Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Japanese Robin (!) - November 20, 2012

Spot the Japanese Robin Erithacus akahige
Japanese Robin Erithacus akahige
  I spent a wonderful few hours of crisp birding in a quiet valley near Gohyeon.  The valley has been quite productive for birds over the past month, probably due to its remoteness and consequential very light foot traffic on the trail.  After a relatively quiet trip back down the trail, I spotted a small dark bird flutter from the stream up to the bank.  I first assumed it was yet another Eurasian Wren, but it was noticeably quiet, and something about it didn’t add up.  I got a look at it with the binos and was more than pleased to realize that I’d finally crossed paths with a gorgeous but shy Japanese Robin.  I'd been hoping to see one of these exceedingly rare and skulking birds for years!  I'm surprised I got a picture at all considering the low light and the fact that I was shaking with excitement!  Good bird.
  The wacky part about it is that I woke up at 5 a.m. this past rainy and cold Saturday to head to Igidae, Busan in the vain hope of seeing this bird.  No luck.  Then today I saunter through a valley embarrassingly close to my apartment on my lunch break and see one!  That's how the bird gods work I suppose...

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