Kyoto city birding

Kyoto city birding

When:  June 2017               Weather:  Warm: 20C

Nikon P900   Leica Q

In Kyoto for a couple of days for a site visit, staying at Okura Hotel Kyoto.  As meetings started at 930am, going birding at 530am and 5am allowed me some sightings.  Day one we visited the Imperial Palace Gardens which were but a 20 min walk away and day two I walked the river Kamo banks which were just a couple of minutes from our hotel.  Two worthwhile sites…

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Entering the gardens from the south side, you can see the Imperial Palace in the distance at the end of a wide approach road

 

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If you head to the south west corner of the gardens, you will see this redwood tree and the adjacent toilets….the munakata shrine behind it is where we had some good sightings…

 

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The entrance to the Munakata shrine….we were about to leave after not having seen anything when a kind Japanese gentleman gesticulated animatedly up a tree next to the entrance….

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and there it was, the Japanese Brown Hawk Owl now known as a Northern Boobook, perched serenely posing

 

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He was quite happy snoozing

 

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a smart looking bird!

 

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And then a group of noisy birds appeared in the same tree and into a hole in the tree

 

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A beautiful white cheeked starling

 

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here showing off his beautiful tail

 

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And just as you walk away from the shrine, you will come across a partially hidden pond with a beautifully landscaped garden and tea house…

 

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and this grey heron flew in and perched just in front of the tea house

 

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View of the tea house from the bridge

 

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Heading back to the imperial palace along the gravel road, there were many grey herons waiting to be fed

 

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Posing without a care

 

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past the gates of another palace, we headed to the north east corner of the gardens where other birds had been sighted before…

 

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Alas all we saw today were a few large billed crows…

 

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The streets near Gion showed some beautiful red leafed trees, I can only imagine what autumn would be like here!

 

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we squeezed out a little time to visit the Arashiyama bamboo grove

 

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Imposing bamboos with a few very noisy birds within the grove but difficult sightings

 

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Knowing that the sun rose at 430am, I was out on the river Kamo on my final morning…alas there wasn’t a pretty sunrise; only a gradual lightening of the sky….Here is the Okura Hotel in the left background and the swish Four Seasons Hotel in the foreground. The river is 2 min away from the Okura….

 

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At 5am in the morning, the first signs of life were from this family of ducklings

 

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spot billed duck

 

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The river Kamo at day break

 

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Male spot billed duck

 

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calling his brood

 

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grey heron

 

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white cheeked starling

 

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pied wagtail

 

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view of the distant hills along the river

 

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peaceful waters of Kamo river weir

 

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Black and white

 

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this raptor soared overhead

 

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and perched oblingingly….?a red kite…correction : black kite; thanks Nishant

 

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Only the Japanese could make a stone bridge artistic…

 

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and then watching over the river from his vantage point…

 

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likely a great cormorant although distinguishing it from a Japanese or temminck’s Cormorant can be difficult…

 

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the spot billed ducks were still present

 

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Hey…Five’s a crowd!

 

Kyoto is a charming city, full of old world charm and polite people.  Birding in the Imperial Palace Gardens and alons theRiver Kamo was very pleasant indeed.  Recommended.

 

 

 

 

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