Tama Reien in December
The park was a little uneven today. In a few places, birds were all over the place, practically flying right into view. Everywhere else, only crows and bulbuls, and a dearth of bird life. But I’ll take what I can get. And there were a few nice birds today.
Of the birds I did see, I saw a lot. Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers (Kogera • コゲラ) were visible in many areas.
I also spotted two Daurian Redstarts (Joubitaki • ジョウビタキ), or the same one in two different areas. This one is a female (I have yet to spot a gaudy male), but has stronger colors than the two I have spotted in the past. I saw the first bird in a gravestone plot as I rode by, and though it flew off, it paused on a few sticks so that I could get some nice shots. The bottom shot I got later on another street, and could have gotten some great shots as well, except for a common event at Tama Reien–some car or pedestrian with a dog would come by and make noise or movement, as they tend to do just as you’ve spotted a good bird.
In-between birds, I spotted a small cat colony–six cats (only three of which are shown below), resting lazily on a corner. You usually spot cats in birding areas. A few of them were a bit skittish, but one was of the variety that demands you pet it and give it a good, long scratching around the neck and ears. So was the one in the third picture below. As I squatted down to give the kitties a quick pet, this one jumped up on my knee and presented his neck for a good going-over. By holding the camera out at arm’s length, I got a great shot with the little guy’s tongue hanging out–in extreme pleasure, I presume. Kind of looks a little like Bill the Cat, though, doesn’t he?
At the end of my stay at the park, just as I was getting ready to pack it in, I happened upon some nice, autumn-colored trees that were just bursting with birds–a few woodpeckers, a ton of tits, and some Japanese White-eyes (Mejiro • メジロ). I started getting some shots while balancing my bike between my legs, and then noticed that the flock actually started migrating to trees just a short distance away from me! Very rare for birds to get closer like that. And so I got some very, very nice shots.
Click on some for a larger view:
That’s all for today. But I hope that in the next two to three months, I’ll have some more nice pictures. December through February is supposed to be one of the best times for birding here, and last year, a broken foot kept me indoors. The year before, I had only started birding in mid-February. So we’ll see about this year.