Okhotsk Chapter
of the Wild Bird Society of Japan


Birding Events for FY2016-17

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The Okhotsk Chapter of the WBSJ holds numerous birding walks during the year, mostly in spring and autumn, and always at some location within the Abashiri Sub-prefecture of Hokkaido which extends along the Okhotsk coast from Mombetsu to Shiretoko where most of our membership lives.

The schedule this year contains 39 events. We typically walk for around 2 hours. In the early-morning schedule, from late April through June, there are 10 walks starting at 5:00 a.m. on Fridays at locations in the Kitami area, and starting this year, 4 walks at 5:00 a.m. at the Yobito Birdwatching Trail in Abashiri. There are also 2 evening birdcall listening walks, one on Saturday May 28 at Tomisato Dam and the other a week later on June 4 at rustic Chimikeppu Lake in Tsubetsu, both near Kitami.

Non-members are also welcome to join us and learn about the birds of the Okhotsk region. Many become members this way. Families are welcome, too. No special equipment is necessary, but having binoculars and/or a field guide would of course be useful if you can bring them. Some veteran members bring scopes and are happy to show you birds when possible.

If you would like to join us on a walk, please send an email via the Contact Us page and let us know when you wish to come. We will send you back the details you need to know about when and where to meet. (Our English skills are limited, and someone might even try to sell you a sharp-looking t-shirt or windbreaker with our emblem on it, but other than that you are likely to enjoy our walks!)

Our birding calendar begins in April and ends in March, the typical fiscal/academic year in Japan. The schedule for FY2016-17 is below. (Schedules are subject to change.)

The Okhotsk Chapter also sponsors coastal surveys in the region and elsewhere around Hokkaido. A practical study into how to conduct these surveys was held on April 23rd along a 2-km stretch of beach at Hama-koshimizu in Koshimizu. From now until May 31st, members and others are being encouraged to survey a section of coastline in an area near where they live and to submit their reports using the special forms along with photos. For some background information on how this activity started, click on the Survey link in the menu above.

Birding Schedule

Date Time Place Notes
4/17 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Notsukeushi Park (Kitami)  
4/22 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Notsukeushi Park (Kitami)  
4/24 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Midorigaoka Park (Kitami)  
4/29 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Tokiwa Park (Kitami)  
5/1 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Abashiri Lake shore (Memanbetsu)  
5/6 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Midorigaoka Park (Kitami)  
5/8 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Seseragi Park (Bihoro)  
5/9 (Mon) 5:00 a.m. Yobito Birdwatching Trail (Abashiri) Along shore of Abashiri Lake
5/13 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Minamigaoka Park (Kitami)  
5/15 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Saroma Lake Trail (Saroma)  
5/16 (Mon) 5:00 a.m. Yobito Birdwatching Trail (Abashiri)  
5/20 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Nakanoshima Park (Kitami)  
5/22 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Kinsen-kyo (Takinoue) Mountain gorge
5/23 (Mon) 5:00 a.m. Yobito Birdwatching Trail (Abashiri)  
5/27 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Midorigaoka Park (Kitami)  
5/28 (Sat) 19:00 Tomisato Dam (Kitami) Focus on listening
5/29 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Tomisato Dam (Kitami)  
5/30 (Mon) 5:00 a.m. Yobito Birdwatching Trail (Abashiri)  
6/3 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Notsukeushi Park (Kitami)  
6/4 (Sat) 19:00 Chimikeppu Lake (Tsubetsu) Focus on listening
6/5 (Sun) 5:00 a.m. Chimikeppu Lake (Tsubetsu) Extensive forest
6/5 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Chimikeppu Lake (Tsubetsu)
6/10 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Minamigaoka Park (Kitami)  
6/12 (Sun) 3:00 - 15:00 Okhotsk Birdathon Various locations
6/17 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Midorigaoka Park (Kitami)  
6/19 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Wakka Wild Flower Park (Tokoro) Saroma Lake and seaside scrub
6/24 (Fri) 5:00 a.m. Nakanoshima Park (Kitami)  
6/26 (Sun) 6:00 a.m. Koshimizu Wild Flower Park (Koshimizu) Seaside dunes w/low vegetation across road from Tofutsu Lake
7/24 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Tofutsu Lake (Abashiri/Koshimizu)  
8/21 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Notoro Lake (Ubaranai, Abashiri) Shorebirds
9/4 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Kimuaneppu, Saroma Lake (Saroma)  
9/24 (Sat) 8:30 a.m. Okhotsk Park (Abashiri) Cleaning birdhouses
10/9 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Kinsen-kyo (Takinoue) Mountain gorge
10/30 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Tofutsu Lake (Abashiri/Koshimizu) Ladies' event
11/6 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Tofutsu Lake (Abashiri/Koshimizu)  
12/4 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Cape Notoro (Abashiri)  
1/15 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Abashiri Port (Abashiri)  
2/26 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Nakanoshima Park (Kitami)  
3/26 (Sun) 13:00 Tofutsu Lake (Abashiri/Koshimizu) Stellar's & White-tailed eagles etc.

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Whooper swans with assorted ducks and gulls on Tofutsu Lake one day after a snowstorm froze this spot that is normally not frozen due to sea water coming in and out with the tide. A Red Fox is nearby, and Mt. Shari is in the background. (Swan Park, Tofutsu Lake, 22 February 2009; photo: DB)