May 28, 2018
Last weekend, I went up on Mt. Kusenbu to to see the sunrise, and take some video in order to make a time lapse. I arrived at the summit at around 4 a.m. in order to set up the camera. The following video is a compressed time lapse of about 45 minutes of video, accompanied by the beautiful music of TRG Banks, somewhat fittingly named ‘Daybreak in a New Town’.
At around 4:30, a bird began calling in a voice I was unfamiliar with. I thought it was probably an owl, due to the low and steady ‘hoos’ it kept up. The bird was constantly changing position, as the calls were coming from different directions for the next 10 minutes or so. Suddenly, I heard the flapping of wings and a rather large bird landed on a post near me. I could see from the silhouette that it was a type of heron. I was later able to identify it as a Japanese Night Heron from the voice on the recording of the sunrise which was isolated and reproduced in the below clip.
This bird is a rare bird, and is also rather reclusive. I was very fortunate in seeing it in the wild,(at least it’s silhouette). I will never forgot the haunting sound of it’s call. This bird usually inhabits lower elevations, but due to habitat loss, is sometimes seen at higher elevations, as in my encounter. I went back to the same location the following night, but it did not return. Perhaps it was migrating through to it’s breeding grounds. For more information on the Japanese Night Heron, please click below.