23 May 2014

Bird Migration

I went to Oga with my bird illustrator friend and his birdwatching friends. Oga is a peninsula in Akita which sticks out to the Sea of Japan.   Islands in the Sea of Japan, such as Hegurajima and Tobishima, are famous for spring bird migration and always crowded with bird watchers who want to see rare birds in spring.  But if birds are flying up north along the Japanese Sea side, some should stop over on the mainland, especially on those peninsulas sticking out.  So we went there hoping to see and feel the bird migration.


There was a tiny woodland at the very tip on the north-west end of the Oga peninsula, where we watched an amazing variety of birds hanging around, feeding on and waiting for the good time to move on with their journey. This solitary Bohemian Waxwing was one of them.


The Nyudozaki point reminded me so much of Scotland. The cliff with grass field on top, the strong wind, some rocky islands off shore...and seabirds! To our surprise, there was a huge flock of Short-tailed, Sooty and Streaked Shearwaters, Rhinoceros Auklets and Black-throated and Pacific Divers! Although they were in telescope distance, we could even see that some divers were in their summer plumage with a grey head and white dots on its back. We watched the big flock every day as we visited the same point for the three days, when we were there. So yes, of course, every day was a diver day!

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