Monday 1 May 2017

Can't have been all bad... there was a Chinese Egret!

I had hoped to get out to Hegurajima the weekend before last but the forecast was enough to convince me the ferry wouldn't sail so I ended up going to Mie instead. But now, with spring weather now well and truly with us, I really wanted to get out there last weekend to see what might be coming through. I'd been looking forward to it all week as a matter of fact and even though a day trip means less than four midday hours on the island, a lot of birds can be seen in those four hours. They can, but you have to get there first...

By Friday the marine forecast was looking grim for the second weekend running. Eventually I decided I go up to the coast anyway, intending to bird the mainland if the ferry didn't run. I was quite sure it wouldn't operate, the wind speed was going to be well in excess of the ferry cancellation threshold. That rain was expected throughout the day didn't make any difference.

The drive north was starry but as I drew near the end on the Noto Peninsula rain finally began to fall from clouds that had been gathering since first light. It didn't seem particularly windy though and after about 20 minutes of light rain the clouds started to break up. This raised my hopes, I dared to think there was a chance the ferry might sail. A flat calm sea off Wajima and I was beginning to feel quietly confident about it.

Of course it didn't sail, the dreaded notice was posted on the ticket office door and that was that. I'd already covered the lighthouse hill behind the town where there were a couple of Narcissus Flycatchers and an Eastern Crowned Warbler singing. So the next stop was to be an area of paddy fields further along the coast but before that I had a quick drive past the harbour and round the small headland. The first bird I saw was an egret on the rock pools. Surely it had to be a Pacific Reef, hardly rare but still a good bird, however the vast majority I come across are dark so this white bird was well worth stopping for. I pulled up blocking the narrow road to have a quick check through the bins and... Whoa! Chinese Egret; only my fourth ever. Luckily there was a small car park I could dive into right by the bird.

So here are a few shots of the bird which, apart from in the first, might have passed for a Reef Egret were they common enough not to be worth stopping for.


  1. Great shots. I saw one several years ago but could only get record shots.

  2. Thanks Stuart. This was the most approachable bird I've seen which makes getting decent shots a lot easier.