Saturday 31 March 2018

Fish Ponds and Mountains

I have been visiting fish ponds at Tai Sang Wai regularly of late, although I haven't been able to find anything of huge interest, it's still a nice area to visit for migrants and resident birds alike. One of the better bird I managed to get good views of was a female Chinese Penduline Tit, it was oblivious to my presence as it fed on the insects hidden within the stem of the reed. Although a fairly common species in Hong Kong during winter months, you don't get to see them up close like this often as they usually hide out of sight within large reed beds.

Chinese Penduline Tit - female

Yellow-bellied Prinias were singing like crazy, often right out in the open. You can often hear them making wing beating sounds as well, a sign of territorial display I presume?

Yellow-bellied Prinia

The fish ponds had hosted a large congregation of Black-headed Gulls during winter, they were still present but many adults are already moulting into their breeding plumage.

Black-headed Gull - 1st winter bird and adult in breeding plumage

Red-throated Pipits now found in fairly good numbers in this area. I scanned for Buff-bellied Pipits but found none, this year had not been a particularly good year for them. A few ocularis White Wagtails had been around, always nice to see and a pleasant change from our resident race leucopsis.

Red-throated Pipit

White Wagtail - race ocularis
Stejneger's Stonechats are still around, most of them should be heading north by end of April. Many of the males had moulted into their handsome breeding plumage.

Stejneger's Stonechat - male

Little Ringed Plovers have already started breeding, at one of the fish pond I saw a pair acting slightly nervous, on closer inspection I noticed a fluffy little chick following them around. The chick was amazingly well camouflaged and I could barely see it when it kneeled down.

Little Ringed Plover - adult and chick

I also visited the fish ponds at night, as some fellow birders had been seeing a Savanna Nightjar perched on the ground of late. The nightjar never showed for me but a few Oriental Pratincoles feeding on mosquitoes in the middle of the road was quite interesting.

Oriental Pratincole

Spring is also a good time to start visiting Tai Mo Shan as breeding season begins. I was surprised by a flock of Red-billed Blue Magpies near the summit car park as I have never seen them venture up this high. Songs of Russet Bush Warblers filled the hills as I walked up towards the grassy area.

Red-billed Blue Magpie

I managed to spot a Chinese Grassbird in the usual area, but it didn't stay long enough for me to photograph. A Brown-flanked Bush Warbler was quite the opposite, they can be quite curious when pished. Vinous-throated Parrotbills were seen in good numbers, I noticed a pair coming back and forth towards one area of short bamboos which I presume as a possible nest site, I managed to grab a half decent shot of one.

Brown-flanked Bush Warbler

Vinous-throated Parrotbill

Still a pretty quiet spring for me, April will hopefully be better!

Friday 23 March 2018

Tuning in to Spring

Spring is definitely amongst us, with Koels singing louder and louder everyday and Large Hawk Cuckoos now joining in as well. Birds are now starting to get into pairs to build nests, if not then they are trying their best to! I was out mothing with Hoiling and the moth group last week at Lung Fu Shan, and was delighted to hear a pair of Collared Scops Owl calling nearby, one was making the classic "oh" call while the other making a much softer whistle which I never heard before. I guess they were a pair trying to find a suitable spot for nesting, I caught glimpses of the pair and finally was able to get a photo of one perched at close range!

Collared Scops Owl

Long Valley had been very quiet, people had been getting Oriental Pratincoles and Red-necked Phalaropes on passage, but I got none of those on a short visit. A few brilliant looking adult Little Ringed Plovers were there to entertain and they truly are cracking birds when seen up close.

Little Ringed Plover

With everywhere else quiet I thought it's best to stick to Mai Po. I headed into the Deep Bay hide fairly early, on the way I got a nice looking male Taiga Flycatcher just moulting into breeding plumage.

Taiga Flycatcher

I was quite early when I got to the bird hide. A few Black-faced Spoonbills in breeding plumage were in front of the hide, looking rather splendid with their yellow breast and huge crests. Great Egrets have also moulted into breeding plumage, their long plumes cascade down their backs, while their bill turns black and face turns greenish blue.

