A late Common Whitethroat in the Beachy Head Hotel Garden
Whilst we considered the above individual didn't look out of the ordinary for communis any late Autumn Common Whitethroats are worthy of scutiny:
Eastern races of Common Whitethroat are not on the British List. Both icterops and rubicola may be identifiable owing to their cold, grey plumage tones (with greatly reduced rufous tones on the wings), while biometrics and moult strategy may offer some support. However, it is unclear whether volgensis, which forms a clinal bridge between the familiar communis and eastern rubicola may resemble icterops and rubicola in certain key characters. Consequently a ringing recovery from breeding birds seems the only way to be certain of racial origin at present. (Racial identification and assessment in Britain: a report from the RIACT subcommittee BB 99 December 2006 619 -645).
Adult female Peregrine over the Beachy Head Hotel Garden
10/10/09 Walked a circuitous route around the river valley to the east of Wajima before again looking along the main river. Took a shared taxi to Noto Airport where we departed at 16.05 arriving Haneda at 17.10. Took the limousine bus to Narita where we stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn before our following morning departure for London Heathrow.
Juvenile Black-eared Kite over the river valley east of Wajima
Adult Little Egret along the main river in Wajima
Temple in Wajima
River valley to the east of Wajima with Wajima Harbour in the background
9/10/09 Walked to the Lighthouse Point in Wajima for shortly after dawn but disappointingly there were no seabirds moving in the calm conditions. Walked the river valley to the east of Wajima into the forest before again trying the harbour and river area.
Adult Brown Dipper in the river valley to the east of Wajima
Adult Japanese Wagtail in the river valley to the east of Wajima
8/10/09 Typhoon No. 18 duly arrived with hurricane-force northeasterly winds and driving rain. Some spectacular waves were lashing the coast visible from our Hotel. We stayed indoors until the weather improved slightly late afternoon so we made the short walk to the main river in case any storm-blown birds might be sheltering there.
Streaked Shearwater 5 Japanese Cormorant 12 White-fronted Goose 4 Mandarin Duck 10 Wigeon 1 Teal 1 Mallard 20 Black-eared Kite 20 Black-headed Gull 40 Vega Gull 20 Blue Rock Thrush 1 Carrion Crow 2 Tree Sparrow 5
7/10/09 Walked to Wajima Park and into the river valley to the east in increasingly threatening weather conditions. Spent a while checking the Gulls in the Harbour area. Met Mari who advised us that her parents were closing Minshuku Hakuto-en due to the typhoon and that she would book us into a safe modern Hotel on the seafront.
Juvenile moulting into first-winter Black-headed Gull at Wajima. In first-winter plumage the larger and proportionately longer-winged form involved sibiricus generally has a paler and weaker carpal bar and a narrower and often less clear tail-bar than ridibundis (Olsen&Larsson).
First-winter (foreground and two in background) and second-winter (middle) Black-tailed Gulls at Wajima
6/10/09 Overcast with a N2 breeze at dawn. No sign of any new arrivals until mid-morning when suddenly there were seemingly migrants everywhere including our first Daurian Redstart and 4 Rustic Buntings of the trip. Unfortunately we had to leave Heagura-jima due to the imminent arrival of Typhoon No.18 fast approaching southern Japan. Booked into Minshuku Hakuto-en in Wajima.
Grey-streaked Flycatcher along the Central Track
personata Black-faced Bunting along the Central Track
Leaving our hosts at Minshuku Tsuki
Minshuku Tsuki boarded-up awaiting Typhoon No. 18
The fish factory closed for Typhoon No.18
Leaving Hegura-jima behind
Streaked Shearwater between Hegura-jima and Wajima
5/10/09 Calm and overcast at dawn but soon cleared to become sunny and hot. Early morning revealed the Red-headed Bunting and Whinchat were still present and 3 Lapwings arrived from the west. We found a Wryneck and a Radde's Warbler was calling and singing occasionally nearby. A new Richard's Pipit was present along the western shore and a Yellow-breasted Bunting was found nearby.
Lapwings arriving over the western shore
Juvenile Grey-tailed Tattler near the northern shrine
First-winter male stejnegeri Siberian Stonechat near the Dragon's Pool
Adult male eclipse Wigeon on the Dragon's Pool
Wryneck along the western perimeter track
Female Yellow-throated Bunting along the Southern Central Track
Black-backed Wagtail along the western shore
First-winter male Yellow-breasted Bunting on the south western beach
Juvenile Far Eastern Curlew on the south western beach
Seaweed drying near the southernmost point
Shrine near the Dragon's Pool
Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit near the northern Shrine