Japan in Summer Part II: May 29—Jun 09, 2007

Summer in Hokkaido

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Tokyo
Tour Limit: 8
Download Itinerary: PDF (111 KB)

Tour Leaders


Susan Myers

Susan Myers absolutely loves birding and traveling in Asia. As she says, "The combinati...

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Although located at only 43 degrees latitude, Hokkaido's climate is influenced by that of nearby Siberia, and the arrival of spring is delayed until early June. The avifauna of Hokkaido is so different from that of the southern islands that several days are required to see the wide diversity of species which breed here, but not further to the south. The hills and forests hold resident populations of Hazel Grouse; White-backed, Lesser Spotted, and Black woodpeckers; Pine Grosbeak; and Long-tailed Rosefinch—all species which do not breed on any of the southern islands.

The species diversity increases along with the temperature with the arrival of summer visitors such as Eastern Marsh Harrier, Northern Hobby, displaying Latham's Snipe, Common Cuckoo, White-throated Needletail, Yellow Wagtail, Japanese Accentor, Gray's Grasshopper Warbler, Pale-legged (Sakhalin) Leaf Warbler, the gem-like Narcissus Flycatcher, and Red-cheeked Starling, heralding the arrival of a very brief spring and the start of another breeding season.

We will also explore the coastal headlands, which host large colonies of breeding seabirds. Pelagic and Red-faced cormorants breed here along with Tufted Puffins and Rhinoceros Auklets, while Slaty-backed Gulls are common. On the sea we may encounter small parties of the exquisite Harlequin Duck, while the grassy headlands swathed in sasa or dwarf bamboo hold Lanceolated and Middendorff's Grasshopper warblers, Siberian Rubythroat, and Common Reed and Yellow-breasted buntings.