JAPAN; HEGURA-JIMA ISLAND. 28 SEPTEMBER, 2012 - 18TH 0CTOBER, 2012.
J.F.Cooper, D.Cooper & B.Kay
I would recommend that the computer magnificention is increased to 125x or even 150x, as I had to reduce the size of my pictures in order to fit them onto this blog.
28 Sept. Wajima, Japan,
29 Sept to 16 Oct Hegura-jima Island.
17 Oct Wajima,
18 Oct Ferry trip to Hachicho-jima and return to Tokyo.
View of Hegura Island.
Two views of the Central Track.
The Dragons Pool.
The Drinking Pool Viewing Platform.
The Drinking Pool.
Ferry in Harbour.
The Temple Gardens.
Pathway to the North Cape Shrine.
Pathway to the Lighthouse.
Western Shore Shrine.
Three Views along the Western Shore
Brown Booby Three seen from the ferry to Hachicho-jima on the 18th.
Two seen very well from the Hachicho-jima ferry on the 18th.
Seen virtually daily from Hegura with a daily maximum of 100 on the 3rd. Huge numbers estimated at around 10,000 were seen on the Hachicho-jima ferry on the 18th.
Streaked Shearwaters from the Hegura-jima ferry.
An adult present in Hegura Harbour on four dates from 13th-16th.
Great Cormorant in Hegura harbour.
Recorded on 13 dates chiefly singles around Hegura although a party of 14 flew south on the 10th. Also seen in the harbour at Wajima
Japanese Cormorant in Wajima harbour.
A single bird present on Hegura from the 29th - 1st and one on the 16th.
Great Egret over West Beach.
Just a single bird was seen on Hachicho-jima on the 18th.
Small numbers seen daily on Hegura and also at Wajima with a daily maximum of 15 on the 10th which included a party moving south.
Grey Heron taken in evening sunlight in Hegura harbour.
Three moved south during the late afternoon over Hegura on the 13th.
Two seen circling around the West shore during the afternoon on the 6th
Two adult White-fronted Geese circling around the West shore.
Recorded on Hegura on eight dates with a daily maximum of 22 of which a number were moving south on the 7th.
Four Mandarin Ducks near the Dragons Pool on the 1st.
Recorded virtually daily on Hegura with a daily maximum of seven on the 30th.
Just small numbers recorded on most days.
Singles recorded on eight dates.
Recorded on four dates with a daily maximum of 4 on the 3rd.
Singles recorded on six dates.
A pair were present on the 5th and 6th.
Pochard over the West shore on the 6th.
A single bird was seen over the West shore several times on the 30th and 1st.
Osprey over the West shore on the 1st.
Good numbers seen around Wajima harbour with 70 estimated on the 16th and a single adult bird was seen on Hegura throughout our stay and was joined by a juvenile bird on the 14th.
Juvenile Black-eared Kite at Wajima Harbour on the 29th.
Recorded on seven dates with several birds seen moving S over Hegura. Mainly singles but with 4 on the 13th of which 3 moved S.
Just a single bird moving high S over the Island on the 7th.
A single bird was present in the Middendorff's Marsh area on the 14th and 15th.
Japanese Buzzard over Middendorff's Marsh on the 15th.
Just a single bird was present at the North Cape on the 30th.
Eurasian Kestrel at the North Cape on the 30th.
Singles seen on the 14th and 16th around the Western shore.
Female type Merlin over the Western shore on the 16th.
Just a single bird seen on two occasions on the 6th.
Hobby over the School field area on the 6th.
Seen virtually daily on Hegura with 3 on the 10th and 4 including 1 juvenile on the 14th.
Adult Peregrine on the West beach.
One flushed at close range from the scrub by the Water Treatment works on the 16th.
Eastern Water Rail
One walking out in the open for several minutes during the early morning on the Central Track on the 13th.
One present on the Dragons Pool from the 8th to the 16th.
Coot on the Dragons Pool.
A single juvenile bird present all day on the West beach on the 8th. Proved to be the second record for Hegura.
