• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Birding Japanese: Japan in summer June-July 2023 (1 Viewer)

The forecast for 6th July was quite mixed, with a band of rain expected to pass through eastern Hokkaido. The rain was mostly light early in the morning, and I had another look around the forest near Lake Onneto. I was hoping to have another look for Sakhalin Grasshopper Warbler, which I'd heard there the previous day and which I was till hoping to get tickable views of. Sadly, none were heard.

After breakfast, I checked out of Lodge Furen with the rain now coming down heavily. I was hoping to look at various spots along the coast, but the poor weather made any birding a challenge and eventually I continued on westwards. By lunchtime, I was through the rain. I decided to stop in a park in the small town of Ikeda, where I'd noticed some interesting sightings on Ebird. The park was fairly small and, by this time of the day, it was hot and (compared to other places I'd been) rather busy with mosquitoes. A few commoner forest birds were in the woodland but nothing too much of interest appeared. I was heading back to the car park when I heard a few small birds making some vigorous calls. I stopped to look around and soon after caught the movement of a much larger bird out of the corner of my eye. When looked around to see what this was, I was more than a bit surprised to see it was a fantastic Ural Owl. It sat quite happily on a low branch for some time, peering around in different directions. Soon after, another flew past and perched off to the right. Presumably, this was a pair. I spent quite some watching them and taking photos. The first bird, flew out to grapple with something unseen around a tree trunk before flying off and perching more distantly. Absolutely amazing.

My next stop was in the riverine woodland and scrub around Obihiro. A male Siberian Rubythroat popped up almost immediately and soon after I was pleased to find a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, my first in Japan. I soon heard what I was hoping for: a Sakhalin Grasshopper Warbler. With a bit of encouragement, it showed fairly well in some low trees. They generally keep moving fast but this one stopped for a moment or two in a few places to give reasonable views. Quite a big, gingery warbler. In the same area, I also got my best looks at a male Japanese Thrush, which posed nicely on a low branch for a while.

The day was getting on and I turned northwards, spotting a White-throated Needletail flying over the road at one point. I continued into the mountains to my hotel by the shores of Lake Shikaribetsu - a really beautiful spot.
 

Attachments

  • Japanese Thrush_Obihiro_060723a.jpg
    Japanese Thrush_Obihiro_060723a.jpg
    289.1 KB · Views: 24
  • Ural Owl_Ikeda_060723a.jpg
    Ural Owl_Ikeda_060723a.jpg
    452.7 KB · Views: 24
  • Ural Owl_Ikeda_060723b.jpg
    Ural Owl_Ikeda_060723b.jpg
    433.5 KB · Views: 24
After the last three days, I have deep respect for the results in this report. Sure, I am a bit behind season-wise, but the lack of birds in the Japanese Alps that I am seeing is absolutely stunning. I was not really following any birding sites, mainly just enjoying the nature, so I was not expecting a huge list, but I was also not expecting the ... emptiness. There is even still birdsong, but it's like four same species over and over (sure the song of Japanese Bush Warbler makes the ambience, but still). I think this will be my second shortest bird list from a multi-day, nature-focused trip ever, anywhere in the world (the winner is still Svalbard in March with 4 :)).
 
The forecast for 6th July was quite mixed, with a band of rain expected to pass through eastern Hokkaido. The rain was mostly light early in the morning, and I had another look around the forest near Lake Onneto. I was hoping to have another look for Sakhalin Grasshopper Warbler, which I'd heard there the previous day and which I was till hoping to get tickable views of. Sadly, none were heard.

After breakfast, I checked out of Lodge Furen with the rain now coming down heavily. I was hoping to look at various spots along the coast, but the poor weather made any birding a challenge and eventually I continued on westwards. By lunchtime, I was through the rain. I decided to stop in a park in the small town of Ikeda, where I'd noticed some interesting sightings on Ebird. The park was fairly small and, by this time of the day, it was hot and (compared to other places I'd been) rather busy with mosquitoes. A few commoner forest birds were in the woodland but nothing too much of interest appeared. I was heading back to the car park when I heard a few small birds making some vigorous calls. I stopped to look around and soon after caught the movement of a much larger bird out of the corner of my eye. When looked around to see what this was, I was more than a bit surprised to see it was a fantastic Ural Owl. It sat quite happily on a low branch for some time, peering around in different directions. Soon after, another flew past and perched off to the right. Presumably, this was a pair. I spent quite some watching them and taking photos. The first bird, flew out to grapple with something unseen around a tree trunk before flying off and perching more distantly. Absolutely amazing.

