Home > Birdwatching, Focus on Japan 2007 > Meiji Jingu, Part 1

Meiji Jingu, Part 1

November 24th, 2007

Sachi and I went on another walk-about-town today. This time we chose Meiji Jingu and Harajuku; on the way back home, we stopped at Lion’s Beer Hall and had dinner out.

It was a pretty productive day in several ways. Meiji Jingu turned out to be very good for birdwatching today (especially the open fields at the north end; look for birds along the treeline and the lakeside). I ran into a small flock of colorful Varied Tits in a tree, which often pecked at the tree trunk like woodpeckers and jumped to the ground to forage. There was a Kingfisher in the south gardens, and I spotted a fully-colored male Daurian Redstart, a first for me. At the shrine proper, we saw several marriages in progress, and a lot of people dressed up.

In Harajuku, we looked around for winter stuff for me–gloves, a scarf, and a wool cap–but found too little that was satisfying, and all priced too high. Then we ran across a big Daiso, a shop which is usually 100-yen (like a 99-cent shop), but this one had stuff for more than that, including a wool cap and a pair of gloves for 200 yen each, and a scarf for 300 yen. So, mission accomplished.

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The north side of the park. It was nice to sit down and soak up the sun. The rest of the park is in such shade from the trees that it’s easy to think it’s almost evening. There was a police or security guy here whose job, apparently, was to walk up to couples who were snuggling too much and tell them to knock it off.

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There were at least half a dozen Varied Tits flitting around and under a tree along the field’s treeline. Usually skittish birds, they were unusually easy to photograph. Several seemed to be pecking away at the trunk and the larger branches.

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I was startled to see this Daurian Redstart. I was walking along the edge of the pond and bam, there he was, just sitting there. I’ve spotted females before, but never males in full plumage like this one. And he was very much agreeable to posing for quite some time.

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Kind of reminds you of Dennis Rodman, doesn’t he?

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These Mallards were okay, but I just like the whole photo, especially how the water turned out. Click this for a larger image.

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I caught this Kingfisher at extreme range. He had staked out the lake in the southern gardens (you have to pay ¥500 per person to get in).

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I’ll finish up here for today, and post tomorrow with photos of the shrine proper, and a few other things we spotted as well (including some Engrish).

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