Black-faced Spoonbill - breeding plumage

Great Egret - breeding plumage

Of all egrets perhaps the Chinese Pond Heron undergo the most amazing transformation, where they moult from their cryptic winter plumage into colourful breeding plumage with reddish brown heads and breast, bluish black backs and white wings. Their face and bill colour also undergo much transformation, from dull yellow to orange, blue and green. At this time of the year you may still find individuals retaining their non-breeding plumage, and often you get individuals in-between.

Chinese Pond Heron - non-breeding to breeding plumage

A mudskipper collector prowled the mudflats, these illegal collectors can be rather annoying, as they often scare away the birds and blatantly catch fish in this ramsar site. But what's more annoying is that calling the police or the AFCD often ends in vain as they quickly vanishes into the thick mangroves before authorities arrives.

As the tide came in birds started coming in closer, although I was a bit disappointed by the fact that there weren't much smaller waders like Stints, I barely saw a single Curlew Sandpiper! Whether the mudskipper collector had anything to do with this I am not sure...the Black-headed Gulls harassed pretty much any bird that caught a fish, including this Great Egret. Black-faced Spoonbills followed the tide in and will often get very close to the hide.

Great Egret harassed by Black-headed Gulls

Black-faced Spoonbill - breeding plumage

Waders such as Marsh Sandpipers, Common Greenshanks, Spotted Redshanks and Common Redshanks were in good numbers, but even Greater Sand Plovers, Grey Plovers and Kentish Plovers were surprisingly scarce...Caspian Terns were however in fairly good numbers now.

Marsh Sandpiper

Caspian Tern

While the Black-capped Kingfisher had already gone, a Common Kingfisher takes it's place. A pair of Pied Kingfishers also came by briefly, the male caught a fish and perched on one of the "kingfisher pole".

Common Kingfisher - female

Pied Kingfisher - male

There were still plenty of large gulls around, including Mongolian Gulls and Heuglin's Gulls. A fairly pale looking 1st winter Slaty-backed Gull was perhaps the only interesting bird on the mudflat.

Mongolian Gull - sub adult

Heuglin's Gull - 1st winter

Slaty-backed Gull - 1st winter

Everything left once the tide came in, only bird of interest was a single Great Crested Grebe in breeding plumage. The bird hide floated around on the water, I decided to wait for the tide the recede, good time for an afternoon nap.

Great Crested Grebe

The receding tide was delayed by the strong northerly winds, it was still 2.14m at 3pm, it wasn't until 4pm that we started seeing more movements. I spotted a large white gull in the distance which surely was a Glaucous Gull. It was very very far away so all I could do was hope for it to come over as the tide recede further.

Glaucous Gull in the distance

While I waited, a few 1st winter Saunders's Gull flew past, most of the breeding birds had already left, and we often get a few non-breeding individuals staying slightly longer. This species is now listed as vulnerable due to habitat loss from land reclamation along their breeding range.

Saunders's Gull - 1st winter

A flock of Red-necked Stints finally came down to the mudflat, the reason for their absent during the incoming tide remains a bit of a mystery. Eurasian Curlews were in good numbers, I spotted a Far Eastern Curlew really far out.

Red-necked Stint

Eurasian Curlew

I put my attention back to the gulls present. A few adult Mongolian Gulls were there, the paler heads were quite obvious. However, a strange looking gull grabbed my attention, it was rather small headed with a fairly weak bill with dark tip. It had very little streaking on the head which resembles Mongolian, although it had very well-defined dark streaks on it's nape which somehow reminds me of 1st winter Relict Gulls. Back looked fairly dark, well within range of Heuglin's perched next to it. Legs were yellowish which doesn't quite fit Mongolian...What's more, it had barely any mirror visible, with a somewhat nearly all dark wing tip. I did some research and this is nearly identical to what had been named the "Yellow Sea Gull" on a page call 'A consideration of "The Herring Gull Assemblage" in South Korea'  by Nial Moores on Birds Korea's website (, under what they had named "Type D" Mongolian Gulls. I guess this will remain a bit of a mystery for now...

