Monday 28 November 2016

Bits 'n' bobs from Mie

I was in Mie this weekend, mainly to check through the gull gatherings on the beach north of Tsu-shi, and so didn't visit all my regular locations from south of Matsusaka north to Tsu. The stand-out bird, or birds I should say, were divers. It's always seemed odd to me that I've never seen a diver offshore in this area; yesterday I saw 19. There were 15 Pacific and four Red-throated visible from the beach, dotted through the huge rafts of ducks and grebes that were even more obvious than usual on a sea as flat as it ever gets. None were close enough to attempt a photograph but scoping through them a couple of Pacific still had chequered upperparts and one of the Red-throated even had remnants of a throat patch. Apart from the divers (and gulls) there weren't so many birds to comment on.

This is as good a time as any to mention a roadkill sighting in October that I'd meant to write about at the time. Quite amazing really.

I have a reasonably good Japan mammal list but I've never seen Japanese badger despite spending plenty of time in forest areas which look suitable. So it was unfortunate for me, and far worse for the badger of course, that the closest I came to one was spotting a freshly dead animal on the road while driving to Mie. The amazement factor kicks in when on the return drive there was another dead badger, in the same forest but lower on the mountain, this had plainly been hit during the afternoon in daylight. Was this an astonishing coincidence or was something else have created the situation where two animals would be on the road and hit by vehicles within about 14 hours? Since then things have been back to normal with no sign they even exist in this forest.

Buff-bellied Pipit in slanting light of the rising sun.

Another early bird in the same strong light.

This Little Grebe was just below the Kingfisher, in deep shadow.

The setting sun was much kinder to this Greater Scaup in a small fishing harbour.

Sanderling, while gulling on the beach.

Shorebirds and industry are a frequent mix, it's the lone tree that strikes the unexpected note for me.

Common Sandpiper

Female Daurian Redstart

Male Daurian Redstart

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