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|Monday 23rd July 2012, 08:29||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shizuoka, Japan
Noisy little birds near my house (Japan)
Hello everyone. I moved to Shizuoka City, Japan last November and have been becoming increasingly interested in all of the different types of birds that I see and hear all over the city. In particular, I have been chosen to be audience to two noisy cardinal-sized birds who live in the cherry tree behind my house. Every morning at 5am they wake me up with their intermittent high pitched calls and quieter chirps, and I feel that if I am forced to listen to them everyday I should at least know what they are. :) This afternoon (7/23/2012) at about 5pm, I sat around and took as many pics as I could until I got one that showed one bird clearly. I really want to get into bird-watching, but at this time have no idea how to go about identifying a bird. I got a book from a Japanese bookstore, and my method so far has just been "flip through the book until you find a possible match." Unfortunately, my book has failed me for this bird. Anyone have an idea?
Date: July 23, 2012
Time: 5:00pm (approx)
Location: Shizuoka city, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Thanks in advance all!
|Monday 23rd July 2012, 09:18||#2|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Leicester, UK
Hi there, and welcome to the forum.
Your bird is a Brown-eared Bulbul - http://orientalbirdimages.org/birdim..._Family_ID=157
|Tuesday 24th July 2012, 06:06||#4|
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nara, Japan
Hi, eggsovereasy: welcome to BirdForum.
If you are going to be in Japan for a couple of years or longer, then I advise you to get (to begin with) 'A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan' by the Wild Bird Society of Japan.
It's out of print (in English), unfortunately, but you can get a used copy for $50 (15 beers or your local equivalent, and it'll give you more pleasure per cent) on Amazon:
Serious birders say it's out of date and the drawings are inaccurate. But:
a) It has Japanese birds and only Japanese birds - there's no other English guide like this.
b) The paintings, strictly accurate or not, are good for highlighting the things you will notice about the bird as a beginner (though there will still be plenty of times you'll still not be able to identify things).
c) It has English names (some of these are out of date because sub-species have been elevated to species status, but that can't be helped), and it also has Japanese names. This means you will be able to start communicating with the Japanese you meet if you go out looking for birds.
d) Also, you can buy the Japanese language version of this book (which is still in print); it's an exact copy of the English version, so if you have both, you will be able to communicate to some extent with Japanese birders you meet, even if your Japanese and their English is poor.
When you get more involved, you might want to get the Japanese language photo guides in two volumes, '550 Japanese Birds - Land Birds, Water Birds', or (maybe better) the photo guide by Maki (you can find it on Japanese Amazon): 日本の野鳥590 真木 広造
Also, later you could get Mark Brazil's 'Birds of East Asia'; although it has much more desciption than BoJ, two-thirds of the birds don't occur in Japan (even for birds which do occur in Japan, there will be pictures on the same page of sub-species which do not), and there are no names in the native languages, so it is not at all a good book for the beginner.
The best time for birding in Honshu for newish birders is from autumn to late spring. You'll be able to find ducks and other waterbirds, and when land birds come lower down and there is less cover you'll be able to see them more easily. In the summer, the land birds are breeding on higher ground and in more cover, and are more difficult to find (Okinawa and Hokkaido are more interesting in the summer). When you've got the native birds worked out, you can go for the birds in transit in autumn and spring.
The Brown-eared Bulbul you posted about is perhaps the most common bird in Japan after or equal with the Crow and the Sparrow. Beware - it's a bit of a mimic, and as well as the screech by which it is best known, it can sing beautifully, too.
Get a pair of binoculars (you can get an 8x pair of Nikons for about ¥10,000 which are good for a beginner), and if you have a DSLR, get a Sigma or Tamron 70-300mm lens which will let you get some useful photos for a decent price.
Even from the windows of your house or apartment, if you pay attention, you will be able to see twenty species, maybe even forty (depending how near you are to the sea) by the end of the year.
Animals, birds, people: http://kenyaview.earthworldview.com
Last edited by MacNara : Tuesday 24th July 2012 at 06:11.
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