Mongolian Gull - adult

Strange looking gull to the right...

The 1st winter Slaty-backed Gull came in with the other large gulls. 1st winter birds in late winter are often very worn out like this bird, with coverts and tertiaries bleached and becoming quite pale.

Slaty-backed Gull - 1st winter

Finally, the 1st winter Glaucous Gull decided to drop over to our side, although against the sun...This is most probably the same bird I encountered late last month, although it had bleached slightly, it still showed that fairly dark belly. This bird raised some concerns over it's identity due to it's smaller size, from the side it looked chunky, but certainly wasn't a very tall looking bird especially when it's hunched up, but it was certainly larger than the rest of the Gulls present. Either way, I was quite happy to count it as a Glaucous Gull last month, I saw nothing that may change my mind on it's identity.

Glaucous Gull - 1st winter

migration season is well underway, but I haven't seen much yet...

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Hokkaido - March 2018 : Part 3

Day 7:

It started raining from midnight onwards, we woke up to a very wet morning. Captain received an email previous evening about a 24 hours delay for our ferry from Tomakomai to Oarai due to bad weather, which had us scrambling to find an alternative route back to Tokyo. We were supposed to board the ferry late in the evening on the 9th and arriving at Oarai on the 10th where we would spend a night in Tokyo before flying back to Hong Kong on the 11th...It was OK for Brother Kei who would continue on his journey around Japan with his wife, Alfee and Hailey were OK as well as they were going to fly from Kushiro to Tokyo on the 9th anyway as they didn't want to take returning ferry. Luckily, we were able to secure 8 plane tickets from Chitose back to Tokyo and Dickson helped booked the hotels....With crisis over, we thought we just had a simple drive back from Rausu back to Tomakomai. We were so wrong.

After breakfast, we took our time and packed before leaving Washi no Yado by 7:45am. We planned to start early and take our time to drive back to Tomakomai, we still had a few locations to visit along the way including a spot for Solitary Snipe which Yann Muzika gave us earlier. It was raining pretty heavily when we left Washi no Yado. We drove past the Rausu Fishing Port to scan for birds that could be in the harbour for shelter under such rough conditions. A flock of very wet Harlequin Ducks were there, for the first time on this trip they swam towards us instead of away! We got some pretty close views in the shelter of our car.

Harlequin Duck - male

Harlequin Duck - female

A female Smew was swimming with other mergansers which was the only note worthy bird we found in the harbour. An eclipse male Goosander was also interesting to look at but nothing new.

Smew - female

Goosander - eclipse male

We drove to the supposed Solitary Snipe location on route 505 to find the stream flooded, the continuous rain had raised the water level too much that we doubt the Snipe would remain there. All we saw was a single Brown Dipper, we did not even bother with photos under such horrible conditions. Seeing that the weather did not improve, we decided to drive to Akan for an early lunch. We stopped at a ramen restaurant which served a pretty good bowl of ramen. With weather like this we were in no hurry and took some time for souvenir shopping nearby.

A very good ramen with sushi, perfect lunch for crappy weather

The good lunch had lifted our moods slightly, it was just around 2pm at that time. We thought we would head into Tomakomai early to rest, but as we headed towards the motorway we knew something was wrong as the ramp was closed. We didn't think too much of it and drove to the next entrance, but was met with another road block. I got out of the car and asked a staff which route we should take to Tomakomai, he gave me an apologetic look and showed me a realtime road network map on his laptop, to my horror I saw all the motorways and numerous country roads were shown in red which meant closed. The staff explained with his limited english that there had been serious flooding in many areas and avalanche at a few locations. He instructed us to drive to Obihiro and wait around for the motorways to reopen, but when I asked him whether the roads would reopen soon he once again gave me that apologetic look...

photo credit to Michelle and Peter

As we drove, Yuen went online to check on the news and saw that we got ourself in the middle of a freak weather event, where a warm current had caused the temperature in Hokkaido to soar up to 8°C and some places up to 12°C! The 'high' temperature along with the heavy rain had caused many places to thaw, and as we drove towards Obihiro we saw the affects with our own eyes, fields of white were replaced by fields of browned grass! The rivers were also flooded, which was no surprise when you think of all that melted snow and rain went into it.

