Archivos de Diario para mayo 2017

05 de mayo de 2017

Layover (mostly) birding in Narita, Japan

If you have an overnight layover in Narita, Japan, you should do two things to prepare:

Step 1 read the The Naturalest Naturalist: Birding Narita, Japan: When life gives you layovers, make liferades...
Step 2 read 10,000 Birds: Nice, Nice Birding in Narita

I found a lot of good info in Jeremy Gatten and Mike Bergin's posts, and can recommend the same hotel that they did: the International Garden Hotel Narita. I arrived at ~3:30pm from Jakarta, so after a free airport shuttle ride, I quickly dumped my luggage in the room, and headed straight outside for the Nekono River channel to catch the day's remaining light. That afternoon river route is generally highlighted in red below. There was a paved, then dirt, pathway that follows the channel as far as I had time to walk north. That route also had a nice endpoint--the Aeon Mall--with a food court and grocery store to stuff myself with Japanese food for dinner. Non-snack highlights (and all lifers) were spot-billed ducks, meadow buntings, and Japanese wagtails. You can find all my day's observations here and a link to the route here.

The next morning, I woke up for first light at ~5am and generally followed the yellow route mapped above, with lots of deviations within that loop into rice paddies and poking around residential roads. I generally stayed in the open paddies and fields early in the morning, and entered the forest patch later when there was more light. Other folks, who can bird by ear or are less concerned about photographing their targets, might feel less constrained. I did find a good messy patch at my most southern point, between a highway and train overpass, where I had a long beautiful look at a green pheasant pair. Other highlights included a mating pair of green tree frogs, three tits in a tree (Japanese, long-tailed, & varied), a buzzard, and multiple better looks of bull-headed shrikes compared to the day before. All of the day's observations can be found here, including a couple that still need ID confirmation.

I was somewhat disappointed to see so few waterbirds in the rice paddies, and no odonates. In the forest directly behind the hotel, I passed by an interesting shrine and cemetery in a clearing, encountering some butterfly species and a jack-in-the-pulpit type plant that I did not find elsewhere. Overall, in about 5 hours of daylight over 2 days, I posted almost 50 iNaturalist observations, including 32+ species, 2 two new-to-me amphibian species, and at least 12 lifer birds.

I took the 8:30am shuttle back to the airport, having left my packed bags at the front desk so I could squeeze every last minute outside. The bus schedules (as of April 2017) from and to the airport are posted below. My experience was ~45 minutes to travel from the airport to the hotel (the Garden Hotel is the 3rd hotel stop), and a somewhat quicker return trip to the airport.

The biggest difference between my route and Jeremy and Mike's above was that I missed the Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and its grounds. That was mostly a time/light management issue -- the open river made for a pleasant walk in the waning light, and in the morning, I preferred to stay closer to the hotel so I could maximize time outside before hustling back to the airport shuttle. Next time!

Tagging a few others (@c_michael_hogan @carrieseltzer @tstrauch) who appear to have also made Narita layovers to see if they have advice/comments to add, and a local (@harumkoh).

Publicado el 05 de mayo de 2017 a las 06:05 PM por muir muir | 47 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario