Wednesday 1 January 2014

Marsh Grassbird to acros

Marsh Grassbird used to be a scarce winter visitor to Ogura when I first arrived in Kyoto but it no longer seems to occur. There used to be 3-4 Japanese Reed Bunting each winter in the same area too but I haven't seen one for over 15 years. Given their similar breeding range and habitat it's interesting that both should drop off the local birding map.

Marsh Grassbird display flight, Hotokenuma, Aomori, 7 August 2009.

It was a pleasant surprise that such a localised species was so numerous at Hotokenuma.

Asian Stubtail is quite a common breeder on the hills around Kyoto. It's a forest floor skulker but not shy and can be easily call in.

A poor shot of a migrant Asian Stubtail on Mishima, Yamaguchi. 1 May 2010.

Japanese Bush Warbler is a very common species in and around the city. I've yet to see Korean Bush Warbler here but I have seen ssp borealis on Hegurajima in October so they certainly could occur. I've also heard singing Cettia c. canturians (Manchurian Bush Warbler) on Mishima in spring.

Japanese Bush Warbler in the Kyoto botanical gardens, 3 February 2013.

The nominate race diphone on Chichijima, Ogasawara. A potential split.

Korean Bush Warbler C.c.borealis on Yonaguni, early April 2013.

Pleske's Warbler is the only locustella breeding in Kansai, on islands off the Kii Peninsular. Others are possible on migration, Lanceolated has occurred in Osaka Castle Park for example and I've seen a Middendorff's at Ogura, but none should be expected.

Some years quite a number of Middendorff"s pass through Hegurajima and sometimes just sitting in the undergrowth is enough to get reasonable views. 10 October 2010.

Middendorff's on Hegurajima, 14 October 2013.

Pleske's Warbler, Wakayama, July 2007. The bill is obviously much larger than that of Middendorff's.

Pleske's Warbler, Wakayama, 23 June 2013.

Oriental Reed Warbler is the only breeding acrocephalus in Kansai and it's common in suitable habitat. I once heard about six Black-browed Reed Warblers singing in May at a site near Kyoto city and more recently a summer bird at Lake Biwa.

Oriental Reed Warbler at Ogura, Kyoto city, 3 May 2004.

Oriental Reed, Mie 14 August 2014. 

Oriental Reed, Lake Biwa 7 June 2014.

Breeding Black-browed Reed Warblers at Hotokenuma, Aomori, 7 August 2009.

Migrant Black-browed Reed Warbler on Hegurajima, 7 October 2011.

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