 2006

For the past one month, I’ve finally been getting back to birdwatching. The first return was a month and a few days ago, and I was still on crutches, but able to balance enough without them so I could take photos between walking from place to place on the Tama River. Since then, I’ve made it to Inogashira Park, Seiseki Sakuragaoka a few times, and to the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park. I just never got around to posting any of the photos. I got a few Life Birds along the way, but mostly just revisited species I’d spotted many times before. Still, there was some good birding in there, and I’ll try to give a good sample of all the species. None of the photos in this series will have larger versions on clicking.

First, the late February Tama River birding. Along with the usual assortment of crows and sparrows, there were:

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Eurasian Wigeons. These Wigeons have been congregating at this particular stretch along the Tama River in Inagi since late last year. There are several dozen of the birds, always in the same spot.

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And of course, the Great Cormorants. These birds are present in the area year-round, and were among the first birds I spotted when I started birdwatching here a little more than a year ago. These big fellas are almost as ubiquitous as the crows, but not quite. Still, you see them everywhere along the river and the bay.

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Not quite as numerous but still nice to see are the Green Winged Teals. Pretty birds. Although Inogashira Park is flush with ducks, neither the Teals nor the Wigeons show up there, for some reason–but they are usual visitors to this part of the Tama River in Inagi.

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Even more ubiquitous than the Cormorants are the inevitable Spot-billed Ducks. If you see a duck in Japan, odds are it’s one of these.

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Less expected was a small group of Little Grebes. I haven’t seen these guys so much on the Tama before, but they’ve been regulars here for the past month or longer.

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Returning after a short absence are the Egrets, in this image, a Little Egret (yellow feet). They’re always graceful and nice to see.

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And where there’s water, there are Wagtails–a White Wagtail, in this case, the more common type. Japanese Wagtails (similar, but with a black head and white brow stripe) are less common. Wagtails are easily spotted by their signature slow-wagging tail, as well as their swooping up-and-down flight path and their peep-peep! peep-peep! call.

Not an exceptionally exciting collection, but a nice welcome back to birdwatching. Next: Inogashira Park.

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