Many thanks to those who responded to my RFI regarding Kyoto. This made for an
enjoyable, if not bird-rich, visit. Also a chance to test-drive Mark Brazil's
Birds of East Asia.
Even though circumstances did not allow a rigorous test, I found Brazil's book
excellent: maps adequate (Japan is rather small on many) , illustrations
particularly clear and a relatively large amount of text that was highly
informative. Also a useful little letter code (e.g. J for Japan) at the start
of each entry indicating the countries in which that species is recorded.
I was able to take 2 days to bird several spots in Kyoto, including the
Botanical Gardens, the bird walk at the Westin Miyako Hotel (nice 2km
round-trip walk, few birds), many temple and shrine gardens especially in the
Higashiyama district, plus bush tracks behind a couple, Arashiyama plus various
walks along the rivers, and Nara. Despite this, the species tally was only 23!
I was expecting a low count from the seasonal distribution maps in Brazil - it
looks as though winter is a better birding season (several trip reports support
this idea), at least for this urban area.
I have one query. Little Egrets (E garzetta) were common. But these have bright
yellow feet which they use to stir around in the shallows - like the North
American members. This is rather different in foot coloration and action to the
Australian members. I assume these are distinct subspecies?
Japanese (Large Billed) Crow (ssp japonensis)
European Tree Sparrow
Oriental Turtle Dove
Japanese White Eye
Japanese Pigmy Woodpecker
Varied Tit (ssp varius)
Brown-eared Bulbul (ssp amaurotis)
Eastern Great Tit
E. Black-tailed Godwit
Long-tailed Tit (ssp trivirgatus)
Eastern Crowned Warbler
Despite misleading advice from one who shall remain nameless, no Purple-crowned
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