My next stop was in the riverine woodland and scrub around Obihiro. A male Siberian Rubythroat popped up almost immediately and soon after I was pleased to find a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, my first in Japan. I soon heard what I was hoping for: a Sakhalin Grasshopper Warbler. With a bit of encouragement, it showed fairly well in some low trees. They generally keep moving fast but this one stopped for a moment or two in a few places to give reasonable views. Quite a big, gingery warbler. In the same area, I also got my best looks at a male Japanese Thrush, which posed nicely on a low branch for a while.

The day was getting on and I turned northwards, spotting a White-throated Needletail flying over the road at one point. I continued into the mountains to my hotel by the shores of Lake Shikaribetsu - a really beautiful spot.
What a gorgeous Owl.
 
After the last three days, I have deep respect for the results in this report. Sure, I am a bit behind season-wise, but the lack of birds in the Japanese Alps that I am seeing is absolutely stunning. I was not really following any birding sites, mainly just enjoying the nature, so I was not expecting a huge list, but I was also not expecting the ... emptiness. There is even still birdsong, but it's like four same species over and over (sure the song of Japanese Bush Warbler makes the ambience, but still). I think this will be my second shortest bird list from a multi-day, nature-focused trip ever, anywhere in the world (the winner is still Svalbard in March with 4 :)).
Japan is quite weird for low species diversity in a lot of places. I had some days with very low species counts. I guess now things are more into the summer, it's probably much quieter (except for the bush warblers, which seem to be everywhere and sing all the time).
 
7th July was my last in Hokkaido. I began in the forests around Lake Shikaribetsu. It was reasonably busy with forest birds, but generally ones I'd seen before. The best of it was a decent view of a White-backed Woodpecker and some close encounters with Grey-bellied Bullfinches. I was also really pleased to see a lovely Siberian Chipmunk trotting about in the open.

I spent the rest of the morning in the forests to the north of the lake, which are at slightly higher altitudes. I saw another Hazel Grouse, which actually appeared twice along the track. Japanese Robins were quite common by song in this area and I had quite good views of one. A bit lower down along the road, I had an odd view of a Black Woodpecker, which perched on the kerbside as I drove past. A Brown Dipper was along a stream.

That was about all there was time for and I drove back to Tomakomai, headed for the ferry and settled down for the night as the boat left on its way to Oarai.
 

Attachments

  • GB Bullfinch_Shikarabetsu_070723a.jpg
    GB Bullfinch_Shikarabetsu_070723a.jpg
    318.8 KB · Views: 10
  • Siberian Chipmunk_Shikarabetsu_070723a.jpg
    Siberian Chipmunk_Shikarabetsu_070723a.jpg
    502.1 KB · Views: 10
  • WB Woodpecker_Shikarabetsu_070723a.jpg
    WB Woodpecker_Shikarabetsu_070723a.jpg
    349.8 KB · Views: 10
I was out birding on deck just after 4am with the boat a little to the south of Miyako in the east of Honshu. Streaked Shearwaters were already numerous and they continued to be so throughout the journey. I again saw Japanese Murrelets, with 17 counted and there were 52 Black-footed Albatrosses. Otherwise, four Short-tailed Shearwaters and a Rhinoceros Auklet added some diversity. The best birds were two Wilson's Storm-Petrels, seen quite well in the vicinity of Minamisanriku.

As the ship went through Sendai Bay things became substantially quieter and, basically, from there to Oarai there was very little other than loads of Streaked Shearwaters. I estimated around 9000 along the journey.

A top tip from this experience is that I suspect the southbound ferry from Tomakomai to Oarai is not as good as the northbound, although of course it may be affected by weather conditions and seasonal changes. The section off the northeast coast of Honshu and in the straits between Honshu and Hokkaido certainly seems the best. It could be that a ferry from Tomakomai to Hachinohe during the day time is the best bet for heading south.

I got off at Oarai and headed to the station and got the train to Narita, where a festival was in full swing in the town. I worked my through the gathered crowds to my hotel for the night. In the morning, I'd be getting a flight to another island.
 
