Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Kyushu, Japan - September 2011
Almost at the end of our three weeks in Japan, we took the always ultra-fast, comfortable, reliable and pleasingly sci-fi Shinkansen (bullet train) - this time from Kobe, south-west through the latter third of Honshu, and through the entirety of Kyushu. Last stop, the island's southern hub of Kagoshima - a cosmopolitan, friendly city, built against lush forested hills on one side and the sprawling blue bay on the other.
Most dramatically, the city overlooks the Sakorajima volcano - sometimes visible, often active, always beautiful, and a fifteen minute ferry crossing away. For us, it banished its semi-permanent cloud halo, spat ash and cloud almost constantly, and generally performed impeccably.
Of birdlife on the volcanic island, tame, numerous and omnipresent Black-eared Kites dominated, exercising hunting skills on land and at sea; Oriental Turtle Doves, White-cheeked Starlings, Ospreys and Eastern Great Tits were also present, but ultimately played second fiddle to Red-bellied Rock Thrushes (see next post).
(This pretty candyfloss pattern was, in fact, typhoon Talas, which blazed a highly destructive trail through our 'home' prefecture - it took several hours journey on the Shinkansen to finally look out across a relatively intact and peaceful view outside.)
From Japan, southbound to the unique and alluring island of Taiwan, and not least its quality and quantity of avian delights....
Posted by Mark James Pearson at 15:56