A Handful of people from the Otaru Branch bird watchers took a trip visiting three different places. 5 People total in two cars headed out. Everyone was quite kind and friendly. The leader; Umeki-san was exceptional in taking the time to call me over to his spotting scope to show me new birds and look up the English names for me in his guidebook! We left at 9 am, and arrived by 11 am to the Ishikari River in the Funabacho area. We saw 7 species of birds there including a Great-spotted woodpecker, Great white egret, and a White-tailed sea eagle. The second spot was “Mckunbet’s” Wetland which is a place for viewing of a certain flower called “Mizubasho”, (Asian Skunk Cabbage – Lysichiton camtschatcensis). At the observation platform at the edge of the river here, we spotted several species of ducks- Mallard, Wigeon, and Teal. The main event so to speak was at Miyajimanuma Wetlands. Here we saw a handful of various birds, but mainly the arrival of 50,000- 60,000 Greater White-fronted geese around the hour of 6 pm. The geese came from several directions in non-stop, unending V-formations, as well as amazing long single lines. When they got close to the water, they would spin as if out of control, and dive in and find a spot on the lake. They showed up within the span of about 1 hour and 15 minutes! They filled the lake, having arrived to settle for the night; soon to head towards Eastern Siberia to breed.
Enjoyed a lovely outing with the Wild Bird Society of Sapporo again. The gathering had grown a little larger, so they divided everyone into two groups; one following a little ways back. The route also changed a little this time. As well, I had a chance to talk with Dan about his event-full trip to Vietnam, and he offered helpful clues on what birds to keep a look out for on my trip to Onuma Park in May.
Took a late afternoon trip out to the cape before sunset. A little windy, but many gulls were out in great numbers. Only a handful of Cormorants were out to the rocks on the far left.
Below is a gallery of photos of Cape Shukutsu, the Otaru Aquarium, the Hotel Neuschloss, and The neighborhood of Shukutsu, as well as Otaru behind the cape.
Todoiwa Island just in front of the fenced viewing spot; at least 400 meters out. Sea Lions are a protected species occupying the island there as well.
Old lighthouse on the top of the cape.
Shukutsu Port and Otaru City behind the next cape.
Otaru Aquarium. In the buildings you find all kinds of beautiful fish, jellyfish, turtles and other smaller sea life. One building has dolphin shows. Outside is a penguin show and tanks with walrus, sea otters, seals, sea lions, and polar bears.