Sunday 15 September 2013

Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki-jima, which is one of the Yaeyama Islands, some 2000km southwest of Tokyo, was our holiday destination this summer. The island is sub-tropical and of course the birds which we hoped to see are quite different to the ones we see here in Chiba.

And the sea!

There were so many birds we had wanted to see and these are some of them:

A first-year Ryukyu Serpent Eagle (Kanmuriwashiカンムリワシ)

He was sitting there and didn't seem to mind us at all. Beautiful!

An adult one. He was even closer but didn't seem to be bothered either.

Had an itch?

During our full 5-day stay, we spotted 4 or 5 individuals and each of them was perching in a tree where we were able to look at them very closely. Gorgeous birds!

A Purple Heron (Murasakisagiムラサキサギ)

We were lucky to see 7 or 8 of them in one day, all of them in rice fields.

We flushed a pair of Greater Painted Snipes (Tamashigiタマシギ). This one is male.

Painted Snipes are a bit unusual as birds; the males have a slightly duller plumage than the females and the males are the ones who raise the chicks:)

So this is HE:)

These elegantly-shaped birds are...

Oriental Pratincoles (Tsubamechidoriツバメチドリ). Cool.

To be continued.

We'd like to thank our guide -Mr Kobayashi of SeaBeans, who is very friendly and knowledgeable. We otherwise wouldn't have been able to see so many birds (and insects, crustaceans, reptiles, and amphibians...). Amazingly the number of the birds we saw in our day with him was 60 plus!

Here is Mr Kobayashi's information (in Japanese)

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