Thursday, 16 January 2014
Black-tailed is not only one of the easiest gulls to identify but also one of the first Japanese birds a visitor to Kansai will see. If arriving at Kansai airport, they can usually be seen from the train crossing the bridge fom the man-made island airport to the mainland. They are a common year round gull and breed on both the region's coasts.
I have seen flocks high over Kyoto taking a short-cut across the country but basically they are a strictly coastal species. A specific site for these gulls isn't necessary as a day along any coastline all but guarantees seeing them, there should be large numbers at any fishing harbour. I don't always see them on the Yamato River, my usual gulling site in Osaka, but one or two usually drop in briefly during the course of a day.
Most of the images below are of moulting September birds in Sendai harbour from the Nagoya to Tomakomai ferry.