Home > Focus on Japan 2011 > A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

April 1st, 2011

It’s been a while since I have been birdwatching. It’s nice weather these days, which is to say, clear and sunny but not so cold. So Sachi and I took a walk outside to a few close-by parks. One was really close, right outside the door; the other just a block or so away. Anticipating a few birds, I took the camera with the zoom lens. There were a lot more birds out than I thought–none unusual, but some nice standards.

We got the Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Great Tit, Brown-Eared Bulbul, Oriental Greenfinch, Dusky Thrush, Grey Starling, Japanese White-Eye, and the Bull-Headed Shrike. (There were sparrows and crows also, but aren’t there always.) The Shrike was the least expected, but the prettiest was the Japanese White-Eye, pretty partly because of the yellow-green plumage, but also because it is framed by the newly-arrived cherry blossoms. They were mostly in the daikan-zakura, a kind of cherry tree that blossoms early despite the cold.

In any case, here are the better shots I took this morning. Click to embiggen, with only a few exceptions. First, the mejiro, or Japanese White-Eye:

Mejiro01 500-1

Mejiro02 500-1

Mejiro03 500-1

This next image is not upside-down, the bird is. The White-Eyes often hang upside down to reach the blossoms and drink the nectar.

Mejiro04 500-1

Next is the kawarahira, or the Oriental Greenfinch.

Greenfinch02 500-1

I was lucky enough to catch one in mid-flight, which is where you can see the lovely yellow and black wing markings.

Greenfinch01 500-1

Greenfinch03 500-1

In our local park, I caught the Pygmy Woodpecker (kogera), always a nice little catch.

Kogera 500-1

Kogera02 500-1

Kogera03 500-1

Less spectacular is the Grey Starling:

Mukudori01 500-1

Often on the ground at this time of year is the tsugumi, the Dusky Thrush:

Tsugumi01 500-1

Tsugumi02 500-1

And the nice surprise, the Bull-Headed Shrike, with lovely color, the eye stripe, and the overbite:

Mozu01 500-1

Mozu02 500-1

Mozu03 500-1

Mozu04 500-1

Mozu05 500-1

…and, of course, the flowers were pretty.

Sakura01 500-1

Sakura02 500-1

Finally, this annoying Bulbul–one of my least-favorite birds (they’re everywhere and don’t sing, but instead screech) which did nothing to improve my opinion by chasing off all the White-Eyes–the two birds compete for the same food source at this time, namely the cherry blossoms.

Bulbul01 500

Afterwards, we stopped by the small pizza house at the edge of the park, the one that was really a coffee house and had just one type of pizza. But it was nice, and more than anything, a nice little day out.

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  1. ken sensei
    April 2nd, 2011 at 09:29 | #1

    Very impressive photos, Luis.
    It’s nice to know life goes on in spite of things in Japan. It’s important to focus on birds and sakura blossoms, rather than on negative images and news developments.
    Enjoying nature is one of the best ways I know of to keep a positive mental attitude…

  2. ken sensei
    April 3rd, 2011 at 02:58 | #2

    Nice Tits, by the way…

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