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Birds in Japan

Easter Holiday, 20th to 29th March, 2008

The principal topic of the trip was Japanese culture, architecture, and art. Except for two morning birding trips in Chuzenji and in Kawaguchi, the birds we observed were just birds which we - 3-4 birders in a group of 9 - couldn't avoid noticing.

We failed to get a field guide to the birds of Japan before the trip. Instead we had to use the internet - trip reports to get an idea of what to expect, and photos to help id'ing the birds we saw. During the trip I bought a Japanese field guide, fortunately with English and scientific names - mostly as a souvenir, still it turned out to be quite helpful.

Major sites visited

Chuzenji is located west of Nikko. We stayed at Chuzenji Pension which is beautifully located at Lake Chuzenji. Highly recommended. We saw about 20 bird species on our 1½ hour early morning trip.
Kawaguchi is located north of Mt.Fuji. We stayed at Hotel "Lake Dragon" Koryu which too is located close to a lake and is highly recommended. We saw about 15 bird species on a 1 hour morning trip.
Fushimi-ku is located in Kyoto, south-east of the central city. Fushimi-ku is famous for the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. The trails in the mountain forest east of the main shrine are lined by several thousand torii. We saw or heard 15-20 bird species while walking in the area.


20/3  Arrival Tokyo
22/3Tokyo - Nikko - Chuzenji
23/3Chuzenji - Nikko - Kawaguchi
24/3Kawaguchi - Kyoto
26/3Kyoto - Fushimi-ku - Kyoto
27/3Kyoto - Miho Museum - Kyoto
28/3Kyoto - Tokyo
29/3Departure Tokyo

Systematic list

English and Scientific names follow The Swedish Holarctic List.

Birds seen by others in our group but not seen by me are marked in yellow.

English name, Scientific name, Danish name ...

