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Shinjuku Gyouen, Part II

March 25th, 2008

As promised, here is the birdwatching conclusion to the Shinjuku Gyouen Park post. Actually, at the park, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get any bird photos–after taking about a hundred photos of blossoms and other things, my camera stopped working. When I looked, it was flashing, “CF Card Full.” What the? I had cleared the card before leaving home, and the thing holds close to five hundred photos, even Large, SuperFine 10-megapixel images. But then I remembered–I had last set the thing to take JPEG plus RAW images… and the RAW images are huge. Worse, I couldn’t find a way to delete just the RAW images without deleting the JPEGs as well. Fortunately, I had taken quite a few excess images, and was able to erase enough unwanted ones to clear up enough space for a few hundred more high-quality JPEGs.

Good thing, too, because there were quite a few birds there–twenty-one species (though I may be forgetting a few) in all:

Brown-eared Bulbul
White-cheeked Starling
Great Tit
Varied Tit
Bull-headed Shrike
Great Cormorant
Large-billed Crow
Mandarin Duck
Spot-billed Duck
Little Grebe
Black-faced Bunting
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Dusky Thrush
Oriental Turtle Dove
Common Kingfisher
White Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Japanese White-eye
Tree Sparrow
Great Egret

Always beautiful is the Common Kingfisher:




The Black-faced Buntings are not too rare, but you don’t often see them out in the open like this:



The Varied Tits were all crowded in one large bush, coming out to sit on a cable and dip into a plastic sleeve… for some reason. (The first two images have larger versions on click.)





A surprising catch was a Rose-ringed Parakeet, which I have heard about but never spotted before–I did not expect to catch a new species in Shinjuku! The Rose-ringed Parakeet is an escaped species, originally in Japan as a pet, but they have been doing quite well in Tokyo for some time–even roosting 600-700 strong near this biological research lab in Meguro. You can also see a map showing sightings of the birds throughout Tokyo. I only caught this one in flight–and this attests well to my new camera’s worth. I only saw the bird after I heard a strange screeching in the sky, and I spotted and photographed the bird only as it flew overhead in a matter of a few seconds. Nevertheless, these pictures resulted:

0308-Rose-Ringed Parakeet-450

0308-Rose-Ringed Parakeet2-450

Just one more image for today–a flock of Mandarin Ducks were at the park–but only under dark shade and at extreme range in the park’s westernmost lake. Could barely see them, but you could see that they were there in number.


There were lots more, but those were the more interesting of the day.

Categories: Birdwatching, Focus on Japan 2008, Nature Tags: by
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