Showing the long bill well.
Juvenile Long-billed Plover along the west shore on the 8th.
A juvenile was present along west beach on both the 30th and 2nd.
Juvenile Lesser Sandplover on West beach on the 30th.
Three on the West beach with the Lesser Sandplover on the 2nd.
Singles seen on the 30th, 1st, 8th and 16th.
Singles recorded on seven dates with two on the 1st. One feeding out in the open on the grass in Harbour Park on the 15th and 16th.
Common Snipe in Harbour Park.
One flew over the Earth field near West beach on the 14th. Large, heavy looking Snipe with well marked dark greyish mottling under-wing pattern, lack of the white trailing-edge and no sign of legs protruding beyond the tail all clearly seen.
One flying over North Cape area on the 2nd. Again well seen as it flew past us. Large Snipe with a pale (almost dark-tan coloured plumage), dark greyish under-wings and lacking the white trailing-edge. Flight heavier and noticeably slower and less erratic than other Snipe.
Singles recorded on five dates with 2 on the 30th.
Seen on 9 dates, chiefly singles but with 2 on the 3rd and 11th.
Grey Tailed Tattler along the West shore.
Three seen on the ferry crossing between Hachicho-jima and Tokyo on the 18th.
Three recorded in Wajima Harbour and on Hegura two 1stW's were seen in the harbour from 13th-16th.
1stW. Black-headed Gull in Hegura Harbour.
Around 700 were seen as we were leaving Wajima Harbour on the 29th. On Hegura it was seen daily with a maximum of 200 on the 14th.
Juvenile and Adult Black-tailed Gulls in Wajima Harbour.
Four adults were present on the harbour wall on the 11th, with 1 on the 14th and 2 on the 15th.
Two adult Vega Gulls on the harbour wall on the 11th.
On Hegura, we recorded it on ten dates with a daily maximum of six on the 15th. Odd birds were also seen at Wajima.
Juvenile Slaty-backed Gull on Hegura.
Slaty-backed Gull (left) with Black-tailed Gull on Hegura. (Although not a full adult it does show the slaty back contrasting with the black primaries).
One fine adult (right) with good yellow legs was on the harbour wall with other gulls on the 11th.
Adult Vega Gull with adult Mongolian Gull on the harbour wall on the 11th.
Adult Mongolian Gull.
Three flew over Hegura harbour on the 1st.
Two adults going into winter plumage spent an hour fishing in the harbour on the 2nd.
Two Whiskered Terns in transational plumage in the harbour on the 2nd. Proved to be the first record for Hegura.
Singles recorded on four dates with 2 on the 1st.
Japanese Woodpigeon along the Central Track on the 6th.
Rufous Turtle Dove
Recorded in small numbers on twelve dates with a daily maximum of 10 on the 2nd.
Recorded on six dates with 4 on the 30th, 8 on the 1st and 6 on the 2nd.
Oriental Cuckoo along the Central Track on the 30th.
Oriental Cuckoo in the enclosure near the earth field on the 2nd.
Two singles seen on the 6th and the 8th.
Lesser Cuckoo in the Temple Garden on the 6th.
One arrived in over the North shore on the 15th.
Long-eared Owl arriving in over the North Shore on the 15th.
One flying over Tsukasa fields on the 5th.
Recorded on four dates: 1 on the 1st, 7 on the 2nd, 35+ on the 10th and 1 on the 11th.
Pacific Swifts feeding over the West shore on the 10th.
Singles recorded on the 1st and 4th.
Recorded on seven dates: 1 on the 1st, 3 on the 5th, 1 on the 7th, 2 on the 8th, 1 on the 9th, 1 on the 11th and 1 on the 16th.
Wryneck, 1 of 3 seen on the 5th.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Recorded on 15 dates, chiefly singles but 3 were seen on the 14th.
Great Spotted Woodpecker along the Central Track on the 5th.
