Yamagami Dam

 4/05/17  Another bird you can see around here in early spring is the long-tailed rosefinch, or benimashiro as it is called here in Japan.  They generally winter south of Fukuoka and pass through here on the way to their breeding grounds up north in Hokkaido and Eurasia. Late last March, I was at Yamagami Dam again when I noticed a man with a long lens on a tripod. We said good morning to each other, and I asked what he was photographing. “Benimashiro”, he said. I have seen this bird only once before, also at Yamagami Dam. As we were observing and taking pictures of this chipper bird, two more birders with long lenses and nice cameras joined us. They were acquaintances of his. One of them I had met here before, walking around the  Yamagami Dam lake. Bird photography is booming here in Japan, so it is really gaining in popularity here so it is more difficult to find quiet, uncrowded places.
long-tailed rosefinch blog

A Daurian redstart, Jobitaki in Japanese suddenly appeared not far from the rosefinches.

Daurians redstart, blog

Another bird I often notice in early spring is the Red-flanked Bluetail, or Ruribitaki in Japanese.

Island City, Central Park in Higashi ward is another place to see water birds. It is a man-made pond were I stop by on my way to Shikanoshima. In March, many birds migrating through, will stop here to rest. Eurasian wigeons were here on their way to northern Asia, and I took the opportunity to try and capture some grazing and in flight.

Grazing Wigeons

Grazing with common coots, Oo-ban in Japanese, and  white-cheeked starlings, mukudori in Japanese.

Eurasian Wigeon, backward glance

                                    Keeping an eye on me!

E. wigeon landing

eorasian wigeon, hidori gamo blog

Ainoshima, or Cat Island as it is also called due to the large number of stray cats that roam the island, is another place high on my list to visit. Before sunrise, I put my bike in the car and drove to Shingu Port a few weekends ago, where you catch the ferry to Ainoshima. Unfortunately, bicycles are not allowed on the ferry on weekends. I decided to go back again soon on a weekday when you can take your bike with you.

Shingu Port sunrise blog

                                  Sunrise at Shingu Port

Shingu Port moonset blog

                               Moonset at Shingu Port

Last, but not least, the cherry trees are in full bloom here in Fukuoka on this day, but last Monday, only a few buds had come open.

morning dew on Sakura blog


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