On the morning of 9th July, I boarded a flight at Narita and arrived at the small airport at the northeast end of Amami around the middle of the day. I've been to Amami before, on my last visit to Japan in December 2019. I didn't quite see everything I wanted to though, so there was unfinished business. I picked up a hire car in very hot and humid weather, and thought I'd begin by checking the coastal area just north of the airport. The first stop produced a nice selection of waders, including a Whimbrel, three Greater Sand Plover, and five Grey-tailed Tattlers. Among the numerous Little Terns was a Whiskered Tern and several Pacific Reef-herons were wandering about the rocky shore. I continued a bit further up the coast to Ose Beach. A small rocky outcrop on the beach supports a very nice breeding colony of Roseate Terns. I counted 67 - the largest group I've seen anywhere in the world. Among them were four Black-naped Terns - a sign that I was now in subtropical seas.

Things were uncomfortably warm, so I headed into the main town in Amami and my hotel. After some rest, I set off an hour or so before sunset to the south of the island and the road around Mount Yuwan. This was where I hoped to finish my unfinished business. I had been to this road on two evenings in December but had failed to see Amami Woodcock there, despite being the most well known location. I suspected the winter wasn't the best time for them and that I might have more success in summer. I began driving up the road just after dark. I'd got about half way up when I turned a corner and saw a stocky brown shape in the middle of the road. That didn't take long! A splendid Amami Woodcock, just casually strolling about. Continuing along the road, I saw a couple more, although not for as long as the first bird. The roadside had other inhabitants, most conspicuously the numerous Amami Black Rabbits, weird primitive lagomorphs that are only found here. I also saw a few Ryukyu Spiny Rats whizz across and some Amami Oshima Frogs. Lower down, a strikingly small Ryukyu Wild Boar hurtled into the forest. Perhaps the best thing was a beautiful Ryukyu Odd-tooth Snake. The forest was filled with the sound of Ryukyu Scops Owls and I had great views of one near the top of the road. Here's a video of it singing. I counted at least ten calling, but there were probably a lot more than that.
 

Attachments

  • Ryukyu Scops Owl_Amami_090723b.jpg
    Ryukyu Scops Owl_Amami_090723b.jpg
    408.6 KB · Views: 14
  • Whimbrel_Amami_090723a.jpg
    Whimbrel_Amami_090723a.jpg
    413.2 KB · Views: 11
  • Roseate Tern_Amami_090723a.jpg
    Roseate Tern_Amami_090723a.jpg
    610 KB · Views: 11
  • BN Tern_Amami_090723a.jpg
    BN Tern_Amami_090723a.jpg
    581.4 KB · Views: 14
  • Amami Woodcock_Amami_090723a.jpg
    Amami Woodcock_Amami_090723a.jpg
    312.5 KB · Views: 14
Last edited:
I started early on 10th to avoid the heat. I headed up the steep road to Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest Reserve. As I headed up the road, it was apparent that Amami Woodcock was pretty common here and that you didn't have to go out in the dark to see one. Four came up off the road as I drove up. I saw another later when walking along the forest track. At the top of the road by the T junction, a pair of Ruddy Kingfishers were calling, although I only saw them very briefly as they flew around.

I went for a walk through the forest, which was actually very quiet. If you're planning to visit Amami, I would say July isn't the best month as it seems that most of the birds have finished singing. I did hear a few Ryukyu Green Pigeons and had some reasonable views of one or two. The very distinctive Owston's Woodpecker was also about. It's possibly just a very dark subspecies of White-backed Woodpecker (without a white back!) but is quite striking. One other bird I was keen to see in Amami appeared fairly quickly: an obliging pair of Japanese Paradise Flycatchers. This species seems much easier to find in the Ryukyu Islands than in the larger islands of Japan. The very characterful endemic Lidth's Jays were regularly heard calling and a few showed nicely as they moved through the tree tops. Ryukyu Robins were much less forthcoming and weren't singing much. Their quiet calls indicated they were quite numerous but in July they're hard to get good views of. They were much easier in December. I eventually had nice looks at a Ryukyu Minivet, moving about with a flock of tits, as they often tend to do. I didn't pay as much attention as I should have to Odonata in Japan but I did photograph a lovely 'demoiselle' type damselfly here. It turned out to be the Ryukyu endemic Matrona japonica.

