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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the park briefly empties of people in the early afternoon, oriental turtle doves come to drink from the stream.
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.
You’re too heavy for the tip of that blade of grass, butterfly… Almost fell off there.
Daimio tethys seen in the hills near lake Tsukui.
Common Japanese scorpionfly in the same hills.
And a broad-winged damselfly.
Lastly, some ubiquitous species of bindweed in an urban park, with an insect that is not featured in my quite basic Japanese insect guide.