The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan. Do birders and canoeists/kayakists/kayakers/kakies make good bedfellows I wonder? The new canoeing centre is still under construction at Kasairinkaikoen, so to hide my disappointment, I went birding instead.

Oriental Turtle Dove

My first job was to reconnect with the common birds that one might reasonably expect to see on a flash visit to Tokyo. First amongst these is the Brown-eared Bulbul, Hypsipetes amaurotis. Many years ago, I had a beautiful sighting of one of these birds in a cherry tree during the blossom time. This delight coincided with my camera failing and I have kept an eye out for a repeat of the opportunity ever since.

Shortly after stepping from the train, I came upon a small stand of blossoming trees (I am told that it was too early for cherry blossom and they were probably plum trees. I still think it was a cherry (he complains petulantly)). Lo and behold, a bulbul. How easy was that?

This time the camera held firm. My operation was a bit suspect with settings all over the place during the early light, but eventually, a formula was settled upon and pictures were taken.

I am unsure whether the bird was seeking insects in the blossom, or was looking for the nectar from the flowers. They are known to partake of both. The pollen shows as a yellow dusting around the base of the bill, so I imagine that they are important pollenators too.

The bulbuls are abundant around Tokyo and much of Japan. Noisy and social, with a distinctive flight style, they are often amongst the first Japanese bird ticked during a vist.

This looks like it may be quince blossom (but what do I know?).

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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.