Thursday, 9 May 2013

Eurasian Siskin

The afternoon of April 8 saw me visiting Shoninga-Hama looking for waders, but sadly none had arrived yet, so I took a walk around the nearby park instead. To my surprise, I came across a flock of about 30+ Eurasian Siskins feeding together on the ground. I didn't expect to see this bird in April since I normally saw them during late autumn and winter.

Male Eurasian Siskin with female in the background

Male Eurasian Siskin

Female Eurasian Siskin

Female Eurasian Siskin

Some male birds had extensive yellow underparts with few blackish streaks.

While some had whiter belly with more streaks, non-breeding plumage?

Another male with whitish belly

And another with yellow belly

Female Eurasian Siskin

Male Eurasian Siskin

This one has quite extensive yellow belly but with many streaks.

Another shot of the same bird
Even though they were feeding out on the open ground, it was quite difficult to get close to them. They always fly out too soon and I had to run around the park to follow them for hours. In order to get these shots, I had to lie down on the ground and slowly crawl towards them. Sometimes they let me get close, but more often they would just fly out and let me lie there like a fool. After several hours of running and crawling, I could get enough decent photos of them and on the next morning, my whole body was aching like hell.

Eurasian Siskins feeding on grass seeds

Female Eurasian Siskin

Male Eurasian Siskin enjoying the seeds

Male Eurasian Siskin

Females were quite tamer than the males.

Enjoying the grass seeds

Flock of Eurasian Siskins

This male bird seemed to have just taken a bath.

Female Eurasian Siskin

Eurasian Siskin flock

One of the 2 Olive-backed Pipits

Another shot of the same bird

White-cheeked Starling after taking a bath

A skittish dark morph Pacific Reef Egret

Mating pair of Black-tailed Gull

Grey Heron in non-breeding plumage
Other birds seen around the park included 2 Olive-backed Pipits which were even more difficult to get close than the siskins, Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, lots of White-cheeked Starlings and a male Blue Rock Thrush. At the shore, I found a single Pacific Reef Egret strolling along the rocks. It was pretty skittish and finally flew out into the sea as I tried to get closer. Other birds included a breeding pair of Black-tailed Gulls, few Grey Herons, Great Cormorants, Black-eared Kites, an Osprey and few Taimyr Gulls.


  1. You really are dedicated, Ayuwat, and as Stu says it's paid off. I am learning more about the little finch-like birds around here too. I just passed them off before but am realizing there is more variety here than I realized. Your pictures are just great.