On December 13, 2018, I rode my mountain bike down along the left bank of Yasugawa to Moriyama. Along the way quite a few Japanese black kites (トビ) were flying and roosting on the ground and in trees near the carcass of a large fish.
Below the weir I rode over the embankment that divides the riverbank from houses and fields in Moriyama. A patch of weeds along the road included shepherd’s purse (ナズナ) with tiny white flowers.
At the end of the road I rode up the hill and along a playgound (北川原公園) to Shiga Prefectural Route 151. I turned left and followed the right fork of the street to Hatonomori Park (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園).
In the park I left my bike near a bridge across the little stream, where calla lilies were blooming.
I was hoping to find small birds among the camellias, but there were only flowers and fallen petals.
Fortunately, quite a few birds were near Firefly Pond (蛍池), the upper pond. Japanese white-eye (メジロ) were in large trees.
Some bushes and trees border the area above the pond. A pygmy woodpecker (コゲラ) was on a small tree right in front of me.
Nearby a Japanese tit (シジュウカラ) flitted between bushes. The shy but curious little bird stayed in the area as it kept its distance and peered out at me from cover.
A female Daurian redstart (ジョウビタキ) in the same area perched in the open and called. She did not seem to mind my presence.
At the lower pond a flock of Eastern spot-billed ducks (カルガモ) included one with green head plumage, perhaps a hybrid.
As usual at this pond, two pairs of mallards (マガモ) joined the Eastern spot-billed ducks. One of the females swam leisurely, and other was more active.
One of the mallard males put on a show right in front of me as he stood and fanned his wings. What a beautiful creature!
After I left the park, I rode back toward the river, stopping at Ten Shrine (天神社) to admire the late fall colors.
At Yasugawa I crossed Kawata Ohashi (川田大橋) and rode upriver along the right (north) bank.
A few kilometers from home I paused atop a mound to rest and enjoy the late afternoon scenery.
In nearly five hours I rode only 19.25 kilometers, but I was lucky to enjoy the colorful late fall scenery, see wildflowers still in bloom, and photograph some beautiful birds. A short bike ride down along the riverbank turned into a very good day outdoors.