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15/17 Birding Days with Nigel Moorhouse

Ground Price: from £4350 (US$6090, €5000)

We start 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.We will have the chance to visit the famous Snow Monkeys.

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 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 Japanese (Izu) Robin.

We next head south to Kyushu, where it is a little warmer, 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.

Amami is an endemic hotspot, with Amami Thursh (difficult), Lidth's Jay, Amami (Owston's) Woodpecker, Ryukyu Robin and Amami Woodcock. It can also be excellent for shorebirds. Further south, Okinawa is famed for Okinawa Rail and Okinawa (Pryer's) Woodpecker, as well as Japanese and Ryukyu Scops Owls and Okinawa (Ryukyu) Robin.

For those on the extension, we visit the Yaeyama Islands, close to Taiwan. Here we can look for Ryukyu (Crested) Serpent Eagle and Japanese (Iriomote) Tit.

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