Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A walk round the block in Tokyo

As I hinted in my last blog, I have travelled east to go birding for the large part of my summer break. My main birding destination are three south pacific islands but I am taking chances to do a bit of birding en route.

I don't like long haul flights. Who does? So I decided to break the outward journey with a two-night stop over in Tokyo. It is there that I am now. 

I am completely jet lagged. I literally don't know what time of day it is. A couple of hours ago I decided that a walk round the block with some birding thrown in was my best chance of staying awake until the evening and hence to sleep during the proper cycle tonight.

oriental turtle dove

Even in my semi-comatose state I got four lifers in forty minutes. I suppose this shouldn't have been unexpected since I have never birdied in the far east before. Things were helped by the fact that birds in parks here seem even tamer than in the UK.

The oriental turtle dove was a lifer and quite frankly it would almost have let me touch it!

This is actually an extremely rare but possible bird in Saudi Arabia where most of my birding is currently done. Though I haven't seen it there. There is lots written on how to tell the European turtle dove and oriental turtle dove apart. The most persuasive one for me is that the black centres of the wing coverts are more extensive on the oriental bird making it look darker.

tree sparrow

Actually, only a few birds were immediately identifiable today and they were pretty much restricted to tree sparrow and feral pigeon.

white cheeked starling

I didn't know what the flocking starling or myna was until I looked it up on the internet (since I only have a bird guide for the south pacific on me - nothing for Japan). Apparently these birds are white cheeked starling. It appears I am not the only one who thinks they look like a type of myna.

very sociable birds

Like all starlings they were very gregarious.

jungle crow

I saw two corvids, neither of which I have seen in my life before. The first is jungle crow which for good reason is sometimes called thick-billed crow. The sub species found in Tokyo is as large as most ravens.

azure winged magpie

The second new corvid was azure winged magpie. It is found in Spain but I have't birded there. I had to go all the way to Japan to see it for the first time.

Two birds which escaped identification was a type of cormorant (I am close to the sea) which was seen flying over head a few times and also a very loud cuckoo type bird which evaded prolonged viewing. 

Let's see what tomorrow brings when I am better rested and more focussed.

1 comment:

  1. Be sure to note details of the OTD as it might be due to a racial split of the two migratory races, meena/orientalis.........

    Laurie -