Greater Short-toed Lark
A surprise find on the 29th on the SW beach. Obtained reasonable views on the ground and in flight, and it was with a Skylark which was useful for size comparision. It had a rufous patch going across its upper breast which is distinctive of the eastern race dukhunensis which is considered to be a rare vagrant and winter visitor to Japan and Korea.
Odd birds seen almost daily either along the West Shore or in the Tsukasa fields, with a daily maximum of 5 on the 10th and 12th.
Skylarks along the West shore.
Just a single bird over the Dragons Pool on the 29th.
Our only Sand Martin seen over the Dragons Pool.
A single bird was seen on the 10th and 11th. 25 were present on Hachicho-jima on the 18th.
Six were hawking insects over Wajima Park on the 28th.
Asian House Martin
One seen over the school field on the 5th.
Two were found in the Tsukasa fields on the 16th.
Richards Pipit in the Tsukasa fields-1 of 2 found on the 16th.
Recorded in fair numbers on 16 days on Hegura with daily maximums of 10 on the 4th and 6th.
Olive-backed Pipit in the enclosure along the West shore.
Olive Backed Pipit at Tsukasa.
One seen by the sea-wall at Tsukasa from 4th to 8th with a second bird on the 6th.
Considered a rare vagrant in Japan, the eastern race sibiricus breeds into N.E.Russia although usually migrates well west of Japan although has wintered in the past.
Tree Pipit at Tsukasa.
Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit
Recorded on six dates ciefly along the West shore: 2 on the 2nd, 4 on the 7th, and singles on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 16th. All the birds were shy and elusive and we were unable to get any photographs.
Recorded in small numbers on 13 dates with a daily maximum of 10 on the 30th.
Recorded daily in reasonable numbers with upto 25 on a day.
Black-backed Wagtail showing the extensive white wings.
Six were seen on our walk up the valley near Wajima on the 17th, but not recorded on Hegura.
Japanese Wagtail at Wajima.
Up to 10 recorded on a day throughout the trip.
Brown-eared Bulbul near the drinking pool.
Two + were seen along the river flowing down the valley near Wajima on the 17th.
Singles recorded on 5 dates: 1 juvenile on the 29th, 1 adult on the 1st and 1 adult on the 7th to 9th. Superb!!
Japanese Waxwing along the Central Track.
A female/1stW was seen in the woodland walk on the 9th and one came into the drinking pool on the 10th.
Female/1stW Japanese Robin at the drinking pool on the 10th.
A male on the 5th with 3 males on the 6th, 1 female on the 7th, 1 male on the 8th, 1 female on the 9th and 1 male on the 14th.
Male Siberian Rubythroat in the scrub by the Water Plant.
Recorded on eight dates: Singles on the 6th and 7th, 3 on the 8th, 2 on the 9th, 2 on the 12th, 3 on the 14th, 2 on the 15th, and 3 on the 16th.
Various Red-flanked Bluetails.
Our first was a male on the 6th, with a fall of 25 on the 7th, it was then seen daily with a small fall of 20 on the 12th and our largest fall of 60 on the 15th.
Female Daurian Redstart at the earth field.
Various Male Daurian Redstarts.
Recorded throughout our stay on Hegura with a total of 83 bird-days with daily maximums of 10 on the 2nd, and 8 on the 8th.
.Siberian Stonechats belonging to the race stejnegeri.
Blue Rock Thrush
Small numbers present around the Island, probably of local breeding birds and seen daily.
Adult Blue Rock Thrush in Harbour Park.
Female type Blue Rock Thrush at Tsukasa.
Two seen on the 8th, with singles on the 11th and 16th. The latter bird showed very well for five minutes out in the open in the early morning along the Central Track.
Japanese Grey Thrush
Recorded on five dates: Female on the 9th, 3 (male and 2 females) on the 11th, 4 (including a male) on the 13th, female on the 14th and finally a fine male giving good views on the 15th.
Two were present along the Central track, seaward end and giving good views on the 11th and 12th.
Recorded on 17 dates in reasonable numbers with a daily maximum of 20 on the 4th and 7th.
Pale Thrush at the drinking pool.
