Monday 8 June 2020

The rarest bird of the Tsushima trip?

There aren't too many records of Light-vented Bulbul north of Okinawa, though perhaps more records can be expected as the race sinensis expands its range northward on the continent.

This bird suddenly popped up on a post in a tiny garden right in front of us as we were dropping steeply down off the river embankment. It perched on a post only long enough to get this shot before taking flight and rather than make the expected move to the next bush/shed roof/post, or whatever, it kept on going across the gardens, over the paddies and out of sight towards the wooded hills bordering Sago Valley. Lucky timing I suppose.

Note the tail, or near lack thereof. I don't view this as a sign of captive origin because the bird is otherwise in excellent condition and it's likely a lucky escape from a predator rather than a cage. Perhaps that's why it was so keen to move on.

Another contender might be Tundra Bean Goose, May is getting seriously late for them, but it isn't exactly a rarity.

This bird came as a surprise. We first (and often) saw it by the rivermouth but it frequently visited the nearby paddies.

Brown Shrike is hardly unexpected either so I was a little surprised to only get this one individual.

Brown Shrike

One other contender was Tree Pipit, really the only serious contenter other than the Bulbul in fact. Unfortunately I didn't see it... even though it was probably more difficult to miss it than see it! Apparently it was flying round in circles just over my head before dropping into the rough grass near the cliff edge a few metres behind me. I was looking something else at the time, don't remember what, but it was assumed I was looking at the bird. Aren't pipits supposed to call when they're flying overhead?

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