Monday 6 April 2020

Mistle Thrush in Shikoku

Thanks to Covid-19 my wife and I both find we have rather more free time on our hands than we'd like. Last week we decided to go on a road trip taking in several places of interest, one of them birdy. This would have been my first, and long overdue, winter visit to Choshi.

However, at the last minute my wife had a call from work and she had to put in one afternoon. Only one afternoon but right slap bang in the middle of our proposed trip. The alternative was just a 'local' two-night trip which still included one birdy stop.

I've known about the Mistle Thrush on Shikoku for some time, unlike the Chinese Thrush and Red-throated Thrush, this bird has been a sticker. I hadn't planned to go to see this bird because Shikoku is an unnecessarily expensive trip compared to the other Kansai neighbours. What am I saying? I hadn't planned to go to see this bird because I've seen one closer to home and it's already on my Kansai list let alone my Japan list. It's nevertheless true that Shikoku is more expensive than the other Kansai neighbours though, due to bridge tolls.

Well... I started to write this weeks ago, I've even spent a week on Amami Oshima since then. More of that later. Three weeks ago now that I've checked. Anyway, back to the Mistle Thrush!

We arrived in the early morning finding the place with ease. It's just an open area at a road junction with little nearby cover, somehow not at all promising but there the bird was. Scanning the field I couldn't believe it was really there, as if to order, conveniently close to the roadside.

And this was the bird six years ago...


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