The day was hot and I mostly rested at the hotel during the day. I headed back out early in the evening and returned to the Forest Reserve to see what was happening as they day drew to a close. I drove up the road in the last hour of daylight and this proved to be a very good time of the day for Amami Woodcock, with several put up. I saw one quite nicely as it crouched at the roadside. I wandered along the ridge as the darkness drew in, seeing an Amami Woodcock sitting in the middle of the track in the gloom. It was possibly displaying and making a low croaking sound. Lots of Ryukyu Scops Owls were calling and I managed good views of a Northern Boobook. Driving down the road again, a few Amami Black Rabbits appeared and I had good views of the equally strange Ryukyu Long-tailed Giant Rat.
 

Attachments

  • Amami Black Rabbit_Amami_100723a.jpg
    Amami Black Rabbit_Amami_100723a.jpg
    423.2 KB · Views: 16
  • Japanese Paradise Flycatcher_Amami_100723a.jpg
    Japanese Paradise Flycatcher_Amami_100723a.jpg
    229.7 KB · Views: 16
  • Matrona japonica_Amami_100723a.jpg
    Matrona japonica_Amami_100723a.jpg
    382.9 KB · Views: 13
  • Owston's Woodpecker_Amami_100723a.jpg
    Owston's Woodpecker_Amami_100723a.jpg
    401.1 KB · Views: 15
  • Ryukyu LT Giant Rat_Amami_100723a.jpg
    Ryukyu LT Giant Rat_Amami_100723a.jpg
    637.2 KB · Views: 17
  • Ryukyu Minivet_Amami_100723a.jpg
    Ryukyu Minivet_Amami_100723a.jpg
    399.1 KB · Views: 18
Last edited:
On 11th July, I headed out to the Amami Nature Forest in Tatsugo, which has glorious views over the island. A couple of Japanese Wood Pigeons flew past the viewpoint. The forest was a bit better for seeing Ryukyu Robin, and I had some nice views of a subadult male, which came really close. Later, an adult male came out well on the track. Another Amami Woodcock was put up from the roadside. In July at least, they seem easiest to see in the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. Quite crepuscular. A selection of typical Amami forest birds was around, with some nice views of Owston's Woodpecker. I also had some brief but clear views of Ruddy Kingfisher. I suspect I may have seen Amami Thrush, but the view was too quick to be sure. It's a bird I saw fairly easily in December, but they seem much more difficult in July and I didn't hear them singing at all.

I decided as the day was warming to go down for some easy birding at the Akina Rice Paddies. A Cinnamon Bittern was seen in flight and a rather scrappy looking Chinese Pond Heron was also seen. I found a lovely family group of White-breasted Waterhens and a few Pacific Swallows were flying low. Driving back up through the forest, I had my best views of a Ruddy Kingfisher as one flew along the side of the road and then perched up for clear views from the car.

I finished up along the Ose Coast again. The first stop produced ten Grey-tailed Tattlers. Better still were three Oriental Pratincoles, a juvenile and two adults. That was very pleasing, as it's a bird I've only seen once before. I stopped again at the beach, and this time counted 130 Roseate Terns. A Whiskered Tern and three Black-naped Terns were also about. Then I headed to the airport for my flight back to Narita. Once there, I got on the train and headed into the centre of Tokyo for the night. Another island trip was going to start the following morning.
 

Attachments

  • WB Waterhen_Amami_110723a.jpg
    WB Waterhen_Amami_110723a.jpg
    871.2 KB · Views: 11
  • Oriental Pratincole_Amami_110723a.jpg
    Oriental Pratincole_Amami_110723a.jpg
    378 KB · Views: 11
  • GT Tattler_Amami_110723a.jpg
    GT Tattler_Amami_110723a.jpg
    432.4 KB · Views: 11
There was no rush on the morning of 12th July. I wandered through the heat of Tokyo to the ferry terminal at around 9.30 and waited the ferry to board. By 11, I was heading south through Tokyo Bay on a 24-hour journey to the Ogasawara (or Bonin) Islands in the Pacific. Through the afternoon, the ship would be passing the Izu Islands so there were good prospects for seabirds. One thing I wasn't entirely expecting was that there were other people birding from the boat. It turned out there was a whole group of friendly Japanese birders who were doing the same trip as me. The group was led by Yoshitaka Minowa and Sakiko Nakamura and they were very helpful throughout.

