Winter Ducks of Osaka

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This morning I rode along the canals in Ibaraki near my house and photographed some of the winter waterfowl. Thursday evening and all day and night Friday it rained, so I wanted to get outside on Saturday morning. Accompanying Owen to the train station to travel to his soccer game gave me a good excuse to get up early and enjoy the crisp but soggy outdoors. Many “dabbling” ducks winter in Japan and the ponds and streams are always filled with different species of ducks that breed in Siberia and come down to Japan for the winter. They arrive to the Osaka region in November/December and leave in the spring.

Above is the Common or Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca). The teal is found in winter all throughout Japan and come spring, it flies north to Siberia to breed. The color “teal” comes from this bird. I saw them in a fairly large flock near the edge of high grasses. This is a new bird for my species list, #18 for me in Japan.

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The Northern Shoveller (Spatula clypeata) has the distinctive bill (above) that like the baleen of a whale, filters food from the water.

The Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) pictured below is also a winter resident, but breeds more in central China and western Russia rather than in the far east of Russia like most of the other ducks.

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And to wrap up my observations today, this grey heron is looking for a place to quietly eat the crayfish in its mouth.

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