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

Full Birdlist - Yatsu Higata - Kawayu - Nemuru - Gallery

The Kushiro Wetlands are vast. Approximately the size of Tokyo, it is stated.: 22000 Ha. The train to the north coast passes through the eastern part of the reserve with four stops. We took a special excursion train with wooden seats and stuffed toy birds and mammals hanging from the ceiling. We left the train at Toro, intending to take the next train south but ended up spending the whole afternoon here, viewing several small lakes, the birdless larger Toro Lake and a mosquito-rich woodland. Highlights were a male Wigeon, kites, vociferous Japanese Bush-Warblers,  and Long-tailed Rosefinch, the latter from an excellent viewing tower near the station. But no cranes. The habitat here was mixtures of fen woodland, open water and reed marsh, surrounded by wooded hills.

The next day we decided to take the bus to the visitors centre on the west side of the reserve. This is at the top of a hill in forest and the reserve here is dry oak woodland with an understory of dwarf bamboo. After about an hour's walk, we came down to the marsh, which is is open fen. This was much more productive and yielded most of the species noted including Siberian Rubythroat and Lanceolated Warbler.

But no cranes. We returned to the reserve centre and asked about cranes and they suggested that we went to the crane reserve. This entailed a taxi ride for 20 minutes and the "reserve" transpired to be the breeding project which had saved the cranes from extinction. About 10 pairs with at least two chicks. Wild birds here included several kites and a male Long-tailed Rosefinch.

We passed through the reserve again en route to Kawayu, there is a large shallow lake just north of Toro where deer were wading, further north again, the marsh narrows to a river valley and we finally glimpsed 4-5 cranes from the train.

The train trip to Nemuru passes Akkeshi, where there is a large lagoon and estuary. Gooseander, shoveller and sea eagle were spotted from the train.

English name Scientific name Danske navne Kushiro
Wigeon Anas penelope Pibeand 23/3 Kushiro
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Gråand 22/7 Sapporo; 23/3 Kushiro
Shoveler Anas clypeata Skeand 27/7-11 near Akkeshi from the train
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula Troldand 23/3 Kushiro
Goosander Mergus merganser Stor Skallesluger 27/7 Akkeshi
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Lille Lappedykker 24/7 Kushiro heard but given the habitiat, this might have been a wryneck.
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena Gråstrubet Lappedykker 23, 26 & 28/7, at Toro each trip.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Fiskehejre 21/7 Toya 9; 23/3 Kushiro 22
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Tårnfalk 24/7 Kushiro while eating breakfast on the 10th floor. Flew by 2m from us.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Fiskeørn 23/3 Ikeda; 27/7 Akkeshi from the train
Black-eared Kite Milvus (migrans) lineatus Sort-øret Glente 21/7 Oshima; 23/3 Kushiro. Common
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla Havørn 23/3 Kushiro;  27/7 & 29/7 Akkeshi from the train
Eastern Marsh-Harrier Circus spilonotus Plettet Rørhøg 26/7 Kushiro
Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis Japansk Trane 26/7 Kushiro 1; 27/7 5 from the train in the river meadows northern part of the reserve
Greenshank Tringa nebularia Hvidklire 23/3 Ikeda from the train; 23/3 Kushiro
Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus Skifermåge Kushiro - the common gull in East Hokkaido
Rock Pigeon Columba livia Klippedue 26/7 Kushiro city
Oriental (Rufous) Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis Østlig Turteldue 21/7 Oshima
Northern Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus fugax Orienthøgegøg 27/3 Kushiro, spotted in a bush from the train
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Gøg 23/3 & 24/7 Kushiro, calling, at least 3 in all
Pacific (Fork-tailed) Swift Apus pacificus Orientsejler 24/7 Kushiro
Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipcus kizuki Lille Grå Flagspætte 23/3 Toro 2 (from Sapporo)
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos (Picoides) major Stor Flagspætte 23/3 Kushiro. Commonest woodpecker
Carrion Crow Corvus corone Sortkrage both crows are common
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Stornæbbet Krage both crows are common
Eastern (Japenese) Great Tit Parus (major) minor Østlig Musvit Common
Marsh Tit Poecile (Parus) palustris Sumpmejse 23/3 Kushiro
Swallow Hirundo rustica Landsvale 24/7 Kushiro
Brown-eared Bulbul Ixos (Microselis) amaurotis kastanjeret Bulbul common
Japanese Bush-Warbler Cettia diphone Japansk Busksanger 23/3 Toro;  24/7 Kushiro  noisy but reclusive
Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata Stribbet Græshoppesanger 24/3 Kushiro heard
Black-browed Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps Sortbrynet Rørsanger 23/3 Toro;  24/7 Kushiro, few
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis Nordsanger 24/3 Kushiro
Eastern Crowned-Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus Kronet Lundsanger 23/3 Toro
Goldcrest Regulus regulus Fuglekonge 24/3 Kushiro
Nuthatch Sitta europaea Spætmejse 23/3 Kushiro
White-cheeked Starling Sturnus cineraceus Gråstær 21/7 Chitose 7
Japanese Thrush Turdus cardis Hvidbuget Solsort 24/3 Kushiro by voice
Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia (Erithacus) calliope Rubinnattegal 24/3 Kushiro
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura Sibiriske Bynkefugl 23/3 Kushiro at least 4 families: common
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina Narcissus Fluesnapper 24/3 Kushiro female
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans Rødbrun Spurv 23/3 Kushiro
Tree Sparrow Passer montanus Skovspurv 21/7 Oshima; Sapporo
White Wagtail Motacilla alba Hvid Vipstjært 21/7 Hakodate
Oriental (Grey-capped) Greenfinch Carduelis sinica Brunirisk 21/7 Shiroai; Sapporo
Long-tailed Rosefinch Uragus sibiricus Langhalet Rosenfinke 23/3 Toro pai ; 24/7 Kushiro crane reserve - male
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephalus Gråhovedet Værling common