Japan 2016: Winter Birding I

February 08 - 25, 2016
Tour Length: 18 days Est. Spaces Left: 0

Our winter birding tour of Japan begins on the central island of Honshu where we will search for a fine array of Japanese endemics and specialties, including Japanese Accentor, the stunning endemic Copper and Green Pheasants, Japanese Green and Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers and dainty Japanese Waxwing. We will then move onto Hokkaido for cranes and eagles. (in association Rockjumper Tours) 

Photo: : Red-crowned Cranes by David Shackelford

Note: Trip dates are tentative. Please check back soon for final dates and itinerary.

TOUR OVERVIEW

Extensions:
No Tour Extensions Listed.
Future Departures:
December 01, 2015
Tour Leaders:
Max # Birders:
12 (+2 leaders)
Focus:
Birds; Photography; Culture;
Pace:
Easy to Moderate ; undemanding walks
Double Accommodation:
$ 6140 Flights JPY71500
[per person]
Single Supplement:
+ $ 940
Deposit:
$600.00 [per person]

Our winter birding tour of Japan begins on the central island of Honshu where we will search for a fine array of Japanese endemics and specialties, including Japanese Accentor, the stunning endemic Copper and Green Pheasants, Japanese Green and Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers and dainty Japanese Waxwing. We will also spend time with endearing families of Japanese Macaques, better known as Snow Monkeys, at their hotspring hangouts.

Hokkaido to the far north of Japan’s long chain of islands will open the curtain to a wonderland of snow, frozen lakes and pine forests. This is the land of the Red-crowned Crane, which dance these snowfields with grace and elegance. The world’s biggest raptor, Steller’s Sea Eagle, and White-tailed Eagles cavort on the icy coastline, while vast numbers of sea-dwelling ducks, gulls and smaller numbers of loons and alcids forage in the frigid Pacific Ocean. A highlight of this region is the magnificent Blakiston’s Fish Owl.

To the south, on the island of Kyushu, over 10,000 cranes congregate during these winter months to escape the blizzards of the Siberian steppes. The majority of this gathering consists of White-naped and Hooded Cranes, but a remarkable seven crane species have been recorded! Large stands of temperate broad-leaved forests harbor Japanese Grosbeak, the secretive and endemic Grey Bunting, and Japanese Wood and Whistling Green Pigeons, whilst Baikal Teal is regular on small water-bodies. Here we will also search for the near-endemic and highly desirable Japanese Murrelet.

 

MORE TRIP INFORMATION

  • Download Itinerary

    No PDF is available at this time. See Below.

  • Meeting Location

    Tokyo

    Accomodations

    Comfortable minshukus (guest houses) & hotels.

    Included

    Excluded

  • Top Birds

    Blakiston’s Fish Owl, Ural Owl, Steller’s Sea Eagle, Japanese and Ancient Murrelet, Copper and Green Pheasant, Red-crowned, White-naped and Hooded Crane (up to 7 crane species are possible!), Baikal Teal, Japanese Quail, Long-billed Plover, Harlequin and Mandarin Duck, Red-faced and Japanese Cormorant, Black-throated Loon, Saunder’s and Pallas’s Gull, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Green & Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, Bull-headed Shrike, Japanese Tit, Chinese Penduline Tit, Japanese Accentor, Japanese Bush Warbler, Dusky Thrush, White-cheeked Starling, Japanese White-eye, Chinese Grosbeak, Japanese Waxwing, Japanese Wagtail, Asian Rosy Finch and Grey Bunting

    Top Mammals

    Japanese Macaque, Japanese Serow, Sea Otter

    Habitats Covered

    Temperate broad-leaved and coniferous forest, frozen lakes, coastline, wetlands and grasslands.

    Expected Climate

    Mild to very cold in the north.

  • Other Attractions

    Spectacular scenery, interesting culture. Excellent photographic opportunities.

    Suggested Clothing & Gear
    • Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
    • Visa (if required)
    • Credit cards / cash
    • Binoculars
    • Scope and tripod (optional)
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen
    • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
    • Water bottle
    • Small umbrella
    • Small day pack / fanny pack
    • Small flashlight
    • Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
    • Itch relief cream
    • Lip screen/balm
    • Anti-diarrhea medicine e.g., Imodium
    • Prescription drugs - carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
    • OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
    • Toiletries
    • Hair Dryer
    • Small alarm clock
    • Cleaning fluids/cloths/drying cloths
    • Small tool kit for optics or glasses
    • Field guides
    • Note pads/pens (we provide trip checklists)
    • Hiking Boots/Shoes
    • Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals
    • Hat with brim/visor
    • Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat
    • Rain jacket/wind breaker
    • Medium-weight jacket
    • Medium-weight long pants
    • Medium-weight long-sleeved shirts
    • Warm hat with visor
    • Rain hat
    • Waterproof winter jacket (Gore-tex or equivalent)
    • Warm winter jacket
    • Balaclava or full facial ski mask
    • Warm, waterproof gloves (and backup pair)
    • Glove liners
    • Long sleeve shirts (various weights)
    • T-shirts or undershirts (capilene or polypropylene)
    • Pants (fleece or wool; jeans NOT recommended)
    • Long Underwear (capilene or polypropylene)
    • PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping
    • Wool socks (various weights) and liners.
    • GORE-TEX socks/liners for water protection and warmth
    • Sturdy, waterproof boots; NEOS are lightweight waterproof overboots
    • Moleskin for blisters
    • Foot powder for drying
    Recommended Reading
    • A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan

      (1982)
      Wild Bird Society of Japan

     

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