Meeting people, sharing memories and exchanging ideas about birds, birding and conservation activities are not only interesting but also important to take over all the beautiful things we have on the earth for future generations, I believe.
Birding in Japan
By Kaoru Tsubone, WCAS Ambassador to Japan
While being in Japan this time, I had a couple of fun adventures. One is in Tokyo, which is the capital of Japan and the other is in Okinawa, which is the southern island of Japan. Many thanks to Naoki Hiranaka and Ryouji Shimada, from the Wild Bird Society of Japan TOKYO and Masakuni Yamashiro from the Wild Bird Society of Japan OKINAWA for taking me around the place for birding. Special thanks to Kaori Sunagawa from Okinawa International University for organizing the bird walk!
Meeting people, sharing memories and exchanging ideas about birds, birding and conservation activities are not only interesting but also important to take over all the beautiful things we have on the earth for future generations, I believe. Since I started birding in Ohio in 2017, I didn’t have any birding friends in Japan even though I’m originally from Japan. After the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a role as Ambassador to Japan from WCAS. Thanks to this opportunity, I could connect with friends who are passionate about birds and even discuss how we can enjoy birding and have some fun for our members under this situation.
Photo: Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) at Kasai Rinkai Park. "Opened in 1989, Kasai Rinkai Park (葛西臨海公園, Kasai Rinkai Kōen) is the largest park in central Tokyo, located just across the Edogawa River from Tokyo Disney Resort. It was built on reclaimed land and developed in an effort to restore and preserve natural Tokyo Bay habitat." -https://www.japan-guide.com/
We went to several places in Tokyo, and in Kasai Marine Park, a bird I fell in love with is this great crested grebe, coming and walking up to the bank closer to us. I had never seen grebe walking, which seemed like a penguin. As you can see in this picture, he was gorgeous with a crown in orange and black, on the other hand, his body was snow white. Such an attractive contrast he has! Great crested grebes are larger than the grebes we have in Ohio, a migratory bird in Japan from Eurasian continent. Sadly to say, he shouldn’t be in Japan at this time of the year, although I was definitely glad to encounter this noble grebe!
In Japan, June is generally the rainy season in Japan, and the day we went birding was cats and dogs. Fortunately, I could see Ryukyu swallows had just fledged and were perching closer to their nests. Those swallows didn't have nests around people like barn swallows, but they got used to it anyhow and the numbers of its species has increased, Masakuni Yamashiro said. I couldn’t know this fact just by self birding. Connecting with people also leads you to discover something new!
Trying to connect with new people and get into new communities could force you to break your comfort zone. This sometimes might make us feel nervous and overwhelmed. These experiences taught me there’s always much more excitement waiting to happen for us.
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The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
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