Tuesday 5 May 2015

Mishima May 5: ocularis White Wagtail at last

A number of species I've always taken for granted here in the past don't seem to be present. Peregrine is a good example, I must have seen it every day on all previous visits. Another, taxon rather than species, is ocularis White Wagtail, and there've precious few lugens to be honest, but it finally showed up this morning. No doubt about this bird with it's very different coverts, secondaries and black chin.

Other expected firsts for the trip were Eurasian Teal, Red-rumped Swallow and Yellow-browed Warbler. More surprising were Bulfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker neither of which could be thought of as rarities but I don't think I've had either on my trips here before. The other was Japanese Leaf Warbler.

Blue and White Flycatchers have all but disappeared while Narcissus and the two common warblers are still numerous in places but birding is much harder work than when I first arrived. On the plus side there were many reports of Mugimaki Flycatcher today, I only saw two but also heard three others singing.

The better looking of two Chinese Pond Herons on the paddies at Utu village today.

Narcissus Flycatcher.

A spodocephala Black-faced Bunting with a twig strategically hiding most of its grey breast.

A female Japanese Yellow Bunting, one of several today and perhaps the commonest bunting on the island.

Probably the highlight of the day was hearing a mole shrew! Why should I be so surprised that mole shrews squeek? Well not squeek exactly, or at all in fact, more of an electronic dzzzz  dzzzz. I was sitting quietly in fairly dark woodland and almost fell off the log when when I heard it. It had to be some mega I'd never heard before creeping round on the forest floor just 15 metres away. Small plants were twitching! It came closer, I could follow the movement of plant stems. Closer, damn my bins were always trained on the wrong gap between plants, I never saw it hop across. Then I saw movement under the leaf-litter and the penny dropped. I finally saw it pop up, its back arch then straight back under. A terestrial version of the finless porpoises I saw recently; on this goes dzzzz dzzzz. Not a mega then, but how could I be disappointed.

Birds seen today:-
Eastern Spot-billed Duck   2
Eurasian Teal   8
Little Grebe   2
Black-crowned Night Heron   heard over my accommodation after dark
Chinese Pond Heron   1
Cattle Egret   13
Grey Heron   12
Great White Egret   8
Intermediate Egret   10
Little Egret   8
Great Cormorant   1
Osprey   2-4
Black Kite   common
Eastern Buzzard   1
Black Woodpigeon   1 heard
Oriental Turtle Dove   common
Oriental Scops Owl   1 heard
Pacific Swift   c5
Great Spotted Woodpecker   1 drumming
Ashy Minivet   several
Carrion Crow   1
Large-billed Crow   common
Great Tit   1 heard
Barn Swallow   common
Asian House Martin   c6
Red-rumped Swallow   3+
Brown-eared Bulbul   common
Japnese Bush Warbler   1 heard
Oriental Reed Warbler   10+
Yellow-browed Warbler   1
Japanese Leaf Warbler   1
Sakhalin Leaf Warbler   common
Eastern Crowned Warbler   common
Japanese White-eye   common
Japanese Thrush   1
Pale Thrush   1
Brown-headed Thrush   1
turdus sp   only a few left\
Siberian Rubythroat   2-3 heard
Siberian Blue Robin   1
Blue Rock Thrush   2
Asian Brown Flycatcher   c10
Narcissus Flycatcher   common
Mugimaki Flycatcher   2 plus 3 heard
Blue and White Flycatcher   1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Grey Wagtail   1
White Wagtail   1 ocularis
Olive-backed Pipit   2
Buff-bellied Pipit   1
Brambling   c18
Oriental Greenfinch   common
Eurasian Bullfinch   1
Japanese Yellow Bunting   several
Black-faced Bunting   1 personata, 1 spodocephala

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