Spent the day up in the Yanbaru region of northern Okinawa with wildlife photographer Mark Thorpe. Found a few interesting critters including mayflies and tiger beetles, both of which required a little patience before they’d stop for a pic. We then met up with wildlife artist Ichiro Kikuta to get some advice on the best place to find the endemic Yanbaru kuina. He advised us to head out at dusk to a small river where the birds would bathe each evening. We staked out the spot, and just as the sun dipped below the horizon, a family of Yanbaru kuina came down to bathe. Splish, splash, taking a bath.
Shawn Miller and I went out to Yanbaru very early this morning for a birdwatching tour with birder and wildlife artist Ichiro Kikuta. Ichiro has just started offering guided birding tours, either 2-hour dawn tours from 6AM to 8AM, or all-day tours. He can speak some English, is very personable, and has a huge wealth of knowledge about Okinawan wildlife. Shawn and I specifically wanted to see the Noguchi-gera, the rare woodpecker that is endemic to the subtropical forests of northern Okinawa. Ichiro knew where a pair of the woodpeckers were feeding their chicks, and guided us to the nest. We spent a couple of hours photographing this particular bird, while Ichiro identified other species of birds we spotted or heard. Ichiro can be contacted by phone at 090 6867 3160 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org 2-hour dawn tours are ¥6,000 per person. All-day tours for one to four people are ¥¥18,000 (1p) ¥24,000 (2p) ¥30,000 (3p) ¥36,000 (4p).