Trip report: Japan in Winter, Birding on Ice (Mar 2009) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Keith Barnes.

This trip was a quickfire junket to the islands of Japan to nab the winter specialties. The clients had already done a Japan trip in summer and had spent considerable time in eastern Asia already, meaning that a few East Asia specialty birds like Black-faced Spoonbill and Baer’s Pochard were not target species. The group had also already seen almost all of the Japanese endemics and summer specialty birds. With so few days at our disposal, we visited only a few strategic birding sites on Kyushu (Arasaki) and Hokkaido (Kushiro, Lake Furen, Nemuro and Rausu) and finished off with a pelagic ferry trip returning to Honshu (Tomakomai – Ooarai). On this very short 5-and-a-half day trip we scored 110 species including all 22 target species that the clients asked me to design the trip around.

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