Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The going of the trees



Niigata City is based on the Shinano River. The Shinano is the longest river in Japan. It has all the features of rivers of moderns cities. Shipping ports at the mouth, walkways/bike paths and gardens with cherry trees and beds of tulips, public toilets and bridges. 

Sadly, I noticed a big gap along the river just a couple of k's from the city centre. All the wild trees and shrubs have been cleared. I knew most of the birds to be found in the trees. A family of Azure-winged Magpies was resident all year - In the thick of the green in the summer and at the tree tops in the snow of winter. A week after the trees went I found them in a single tree in a river-side residence along with the local Grey Starlings. It is very quiet there now. Both the magpies and starlings have gone. 

Usually Durian Redstarts appeared in early March in the bushes just above the water and warblers came for the summer. I also found Common and Rough-leeged Buzzards in some of the trees in the winter. I don't know where the summer's dragonflies will come from. The ducks that hid behind the trees are now easily seen but nervous.