We finally arrived at Obihiro around 5pm. Yuen was able to check on a realtime motorway traffic map and saw that the motorway from Obihiro to Shimukappu had reopened, but the section from Shimukappu to Yubari remained closed. Many smaller roads were still closed, so it would be a gamble to go onto the motorway, if we had to get off at Yubari we could be stuck there again...Captain decided to take our chance and headed onto the motorway, which turned out to be a good call, as soon after we got on the section from Yubari to Chitose reopened! It was a tiring drive, we finally arrived at the hotel in Tomakomai at 9pm, everyone were relieved that we got there safely.

Day 8:

We woke up to a glorious morning, a huge difference to the day before. It was as if nothing had happened and everything looked normal again. With the previous day wasted, we felt we should make the most out of what was left of our time in Hokkaido before our flight from Chitose to Tokyo in the afternoon.

Route Inn, Tomakomai

I was given the mission to look for possible birding sites near Tomakomai, I saw a site call Lake Utonai just north of Tomakomai which looked promising. It was a 20 minute drive from our hotel, when we arrived we looked at the information boards and saw that this too was a Ramsar Site!

Lake Utonai, a ramsar site

We walked through the snow covered forest track, these are supposed to be wooden boardwalks but in winter they were completely snowed over. The frozen boardwalks were very slippery, so everyone had to put on their ice grips. Just as everyone were busy adjusting their ice grips I saw a small flock of Eurasian Bullfinch right ahead of me, I tried calling others but the Bullfinches were gone before everyone could get a look. Luckily, a great looking Meadow Bunting further along the track decided to be nicer and gave everyone a good look.

Eurasian Bullfinch - male

Meadow Bunting - male

A few Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed up, allowing us to observe them in a more wild setting. Eurasian Treecreepers also made an appearance, although they weren't the easiest birds to photograph, their cryptic plumage did not help, but everyone got a good look in the end.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Eurasian Treecreeper

Long-tailed Tits were not uncommon in Hokkaido, the race japonicus have completely white heads which makes this already cute species even more adorable. Being a very active species, they can be challenging to photograph, I got a few respectable shots at Lake Utonai.

Long-tailed Tit - race japonicus

We visited to the Lake Utonai Sanctuary ran by the local birdwatching society. Inside the wooden building were some simple educational exhibition and displays about the birds found at Lake Utonai, there were also a large collection of books on display. It seemed to be quite a popular spot for families, as we saw a few kids with their parents. A few very old looking telescopes were available and overlook the lake from the large windows, a little girl was happily using them and got very distance views of a pair of Steller's Sea Eagles perched on the frozen lake.

Inside the Lake Utonai Sanctuary

You can see the bird feeders from their sitting area, where the common garden birds came back and forth. Brown-eared Bulbuls and Japanese Tits were amongst the most prominent species here. While a Red Squirrel also taking advantage of the food on offer, this is supposedly the Hokkaido subspecies orientis, a cute little animal either way.

Brown-eared Bulbul

Japanese Tit

Red Squirrel

Three Eurasian Jays came along, race in Hokkaido should be brandtii, with black moustache and a streaked forehead, which ever race they are Jays are always attractive looking birds!

Eurasian Jay - race brandtii

We then drove to the Wetland Visitor Centre just up the road, this place was larger than the little cabin ran by the birdwatching society, but there were no bird feeders here. We walked down to the lake side where it wasn't frozen over, a Great Egret silently stalked for fish. We added a good list of waterfowls here although most were too far away for photographs, including Falcated Ducks, Mallards, Eurasian Teals and Mute Swans. The most noteworthy species was a pair of Smew, this was the first time I've seen a male Smew, so although it was a bit far away I thought it was still a pretty good sighting.

