Late March is a good month to bird in Hokkaido- because we saw not only winter birds but also spring arrivals and cost was much lower! I also wanted to do a pelagic trip and also visit Miyakejima island, so I bundled them up and came up with an itinerary and my friends- Low and Gim joined in. I couldn’t have asked for better company, Low is our chief spotter, Gim- our researcher, Terry, for bird I.D. and spotter; and me? I already came up with an itinerary and arranged everything- so I just chill and relax~ 😛
Nagoya to Tomakomai, Hokkaido (by ship) Click here for ship details!
From Tomakomai, Hokkaido, we flew to Memanbetsu, Hokkaido where we met Matsuo San (our guide and driver)
From Kushiro, Hokkaido, we flew to Tokyo and embarked night ferry to Miyakejima Island. Click here for ship booking.
At Nagoya Meitetsu Bus Terminal, we took the one and only bus to Nagoya Port- It leaves everyday at 5:20pm at level 4 (ticket counter at level 3). When we arrived at the Nagoya port, the big ship was awaiting for us and so were choppy waters with white caps! We’re in for a rough ride!
A 3 day ride from Nagoya to Hokkaido and we bagged a lot of pelagic birds- the most fruitful period was actually from Nagoya to Sendai section- after we’ve passed Sendai, things were a lot quieter but the scenery was breathtaking!
Some birds and mammals we saw: streaked shearwaters (tons of them), Ancient murrelets, Japanese murrelets, Short-tailed albatross, Black-legged kittiwakes, Red-throated loons, Black-throated loons, Pomarine Skuas, Rhino auklets, gulls, Dall’s porpoises, Northern fur seals, etc.
An unforgettable moment-
Saw a white wagtail making it way to Hokkaido! It didn’t hopped on the ship for a free ride, but kept on flying low to avoid headwinds..but waters were choppy in the Pacific Ocean.. I hoped it got to Hokkaido safely. To witness a migration like this brings a tear in my eye every time I think of it.
And here’s some great views as the ship made its way to Tomakomai port!
We arrived on time and headed out of the ferry terminal to catch our shuttle bus at 11:30 to the New Chitose airport for our flight to Memanbetsu! Everything went flawless, thank goodness!
End of part 1- zzz