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JAPAN

Sunday 21st May - Sunday 4th June 2017

Dave Farrow

Okinawa Rail (Dave Farrow)

Okinawa Rail (Dave Farrow)

This year’s tour of Japan was once again a real delight, a wonderful island-hopping extravaganza around the Japanese archipelago. We were successful in finding all the target specialities of the highlands and islands, and in the mountain forests on the island of Honshu we saw Japanese Green Woodpecker, Rufous Hawk Cuckoo, a Ural Owl in the daytime, Japanese Accentor, Brown-headed and Japanese Thrushes, Siberian Blue Robin, Narcissus and Blue-and-white Flycatchers, Eastern Crowned, Sakhalin Leaf and Japanese Leaf Warblers, Japanese Grosbeak, Japanese Yellow Bunting and Chestnut-eared Bunting. In the lowlands and wetland areas we saw Japanese Reed Bunting, Marsh Grassbird, Japanese Green Pheasant, Japanese Wagtail, Chestnut-cheeked Starlings, and Yellow Bitterns. On the delightful island of Miyakejima we saw Styan’s Grasshopper Warblers, Ijima’s Leaf Warbler, Izu Thrush and Owston’s Tit, plus Japanese Robins, Japanese Woodpigeon and Northern Boobook, plus a Short-tailed Albatross, Bulwer’s Petrel and countless numbers of Streaked Shearwaters from the ferry. Down in the exotic Ryukyu Islands we found a suite of island endemics and other great birds, starting on Ishigakijima where we saw Ryukyu Serpent Eagles, Ryukyu Green Pigeon, Ryukyu Flycatcher, Ryukyu Scops Owls in the daytime, Ryukyu Minivets and Ishigaki Tit, plus Ruddy Kingfisher, Malayan Night Heron and Chinese Egret. On Amami Island we enjoyed the superb Amami Woodcock, Lidth’s Jay, Owston’s (or Amami) Woodpeckers, Amami Robins, and an amazing five Amami Thrushes. On Okinawa we found many Okinawa Rails scuttling along the roadsides, Okinawa Woodpeckers, lovely Okinawa Robins, Japanese Scops Owl in the daytime, and some fine Black-naped and Roseate Terns. In addition to the birds we saw Japanese Serow, and many Amami Black Rabbits. The food, as always, was very enjoyable.

Siberian Thrush (Dave Farrow)

Siberian Thrush (Dave Farrow)