Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Kyushu's Problem

While birders in the northern parts of Japan enjoy breathtaking views of colourful summer migrants like flycatchers and robins, here in the south, it is always either the forest is way too dark or the birds are just not cooperative. After taking photos of the Japanese Hare in the earlier post, I walked up hill to Otobaru Waterfall. Along the way, I came across a pair of Narcissus Flycatchers which seemed to be nesting somewhere up on the slope. The female was repeatedly coming back with food in its mouth and the male was doing look-out while giving soft high-pitched call constantly. Believe me, below are already the best shots I could get.

Male Narcissus Flycatcher

Male birds in spring show bright orange throat.

Close but definitely not a nice angle
While photographing the Narcissus, I heard a loud bird singing just above my head and it was a male Blue-And-White Flycatcher, another common species that's really difficult to photograph in Kyushu or at least, Beppu. It didn't care much about me taking photos of it with flash but it just kept perching up there on the higher branches.

A more showy but never came down to lower branches, Blue-And-White Flycatcher

It was singing so loudly and aggressively.

Really never came down
Eventually, it got much too dark for me to take any photo, so I decided to walk back. Along the way, there was a small group of Varied Tit fledglings with their parents feeding in the bamboos. I think it's the first time for me to see young Varied Tit. I actually thought they were Coal Tits when I first saw them with bare eyes. Other birds found along the way included several Japanese Green Woodpeckers, a super shy species which I can never get a decent shot of, some calling Chinese Bamboo Partridges, several Ryukyu Minivets which kept flying over my head with their loud high-pitched call, and a pair of Grey-capped Greenfinches.

One of the Varied Tit fledglings

Male Grey-capped Greenfinch

Japanese Green Woodpecker, another species which I can never get a decent photo.


  1. The flycatchers behave the same up here on their breeding grounds.......always in the dark or up in the canopy. On passage is the best time to get them on camera......

  2. Wow still, to see them is probably enjoyable, nothing compare to the colors we do have over here... This blue of the blue and white flycatcher is sumptuous and the Narcissus flycatcher is wonderful... One day you will get the picture you want ;-) One day... For now, I'm just really happy to see these, that i will consider as beauties ;-)

  3. Looks like the woodpecker is going to make you work hard for a photo !

  4. Some great pictures, Ayuwat. I couldn't get a good pic of a blue-and-white this year and now the trees are too thick with leaves. Every time I found one it was high up in the branches above me.