November 10, 2020 Last week, I spent two windless mornings at Ushikubi Dam. The first morning, fog was rising from the surface of the lake, making for an interesting composition with a lone Little Grebe (Kaitsuburi). In the photo of the lake, the trees on the left are part of a small island. While I was sitting on the shore, a small flock of Chinese Bamboo Partridge (Kojyukei) flew from the island to the trees on the right. Perhaps they spend the nights on the island to avoid predators? (I saw feral cats; see photo). I returned a few days later, hoping to photograph them repeating the same behavior. Sure enough, they did, but the photos were blurry. Ah shucks!
Soon after though, I was fortunate to see a Crested Kingfisher (Yamasemi) land in a tree about 70 meters away. They are so regal-looking with their crown of feathers. Later, a pair of Siskins (Mahiwa) landed in a small (Alder?) tree just behind me. Preoccupied with extracting seeds from the small cones, I was able to approach within three meters. The Daurian Redstart (Joubitaki) in the photo chased them away a few times, but they returned after a few minutes and continued eating the seeds from the cones. Eurasian Coots (O ban) were hanging out near the shore, also quite approachable. I also photographed a new species for me. An Eyebrowed Thrush ( Mamichajinai).
It was on this morning, the 9th, while drinking a coffee in a nearby park, that I learned from my cell phone that Biden had been announced President Elect by the television networks! I cycled the whole way home with a big grin on my face.