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.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

オーストラリアセイタカシギ, White-headed Stilt

On October 8th I drove to Isahaya in Nagasaki hoping to find some migraters, kestrels, merlins or an early Amur Falcon maybe.  I left early and got there just before sunrise. There was very little activity that day, although I did see some Common Kestrels and a very early Daurian Redstart.
Luckily a White-headed Stilt was spotted and mentioned in one of the blogs. Not a common bird in Japan. We get many Black-winged Stilts, also in Fukuoka, but this one usually stays further south, therefore named Australian Stilt in Japanese. So halfway the morning I headed out in search.

Stilts are easy to detect with their long legs, but some ongoing construction work in the reclaimed area made them retreat to some hidden corner and it took me and 3 others the best part of the day to locate. Halfway the afternoon someone finally found it and there were the birds: 8 of them; male and female, adults and juveniles, all dressed in black and white and all looking different. They moved in and out of the rice plants and the watered field, behind that blue netting that is so widely used in Japan (I hate it!) Now, which one is the Ozzie???

Got it! Once you know it's easy... White head, Black nape, slightly different bill and just a wee bit taller than the others. (Only visible when they all stand up straight, which is.... seldom)

juvenile female  オーストラリアセイタカシギ, White-headed Stilt on the right, juvenile Black-winged on the left.

on the right again.
Once I had her sorted out our bird disappeared in the greenery. It took time again to wait for it to come out so all of us birders could see it. 

lurking at the back...

stepping forward...? No, not yet.

When it finally did come forward it lifted one leg up, tucked its head in and went to sleep…
Of course the only thing we could do was wait...  again. But then: 

Our bird from down under is the one on the left, calling "Hi, it's me!" with an Ozzie accent.

With my white face and blackish nape, on the very left.



Just when I got ready to leave it did a brief tour in the waterlogged field and returned to the safety of the secluded rice paddy. By now it really was time for me to head back, but I did have some photos.

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