Jay Birding around Kansai- Wakayama 和歌山赏鸟

Finally got to end of writing my Kansai Trip report! Phew!!!!!! To make it short, I did not go to the Wakayama Port but to the Wakayama city instead! It was a very very (I cannot stress enough) cold morning with high wind speed! When I exited the train station, that strong gust of wind nearly blew me off my feet! Walking against the wind wasn’t easy for me (cough)…but I was very determined to cross the street! Why?? It was because I saw my first ever Blue Rock Thrush! For many birders, its a common bird, but it was a lifer for me!

blue rock thrush

blue rock thrush

The blue rock thrush tried to fly in a trajectory path but with strong head wind, it was “blown” away..so far away that even if I had wings…I couldn’t even chase after it! XD

Wakayama is a great place for onsen (hot springs) but I had other plans…hehe! I went to the Wakayama Castle! There were some trails that lead up to the castle itself…!

Along the trails, I saw Japanese Grosbeaks, Spot Billed ducks, Japanese wagtail, Grey wagtail, Tufted ducks, etc… but what actually caught my attention was a warbler-The Japanese Bush Warbler! 😛

Japanese bush warbler!

Japanese bush warbler!

spot billed duck

spot billed duck

I was really hoping to see a Japanese bunting in Japan…but I only saw the black faced bunting when I crossed the historical wood bridge at the Wakayama Castle! Outside the castle, I saw also a common buzzard and a dusky thrush…!

black faced bunting

black faced bunting

common buzzard

common buzzard

dusky thrush

dusky thrush

Jay Birding around Kansai- Kyoto 京都赏鸟

I was told that there were many birding spots in Kyoto, but with my limited time, I could only make do with areas which were easily accessible! From the hotel where I stayed, I took an early morning stroll to the Imperial Palace Park, which was about 25 mins away!

map

the canal

the canal

As I walked along the canal, there were no shortage of mallards and black headed gulls and tufted ducks, who were happily taking their morning baths (brrr…!!). They were so close that I could almost touch them!!  It was a tough walk as the roads were iced and slippery…I made quite a few falls before I got the hang of it! >.< Anyway, that wasn’t the worst stunt I made that day…I saw some stepping stones that could get me across the canal, and without further looking, I headed for it…making huge strides for each stone. I managed to catch the attention of some locals, who watched my spectacular moves, and  pointed to me that there was a footbridge nearby…@_@” Embarrassing!!

Mallard

Mallard

black headed gull in canal

black headed gull in canal

When I arrived at the entrance of the park, I was greeted by a huge flock of Japanese Grosbeaks! I was taken by surprise by the quantity and their foraging behavior on leafy grounds! The Japanese grosbeak below obviously stayed away from its noisy friends and decided to roost on a tree! 😛

Japanese  grosbeak at Imperial palace park entrance

Japanese grosbeak at Imperial palace park entrance

In Winter, thrushes were no shortage here…!  I could easily see Scaly thrush, Pale Thrush and Dusky thrush…!

scaly thrush

scaly thrush

Apart from Imperial Palace Park, I also visited Arashimaya, where I saw more cormorants and also the Japanese Wagtail!  I was hoping to see some buntings there, but I failed to find any! It was a great walk nonetheless… 😛

Arashiyama

Arashiyama

comorants

comorants

japanese wagtail

japanese wagtail