The first seabirds to appear were, fairly inevitably, Streaked Shearwaters. For much of the rest of the day, they turned out to be more or less the only seabirds. Despite a fairly brisk wind, I had the impression that it was blowing seabirds somewhere else rather than to where the boat was. Although the shearwaters were numerous, the total of around 700 wasn't that high. Four Bulwer's Petrels were about the only other birds for most of the way. Things improved late on, however, and I did manage a lifer when an intermediate Red-footed Booby appeared. It didn't come too close to the boat but gave reasonable views.

Things got too dark by around 6.30 and I headed back to my cabin for the night. Hopefully, the following morning would be more productive.
 

Attachments

  • RF Booby_Izu_120723a.jpg
    RF Booby_Izu_120723a.jpg
    611.5 KB · Views: 11
  • Streaked Shearwater_Izu_120723a.jpg
    Streaked Shearwater_Izu_120723a.jpg
    674.8 KB · Views: 11
  • Streaked Shearwater_Izu_120723b.jpg
    Streaked Shearwater_Izu_120723b.jpg
    626.2 KB · Views: 11
I was up early and on the deck birding not long after 4.30am. The boat was still some way north of Chichijima in the Ogaswara Islands. The weather was very calm all morning, which I thought might make things a bit dull. However, there was clearly a bit more variety around than the previous day. Soon, I was starting to see some very smart Bonin Petrels - the local Pterodroma. 15 were seen altogether. The Streaked Shearwaters had been replaced by Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, of which there were 122 in total. There were lots of Bulwer's Petrels too and this was one of the commonest species of the morning, with 178 counted.

Brown Boobies started appearing after a couple of hours and they were constantly flying alongside the boat all the way to the port. Often they would cruise past at eye level just a few metres away. At other times they would dart down towards the sea to try to catch flying fish. I estimated about 130 were seen but it was hard to give an accurate number. As we neared Chichijima, a couple of Red-footed Boobies appeared, with one flying in from a long way out to cruise by the ship. The star bird of the morning was a bit more elusive: a single Matsudaira's Storm-Petrel. I had okay views of it but needed to check Yoshi's photos to see the broad white band at the base of the primaries that helps identify it.

The birds were very good but perhaps the most impressive aspect of the ferry journey were the cetaceans. The seas north of Chichijima are absolutely great for them. Three species of dolphin appeared: Striped Dolphin, Common Bottlenose Dolphin and Pantropical Spotted Dolphin. They generally gave really impressive views. A couple of fairly large groups of Short-finned Pilot Whales also appeared. Most impressive and notable were two small groups of Cuvier's Beaked Whale, quite large brownish things and a new one for me.

We arrived into Chichijima at around 11am, escorted by squadrons of Brown Boobies. After getting off, I headed to my accommodation (the very nice Pat's Inn), had lunch and got some rest. It was very hot and humid in the islands and I suspected there wouldn't be too much to see around the village. I had a wander late in the day and managed a resounding three species: the introduced Warbling White-eye, Brown-eared Bulbul and some very approachable Blue Rock Thrushes. There aren't too many terrestrial birds in Ogasawara but I had a few things to look for, and nearly three days to do it.

Some video of Bulwer's Petrel and Bonin Petrel here:

 

Attachments

  • WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723d.jpg
    WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723d.jpg
    657.2 KB · Views: 15
  • WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723c.jpg
    WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723c.jpg
    691.3 KB · Views: 11
  • WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723b.jpg
    WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723b.jpg
    353.1 KB · Views: 11
  • WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    WT Shearwater_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    624.2 KB · Views: 12
  • Spotted Dolphin_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    Spotted Dolphin_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    729.6 KB · Views: 12
  • SF Pilot Whale_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    SF Pilot Whale_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    743.7 KB · Views: 11
  • RF Booby_Ogasawara_130723a.jpg
    RF Booby_Ogasawara_130723a.jpg
    149.5 KB · Views: 12
  • Brown Booby_Ogasawara_130723a.jpg
    Brown Booby_Ogasawara_130723a.jpg
    118.2 KB · Views: 15
  • Bonin Petrel_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    672.7 KB · Views: 15
I spent the 14th on Chichijima. There aren't too many birds to look for there, so things were quite low key. I had a walk around the village in the morning, garnering an impressive eight species. The most sought after was heard only: the distinct (and possibly splittable) 'Red-headed' subspecies of Japanese Wood Pigeon. Blue Rock Thrushes were quite numerous but better was a good view of a quirky looking juvenile White's Thrush. The latter is surprisingly common in Ogasawara. Also seen were the large-billed and rather dark subspecies of Brown-eared Bulbul and the diminutive and pale local subspecies of Eastern Buzzard. I managed to pick out a Green Anole lizard, which was quite attractive but this non-native species is seemingly responsible for a lot of native wildlife disappearing.

