Great cormorants (カワウ) are nesting in trees along Yasugawa (野洲川) in Iseochi, Ritto City. When I visited the rookery on April 11, 2020, I made an audio recording of their vocalizations.,
In April the rural fields of northern Ritto City near Yasugawa (野洲川) come alive with agricultural activity, and many flowers and insects appear. This year, 2020, the threat of the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) has greatly reduced human activity. Japan is in a nationwide state of emergency from April 16th through May 6th, but rural life goes on and nature is taking its course as usual.
A pair of Eastern spot-billed ducks (カルガモ) is spending this winter in Tsuji, Ritto. On February 27, 2020, they were calmly swimming, sometimes walking, up the irrigation canal that crosses under Shiga Prefectural Route 11. They allowed me to approach closely enough to take some photos before they flew away.
Several species of small birds appeared in Ritto City in the first week of February
Late January, from the 25th to the 29th, is the middle of the traditional Japanese cold season, Daikan (大寒), or Big Cold. This year, 2020, has been quite warm and often gloomy, with heavy clouds and light rain.