I already posted about the Pitta but I have so many shots of it I have to post a few more.
|Another spectacular June bird, a 2CY Black-naped Oriole in Kanazawa.|
The earliest bird to make it into my first half favourites was a Grey-backed Thrush. On the same day I had great views of a White's Thrush which isn't rare but can be difficult to get good views of, that bird was a bonus.
|Grey-backed Thrush in an Osaka park.|
|White's Thrush in the same park.|
|Staying with thrushes, migrants can be difficult to get good views of but this Eyebrowed was great.|
Flycatchers, warblers and buntings are always top of the list when it comes to less common species. I didn't see any Yellow-rumped Flycatchers this spring but I managed to catch up with a few of the commoner Mugimaki passing through. Dusky and Radde's are the most frequent of the scarce warblers and Tristram's, Yellow-browed and Black-faced spodocephala are the regular buntings that usually require a trip to one of the islands to see, to date Tristram's is the only one I sometimes see at coastal sites.
|A 2CY male Mugimaki, apart from the hint of a white flare behind the eye the bird also had white flashes in the base of the tail.|
|Radde's Warbler a week earlier in the same clump of undergrowth. There can't be any doubts about the identity of this one.|
|Yellow-browed Bunting, for me at least this was a good year for this species.|
|Black-faced Bunting spodocephala. Another reasonably frequent bird off shore that I don't see on the mainland.|
|Chestnut-flanked White-eye is maybe more frequent on islands further north (?), I seem to hear of fewer reports from islands off western Honshu.|
|I saw my first Tiger Shrike in Japan as recently as last summer. There were several on Hegurajima during my later visits this spring.|
Finally I want to add two birds which in a sense are the antithesis of highlights in so much as they are so common that they don't make it into other posts. Both Oriental Greenfinch and Varied Tit are good looking birds that that suffer from being too common as far as making it onto this blog is concerned so now is as good an opportunity as they are going to get.
|A bright male Oriental Greenfinch.|
So, half way through 2017 and Bonaparte's Gull is the only new bird of the year. Fingers crossed there will be more on the way and that this year won't set an unwanted record of fewest new birds ever.