More Winter Birds of Japan

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After raining all day yesterday, the sun came out for excellent conditions for photography. I visited the ponds on parks in Kita Senri and Senri Chuo on a morning bike ride. I was rewarded with this gorgeous photo of the Falcated Duck (Mareca falcata). The iridescent green and copper on its head is beautiful and goes well with the grey, white and black of its body.  They are only found in Asia and breed in Siberia and northern China. Their numbers are decreasing due to over hunting in southern China. The female is quite drab as you can see below.

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My stated goal of the morning was to get a better picture of the Smew (Mergellus albellus). The male is such a striking white color compared to the other winter waterfowl, but I was only able to get the picture below. I only found them in the one pond is Kita Senri and they were wary of getting close to public side of the pond.

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The two males in the foreground were following two females above. The females were closer to the side of the pond. They were diving quite a bit and I did get a good photo below. They looked more like cormorants because they would submerge and then reappear at a fair distance from where they dove.

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My patience was rewarded at a small pond near the Senri Chuo train station. A common kingfisher didn’t see me sitting in a grove of bamboo and I snapped the photo below.

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I also spotted many common pochards, tufted ducks and Eurasian coots. It is nice so many northern breeding ducks winter in Osaka.

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