Recorded on 16 dates on Hegura although from the 7th onwards only small numbers were seen. Small influxes occurred on the 30th when 30 were seen, 1st with 50 and the 3rd with 30.
Eye-browed Thrush at the drinking pool.
Recorded daily on Hegura. On the 1st 100 had arrived, but on the 2nd a large fall occurred during the afternoon and at least 1,000 were seen with the West shore being covered with arriving Dusky Thrushes with many birds landing on the rocky shore. On the 3rd, 300 were still present. A small arrival occurred on the 8th when a further 250 arrived during the day and then onwards daily numbers were around the 70 mark.
Various Dusky Thrushes seen on Hegura.
Recorded on twelve dates but with no more than two seen on a day.
Nauman's Thrush around the enclosure and earth field.
Female Naumann's Thrush at the South beach.
Dusky/Naumann's Thrush hybrid
One seen near the North Cape on the 13th.
Dusky/Naumann's Thrush hybrid near the North Cape.
Singles seen on six dates chiefly at dusk at the drinking pool.
Asian Stubtail taken during the evening at the drinking pool.
Japanese Bush Warbler
Up to six recorded daily on Hegura.
Japanese Bush Warbler coming into bathe at the drinking pool.
Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler
Recorded on 14 dates on Hegura with a total of 27 bird-days, with daily maximums of 4 on the 2nd and 5 on the 4th. We had some good fortune in seeing one in the hand.
Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler at Tsukasa.
Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler in the hand.
Gray's Grasshopper Warbler
Four singles seen on four dates: On the 1st singing in bamboo near the doctor's surgery at dusk but only seen briefly. 5th coming into drink at the drinking pool at 2.00 pm., 11th flushed twice from low vegetation near the lighthouse and 12th coming into drink again at the drinking pool.
Gray's Grasshopper Warbler at the drinking pool.
Black-browed Reed Warbler
Recorded on twelve dates with a total of 25 bird-days with a daily maximum of 6 on the 8th.
Black-browed Reed Warblers.
Oriental Great Reed Warbler
Just two singles seen with the first was in the Harbour Park and the second was in a marsh at the sea-ward end of the Central Walk.
Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
A single bird was seen to arrive in off the sea on the 9th, and landed in vegetaion a short distance from us on the West shore. It showed well for several minutes allowing us to obtain reasonable views. Although similar in size to an Arctic Warbler it appeared slightly smaller and finer with a noticeable shorter bill and pale legs. Crown had a quite striking grey appearance with a distinctive white supercillium and a black eye stripe with mottling on the ear coverts. Underparts whitish and upper-parts greyish/green.
Recorded daily on Hegura although the larger numbers were during our early part of the trip. In total 189 bird-days with daily maximums of 30 on the 30th, 25 on the 1st and 20 on the 2nd. We were fortune enough to see a number in the hand.
Various Arctic Warblers.
Identified on 13 dates of these recent split species from the Arctic Warbler and we also had the good fortune to see several of the birds in the hand. In total 60 bird-days with a daily maximum of 12 on the 2nd and 20 on the 4th and our last sighting was on the 12th.
Various Kamchatka Warblers
Pallas's Leaf Warbler
Just a single bird seen on the 13th and 14th near the drinking pool.
Pallas's Leaf Warbler near the drinking pool.
Recorded on 9 dates on Hegura from the 4th. A total of 18 bird-days with a daily maximum of 4 on the 14th.
Adult and 1stW. Yellow-browed Warblers.
Singles recorded on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 16th. All related to different individuals.
Radde'sWarbler at Tsukasa on the 5th.
Radde's Warbler along the Central Track on the 16th.
Just a single bird was seen around the school field area on the 4th and 5th.
Dusky Warbler near the school field.
We found a single Willow Warbler belonging to the Eastern race yakutensis along the South West shore on the 30th and when we checked this same area on the 1st we were surprised to find 4. Considered by Brazil as rare in Japan, but it is probably annual.
Willow Warbler of the race yakutensis along the SW shore.
