Okhotsk Chapter
of the Wild Bird Society of Japan


Birding Events for FY2019-20

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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 42 events. We typically walk for around 2 hours. In the early-morning schedule, from early April through June, there are 12 walks starting at 5:00 a.m. on Saturdays at locations in the Kitami area, and 4 early-morning walks are planned in the Abashiri area mostly on Mondays. One evening birdcall listening walk is planned for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday June 29 at rustic Chimikeppu Lake in Tsubetsu, in the mountains 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 FY2019-20 is below. (Schedules are subject to change.)

Birding Schedule

Date Time Place Notes
4/6 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Notsukeushi Park (Kitami)  
4/13 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Kotohira Sakura Park (Kitami)  
4/20 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Midorigaoka (Kitami)  
4/21 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Kotohira Sakura Park (Kitami)  
4/27 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Minamigaoka Park (Kitami)  
4/28 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Notsukeushi Park (Kitami)  
5/4 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Nakanoshima Park (Kitami)  
5/5 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Abashiri Lake shore (Memanbetsu)  
5/11 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Kotohira Sakura Park (Kitami)  
5/12 (Mon) 8:00 a.m. Seseragi Park (Bihoro)  
5/18 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Midorigaoka Park (Kitami)  
5/19 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Tomisato Dam (Kitami)  
5/20 (Mon) 6:00 a.m. Okhotsk Cycling Road (Abashiri)  
5/25 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Minamigaoka Park (Kitami)  
5/26 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Kinsen-kyo (Takinoue) Mountain gorge
5/27 (Mon) 6:00 a.m. Yobito Birdwatching Trail (Abashiri) Along shore of Abashiri Lake
6/1 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Minamigaokai Park (Kitami)  
6/2 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Kanoko Dam (Oketo)  
6/3 (Mon) 6:00 a.m. Okhotsk Cycling Road (Abashiri)  
6/8 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Kyoei Dam (Kitami)  
6/9 (Sun) 3:00 - 15:00 Okhotsk Birdathon Various locations
6/10 (Mon) 6:00 a.m. Yobito Birdwatching Trail (Abashiri)  
6/15 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Tomisato Dam (Kitami)  
6/16 (Sun) 6:00 a.m. Koshimizu Wild Flower Park (Koshimizu) Seaside dunes w/low vegetation across road from Tofutsu Lake
6/22 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Nakanoshima Park (Kitami)  
6/29 (Sat) 5:00 a.m. Midorigaoka Park (Kitami)  
6/29 (Sat) 19:00 Chimikeppu Lake (Tsubetsu) Extensive forest
(19:00 Focus on listening)
6/30 (Sun) 5:00 a.m. Chimikeppu Lake (Tsubetsu)
6/30 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Chimikeppu Lake (Tsubetsu)
7/14 (Sun) 8:00 a.m. Wakka Wild Flower Park (Tokoro) Saroma Lake and seaside scrub
7/21 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Ukishima Wetland (Takinoue) High moor (870m elev.)
8/25 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Tofutsu Lake (Abashiri/Koshimizu)  
9/1 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Notoro Lake (Ubaranai, Abashiri) Shorebirds
9/21 (Sat) 8:30 a.m. Okhotsk Park (Abashiri) Cleaning birdhouses
9/22 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Shari Town Park (Shari) Behind the Shiretoko Museum
10/6 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Mouth of Shari River (Shari)  
10/20 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Kotohira Sakura Park (Kitami)  
11/3 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Tofutsu Lake (Abashiri/Koshimizu) Ladies' event
12/8 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Cape Notoro (Abashiri)  
1/12 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Abashiri Port (Abashiri)  
2/16 (Sun) 10:00 a.m. Nakanoshima Park (Kitami)  
3/22 (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)