Slightly Silent Autumn

Whooper Swan
Fukushimagata, Niigata, October 29, 2011

I was surprised by the lack of bird activity when I visited Fukushimagata last Saturday. I had been expecting the place to be bursting at the seams with ducks but the water was fairly vacant. It was a sunny, almost spring-like day. There were no signs of the goshawks I was expecting to see either. I regretted wearing a jacket for my long walk and yellow flowers about the place really made it feel like spring as well.

Brown Shrike
I saw the above Brown Shrike fluttering in a net at the edge of reeds from the roadside at the back of the wetlands. Only metres away from him hung a notice that the nets had been set-up by a renowned research centre. A speaker system was playing finch calls very loudly and the grass alongside the road  was alive with buntings and finches making their ways to the location. I was worried about the shrike as he seemed to be easily visible and out in the open. Although I didn't see any goshawks there were Marsh Harriers floating about nearby. I hope the researchers found him before the harriers anyhow. You can just make out the tops of the nets in the pic below.

female Mallard

male Mallard

Eurasian Teal

I think this is a Rustic Bunting. Any other ideas on his ID most welcome!

Northern Goshawk in the rain a week earlier. (October 22, 2011)