This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

daijugarami 1

On Sept 21st it was time to check out the Ariaki Sea in Saga. The vast mud flats of Daijugarami (大授搦) provide food for many migrators and every year in spring and autumn thousands of shorebirds make this place their stop-over. We can hear their chatter from far and see them a couple of hundred meters away. But when the tide comes in their feeding ground becomes flooded and the waders move further towards the shore, allowing us a closer look. At spring tide the seawater runs a long way in and many birds enter the seaside concrete path that runs through a kind of park with bushes of shichimenso (シチメンソウ)They stay there for an hour or however long it takes for the water to withdraw and the mud to become exposed again. The birds fly in huge numbers, creating black clouds in the sky; a spectacular sight, to say the least.

The Grey Plovers are most prominent, followed in number by Red-necked Stints, Dunlins and Great Knots.

Grey Plover,  ダイゼン getting their feet wet and about to fly.

 Also easy to spot are the Curlews and Whimbrels as well as the Godwits, because of their size.-

Often the last ones to leave the flooded mud flatFar Eastern Curlew,  ホウロクシギ and  Eurasian Curlew,  ダイシャクシギ (in the center)

Above and below:  Far Eastern Curlew,  ホウロクシギ

 Small birds but not so shy are the Sand Plovers, some still with their orange summer colors.  Below a juvenile, born this year.   Lesser Sand Plover,  メダイチドリ

Anything else has to be observed carefully. Fortunately there were some more birders, many with much more experience.

above a Marsh Sandpiper,  コアオアシシギ
below a Whimbrel,  チュウシャクシギ On the last patch of mud

Suddenly they all fly

And land in front of us. All mixed up

The Grey Plovers, ダイゼンare re-grouping


So are the Great Knots,  オバシギ

More Great Knots,  オバシギ


and more

To be continued...

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