Little Grebes

I saw lots of little grebes on Mizimachi Lake, but they were not easy to photograph. I will have to try again sometime.

Order: Podicipediformes; Family: Podicipedidae
Tachybaptus ruficollis
Little Grebe = katsuburi

Location: Mizumachi Lake (see post here)

Lake Cormorants

I have always associated cormorants with the sea, but these ones were at Mizumachi Lake, which is far from the sea. They were perched in the trees and occasionally came down to the water. My photos were taken with a 360mm telephoto, so they are not so clear.

Order: Pelecaniformes; Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Phalacrocorax carbo
Great Cormorant = kawau

Location: Mizumachi Lake (see post here)

Mandarin Ducks

I saw these Mandarins on the far side of the lake and couldn’t get near them. Then I sneaked through the forest to a point not far from where they were and sat there for an hour. Eventually a few of the ducks came close and I managed to get some reasonable shots. What a beautiful bird this is!

Order: Anseriformes; Family: Anatidae
Aix galericulata
Mandarin Duck = oshidori

Location: Mizumachi Lake (see post here)

Brown-eared Bulbul

More brown-eared bulbuls in the garden. These birds are irritatingly noisy, but I like them.

Order: Passeriformes; Family: Pycnonotidae
Microscelis amaurotis
Brown-eared Bulbul = hiyodori

Black Kite

Black kites (tobi) are really common and we regularly see them circling high above our area, but the best place to see them is along the coast. We went for lunch at a fish restaurant today and then wandered around the rocky shore, watching the kites riding the thermals above the cliffs of a small island. They are marvelous to watch, but we know their other side, having had food stolen by them in the past! Once we were sitting under a cliff eating a picnic and one swooped down and grabbed a sandwich right out of my hands, just as I was about to take a bite. It was so fast that I didn’t see it, and so it seemed like my sandwich had exploded in front of me. Quite a shock!! Anyway, I still love watching them.

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Order: Falconiformes (Birds of prey; raptors)
Family: Accipitridae (Hawks, eagles, kites, harriers)
Milvus migrans
Black Kite = tobi

Japanese White-eye

The mikan oranges that we put in the bush in our garden are absolutely irresistible for Japanese white-eyes (mejiro). So many of them come into the garden (or maybe it’s the same ones many times) that we hardly notice them now. However, they really are pretty little birds and so I have to post some of my better shots here. They are quite timid so they tend to fly into the bush from below and then hop from twig to twig until they can pop out right next to the fruit. It’s comical to see their heads appear next to the mikan.

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Order: Passeriformes
Family: Zosteropidae
Zosterops japonicus
Japanese White-eye = mejiro

Pale Thrush

While I was waiting to get a photo of a brown-eared bulbul in the garden, this pale thrush (shirohara) showed up. Nice surprise. It seems that many birds can’t resist the temptation of juicy mikan (small oranges)!

Pale Thrush

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Pale Thrush = shirohara
Turdus pallidus