Category Archives: video

Japanese Wagtail

On January 25, 2018, I saw a Japanese wagtail (Motacilla grandis, セグロセキレイ) in a small irrigation canal. The bird’s injured right foot did not prevent it from actively foraging in the shallow water as light snow fell.

In addition to several video clips, I took a few still photos of the bird.

The plowed fields may look barren now, but quite a few birds gather here in winter.

Plowed fields and small canal

Plowed fields and small canal in Tsuji, Ritto City

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: “Rainbows” 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.

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.

Chinese Pond Turtles (クサガメ)

Migration in November

On November 19, 2017, I was surprised to see three Chinese pond turtles (Mauremys reevesii, Reeve’s turtle, クサガメ) crawling up a nearly empty irrigation canal. The was my first time to see turtles like these with three ridges along their backs. I later learned that this small turtle is an endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Japan Ministry of the Environment: 環境省レッドリスト).

The turtles were making their way upstream, probably migrating to a small pond along the canal.

Chinese pond turtles (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ) walking up the the canal in Tsuji, Ritto City.

The closest one withdrew into its shell as soon as it noticed me.

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

I backed away, but turtle was surprised by a white wagtail (Motacilla alba, ハクセキレイ).

White wagtail (ハクセキレイ)

White wagtail (ハクセキレイ) and Chinese pond turtle (クサガメ)

White wagtail (ハクセキレイ)

White wagtail (ハクセキレイ) and Chinese pond turtle (クサガメ)

Eventually the turtle posed before returning its journey.

Chinese pond turtle (クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

Sighting in January

On January 2, 2018, I spotted a Chinese pond turtle upstream in the canal near the pond, which had dried out. It was basking in the sun under a little waterfall where food was plentiful.

The turtle was covered with mud and some vegetation.

Chinese pond turtle (クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

This small turtle is not very photogenic, but the survival of Mauremys reevesii as a threatened species makes this Chinese pond turtle a beautiful creature.

Chinese pond turtle (クサガメ)

Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii, クサガメ)

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