Blakiston's Fish Owl
This huge, charasmatic owl is the emblem of Japan
in winter, as we wait at our little Minshuku
in Hokkaido by a quiet stream, for them to
float down to their favoured spot
This flightless Rallid, endemic to a single island
was described in only 1981! Unsurprisingly it
is classified as Endangered, and though a
forest dweller, it is often found on the road!
Perhaps the most beautiful of all cranes, up to
3000 make Arasaki their winter home
Steller's Sea Eagle
Large numbers winter along the Hokkaido coastline
and thanks to the plethora of leftovers
become very tame
This iconic Palearctic breeder is always
such a delight to see. On its breeding
grounds on Hokkaido and Kurils it tends
to show ridiculously well!
The dancing cranes in the snow on Hokkaido is
always on of the tour highlights, and
yet another memorable spectacle on the tour
One of the hardest endemics to see in Japan but also
like all pheasants, one of the most beautiful
The famous snow monkeys of Nagano will take up
a lot of memory cards!
White-naped and Hooded Cranes
Over the winter up to 10,000 Hooded Cranes
and 3000 White-naped Cranes make Arasaki their
home and allow incredibly close approach!
Often split from Japanese Robin, one of
the most range-restricted Japanese endemics.
Being found only on the islands off Tokyo.
Part of the 'Narcissus' complex, it was
recently split, and is endemic to
the Nansai Shoto islands of Japan.
Styan's Grasshopper Warbler
Little-known away from its breeding sites
it is incredibly abundant on them! Considering
it's a Locustella, it must rank as the
most conspicuous when singing!
Critically Endangered, with less than 200
remaining perhaps, it's a major target on
our Japan in Summer tour. Despite its
great rarity, it can be surprisingly conspicuous.
Subsumed under Japanese Tit, this
bird, restricted to a single island is
possibly more distinct than any other of
the 'Great Tit' complex.
Despite being a forest dweller, it is often
found on the roadside, parading themselves
for all to see, no matter what the occasion!