Later in the morning, I hired a bike from my hotel and had a fairly energy sapping bike ride to the southern part of the island. It was quite scenic but I didn't see much at all. I did get decent views of the 'Bonin' subspecies of Japanese Bush Warbler, which is another potential split. I thought these were pretty distinct, looking more rufous and longer tailed and billed than mainland birds. The song also seemed subtly different too. Split away, I reckon. Another juvenile White's Thrush was seen on the way back.

I was pretty tired after that and the weather was very hot and humid, so the rest of the day was pretty easy going.
 

Attachments

  • White's Thrush_Chichijima_130723b.jpg
    White's Thrush_Chichijima_130723b.jpg
    624.2 KB · Views: 9
  • White's Thrush_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    White's Thrush_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    526.7 KB · Views: 9
  • Green Anole_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    Green Anole_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    307 KB · Views: 8
  • Eastern Buzzard_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    Eastern Buzzard_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    484.3 KB · Views: 8
  • BR Thrush_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    BR Thrush_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    523.1 KB · Views: 7
  • BE Bulbul_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    BE Bulbul_Chichijima_130723a.jpg
    470 KB · Views: 9
15th July was the day the ferry goes from Chichijima to the more southerly island of Hahajima. This is an important thing for any birders visiting the islands to do. It's about a two-hour ferry journey, and I set off fairly early in the morning (along with the group of Japanese birders). The journey was decent for seabirds. Over 100 Bulwer's Petrels were very good to see and Bonin Petrels were quite numerous as well, sometimes flying close to the boat. A Brown Noddy was the first of the trip.

I got off the boat in Hahajima mid-morning. The main target was found and seen very well within a couple of hundred metres: the endemic Bonin White-eye. This very attractive, inquisitive and characterful bird was easy to find around the village, with dozens showing nicely. A selection of other birds were seen, including some good views of 'Bonin' Bush Warbler. One encounter was with a seemingly half-grown juvenile that sat in a bush less than a metre away.

The ferry journey back featured a similar selection of birds as the outward sailing, although two Red-footed Boobies gave fine views. This included a very smart pale-phase adult. Two Brown Noddies were also seen.
 

Attachments

  • RF Booby_Hahajima_140723d.jpg
    RF Booby_Hahajima_140723d.jpg
    132.4 KB · Views: 12
  • RF Booby_Hahajima_140723c.jpg
    RF Booby_Hahajima_140723c.jpg
    158.1 KB · Views: 8
  • RF Booby_Hahajima_140723b.jpg
    RF Booby_Hahajima_140723b.jpg
    154.3 KB · Views: 7
  • RF Booby_Hahajima_140723a.jpg
    RF Booby_Hahajima_140723a.jpg
    156.9 KB · Views: 9
  • Bonin Bush Warbler_Hahajima_140723a.jpg
    Bonin Bush Warbler_Hahajima_140723a.jpg
    301.3 KB · Views: 8
  • Bulwers Petrel_Hahajima_150723a.jpg
    Bulwers Petrel_Hahajima_150723a.jpg
    444.8 KB · Views: 8
  • Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723e.jpg
    Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723e.jpg
    275.9 KB · Views: 9
  • Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723d.jpg
    Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723d.jpg
    276.1 KB · Views: 8
  • Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723c.jpg
    Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723c.jpg
    291.8 KB · Views: 8
  • Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723b.jpg
    Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723b.jpg
    307.8 KB · Views: 8
  • Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723a.jpg
    Bonin White Eye_Hahajima_150723a.jpg
    271.7 KB · Views: 12
  • Bonin Petrel_Hahajima_150723a.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Hahajima_150723a.jpg
    361 KB · Views: 12
16th July was my last day in Chichijima. Before the mid-afternoon ferry, I had one last mission. I had a look round the village early morning, but saw very little except for more good views of 'Bonin' Bush Warbler. I set off on the bike again to the south of the island, seeing another juvenile White's Thrush as I went. Following a tip off from the Japanese group, I headed for an agricultural research station. Another juvenile White's Thrush appeared almost immediately. Surprisingly but helpfully, someone was photographing something in some trees when I arrived at the right spot. I said the word 'Pigeon' to him, and he pointed upwards to where a 'Red-headed' Japanese Wood Pigeon was perched. Mission accomplished! It stayed there the whole time I was around, moving branches once and briefly calling. Otherwise, it just sat there.

