A hearty hello to all our readers around the world.
As you may have guessed from the not terribly clever pun in the title, this post concerns two things: weather and birds. So, which would you like first, the good news or the bad news?
The Bad News
It’s still the rainy season. On most days, you can expect a mixture of rain and cloud with temperatures noticeably lower than on clear days. That’s not to say that the bad news is all bad though. Kamikochi is still Kamikochi even when the sun disappears behind the clouds. On rainy and cloudy days, a tranquil silence adds to the ambiance of a park not being swarmed by visitors. Mountain views are greatly diminished, but you get something else in exchange for that: a mist-shrouded world not untouched by the sublime.
The Good News
As with any time of year, the rainy season offers flora and fauna particular to the period. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the fauna–specifically, the two legged, two winged, beaked kind. You can see all sorts of birds in the area around Kappa Bridge, including mallard pictured above. As a dabbler in ducks, I can tell from the colorful plumage around his head and neck that this one is male. This particular mallard was spotted (and photographed by intrepid blogger, Ume) in the Azusa River, just minutes away from the bridge.
And if there’s anyone who doesn’t mind rainy weather, it’s the ducks. The rain just rolls of them like…liquid off a smooth feathery surface.
The distinctive blue plumage around the wings of the bird pictured above tell you it’s a Eurasian Jay, a well-traveled species found in many parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. You can see them darting from tree to tree around the bus terminal in search of food. Don’t expect them to pose for your photos though; the Eurasian Jay is all business.
Here we see a Eurasian Nuthatch, whose small size belies the amount of noise it produces. Listen for the unmistakable “dwip dwip dwip” call for a clue on where to find them. This one staked its claim in a tree top near the Gosenjaku Hotel. Here he is bellying up to some midday victuals:
Bird watching is only part of what the bird population of Kamikochi brings to the park as, even when you can’t see them, they’re busily creating the soundtrack to your visit with a an orchestra of birdsong.
Thanks as always to the fine people at Five Sense for creating the content on which this blog was based. We look forward to your future work.
Just a reminder that if you do visit Kamikochi in the near future, it’s doubly important to prepare rain gear. A good lightweight set will allow you to enjoy the park in relative safety and comfort even if it starts pouring. As a precautionary measure, we also recommend packing sunscreen and applying it during sunny periods. The UV levels in Kamikochi are surprisingly high and can cause nasty sunburns on unprotected skin.
Have a great weekend!
Source of Information:
Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/today/23687/