A handful of people from the Otaru branch bird watchers took a trip visiting three different places including Miyajimanuma. Five people total in two cars headed out. Everyone was quite kind and friendly. The leader; Umeki-san was exceptional in taking the time to call me over to his spotting scope to show me new birds and look up the English names for me in his guidebook! We left at 9 am, and arrived by 11 am to the Ishikari River in the Funabacho area. We saw 7 species of birds there; including a Great-spotted Woodpecker, Great Egret, and a White-tailed Sea Eagle. The second spot was “Mckunbet’s” Wetland which is a place for the popular viewing of a certain flower called “Mizubasho”, (Asian Skunk Cabbage – Lysichiton camtschatcensis). At the observation platform at the edge of the river here, we spotted several species of ducks- Mallard, Wigeon, and Teal. The main event so to speak was at Miyajimanuma Wetlands. Here we saw a handful of various birds, but mainly the arrival of 50,000- 60,000 Greater White-fronted Geese around the hour of 6 pm. The geese came from several directions in non-stop, unending V-formations, as well as amazing long single lines. When they got close to the water, they would spin as if out of control, and dive in and find a spot on the lake. They showed up within the span of about 1 hour and 15 minutes! They filled the lake, having arrived to settle for the night; soon to head towards Eastern Siberia to breed.
Places we visited:
The WBSJ Otaru Chapter 14 waiting for sunset.
The 3 different spots we traveled to:
1. Funabacho landing; where the Makunbetsu meets the Ishikari River.
2. “Mckunbet’s” Wetland
(along the planked path to the river).
3. Miyajimanuma Wetlands
Day list of birds sighted: 20
Birding Spot: F=Funabacho, Mc=Mckunbets, Mi=Miyajimanuma