Great Egret

Smew - male & female

For lunch, we drove north past Chitose to a village call Rankoshi, where The Bird Watching Cafe was located. Captain saw an advertisement of this cafe at the wetland centre and decided to give this a try. The cafe looked just like a normal cafe inside, but with large windows looking out into the garden where they had setup a wide range of bird feeders. The cafe is owned by Tadashi Shimada, a Japanese nature photographer. Customers can order food and drinks then sit by the window to enjoy the views of birds coming back and forth the feeders.

Inside the Bird Watching Cafe

The food and coffee was all very nice (they really were good quality food), but the pièce de résistance of the cafe was a bird hide specifically built for bird photographers which can be accessed through a doorway at the far end of the cafe. We all felt like children entering a sweet shop as we feasted our eyes on tens of Varied Tits right in front of our eyes, literally a meter or so away from the front of the hide.

The photographer's section

Varied Tit

Japanese Tits were in very good numbers here, we could really appreciate their differences with the Cinerous Tits in Hong Kong, where Japanese Tits have green backs like Great Tits but lacks the yellowish bellies.

Japanese Tit

Eurasian Nuthatch was common here and were more than willing to pose for good photos. The owner also put up some nest boxes around the garden, which one of the Nuthatch frequently entered, perhaps already looking for a good place to nest?

Eurasian Nuthatch

A few Brown-eared Bulbuls were also present, they frequently made warning calls and chased smaller birds away.

Brown-eared Bulbul

A Dusky Thrush came down a few times, but like most other turdus species can be quite shy.

Dusky Thrush

One of the most astonishing bird we saw at the feeders was a Hawfinch. It was most unexpected, but we enjoyed amazingly close views of this beauty feeding on the sunflower seeds.


Three species of Woodpeckers provided plenty of excitement for us, including a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker which came back and forth quite regularly. The rather large Grey-headed Green Woodpecker swung by briefly for a very good look. Last but not least, a Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker landed right in front of me. We could have stayed there for hours and hours, but with our flight taking off in two hours time we thought we shouldn't risk missing the plane.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Grey-headed Green Woodpecker & Marsh Tit

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker

The morning was so enjoyable that everyone seemed to have forgotten about our little crisis just the day before! It was a 20 minutes drive from Rankoshi to Chitose airport, making the cafe a great spot to visit for last minute birding! Our 5:30pm flight to Narita was quick, we reached the Narita Gateway Hotel by the free shuttle bus at 8:45pm. 

Day 9:

We originally thought we would all just relax at the hotel and head to the airport when time was up, but us being birders...we are constantly looking for places to explore. I looked on ebird and saw around 10 checklists in a hotspot nearby named "Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport - North Woodland". Everyone met at the hotel lobby after breakfast and it was just a ten minutes walk to the supposed location. We followed an unmarked entrance onto a small forest track, our setting transformed from a suburban area to a rather nice looking piece of woodland, a very pleasant change from all the ice and snow in Hokkaido! We heard quite a lot of bird calling but saw very little movement. The most surprising calls we heard were that of Chinese Bamboo Partridges, which I never expected in such a small patch of woodland! The only birds we saw well were a few Varied Tits.

Varied Tit

We had little luck in the forest track, so we went back to the entrance where there were a few Plum trees in blossom. There were a few Japanese White-eyes feeding on the nectar.

Plum Bossoms

Japanese White-eye - race japonicus

The song of a Japanese Bush Warbler attracted our attention. We soon sighted one singing on a plum tree, it gave fairly good views. To see one singing on a flowering tree was quite unusual for us, as we usually just get glimpses of this species in Hong Kong.

Japanese Bush Warbler

We continued down the road and reached an open area with rice paddies at the bottom of the slope. Here we saw quite a lot of Buntings, mostly Black-faced Buntings. There were also a lot of Rustic Buntings which we flushed up to a tree nearby.

Black-faced Bunting

Rustic Bunting - male above, female below

Around the same area we added a single Bull-headed Shrike. A Hawfinch was spotted, as well as a Ring-necked Pheasant, but both I failed to photographed. The Tokko River runs through the valley which looked quite nice, we were all so surprised that we found this little piece of gem at such close proximity to our hotel!

