Jay Birding around Kansai- Nara 奈良赏鸟

Waking up early on a cold cold morning was not easy at all for a birder! By 7 am, I was already waiting at the platform for the train heading towards Nara. My place of destination- The Nara Park! 😛

When I arrived at the park, I was quickly greeted by hungry deers-not one, but a huge number, all wanting a piece of the biscuit I bought! 😛 Perhaps it was a mistake to buy them biscuits as they followed me everywhere!

deers in Nara Park

deers in Nara Park

Well, no matter how cute these deers looked, I still had to look for my birds! There were more species here than in Osaka, and despite the cold weather they came out for their breakfast! As I walked towards Todaiji Temple in the park, a flock of tiny birds caught my eye. I tried to chase them down…while deers chased after me (still)! These Long Tailed Tits were fast moving, but I eventually took some photos of them..!

Long tailed tits

Long tailed tits

long tailed tit

long tailed tit

As the Long Tailed Tits roosted on a tall tree, I saw something on the tree trunk, slowly moving up. I held my breath and sneaked closer…its a Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker! I just can’t believe my luck! 😛

japanese pygmy woodpecker

japanese pygmy woodpecker

japanese pygmy woodpecker

japanese pygmy woodpecker

Some green backed tits and Varied tits soon came along to join the party! It was a lovely morning walk, and as I headed back to the main street for my tofu lunch, snowflakes came down and the view was a blanket of mist! That awesome moment felt like kisses sent down from the sky! hehe!

Varied tit

Varied tit

Nara park trees in winter

Nara park trees in winter

Jay Birding around Kansai- Osaka 大阪赏鸟

When munching was such a joy in Japan, one simply could not resist the temptation of savouring Japanese cuisine in Kansai.  It wasn’t meant to be a birding trip in Japan…since there were lots of other temptations, but nonetheless, I still brought along my bino and a short lens hoping to see some birds as I jay walked in the Kansai region. Having landed in Osaka, I couldn’t miss the chance of visiting Osaka Castle Park. 😛 The magnificent moats and the stone walls built from Edo period was a breathtaking sight! It’s a huge park, and as I only assigned a morning to walk there, I only went to a few areas in the map below circled in red for bird watching! 😛 😛

bird watching place at Kansai Castle Park

bird watching place at Kansai Castle Park

It was such a bliss to walk in the park in early morning, and to see locals feed the gulls was an amazing sight! They all told me to get ready when they toss the food in the air…but never have I thought the gulls would come so close for their morning meal….I had to stand so far back to get a decent shot! 😛 😛

There were plenty in winter!

Locals would throw bread to feed the gulls!

Other birds floating in the canals were the Tufted Duck, Spot Billed, Common Pochards, plenty of Black Headed Gulls and Eurasian Wigeons and Mallards of course!

common pochard and Eurasian wigeon

common pochard and Eurasian wigeon

tufted duck

tufted duck floating in canals

During winter, thrushes were never a shortage to see in Japan, a short stroll around the forest area and even open grounds, I could easily spot the Pale Thrush and the Dusky Thrush! 😛 😛 There were also the White Cheeked Starling, Black Crows (zzz), Brown Eared Bulbuls and Green Backed Tits…now where were those Varied Tits? :-/

White cheeked starling, dusky thrush, green backed tit, pale thrush

White cheeked starling, dusky thrush, green backed tit, pale thrush

Brown eared Bulbul is a resident in Japan

Brown eared Bulbul is a resident in Japan

As I was about to leave the park, I bumped into a few local birders… 😛 They gathered round an area, and while having their hot-pot (yummy!!); they raised their binos whenever a bird stopped for a little snack! I am pretty sure I’d do that when I have arthritis! OUCH!

chestnut flanked white eyeOne of my surprise visiting the Castle Park was to see a beaver! As I walked down the bridge, I saw this beaver along the edge of the canal begging for food! How cute is that? 😛

Beaver Begging for food!

Beaver Begging for food!

Apart from Osaka Castle Park, I also made a short visit to Nanko Bird Sanctuary. Here is the website. http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/sightseeing_1235.html  I was a little disappointed as I did not see much birds at the main tower. The birds were far, so it was a better to bring a spotting scope instead! However, the walk along the trails next to the main tower hide was fruitful. Finally ticked a bird which is common to everyone but not me… @_@”. May I present to you the Oriental Greenfinch! 😛

Oriental Greenfinch

Oriental Greenfinch

Okay, here’s a photo of me munching… 😛 😛

That's me

That’s me