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Birds, or What There Are of Them

February 19th, 2008

I though February was still supposed to be a good birding time. Not so much, it seems. I went to the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park on Sunday, and the main areas were pretty much empty. Not that I couldn’t spot any birds, but for a bird park, it was pretty light going.

0208-Grey Heron 02-450

0208-Grey Heron 03-450

Grey Herons are really beautiful birds, but they are also pretty common; you can see them around pretty much all the time. But, like I said, lovely birds. Beautiful plumage.

I also got a few unusually nice shots of a Great Tit. Again, very common birds, but they flit around so quickly, it’s often hard to get shots as good as this.

0208-Shijuugara 01-450

0208-Shijuugara 02-450

Another common bird is the Great Cormorant; these guys are all around. Ugly birds, too. But it is cool to see them standing out there with their wings out, getting them dry (they don’t have the same waterproofing as other birds do).

0208-Great Cormorant 01-450

And sometimes you can catch them in rather epic struggles.

The more interesting birds: in the distance (as birds of prey usually are), there was a Common Buzzard (Nosuri) hanging about:

0208-Common Buzzard 01--450

One of the first things I saw was this young but colorful Bull-headed Shrike (Mozu):

0208-Bull-Headed Shrike 01-450

And fully unexpected was a Daurian Redstart (Joubitaki). Not that Redstarts aren’t seen in the park, but this one was hopping around on the ground in the mud flats; previously, I’d only seen Redstarts in the trees and shrubs, and aside from the occasional Wagtail or Thrush, just Sandpipers and other shorebirds in the flats. But this one was happily foraging around in the mud, not far from the only Common Sandpiper (Isoshigi) I could spot in the entire park.

0208-Daurian Redstart 01-450

0208-Daurian Redstart 02-450

0208-Daurian Redstart 03-450

0208-Daurian Redstart 04-450

And, just to close things up, a few extra pictures. Enjoy.

0208-Heron And Cormorant-450

0208-White Wagtail 01-450

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