Bull-headed Shrike - male

Tokko River

On our way back up we encountered yet another Japanese Bush Warbler, of which I was able to grab a fairly decent photo of. And with that it was time to head back to Hong Kong, a perfect way to end our time in Japan.

Japanese Bush Warbler


Overall, I would rate our trip to be fairly successful, we connected with most of our target species including the Blakiston's Fish Owl which Captain apparently missed on his first attempt years ago. Hokkaido in winter has it's very own charm, with impressive looking birds such as Red-crowned Cranes and Steller's Sea Eagles to be quite common, although birding can become slightly repetitive after the first two days, you will likely find a surprise or two here and there. I am sure birding here in the summer or spring would yield a lot more interesting species, but birding in the winter was a great experience.

Our trip list totalled at 94 species including those we saw at Narita, for winter I thought this was pretty good, although there were a few species that only others saw. There were a few species which we expected but never encountered, including Rhinocerous Auklet, Parakeet Auklet, Asian Rosy Finch and White-winged Scoter just to name a few.

Travelling in Japan was quite easy despite the language barrier, most people were friendly and were eager to help out even when they can't speak English. You will be amazed with the overall cleanliness of the streets, you will also be amazed by the orderliness of pretty much everything! From their transportation system to their public toilets. 

We were quite happy that we took the ferry from Oarai to Tomakomai, it not only gave us a day at sea, it also saved us a night of hotel and our overall travelling cost was much cheaper then if we were to take a plane directly to Chitose. Japan is not the cheapest place you will travel to in Asia, but we found the food to be pretty reasonably priced in most places, expect to pay somewhere between 500 - 1000yen per meal depending on what you eat. Petrol was not particularly cheap, it costs around 6500yen per tank, but still cheaper than that in Hong Kong! Renting a car costs around 20,000yen per day.

I would like to specially thank Captain for organising the trip itinerary, it was especially challenging to arrange the trip for 12 people! Dickson for sharing the car with me so I could take some rest when I needed to, Alfee and Hailey who helped with booking the flights, and big thanks to everyone for making this trip enjoyable and memorable.

Trip List:

