Kyoto trip report

To: Pat OMalley <>
Subject: Kyoto trip report
From: Rob Geraghty <>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 00:14:13 -0700 (PDT)
--- On Sat, 8/29/09, Pat OMalley <> wrote:
> 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.

Hi Pat!  Glad you had an enjoyable trip.

> 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.

Perhaps in Kyoto which is further south.  I lived in a coastal area north east 
of Tokyo for six months, and there were few birds in winter.  The only place I 
saw a lot of birds in Winter was the parks in Tokyo itself.  Even then, not a 
lot of species, just mostly large amounts of ducks.

I was amazed that there weren't huge numbers of waders in spring and summer 
because the frog calls in the rice fields were deafening.  Yet I only saw a 
couple of egrets and dotterels.

> Species list:  
> Japanese (Large Billed) Crow (ssp japonensis)
> Carrion Crow
> European Tree Sparrow 
> Oriental Turtle Dove 
> Rock Dove 
> Japanese White Eye 
> Grey Heron 
> Great Egret 
> Little Egret  
> Japanese Grosbeak
> Japanese Pigmy Woodpecker
> Varied Tit (ssp varius)
> Great Cormorant
> Pacific Swift
> Brown-eared Bulbul (ssp amaurotis)
> Common Kingfisher
> Eastern Great Tit 
> Black-eared Kite
> Mallard
> E. Black-tailed Godwit
> Long-tailed Tit (ssp trivirgatus)
> Eastern Crowned Warbler
> Japanese Wagtail

That's pretty good for only two days!  The crows, sparrows and especially 
Bulbuls seem ubiquitous, with other birds in short supply.  There really ought 
to be more birds in Japan, especially waders with so much rice planted 
everywhere, even in urban areas.  It really makes me wonder why there's so few 
birds and species to be commonly seen.


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