9 June 2016

Hotokenuma Ramsar Site

One very early morning or rather it should still be called a night, we drove to Hotokenuma.  As the dawn broke, the marsh was filled with bird calls.  There, you can not listen to a single bird but the entire chorus.  It was so beautiful.  

Hotokenuma is a wetland in Misawa, Aomori, selected as a Ramsar Site in 2005.   It is also chosen as one of the hundred best soundscapes of Japan by the Ministry of Environment along with the calls of the gulls at Kabushima.  

The area used to be a lagoon and it was drained in 1960s to make paddy fields.  Soon after though, the government started the rice-reduction program.  But the farmers kept draining the area hoping to restart farming someday.  As a result of that, the habitat was managed in a way suitable for the Japanese Marsh Warblers and Japanese Reed Bunting, which love the grassland with middle hight reeds.

One of the best singers at the marsh was the Black-browed Reed Warbler.  It seemed that they could not resist but climbing up the reed and singing.


The view of the Hakkoda mountain was splendid, too.  


It was rather far away but I was happy to see the Latham's snipe and its display flight since it was my lifer!   

Trying to capture the display flight of the Japanese Swamp Warbler!  
This red listed warbler is only seen in far east.  It seems to be doing very well in Hotokenuma but it is said that nearly half of its population in Japan lives here, which is quite a scary thought.  

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