1 Brent Goose - a few seen at Biwase Bay
2 Mute Swan - 3 at Lake Utonai
3 Whooper Swan - Widespread
4 Falcated Duck - a few at Lake Utonai
5 Eurasian Wigeon - 1 at Akkeshi Bay and a few elsewhere
6 Mallard- a few at Lake Utonai
7 Eurasian Teal - single male at Lake Utonai
8 Greater Scaup - common at Ochiishi Harbour, one or two elsewhere
9 Common Pochard - Shibetsu Harbour
10 Harlequin Duck - Widespread around bays and harbours
11 Black Scoter - Widespread around bays and harbours
12 Long-tailed Duck - Hanasaki, Habomai, Rausu Harbour
13 Common Goldeneye - Widespread around bays and harbours
14 Smew - 1 at Rausu Harbour, a pair at Lake Utonai
15 Goosander - Widespread around bays and harbours
16 Red-breasted Merganser - Widespread around bays and harbours
17 Chinese Bamboo Partridge - heard at Oyama, Narita
18 Ring-necked Pheasant - 1 seen at Oyama, Narita
19 Red-throated Diver - Habomai Seabird Cruise
20 Black-throated Diver - Habomai Seabird Cruise
21 Pacific Diver - 1 seen on Sunflower Ferry
22 Little Grebe - Tokyo
23 Red-necked Grebe - 1 seen on Sunflower Ferry
24 Black-necked Grebe - 1 seen in Ochiishi Harbour
25 Northern Fulmar - 2 seen on Sunflower Ferry
26 Streaked Shearwater - at least 13 birds on Sunflower Ferry
27 Sooty Shearwater - 2 seen on Sunflower Ferry
28 Red-faced Cormorant - 2 at Cape Nasappu
29 Pelagic Cormorant - Widespread around bays and harbours
30 Japanese Cormorant - a few at Akkeshi Bay
31 Great Cormorant - 1 flew over at Oyama, Narita
32 Grey Heron - Tomakomai
33 Great Egret - Lake Utonai
34 Little Egret - Tokyo
35 Black Kite - Widespread 
36 White-tailed Eagle - Widespread, mainly at Lake Furen
37 Steller's Sea Eagle - Widespread, mainly at Lake Furen
38 Rough-legged Buzzard - Tomakomai
39 Eastern Buzzard - 1 at Tsurui
40 Eurasian Coot - Tokyo
41 Common Crane - 1 with Red-crowned Cranes observed on Nakasetsuri, Tsurui
42 Red-crowned Crane - common around Tsurui
43 Common Guillemot - 1 observed on Habomai Seabird Cruise
44 Pigeon Guillemot - snowi - fairly common at Habomai Bay
Pigeon Guillemot - kaiurka - fairly common at Habomai Bay
45 Spectacled Guillemot - a few observed on the Habomai Seabird Cruise
46 Ancient Murrelet - over 400 on Sunflower Ferry, a few on the Habomai Seabird Cruise
47 Crested Auklet - around 50 on Sunflower Ferry, a few on the Habomai Seabird Cruise
48 Least Auklet - common at Habomai Bay
49 Black-legged Kittiwake - commonly observed on the Sunflower Ferry
50 Mew Gull - commonly observed on the Sunflower Ferry
51 Black-headed Gull - common at Akkeshi Bay
52 Vega Gull - a few on Sunflower Ferry
53 Slaty-backed Gull - Widespread
54 Glaucous-winged Gull - Widespread north of Ochisshi
55 Glaucous Gull - Widespread north of Ochisshi
56 Rock Dove - Widespread
57 Rufous Turtle Dove - common at Oyama, Narita
58 Blakiston's Fish Owl - 1 bird observed at Rausu, Washi no Yado
59 Ural Owl - 1 bird observed at Tsurui
60 Short-eared Owl - 1 bird near Tomakomai by others
61 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - 1 bird observed near Tsurui
62 Great Spotted Woodpecker - Widespread
63 Grey-headed Green Woodpecker - 1 bird at Bird Watching Cafe, Chitose
64 Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker - 1 bird at Bird Watching Cafe, Chitose
65 Bull-headed Shrike - 1 at Oyama, Narita
66 Eurasian Jay - Widespread
67 Common Magpie - a few around Tomakomai
68 Carrion Crow - Widespread
69 Large-billed Crow - Widespread
70 Coal Tit - 1 at Bird Watching Cafe, Chitose
71 Varied Tit - Common at Bird Watching Cafe, Chitose
72 Japanese Tit - Widespread
73 Marsh Tit - Widespread
74 Willow Tit - 1 confirmed individual at Lodge Furen
75 Long-tailed Tit - Widespread
76 Eurasian Nuthatch - Widespread
77 Eurasian Treecreeper - a few at Lake Utonai
78 Eurasian Wren - 1 at Tsurui
79 Brown-eared Bulbul - Widespread
80 Japanese Bush Warbler - Oyama, Narita
81 Japanese White-eye - Oyama, Narita
82 Dusky Thrush - Widespread
83 Brown Dipper - 1 at Rausu
84 White-cheeked Starling - Narita
85 White Wagtail - a pair observed at Cape Kiritappu, also common around Tokyo
86 Snow Bunting - around 8 birds at Notsuke Peninsula
87 Meadow Bunting - 1 at Lake Utonai, a few at Oyama Narita
88 Rusitc Bunting - common at Oyama, Narita
89 Black-faced Bunting - common at Oyama, Narita
90 Hawfinch - 1 bird at Bird Watching Cafe, 1 bird at Oyama Narita
91 Eurasian Bullfinch - a few at Lake Utonai
92 Long-tailed Rosefinch - 1 observed near Tsurui by Yuen
93 Oriental Greenfinch - a few at Lodge Furen, common around Narita
94 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Widespread