A pair of bramblings (atori in Japanese) at Buzoji Temple

Buzoji Temple

4/21/2016     Yesterday morning I decided to go to Buzoji Temple, where the wisteria are locally famous, with my camera. This time of year, they are blooming  and I wanted to see them and catch their fragrant scent too. As I was about to wash my hands at the temple entrance, I noticed a pair of birds foraging just over the fence. I had not seen this species before, and I quickly got out my camera and took some pictures and a few videos. I later discovered that they were called brambling. They were very camera friendly, approaching within a few meters of me at one point. I noticed they were mostly interested in the seeds of the huge camphor trees within Buzoji. They were very selective, and rejected most of the seeds. I did see the male swallow a few of them.

brambling, male 4,20,16
brambling, female 4,20,16


The video below was taken with a Panasonic FZ200 bridge camera, 240 frames /second.  The soundtrack is from free music archives.  Title: ‘Soaring’ by Lee Rosevere.



The Japanese white eye

blog final 1 meijiro flight

4/10/16 I spent most of the morning up on nearby Shioji Mt. yesterday. Discovered a trail I had never been on before. It ran along a small ridge nestled between the two main knobs that make up Shioji Mt.. All along the path were cherry trees, (yamazakura) and also a few red pine trees among others. The path was rather wide and well-lit. A good place for photographing birds. I will return there soon.
Little passerines never cease to amaze me with the acrobatic moves that they perform with such great speed and precision, and without any wasted motion. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the cheerful white eyes sipping from the cherry blossoms. One can not help but smile. (At about 1:10 in the video below, you will hear another white eye start warbling)

Brown-eared bulbul, hiyodori

  brown-eared bulbul, hiyodori resize 2 brown-eared bulbul, hiyodori resize34/1/16  This brown-eared bulbul, or hiyodori as it is known here in Japan, was  sipping nectar from the newly opened camellia blossoms in the front garden. It gets it’s name from the patch of brown feathers just behind it’s eyes. Notice the pollen on it’s bill and lore. It is beneficial as a cross pollinator, but is also sometimes destructive to some crops, such as fruit trees, and broccoli. They are an intelligent bird, and extremely vigilant. Their noisy alarm calls often warn other birds of approaching danger.