Tuesday 24 March 2015

Ruff at Matsusaka

I visited Matsusaka last weekend (March 22) partly in the hope of seeing breeding plumage Saunder's Gulls but in the event I only found one bird, sadly still in non-breeding plumage. Nevertheless I did see nine gull taxa including a Glaucous Gull which is very uncommon in the area.

A real monster Glaucous compared to the Vega. 

Duck numbers were much lower than on winter visits (if I can call this spring, it was certainly warm enough), only Greater Scaup seemed to be hanging on in force. There were no Goldeneye at all. In compensation the first waders were beginning to appear with a couple of Ruff as the pick of the bunch. However five each of Spotted Redshank and Common Greenshank were good and the first Little Ringed Plovers were noisy over the fields.

Another indication that spring is at least on the way, Skylark flocks have broken up and males are singing across the whole expanse of the fields behind the seawall. Most Dusky Thrushes have gone and there are only a few lingering Buff-bellied Pipits.

The first waders of the day were the five Long-billed Dowitchers that have been present all winter, but as usual they're always just beyond reasonable distance even for digiscoping.

One of the Dowitchers replaced by a Spotted Redshank in this shot. 

Unlike the Dowitchers, the Ruffs were far less camera shy.

Most Buff-bellied Pipits were looking very tatty in transition to breeding plumage but this one still being mostly non-breeding looked neater.

In the afternoon I headed up to Tsu to check gulls on the beach behind the University Hospital. There were over 20 Taimyr Gulls and a single first winter Mongolian amongst the Vegas and as usual I was able to get much better views than I ever could at my usual gulling spot in Osaka.

First winter Mongolian Gull.

As well as the gulls there were good numbers of Sanderling and Dunlin on the beach too.

Just the first hint of a black belly patch coming through on one or two of the Dunlins.

A large flock of Sanderling drilling their way along the beach in unison created a band of rough overturned sand. 

No comments:

Post a Comment