Tuesday 5 November 2013


Little Grebe is a common resident and very common winter visitor in the region. It can be found on even shallow rivers like the Kamogawa and there are huge numbers on Lake Biwa. It's actually Shiga's prefectural bird.

Breeding plumage on the Kamogawa, Kyoto city March.

A non-breeding bird on the Katsuragawa, Kyoto city January.

A September juvenile, Matsusaka city, Mie. I've seen birds like this as late as December in Kyoto.
Great Crested Grebe is another very common bird in winter, though less widespread than Little. There are large numbers on Lake Biwa where it's also a very uncommon breeder.

Coming into breeding plumage on the Yamatogawa, Osaka.

Red-necked Grebe is very common on the Japan Sea side of Kansai in winter but I've never seen one on Lake Biwa, nor in the Osaka area. The shot below was taken in Hokkaido in winter.

Abashiri harbour early on a miserable December morning.

Slavonian Grebe is rather rare here, I've only bumped into them on three occasions. I once saw two on the lower reaches of the Yodogawa in Osaka and surprisingly once inland, a bird at Kisenyama Dam near Uji city. The most recent was a bird in Mie. Black-necked on the other hand is common, mainly near coasts but also on Lake Biwa where there can be large concentrations and on smaller lakes closer to the Japan Sea.

Slavonian Grebe is quite rare in Kansai and this in Mie (January 2015) is my first for several years.

Black-necked Grebe is a common bird here in winter.

1 comment:

  1. I surprisingly found these 3 Grabe species, on the Kyuedo River, separating Edogawa in Tokyo to Urayasu and Ishikawa in Ciba! I had a very difficult time classifying them! Thanks for your help! https://pbase.com/jdrpc/image/171316680 , https://pbase.com/jdrpc/image/171462844 , and, most difficult, https://pbase.com/image/171347456