Friday 15 September 2017


I spent a night on Hahajima over the weekend primarily in the hope of seeing the Ogasawara subspecies Oriental Greenfinch; an armchair tick in the making I hope. On top of that I was looking forward to getting a photo tick of Bonin White-eye. The latter turned out to be pretty straight forward but the Greenfinch was a different story. I tried several likely places but the sports ground was the only spot worth trying. And try I did. I heard Greenfinch several times, it was close, but it was always out of sight over the nearest tree tops. Finally I managed flight views which would normally have been a major frustration but in the limited time I had I was delighted to get any view at all.

So to that photo tick of Bonin White-eye...

Bonin White-eye is a cracking bird and like all good looking birds is that much better for being difficult to see. Difficult because of the time and effort to get to Hahajima that is, once there it's quite common. But then Japanese White-eye and Blue Rock Thrush take common to a whole other level, they can be found almost everywhere. Blue Rock Thrush in woodland...? That was a first.

Blue Rock Thrush over the fruit fields...
Blue Rock Thrush in the park...

Blue Rock Thrush coming to Asahi Super Dry...

Japanese White-eye, are absolutely everywhere. Stejnegeri and alani were both introduced to Ogasawara from the Izu Is and Volcano Is respectively so birds here are probably all hybrids.

The local race of Eastern Buzzard is another species with little or no competition on the islands, it's widespread and also approachable. Both the Buzzards I photographed were ringed and I wouldn't be in the least surprised if the islands have the highest density of ringed birds in the country. I noticed many accessorized birds, large and small, and one of the Buzzards must have been carrying a telemetry device judging by the antenna just visible in the images below.

One of the common Eastern Buzzards photographed late in the day.

A different bird earlier in the day. At first I thought the glazed eye was an artifact but it looks the same in every image. The antenna is visible in both these images.

There were a few migrants around and waiting for the Greenfinch to show itself I was entertained by waders and Eastern Yellow Wagtails on the sports field. The Wagtails were usually at the far side of the field and when one did come closer it would be invisible in a patch of flowers, only popping up intermittently hence the only closer images are flight shots. There were always Ruddy Turnstones and Pacific Golden Plovers on the field as well as a single Ruff. Down in the harbour there were a few other waders too.

Eastern Yellow Wagtail.

Ruddy Turnstones sticking to the shade under a tree.


Pacific Golden Plovers.

Wood Sandpiper.


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