【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape

In this series, the transformation of four seasons will be introduced through articles on wild animals that are active in the deep forests, marshes, and ocean as if they were being cradled by “Kamui,” which means deity in the Ainu language. The first installment in the series is the Yezo sika deer of Notsuke Peninsula. (Text and photographs by Tadanobu Shigeru from the Kushiro Branch News Secti

Aug. 2

Special feature

【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (40) Red-necked phalaropes journey to Arctic Circle

Red-necked phalaropes fly in a flock across an early summer sea that reflects the blue sky

Migratory birds like sandpipers and plovers become visible along the coastline, signaling the coming of the hottest part of summer.

A flock of sandpipers about one hundred birds strong flies along the coast of Rebun Island. These sandpipers are red-necked phalaropes. They are approximately 19-centimeter-long migratory birds with red summer plumage on their neck area and webbing between their claws, and spend the winter in Southeastern Asia in countries including the Philippines and then head north for the Arctic Circle when summer comes.

Along the Eastern Hokkaido coastline, flocks heading north are visible from spring to early summer and flocks heading south are visible in autumn. When they are swimming atop the water surface, they move busily in search of food. And when one takes flight its surrounding fellows all follow suit. Because they are constantly moving, it is difficult to check their body color and claw webbing.

Caught up trying to track the unpredictable movement of the flock, flying right one instant and then left the next, it is almost impossible to match the timing for a camera shot that captures the scene successfully.

(Words and photo: Shigeru Tadanobu)

Location

Rebun Island

Special feature

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