Wednesday 1 May 2019

Some migrants on Yonaguni

I've already posted regarding the most important migrants from a personal perspective, the Himalayan Swiftlet and Citrine Wagtail, but here are a few other migrants, some more to be expected than others.

There was only this one pair of Garganey during my stay. Last time there were quite a few on a tank favoured by Common Teal. These birds were on the pond/lake at Kubura.  

Grey-faced Buzzards are a daily occurrence, perhaps they are wintering birds rather than migrants, and often easily photographable on utility poles. I've gone with this poor, distant shot because this was such a striking bird, beautifully sandy above and mainly white below. 

There were a lot of Chinese Pond Herons on the island, though six was the largest group I saw they could be seen singly or in twos in many places.

This Whiskered Tern only spend about five minutes over the flooded fields at Hikawa before purposefully heading north over the island never to be seen again.

The only Oriental Cuckoo I saw perched, and the only non-hepatic.

Brown Shrikes are common and found in gardens, field edges and open scrubby areas.

Chestnut-cheeked Starling is a common spring migrant throughout Japan.

Daurian Starling on the other hand is not. There were at least three in the above flock of Chestnut-cheeked and I'd only previously seen a single bird on Mishima (Yamaguchi Pref).

Phylloscopus warblers were disappointingly scarce, I heard one Yellow-browed and eventually saw this Dusky Warbler which was singing from dense cover.

Stejneger's Stonechat is another common migrant throughout Japan and there were several dotted around the island.

The only Richard's Pipit of the trip, briefly on the school playing field. I saw several last time.

Red-throated Pipit could be seen daily, there were usually a few around the margins of flooded fields. 

I was surprised to see a Brambling but I came across two more singles on subsequent days.

Little Bunting is a fairly common migrant on migration islands but this was the only one I saw on Yonaguni. Masked was common and there were a few Black-faced but buntings, like warblers, were disappointing.

Perhaps it was a little early for some migrants even this far south? Perhaps a little late for others as I didn't see any Oriental Plovers or Upland Buzzard though I suspected I might miss these two Yonaguni specials before going.

One of the Oriental Plovers from my previous visit to the island, It's such a great bird I don't need much of an excuse to dig up an old shot.

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