Tuesday 8 November 2016

Early November in Mie

The day before I drove to Saitama to see the Wood Warbler I was birding in Mie, the usual Tsu / Matsusaka area. Since my previous visit a couple of weeks earlier duck numbers were up but still well below winter peaks. Perhaps sea ducks are a little slower arriving but this isn't an important area for them and numbers never impressive. I didn't see any Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneye or scoters, the former is common in winter, Goldeneye is only ever present in low numbers and the scoters aren't even regular. The first Eastern Buzzard had arrived, Northern Goshawk and Eurasian Sparrowhawk both put in an appearance adding to the sense of seasonal change. Daurian Redstarts were common and there were even a few Dusky Thrushes. Dusky Thrush is never occurs in big numbers until later in the winter, presumably they drift in as the real winter weather bites elsewhere. On the wader front wintering Long-billed Dowitchers were in (only three but that's as good as it usually gets), Northern Grenshanks can be seen throughout winter but a Spotted Redshank was the first for a while, likewise three Wood Sandpipers. A couple of lingering Barn Swallows were keeping low as if not wanting to advertise they weren't where they ought to be by now.

The first Eastern Buzzard I've seen in the area this "winter".

Juvenile Northern Goshawk.
Lunchtime; the agony of choice.

Northern Lapwing; part of a flock of 31.

Northern Greenshank; numbers vary winter to winter but their favourite high-water roost site doesn't seem to.

Short- and medium-billed Far Eastern Curlews, no monsters today.

Wood Sandpipers.

Heading out with the tide; the birds too.

Great White Egret numbers seem a little down and Little on the up, more of a balance. Cattle were still present on 8 Oct but none by the 21st, Intermediate are still hanging. I've only ever seen one mid-winter Cattle but Intermediate is more likely.

Great White Egret.

Intermediate Egret.

So often spoonbills either have their bill hidden under their wing or under the water. So it was nice to see this one catching the evening sun as it flew in.

Immature Eurasian Spoonbill.

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