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Local Park, Tama River

March 30th, 2006

As the last installment of my past month of birdwatching, this one catches up to today. First I went to the hilly park around the corner from my apartment building, hoping to see the Red-Flanked Bluetails I spotted a year ago. No luck on that, though I did catch some Japanese White-eyes attracted to the blossoming trees…

0306-Japanese White-Eye-450

0306-Japanese White-Eye2-45

…and some Oriental Greenfinches.

0306-Oriental Greenfinch-45

I also saw some Tree Sparrows, White Wagtails, crows, a variety of ducks, some Egrets (Little, Great, and Grey), some ubiquitous White-cheeked Starlings and a Thrush–I’m pretty sure it was a Dusky, but a construction traffic guard, apparently bored and wanting something to do, flushed off the bird when he came up to me to tell me to be careful of trucks passing by (which there were none, and not as if I wouldn’t have noticed them coming).

But I did see get one other bird that I’ll have to have checked out by people who know more than I do. The bird first appeared above me, chattering away, almost hovering–it didn’t fly off in any direction, but just tread the air, slowly drifting up and up in what appeared to be a courting display of some sort. After maybe five minutes, it dived down and landed on the river bed nearby. I saw it land, but its coloring was so perfect a camouflage, it immediately became invisible to the eye. But since I knew where it landed, I zoomed in and snapped several shots blindly, and got these pictures:

0306-Eurasian Skylark-1-450

0306-Eurasian Skylark-2-450

Now, I think that’s a Eurasian Skylark… but I’m going to have to have that checked. It’s missing the usual crest, but otherwise it seems to be spot on. But this is a tricky one to identify.

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  1. April 16th, 2006 at 10:41 | #1

    Personally (and noting that there is some debate on the “japonica” form), I’d go with Hibari (Japanese Skylark) on your mystery bird. Field observations of the Hibari (Alauda japonica) suggest a slightly shorter crest than the Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) and is not always obvious.

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