That’s what I was thinking!Why isn't the second just a female/2cy Grey Bunting? The face pattern with contrastingly pale malar stripe and the dark tipped lower mandible look OK IMO.
Thank you all, I keep learning new things here. The two birds were together. I’d seen illustration and photos of female grey bunting which didn’t quite match but this illustration seems a much better fit.
Interesting about the shrikes. Ive only visited Tokyo once but what I’ve seen in a few bird guides and eBird is of bull-headed shrikes being less common in the centre.I'm an advanced beginner when it comes to bunting ID's but i'm learning and hope to learn more here.
@Paul Bull-headed Shrike can be found in most Tokyo parks and riverbanks, I guess, especially in winter.
I suppose these photos were taken recently?
@Alexander Japanese ssp of Reed Bunting does look different from the European ssp but the culmen appears straight, that should rule out Reed Bunting (if i am not mistaken)
@Andrew: I'll retract my ID, the headpattern is wrong for Little B.
I’m not sure why you would exclude a juv female on the basis of your bird guide? Doesn’t a juvenile female look basically the same as a juv male!? Anyway, surely a 2cy rather than juvenile - Opus notes the breeding season for Grey Bunting is June/July which would make this a first winter/2cy would it not? In which case it would have to be 2cy female (or adult female) because a 1w/2cy male looks like thissecond photo would fit juvenile male Grey Bunting.
you'll see them anywherelike Brown-eared Bulbul and Long-billed Crow but I think that in winter and migration season they can pop up in near any park, river bank or temple complex as long as there is some suitable habitat. I have seen them at Kasai Rinkai Park and Sanbanze next the bay, Showa Kinen Park and Sumida and Tama river banks and there are records at inaturalist or observado.org from Yoyogi Park and the Imperial Palace Gardens.