Our first sighting was on the 1st, but we then recorded good numbers for the rest of our stay. Daily maximums of 50 on the 8th and 14th. Many were very tired and fed at our feet and one was caught and was killed by a praying mantis. The Eastern race concerned is japonensis and may be a full species.
Asian Goldcrest belonging to the race japonensis.
Blue and White Flycatcher
Recorded on 10 dates with a fall of migrants which occurred on the 2nd when 12 were seen.
Female Blue and White Flycatcher.
1stW male Blue and White Flycatcher.
Just a single bird was seen behind the doctor's surgery during the evening of the 5th. We were unable to locate it the following day.
Recorded on 8 dates between 29th and the 6th. A good fall of migrants occurred on the 30th when 60 were found on the Island with a further 30 were seen on the 2nd.
Grey-sided Flycatcher - 60 were seen today.
Recorded on 13 dates with a total of 62 bird-days with a daily maximum of 30 on the 2nd.
Singles seen on the 6th and 14th with 2 on the 16th.
1stW. Taiga Flycatcher near the earth field.
One had just arrived in off the sea at North Cape on the 12th. All the main field characters were clearly seen including the pinkish base to the bill, the paler upper-tail coverts which clearly contrasts with the black tail and the pale buffish almost apricot colour to the sides of the breast and generally a more brownish less cold looking bird. Unfortunately, after several minutes, just when we were about to photograph it, it flew towards the Tsukasa area and although we made a search of this area we were unable to re-locate it. Brazil considers it to be an accidental visitor to Japan, although on DC's past experience of this species on Hegura it would appear to be mis-identified and is probably more regular than past records suggest.
Two female types present along the Central Track on the 4th and a fine 1stW. male in the woodland walk on the 9th.
1stW male Mugimaki Flycatcher in the woodland walk.
Female/1stW's were recorded on seven dates chiefly around the drinking pool. Mainly singles but with 2 on the 8th and 9th.
Female/1stW's type Narcissus Flycatchers at the drinking pool.
Up to three of this interesting Eastern race insularis were recorded on five dates.
Coal Tit belonging to the Eastern race insularis near the Western shore.
Recorded on six dates on Hegura with a daily maximum of 3 on the 10th. Also 4 were seen at Wajima on the 28th. Again an Eastern race was involved.
Eastern Great Tit around the drinking pool.
We were surprised to find a Varied Tit along the Central Track on Hegura on the 4th and it was also seen coming into the drinking pool on several days until the 12th.
Recorded daily from the 1st on Hegura with a daily maximum of 30 on the 9th.
Japanese White-eye along the Central Track.
Recorded on seven dates with 2 seen on four dates. Also seen at Wajima and on Hachicho-jima.
Bull Headed Shrike on Middendorff's Marsh.
Recorded on six dates: 2 on the 30th, 3 on the 1st and 2nd, 1 on the 4th and 7th and 2 on the 8th.
1st W. Brown Shrikes along the Western shore.
A single bird of one of the Eastern races was seen at Wajima on the 17th.
A migrant seen during the morning on Hegura was then seen leaving S towards the mainland on the 15th.
Up to 70 were present around Wajima Harbour and a pair was seen daily on Hegura.
Large Billed Crows at Wajima Harbour.
Just two were seen near Middendorff's Marsh on the 2nd.
Chestnut-cheeked Starling near Middendorff's Marsh.
Recorded on five dates with three on the 6th.
White-cheeked Starling in the Harbour Park.
Small numbers recorded around Wajima.
Very large numbers recorded on Hegura. Recorded daily with a large arrival occurring on the 2nd when 300 were recorded numbers continue to remain high with peaks on the 6th with 100 and the 13th with 120.
Bramblings at Tsukasa.
Seen daily on Hegura although numbers varied which suggested some migration although a number of birds were in heavy moult. Daily maximum was 50 on the 11th although on most days only around 15 were seen.
Also upto 20 were present at Wajima.
Oriental Greenfinch at Tsukasa.
