Andrea and David B. Collinge's trip to Japan, July 2011

Full Birdlist - Yatsu Higata - Kushiro Wetlands - Nemuru - Gallery

Kawayu Onsen is in the Akan National Park, and comprises several volacanoes of which one belches sulphurous steam through many fistures. We arrived by train from Kushiro, and took the local bus to the spa (onsen) village where there are some 20 hot springs. Bikes hired we explored the area of two days. We started by cycling to the volcano first through woodland, then open pine and rhododendron heath (Labrador tea). This habitat was rich in olive-backed pipits and both species of bunting. We then cycled the other way out of town through rich and varied forest to the Kussharo lake, but didn't really find the lakes side. Having decided to take Mark Brazil's early morning walk, we decided that we needed to work out where it started, so we cycled back through town and duly found it (see diary accounts for day 9 and 10). This yielded a lot of frustration with a number of thrushes and chats singing. I hope to sort out the recordings later. We did see a fine Bullfinch and I acquired a tick.

The early morning walk (3 to 6 am) give much the same bird song plus three species of woodpecker and Green Pigeons. And a mystery bird here (the wazoo whistle, not the obvious birdsong) which does not match anything from my Andreas Schultze's recordings. We also saw deer, and a squirrel, but no signs of bears. The trail is a lot better on the north side of the saddle and even signposted, suggesting that there would be easier access from the lake shore. We did not pursue this possibility.

note the rhododendron scrub to Andrea's thighs.

After a siesta we set off for Lake Mashu which was tough on our hire bikes and we received many encouraging remarks when we finally made it to the top. Highlights were an Oriental Cuckoo, several Bush Warblers and two osprey, as well as several beautiful butterflies. Low points were various biting insects and the heat.

Kawayu bird list
English name Latin name Danske navne trip 3
Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia Hjerpe 26/7 Kawayu 1 seen 4 am
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Fiskehejre 26/7 Kawayu 2
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Fiskeørn 26/7 Lake Mashu 2 or 3 from the caldera rim
Eastern Buzzard Buteo (buteo) japonicus Musvåge 25/7 Kawayu several
Oriental (Rufous) Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis Østlig Turteldue 26/7 Kawayu
White-bellied Green-Pigeon Treron sieboldii Hvidbuget Papegøjedue 26/7 Kawayu 4-5 heard at about 5:30 am
Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus optatus Skovgøg 25/7 caldera rim Lake Mashu, calling
Pacific (Fork-tailed) Swift Apus pacificus Orientsejler 25/7 Kawayu
White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos (Picoides) leucotos Hvidrygget Spætte 26/7 Kawayu, drumming
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos (Picoides) major Stor Flagspætte 25/7 Kawayu. Common including a family of 5
Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius Sortspætte 26/7 Kawayu. At least two, one heard another feeding but mobbed by jays
Jay Garrulus glandarius Skovskade 26/7 Kawayu about 10 in the clearing, some mobbing a black woodpecker
Carrion Crow Corvus corone Sortkrage 25/7 Kawayu common
Eastern (Japenese) Great Tit Parus (major) minor Østlig Musvit 25/7 Kawayu common
Coal Tit Parus ater Sortmejse 25/7 Kawayu
Willow Tit Poecile (Parus) montanus Fyrremejse 25/7 Kawayu, most common tit
Asian House-Martin Delichon dasypus Asiatisk Bysvale 25/7 Kawayu. nesting just outside the hotel window
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus Halemejse 25/7 Kawayu family group of 30
Brown-eared Bulbul Ixos (Microselis) amaurotis kastanjeret Bulbul 25/7 Kawayu
Japanese Bush-Warbler Cettia diphone Japansk Busksanger 26/7 Kawayu about 4 spread through the forest near the Mashu rim
Goldcrest Regulus regulus Fuglekonge 25/7 Kawayu. common in the forest
Nuthatch Sitta europaea Spætmejse 25/7 Kawayu. common
Japanese Thrush Turdus cardis Hvidbuget Solsort 26/7 Kawayu. Presumed - only heard
Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus Kurillerdrossel 26/7 Kawayu - both heard and seen. More idetifiactions expected once the recordings have been analysed
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura Sibiriske Bynkefugl 25/7 Kawayu. in the open areas near the volcano
Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica (latirostris) Brun Fluesnapper 27/7 Kawayu. In the centre of town while waiting for the bus to the station.
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina Narcissus Fluesnapper 26/7 Kawayu. common in the forest: filmed!
Tree Sparrow Passer montanus Skovspurv 25/7 Kawayu. common here too
Japanese Accentor Prunella rubida Japansk Jernspurv 26/7 Kawayu. Heard
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea Bjergvipstjært 27/7 Kawayu. In the centre of town while waiting for the bus to the station
White Wagtail Motacilla alba Hvid Vipstjært 25/7 Kawayu. common
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni Taigapiber 25/7 Kawayu. near the start of the morning walk
Siskin Carduelis spinus Grønsisken 26/7 Kawayu. Heard
Common (Red) Crossbill Loxia curvirostra Lille Korsnæb 26/7 Kawayu. Heard
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula Dompap 25 *& 26/7 Kawayu. heard and seen. Calls unlike the European form
Siberian Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides Engværling 25/7 Kawayu. common in open areas
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephalus Gråhovedet Værling 25/7 Kawayu