February 4-18 is the beginning of Spring, Risshun (立春) in the traditional Japanese calendar of 24 seasons. The middle micro-season in Risshun, Kōō kenkan su (黄鶯睍睆), is February 9-13. Here are some photographs of birds and flowers that I took February 11-13 during Kōō kenkan su in 2020.

February 11

On February 11 I rode my mountain bike across Yasugawa and up Oyamakawa through Mikami and Omifuji and then to the Omifuji Botanical Gardens in Kitazakura, Yasu City (map).

Common kingfisher (カワセミ) and great egret (ダイサギ)
Common kingfisher (カワセミ) and great egret (ダイサギ)
Great egret (Ardea alba, ダイサギ)
Great egret (Ardea alba, ダイサギ)
Great egret (Ardea alba, ダイサギ)
Great egret (Ardea alba, ダイサギ)
Grey heron (Ardea cinerea, アオサギ)
Grey heron (Ardea cinerea, アオサギ)
Oriental Greenfinch (Chloris sinica, カワラヒワ)
Oriental greenfinch (Chloris sinica, カワラヒワ)
Japanese tit (Parus minor, シジュウカラ)
Japanese tit (Parus minor, シジュウカラ)
Red-flanked bluetail male (Tarsiger cyanurus, ルリビタキ ♂)
Red-flanked bluetail male (Tarsiger cyanurus, ルリビタキ ♂)
Pink plum blossoms
Pink plum blossoms
Red pine grove at the Omifuji Botanical Gardens
Red pine grove at the Omifuji Botanical Gardens
Great egret (Ardea alba, ダイサギ)
Great egret (Ardea alba, ダイサギ)

February 12

On February 12 I walked around my neighborhood and then down to a nearby river, Yasugawa (野洲川). I spent most of my time looking at scenery.

Black-faced bunting (Schoeniclus spodocephala Pallas, アオジ)
Black-faced bunting (Schoeniclus spodocephala Pallas, アオジ)
Rustic bunting (Schoeniclus rusticus,  カシラダカ)
Rustic bunting (Schoeniclus rusticus, カシラダカ)
Yasugawa (野洲川) riverbed
Yasugawa riverbed upstream
Yasugawa (野洲川) riverbed
Yasugawa riverbed downstream

February 13

On February 13 my wife and I went to Lake Biwa, first to a waterfowl observation place along the shore in Kusatsu City and then to the Kusatsu Aquatic Botanical Gardens (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森).

Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus, ユリカモメ)
Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus, ユリカモメ)
Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus, ユリカモメ)
Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus, ユリカモメ)
Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus, ユリカモメ)
Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus, ユリカモメ)
Northern pintail male (Anas acuta Linnaeus, オナガガモ)
Northern pintail male (Anas acuta Linnaeus, オナガガモ)
Northern pintail male (Anas acuta Linnaeus, オナガガモ)
Northern pintail male (Anas acuta Linnaeus, オナガガモ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Biwako
Biwako shoreline at Shina-cho, Kusatsu City (湖岸緑地 志那1 北)
Pink and yellow tulips
Pink and yellow tulips
Pink tulips
Pink and yellow tulips
Pink tulips
Pink and yellow tulips
Cattleya orchid (カトレア)
Cattleya orchid (カトレア)

Most of the beautiful flowers that we see in February have been planted by people, but the birds migrate here naturally and bring their own colors.

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University (1977-2020). Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

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