Very large numbers seen daily with arrivals on the 2nd with 300 and 300 again on the 7th and 8th. Many birds were feeding constanly and when they first arrived were very tame. On one occassion a preying mantis was able to kill one.
Siskin at Tsukasa.
One Female/1stW. seen on the 2nd at the school field and 2 seen on the 12th at Tsukasa.
Female type Common Rosefinch at Tsukasa.
Just a single female was along the Western shore on the 14th.
A juvenile male was present on wires at the school field on the 15th.
Juvenile male Chinese Grosbeak.
Recorded on five dates with 4 present from the 11th to the 14th.
Recorded daily on Hegura and on some days small parties were seen migrating over the Island. Daily maximums of 50 on the 14th, 15th and 16th.
Hawfinches coming to the drinking pool.
One seen along the Western shore on the 2nd with 2 on the 3rd.
Recorded on eight dates from the 8th to the 16th with a daily maximum of 6 on the 9th.
Female Grey Bunting along the Central Track.
1stW. male Grey Bunting along the Central Track.
Recorded on eight dates but never more than two identified on any one day.
Various Black Faced Buntings.
This recently split bunting from Black Faced Bunting was the commonest bunting on Hegura and of course breeds in Japan. On Hegura, it was present in variable numbers throughout our trip with daily numbers varying from 12 to 40 on a day, so migrant birds were certainly passing through the Island.
Various Masked Buntings.
First recorded on the 1st when 3 including a fine male were found at at the Tsukasa fields. Birds were then seen almost daily up to the 16th but never more than 4 on a day and there was certainly some changeover in birds as these could be told by plumage changes. Virtually all the sightings were along the Tsukasa fields area.
Various Pine Buntings at Tsukasa.
Recorded on nine dates from 1st to the 13th. In total 16 bird-days with a daily maximum 4 on the 2nd.
Chestnut-eared Bunting in the Tsukasa fields.
Recorded on eight dates from 8th to the 16th. Some good falls were logged with 25 on the 13th and 50 on the 15th. A surprisingly large percentage of the birds seen were males.
Male Elegant Buntings.
Female Elegant Bunting.
An excellent year for this sought after Bunting which is considered rare offshore in Japan by Brazil.
We recorded it on Hegura on 13 dates between the 3rd and 16th with a total of 27 bird-days with a daily maximum of 4. It was always a very shy bunting generally keeping to shady areas and proved a challenge to photograph.
Various 1stW. Tristram's Buntings mostly taken near the statue.
Adult male Tristram's Bunting in the school field.
Recorded on 15 dates from the 2nd with a total of 146 bird-days with daily maximums of 16 on the 8th, and a fall of migrants in the late afternoon of the 13th when 25 were found chiefly in a flock on the school field.
Rustic Buntings along the Tsukasa fields.
Recorded on 16 dates although the majority had passed through by the 4th. A total of 99 bird-days with daily maximums of 15 on the 1st, 25 on the 2nd and 15 on the 3rd. An adult was present by the statue and was heard singing on several occasions.
1stW. Little Buntings in the statue area.
Adult Little Bunting at the statue, which we also heard singing.
Three singles seen on the 30th, 2nd and 3rd.
Chestnut Bunting along the Western shore.
Singles seen on the 1st and 3rd with 3 seen on the 4th, all in the statue and school field area.
Yellow-breasted Bunting near the statue.
Five were seen along the valley at Wajima on the 17th.
Male and female Meadow Buntings at Wajima.
Recorded on ten dates with a daily maximum of five on the 16th.
Eastern type Reed Bunting at the Water Treatment Plant.
Butterflies and Insects etc.
Large Bee sp.
Long Horn Beetle
Japanese Blue Butterflies.
Japanese type Skipper.
Japanese Clouded Yellow type.
Japanese Painted Lady.
Various Japanese Dragonflies.
Japanese Hummingbird Hawk Moth.
Hegura Snail is unique as it is the only snail to grow its shell anti-clockwise.
Lizard on Hegura.
Preying Mantis - Killed both Siskin and Goldcrest whilst we were on Hegura.