Saturday, 3 March 2012

3rd March 2012 Hachichojima Ferry

Black-footed Albatross 35 ex.
Laysan Albatross 100 ex.
Short-tailed Albatross 6 ex. (2 ad, 1 subad, 3 juv)
Fulmar 4
Streaked Shearwater 10,000 ex.
Pomarine Skua 4
Black-tailed Gull 100
Kamchatka Gull 5
Vega Gull 2
Slaty-backed Gull 20
Kittiwake 20
Japanese Murrelet 2 ex.
Murrelet sp. 4 probably Japanese
Rhinoceros Auklet 1 ex.
Rock Dove 1 flying alongside ferry!
Oriental Turtle Dove 2 Hachichojima

Izu Islands

The Izu Islands stretch south from Tokyo Bay and are readily accessible via a daily ferry. It leaves at 10pm and we opted for the cheapest accommodation being a night sleeping on the floor. During the following day the ferry stops at five islands but you can only disembark for around 30 minutes on Hachichojima unless you stay overnight on one of the islands.

Stacks off one of the Izu Islands

A Japanese birder pointed out to us that these stacks support a breeding colony of Japanese Murrelets and no sooner did he say it than we noticed a pair sat on the sea alongside the ferry!

Streaked Shearwaters from the Izu Island Ferry

Pacific Kittiwakes R.t. pollicaris from the Izu Island Ferry

Dwight (1925) described Pacific Kittiwake as larger, especially the bill, and as having a slightly darker mantle than Atlantic Kittiwake R.t. tridactyla. He also noted differences in the patterning of black in the adult primaries as in most Atlantic Kittiwakes only the five longest primaries p6-p10 show black tips, whereas in Pacific Kittiwake, p5 is also frequently black tipped and the extent of black on each feather is also greater on Pacific Kittiwake. Also note the extensive black ear-spot extending across the hindneck forming a dark boa.

First-winter Pacific Kittiwake from the Izu Island Ferry

Black-footed Albatross from the Izu Island Ferry

Laysan Albatrosses from the Izu Island Ferry

Laysan Albatross from the Izu Island Ferry

Laysan Albatrosses show variation in the pattern of their underwings, this one being at the lightly-marked end of the spectrum.

Immature Short-tailed Albatross from the Izu Island Ferry