7 February 2013
Meiji Jingu Forest and shrineWe met Chris at the gates of this large central Tokyo park for an early morning stroll. The area can be a good site for White's Thrush, a species I particularly hoped to see, but can also provide good views of some of the commoner species.
Over the next couple of hours we encountered a range of the commoner species, including 10 Varied Tit, 12 Eastern Great Tit, 4 Dusky Thrush, 30 Pale Thrush, 1 Goshawk (another had recently killed a Large-billed Crow in the top of a tree), over 40 Hawfinch, 1 Oriental Grrenfinch, 30 Oriental Turtle Dove, 5 Black-faced Bunting, 15 Japanese White eye, 20 Brown-eared Bulbul, 8 Grey Bunting and 6 Red-flanked Bluetail, including an absolutely stunning adult male. Two Spot-billed Duck and a Mandarin were hiding under the trees on a small pond.
|Oriental Turtle Dove|
|What a stunner!|
|One of my all time favourite birds|
|They don't get these in my local park!|
|An immature Red-flanked Bluetail|
|Gary and Chris outside the temple|
We enjoyed a coffee with Chris before jumping on a train back to Tokyo station to pick up the Shinkanzen up into the mountains at Karuizawa. We arrived early afternoon, checked into our hotel and then headed up to the Hoshino Onsen area to get our bearings ahead of a dawn raid. We initially took the wrong track and ended up walking around a rather up market estate of flashy summer houses. Not the most birdy area, but we still found a Hawfinch, 20 Long-tailed Tot, 1 Willow Tit, 15 Great Tit, 5 Varied Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, 2 Japanese Green Woodpecker, 10 Brown-eared Bulbul and 10 Tree Sparrow before dusk fell. We also managed, eventually to find our way back to the car and to work out the right trail for the morning.