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my bird photo album -- kyoto, late may

2005-06-02 - 7:25 p.m.

The full-fledged trip report will be coming soon, but I thought I'd start with the bird list to give you a different perspective on Kyoto from what you normally see.

all photos © 2005 by Elaine Radford
grey starling, kyoto, japan
Grey Starling

The bird list wasn't great, since there is very little diversity in the bird species in the Kyoto area, at least at this time of year. However, there were definitely some worthwhile "wow" species, such as Narcissus and Blue-and-White Flycatcher. Judging from the song, Blue-and-White Flycatcher is actually quite common, but the forest foliage can hide the bird from sight with surprising effectiveness, and I didn't get a good long look until my last full day in Kyoto when I encountered it deep in the forest behind Fushimi-Inari shrine.

Anyhoo, I got 15 lifers and 28 species overall:

  1. Great Cormorant
  2. Black-Crowned Night Heron
  3. Little Egret
  4. Great Egret
  5. Grey Heron -- abundant
  6. Mallard
  7. Spot-Billed Duck
  8. Black Kite
  9. Little Ringed Plover
  10. Rock Dove -- abundant
  11. Rufous Turtle Dove
  12. Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker -- a pair
  13. Barn Swallow -- abundant, nests with babies seen
  14. Grey Wagtail
  15. White Wagtail
  16. Japanese Wagtail -- including parents feeding fledged juveniles
  17. Brown-Eared Bulbul
  18. Blue-and-White Flycatcher
  19. Narcissus Flycatcher
  20. Long-Tailed Tit
  21. Varied Tit
  22. Japanese White-Eye
  23. Carrion Crow -- abundant
  24. Jungle Crow
  25. Grey Starling
  26. Eurasian Tree Sparrow -- abundant
  27. Oriental Greenfinch
  28. Siberian Meadow Bunting -- including a well-displayed singing bird

And, with apologies to people who still have dial-up connections, here is a photo gallery of some conspicuous Kyoto area birds.

jungle crows overlook the city
Jungle Crows enjoy the view from Maruyama Park

barn swallow nest

Check beneath the eaves of the noodle shops and souvenir stands lining the narrow streets, and you will soon discover Barn Swallow nests like this one full of big babies who have just been fed by a parent -- note how they alternate sitting with head or tail out to pack the crowded nest more efficiently

young grey heron

These younger Grey Herons didn't have an easy time of it, as they were always getting chased off by territorial adults. I saw one adult come away with a big beakful of feathers.

black kite in flight

The ubiquitous Black Kite

black kites on TV antenna

Dammit, Hiroko, those damn Black Kites are interfering with our TV reception again

siberian meadow bunting

Siberian Meadow Bunting sings at Arishiyama

spot-billed duck

Spot-Billed Duck on the path of philosophy, which looks suspiciously like a drainage canal, but no doubt it's an extremely significant and spiritual drainage canal

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