  1. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis, Canadagås
    24/3 2 Kawaguchi
  2. Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope, Pibeand
    23/3 Chuzenji, 27/3 Ishiyama east of Kyoto
  3. Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos, Gråand
  4. Eastern Spot-billed Duck. 20K Jpeg Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Anas zonorhyncha, Kinesisk Pletnæbbet And
    25/3 2 Nijo Castle Kyoto, 28/3 7 Hibiya Park Tokyo
    Photo 28/3 Hibiya Park >
    Larger photo
  5. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta, Spidsand
    28/3 3 Ueno Tokyo
  6. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata, Skeand
    28/3 Hamamatsu, 28/3 Tokyo
  7. Common Pochard, Aythya ferina, Taffeland
    24/3 1 female Kawaguchi, 28/3 3 Ueno Tokyo
  8. Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula, Troldand
    23/3 Chuzenji, 24/3 Kawaguchi, 28/3 Ueno Tokyo
  9. Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator, Toppet Skallesluger
    23/3 Chuzenji
  10. Goosander, Mergus merganser, Stor Skallesluger
    23/3 Chuzenji
  11. Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, Lille Lappedykker
    23/3 Chuzenji
  12. Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo, Skarv
  13. Black-crowned Night Heron. 20K Jpeg Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, Nathejre
    26/3 6 Fushimi-ku, 26/3 3 Gion Kyoto
    Photo 26/3 Gion Kyoto >
    Larger photo
  14. Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, Silkehejre
  15. Great Egret, Egretta alba, Sølvhejre
  16. Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea, Fiskehejre
  17. Black Kite, Milvus migrans, Sort Glente
  18. Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus, Grønbenet Rørhøne
    27/3 Ishiyama - Miho Museum
  19. Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra, Blishøne
  20. Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Hættemåge
    Common Tokyo
  21. Black-tailed Gull. 13K Jpeg Black-tailed Gull, Larus crassirostris
    28/3 3 Ueno Tokyo
    Photo >
    Larger photo
  22. Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, Sølvmåge
    Common Tokyo
  23. Slaty-backed Gull, Larus schistisagus, Skifermåge
    21/3: Tokyo, 28/3 1 Tokyo
  24. Rock Dove, Columba livia, Klippedue
  25. Oriental Turtle Dove, Streptopelia orientalis, Østlig Turteldue
    21/3: Ueno Tokyo, 23/3 Nikko
  26. Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, Isfugl
    25/3 1 Rokuon-ji Temple Kyoto, 26/3 2 Fushimi-ku
  27. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dendrocopos major, Stor Flagspætte
    24/3 1 Kawaguchi
  28. Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker. 16K Jpeg Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Dendrocopos kizuki
    23/3 2 Chuzenji, 25/3 2 Ryoan-ji Temple Kyoto chiselling a nest hole, 26/3 Fushimi-ku
    Photo 23/3 Chuzenji >
  29. Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Landsvale
    26/3 and 27/3 Kyoto area
  30. Asian House Martin, Delichon dasypus, Asiatisk Bysvale
    26/3 1 Kyoto
  31. Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea, Bjergvipstjert
    23/3 Chuzenji
  32. White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, Hvid Vipstjert
    21/3: Ueno Tokyo, 23/3 Chuzenji, 24/3 Kawaguchi
  33. Japanese Wagtail, Motacilla grandis, Japansk Vipstjert
    23/3 Chuzenji, 26/3 1 Kyoto
  34. Brown-eared Bulbul. 20K Jpeg Brown-eared Bulbul, Hypsipetes amaurotis, Kastanjeøret Bulbul
    Photo 26/3 Fushimi-ku >
    Larger photo
  35. Winter Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes, Gærdesmutte
    Heard only, first time 23/3 Nikko
  36. Daurian Redstart, Phoenicurus auroreus, Amurrødstjert
    25/3 1 Nijo Castle Kyoto
  37. Pale Thrush, Turdus pallidus, Amurdrossel
    25/3 1 Rokuon-ji Temple Kyoto, 25/3 1 Nijo Castle Kyoto, 26/3 Fushimi-ku
  38. Dusky Thrush, Turdus eunomus, Brundrossel
  39. Japanese Bush Warbler, Cettia diphone, Japansk Busksanger
    26/3 heard and seen Fushimi-ku, 27/3 heard Miho Museum
  40. Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus, Halemejse
    23/3 3 Chuzenji, 26/3 Fushimi-ku, 27/3 2 Miho Museum
  41. Varied Tit, Parus varius, Broget Mejse
    23/3 1 Chuzenji, 26/3 Fushimi-ku
  42. Great Tit, Parus major, Musvit
    21/3: Ueno Tokyo, 25/3 Ryoan-ji Temple Kyoto, 26/3 Fushimi-ku
  43. Japanese White-eye. 7K Jpeg Japanese White-eye, Zosterops japonicus, Japansk Brillefugl
    Common Kyoto
    Photo 26/3 Kyoto >
    Larger photo
  44. Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Skovskade
    27/3 1 Miho Museum
  45. Azure-winged Magpie, Cyanopica cyanus, Blåskade
    22/3: 2 Shinagawa Tokyo, 28/3 1 Hibiya Park Tokyo
  46. Carrion Crow, Corvus corone, Sortkrage
  47. Large-billed Crow, Corvus macrorhynchos, Stornæbbet Krage
  48. White-cheeked Starling. 11K Jpeg White-cheeked Starling, Sturnus cineraceus, Gråstær
    Photo 27/3 Yamashina Station east of Kyoto >
    Larger photo
  49. Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Skovspurv
  50. Grey-capped Greenfinch, Carduelis sinica, Brunirisk
    24/3 Kawaguchi, 26/3 Fushimi-ku
  51. Japanese Grosbeak. 21K Jpeg Japanese Grosbeak, Eophona personata, Maskekernebider
    26/3 >40 Fushimi-ku
    Photo >
  52. Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes, Kernebider
    21/3: Ueno Tokyo, 23/3 Chuzenji, 26/3 2 Fushimi-ku
  53. Meadow Bunting, Emberiza cioides, Engværling
    24/3 Kawaguchi
  54. Japanese Reed Bunting, Emberiza yessoensis, Japansk Rørspurv
    22/3: 1 north of Tokyo


Text and photos: Stig Linander, created: 2008-04-02, last revised: 2017-12-07