Category Archives: 野鳥

Crows along Yasugawa

On Sunday, March 18, 2018, I was cycling down the north bank of Yasugawa when I heard some noisy crows perched in nearby trees.

When I ride my touring bike, I carry a small audio recorder and microphones. For this recording I used a Sony PCM-M10 recorder and Clippy Stereo EM172 mics by FEL Communications Ltd. To mimic human hearing, a quasi-binaural sound image was made by placing the mics on either side of my bicycle handlebar bag. I prefer to use trees about the diameter of an adult human head, but I use the handlebar bag when I cannot find a tree.

Trek 520 touring bike with audio recorder and mics on handlebar bag in Yasu City

The Compass app on my iPhone shows the location, direction, and time.

Compass and geolocation app on bicycle handlebar bag in Yasu City

As we can see on the map, this location is between a river and near the edge of a suburban area. With aircraft overhead, vehicles on nearby roads, and rural and suburban human activities, this place is quite noisy, even on Sunday.

In everyday life we filter out much of the noise. When the crows are not so noisy, I suppose most people experience this environment as a peaceful and quiet little park, just as it appears in photographs.

Trek 520 touring bike in Yasu City

Trek 520 touring bike in Yasu City

Long-tailed Tits (エナガ)

On January 27, 2018, I was walking along the edge of a field near my house when a flock on long-tailed tits (エナガ) appeared right in front of me at eye level. I was able to take a few photos of them.

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tits (エナガ)

Long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tits (エナガ)

Long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (エナガ)

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus, エナガ)

These cute little birds blessed me with their presence for only a few minutes before they vanished. If I had not been there, quiet and alert, I would have missed the opportunity to see them so close.

We experience life most richly when we are fully present.

Mallards at Hatonomori Park

In January 2018 I watched the mallard ducks at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園).

One male was especially active on January 12th as he scratched his head and rolled and flipped in the water. I took some still photos that caught him in various positions.

Watching wild creatures rewards us in many ways. We can appreciate their existence and their beauty, and often we can gain insight about their behavior. And sometimes we can be thoroughly entertained.

Notes

Video and photos were shot hand-held with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and a 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens.

Music: “Perspectives” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

Video was edited with Kdenlive on a Fedora GNU/Linux workstation.

One Day in December

On December 30, 2017, I rode my mountain bike downstream along Yasugawa (野洲川) to Moriyama City (守山市). From the riverbank I rode to Hatonomori Park (鳩の森公園). I shot a few video clips and still photographs of birds that I saw.

Photos

Most cormorants (カワウ), great egrets (ダイサギ), and grey herons (アオサギ) fly south in late fall. I was pleased to see a few at the river in winter.

Great cormorants (カワウ) and great egrets (ダイサギ)

Great cormorants (カワウ) and great egrets (ダイサギ)

Great cormorants (カワウ) and grey heron (アオサギ)

Great cormorants (カワウ) and grey heron (アオサギ)

Great cormorants (カワウ) and grey heron (アオサギ)

Great cormorants (カワウ) and grey heron (アオサギ)

Meadow buntings (ホオジロ) were active along the riverbank, but most were hiding in bushes.

Meadow bunting (ホオジロ)

Meadow bunting (ホオジロ)

I often see Oriental turtle doves at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園), but usually they avoid people. This one at the park entrance did not seen to mind my presence as long as I remained still.

Oriental Turtle-Dove (キジバト)

Oriental turtle-dove (キジバト)

Oriental Turtle-Dove (キジバト)

Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis, キジバト) at

Usually I see olive-backed pipits (ビンズイ) in groups, but this one was wandering around the park alone.

Olive-backed pipit (ビンズイ)

Olive-backed pipit (ビンズイ)

Olive-backed pipit (ビンズイ)

Olive-backed pipit (ビンズイ)

Daurian redstarts (ジョウビタキ) are welcome visitors in winter. Males often pose where they can be seen.

Daurian redstart male (ジョウビタキ)

Daurian redstart male (Phoenicurus auroreus, ジョウビタキ)

Daurian redstart male (ジョウビタキ)

Daurian redstart male (Phoenicurus auroreus, ジョウビタキ)

Notes

Video and photos were shot hand-held with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and a 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens.

Music: “Lexicon” by Jason Shaw at AudionautiX.com, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Video was edited with Kdenlive on a Fedora GNU/Linux workstation.

This video is also available on YouTube.

Little Egrets (コサギ)

Little egrets (コサギ) in December

In Shiga Prefecture, Japan, most egrets and herons fly south in mid-autumn. Only a few a few remain, including several little egrets in locations that I often visit. One stays in Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園), and several can be seen along Oyamakawa in Yasu City (滋賀県 野洲市 大山川). On December 21 and 22, 2017, I shot video clips of one feeding in each location.  (See Notes below.)

Both little egrets shake their legs and shuffle their feet to drive small fish and other aquatic animals from vegetation in shallow streams. This hunting method is used by other species of egrets, and it seems to work. These birds ate well.

Hatonomori Park in Moriyama City (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園)

The little egret at Hatonomori Park usually perches on trees in a pond. The bird appears at the pond nearly every time I visit.

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (Egretta garzetta, コサギ) at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園)

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (Egretta garzetta, コサギ) at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園)

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (Egretta garzetta, コサギ) at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園)

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (Egretta garzetta, コサギ) at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園)

Little egret (Eコサギ)

Little egret (Egretta garzetta, コサギ) at Hatonomori Park in Moriyama (滋賀県 守山市 鳩の森公園)

Oyamakawa near Sakura Ryokuchi (滋賀県 野洲市 さくら緑地)

At Oyamakawa in Yasu City I have seen at least two little egrets.  The one in the video was in Omifuji. I often see another one upstream in Kitazakura near Sakura Ryokuchi Park. This bird is very shy.

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (コサギ) at Oyamakawa in Kitazakura, Yasu City

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (コサギ) at Oyamakawa in Kitazakura, Yasu City

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (コサギ) in Kitazakura, Yasu City

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (コサギ) in Kitazakura, Yasu City

Once I saw it fly some distance to an electrical tower. As it landed, two crows flew away but soon returned. After a few seconds the little egret took off, and a crow chased it back down to the riverbank.

Little egret (コサギ)

Little egret (コサギ) at an electrical tower in Kitazakura, Yasu City

We can see the intensity of bullying that crows can inflict on little egrets in a short clip that I shot. Sorry, it’s very rough and unedited, directly from the camera.

At the beginning if winter few egrets and herons remain in this part of Shiga Prefecture. I hope this winter will be good to our resident birds.


Notes