Sunny at Sakata


Niigata, Japan

December 3, 2017

Yesterday Keiko, Jonah, and Luke kindly took me to Sakata. It was sunny but very cool when we got there. It was nice to see plenty of waterfowl out on the water including Smew, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shovelers and maybe more. 

I mostly enjoyed seeing long legged birds such as egrets, Grey Herons and the very delightful Oriental Stork.

Raptors included Black-eared Kites, a very pale headed Eurasian Harrier, and several other normal harriers.

Later, we went to a farmers market and I bought some rice before we headed to a cafe for coffee and gelato. 

Wish we could do it again tomorrow!

Thanks guys!

Little Egret

Tundra Swans

Grey Heron

Oriental Stork

Great White Egret

Bull-headed Shrike

It came from the sky

Oriental Stork

Niigata, Japan

November 6, 2016

Mr Honma and I were being a bit greedy and went to look for the Oriental Stork again today. The first hour was fruitless with scans of the rice-fields with binoculars finding nothing. Suddenly we met a lady along a path and she pointed and said, "Konotori! Is that Konotori?"

We were trying to be kind assuming she was pointing at one of the several egrets within sight when she became more and more excited. "Big, white and black bird!" She exclaimed in English pointing above the trees in front of us, and suddenly it dropped from the sky and landed not so far away.

Thank you to the lady, otherwise I would have had my back to it when it passed.

It stayed and fished for a while and several of us got some nice close-ups.

I took 570 shots and will post more later.

Oriental Stork

Oriental Stork

Niigata, Japan

October 30, 2016

The Oriental Stork became extinct in Japan in the 1970s and a captive breeding program was commenced with a pair brought in from China. 

Globally, the Oriental Stork can be found in China and Siberia with an estimated population of just one to two and a half thousand according to the Birdlife International factsheet.

You can see this one has rings around its legs and is fitted with a transmitter. I hope if finds somewhere to go for winter which is quickly coming.

Mr Honma kindly took me to see this and he drove me around stubbornly until he found it. There was no way we were going home without it. 

If I have a win on the Melbourne Cup I'd like to buy him a new pair of binoculars. He only has half a pair, but he says, "It's good enough".