Near the end of November bird photography becomes even more interesting in the southern part of Shiga Prefecture. Some larger birds, including most egrets, herons, and cormorants, fly south for the winter, but winter migrants appear, and some species that live here throughout the year seem more prominent and attractive as the temperatures drop and the days become shorter.

White wagtails (ハクセキレイ), Eurasian tree sparrows (スズメ), and Japanese black kites (トビ) seem most attractive in late autumn sunlight.

White wagtail (Motacilla alba  lugens, ハクセキレイ)
White wagtail (Motacilla alba lugens, ハクセキレイ)
Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus, スズメ)
Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus, Japanese:スズメ)
Japanese black kite (トビ)
Japanese black kite (Milvus migrans, トビ)

In fall mallard (マガモ) males display their bright breeding plumage dramatic contrast to the intricately mottled feathers of females.

Mallard female (マガモ)
Mallard female (Anas platyrhynchos, マガモ)
Mallard male (マガモ)
Mallard male (Anas platyrhynchos, マガモ)

Small birds in trees and bushes become more visible in late fall, even though quite a lot of foliage remains. Recently a Japanese tit (シジュウカラ), several Japanese white-eye (メジロ), and two Pygmy woodpeckers (コゲラ) appeared very to me at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (守山市 鳩の森公園).

Japanese tit (Parus minor, シジュウカラ)
Japanese tit (Parus minor, シジュウカラ)
Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ)
Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus, メジロ)
Pygmy woodpecker (Dendrocopos kizuki, コゲラ)
Pygmy woodpecker (Dendrocopos kizuki, コゲラ)

In late autumn we begin to see migratory birds that winter here, including Daurian redstarts (ジョウビタキ), olive-backed pipits (ビンズイ), and dusky thrushes (ツグミ).

Daurian redstart female (Phoenicurus auroreus,  ジョウビタキ)
Daurian redstart female (Phoenicurus auroreus, ジョウビタキ)
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni, ビンズイ)
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni, ビンズイ) in Deba, Ritto City
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)

As winter comes to southern Shiga Prefecture, I hope to see more creatures like this beautiful bull-headed shrike (モズ) on the branch of a cherry tree at Sakura Ryokuchi Park in Yasu City.

Bull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus, モズ)
Bull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus, モズ)
Bull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus, モズ)
Bull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus, モズ)

See more bird photos in my Flickr photostream or Birds in Shiga Prefecture, one of my Flickr albums. (My photos may be downloaded and used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).)

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University. I have retired from full-time service (1977-2014) and now offer weekly lectures in interpersonal and intercultural communication. Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: