Our comprehensive winter trip visits seven islands, from the frozen north to the subtropical south in search Cranes, Steller’s Sea Eagles, specialities and endemics. This is a guided trip for up to 7 people.
- Trip Details
15 Birding Days with Nigel Moorhouse
Ground Price: from £4500 (US$5800, €5300)
We begin on subtropical Ishigakijima, close to Taiwan. Here we can look for Ryukyu (Crested) Serpent Eagle and Ishigaki and Iriomote Tits, as well as species not found elsewhere in Japan. It can also be excellent for shorebirds.
Okinawa is famed for Okinawa Rail and Okinawa (Pryer's) Woodpecker, as well as Japanese and Ryukyu Scops Owls and Okinawa (Ryukyu) Robin.Amami is an endemic hotspot, with Amami Thursh (difficult), Lidth's Jay, Amami (Owston's) Woodpecker, Ryukyu Robin and Amami Woodcock.
We next head north to Kyushu and visit the famous site of Arasaki, where thousands of cranes gather. They are mostly Hooded and White-naped, but there are usually Sandhill and Common, and sometimes rarer species. There are many different buntings, finches and other passerines, with highlights including Chinese Penduline Tit, Daurian Redatart, Russet Sparrow and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker. Offshore, we can look for Japanese Murrelet.
Heading back to Tokyo, we then take a ferry to the Izu Islands (weather permitting), where our main focus is on Short-tailed, Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses, but we may be able to look for Izu Thrush, Owston's Tit and Izu (Japanese) Robin.
We next head to the snowy north of Hokkaido. The Red-crowned Cranes and Steller's Sea Eagles are famous, and we will also look for the mighty Blakiston's Fish Owl. Ducks, gulls and auks feature around the coast and we can also look for Asian Rosy-finch.
We end on Honshu, where we look for endemics including Copper and Green Pheasants and Japanese Green Woodpecker. Winter specialities include Baikal Teal, Japanese Grosbeak, Japanese Accentor, Japanese Wagtail and many more.