Wildlife in and around Yokohama

In Japan again, with a better camera and more free time for wildlife spotting in city parks, nearby forest-covered hills and along the coast.

Oiso is famous as a good place to see yellow-bellied green pigeons which come to drink seawater there, but there were none when I went. I was happy enough to see some black-tailed gulls.

black-tailed gull

A grey heron was having trouble figuring out how to swallow a sizeable red sea bream. The bird kept changing grip on the prey, getting the fish speared on the lower mandible once before clasping it securely again. Gulls kept watch on the heron in case it dropped the fish, but were disappointed in the end.

grey heron with a red sea bream.JPG

Birds in city parks don’t spend much time singing now and try not to draw attention to themselves, as they busily forage for food for their young or still construct nests. Azure-winged magpies which form noisy flocks when not occupied with breeding now appear mostly singly or in twos.

azure-winged magpie.JPG

White-cheeked starlings stopped lazing about, hanging out on wires, instead combing grassy areas for bugs most of the day. They have no problem hunting close to passers-by , hopping and walking this way and that, but try to look straight at them and they will raise alarm with a raspy call and fly off a short distance. At least one will watch you until you go away.

white-cheeked starling.JPG

While the pond in Tokusho Park in Yokohama boasted several species of duck in winter, now only the resident spot-billed ducks remain. They roam along a stream and sometimes approach people who look like they might have food for them.

northern spot-billed ducks.JPG

When the park briefly empties of people in the early afternoon, oriental turtle doves come to drink from the stream.

oriental turtle dove.JPG

And now some insect highlights. Japonica saepestriata, a butterfly from the hairstreak subfamily. Unlike other orange-coloured hairstreaks in Japan, this one has attractively patterned underwings too.

Japonica saepestriata.JPG

You’re too heavy for the tip of that blade of grass, butterfly… Almost fell off there.

Japonica saepestriata (2).JPG

Daimio tethys seen in the hills near lake Tsukui.

daimio tethys.JPG

Common Japanese scorpionfly in the same hills.

common japanese scorpionfly.JPG

And a broad-winged damselfly.

broad-winged damselfly.JPG

Lastly, some ubiquitous species of bindweed in an urban park, with an insect that is not featured in my quite basic Japanese insect guide.

buggy bindweed.JPG




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