I headed back to the village, changed my sticky clothes, had lunch and headed for the ferry. The boat left at 3pm, escorted by flotillas of smaller boats with vast numbers of people waving flags and doing synchronised dives into the sea. The most impressive sight was a bloke standing on his head, waving with his flippered feet.

As we continued north of Chichijima, the seabird action started kicking in. The three hours watching before sunset produced 136 Bulwer's Petrels, 220 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, three Brown Noddies, 19 Bonin Petrels and eighty Brown Boobies. Most pleasing were four Matsuidaira's Storm Petrels, one of which came quite close to the boat so that the pale primary patch was easily visible.

Cetaceans were again a feature. A Sperm Whale surfaced alongside the boat, blowing conspicuously. Even better was a smaller whale that we later identified as a Blainville's Beaked Whale. Spotted Dolphins were also about and there was an amazing view of a leaping Swordfish.

One bird I was hoping for had proved elusive but just as sunset arrived, I got lucky when a Bannerman's Shearwater sauntered past, beating its wings swiftly. Then it was off to bed, ready for an early start the next morning.
 

Attachments

  • Sperm Whale_Ogasawara_150723a.jpg
    Sperm Whale_Ogasawara_150723a.jpg
    706.1 KB · Views: 18
  • RH Wood Pigeon_Chichijima_150723a.jpg
    RH Wood Pigeon_Chichijima_150723a.jpg
    343.1 KB · Views: 14
  • Bonin Bush Warbler_Chichijima_150723a.jpg
    Bonin Bush Warbler_Chichijima_150723a.jpg
    361.4 KB · Views: 16
  • Brown Noddy_Ogasawara_160723a.jpg
    Brown Noddy_Ogasawara_160723a.jpg
    561.4 KB · Views: 18
  • Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723a.jpg
    Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723a.jpg
    510.6 KB · Views: 17
  • Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723b.jpg
    Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723b.jpg
    439.6 KB · Views: 18
  • Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723c.jpg
    Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723c.jpg
    496.4 KB · Views: 17
  • Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723d.jpg
    Matsudaira's Storm Petrel_Ogasawara_160723d.jpg
    421.7 KB · Views: 19
  • Swordfish_Ogasawara_160723a.jpg
    Swordfish_Ogasawara_160723a.jpg
    746.7 KB · Views: 18
Last edited:
I was up not long after 4am on the deck of the ferry. We were a little to the south of the island of Aogashima. I was interested to see what seabirds were on the go in this area. The first bird was a Brown Booby following the boat, but this was the only one seen. Things were fairly busy up to Hachijojima but after that things eased off quite a lot. Bonin Petrels were quite numerous and were actually seen all the way up to the Miyakejima area, with 42 in total. 40 Bulwer's Petrels were also counted. Only five Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were noted and these were replaced by Streaked Shearwaters as the boat headed north. Four Red-footed Boobies appeared, most of them dark phase birds. The best bird was an immature Red-tailed Tropicbird, which followed the ship for a short time - quite good one to pick up here and only my second ever sighting of this species.

The boat arrived back in Tokyo by 3pm and I was soon off to my hotel for the night.
 

Attachments

  • Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723b.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723b.jpg
    573.6 KB · Views: 6
  • Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723a.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723a.jpg
    680 KB · Views: 6
  • Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723c.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723c.jpg
    654.5 KB · Views: 5
  • Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723d.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723d.jpg
    654.9 KB · Views: 4
  • Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723e.jpg
    Bonin Petrel_Izu_170723e.jpg
    595.6 KB · Views: 4
  • RF Booby_Izu_170723a.jpg
    RF Booby_Izu_170723a.jpg
    189.9 KB · Views: 4
  • RF Booby_Izu_170723b.jpg
    RF Booby_Izu_170723b.jpg
    193.7 KB · Views: 4
  • RF Booby_Izu_170723c.jpg
    RF Booby_Izu_170723c.jpg
    668.9 KB · Views: 4
  • RF Booby_Izu_170723d.jpg
    RF Booby_Izu_170723d.jpg
    248.1 KB · Views: 4
  • RF Booby_Izu_170723e.jpg
    RF Booby_Izu_170723e.jpg
    227.7 KB · Views: 6

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top