A month ago I spent a weekend up in the Yanbaru forests to write an article for the Visit Okinawa website. Okinawan photographer Nirai was there to take the photos and video of my adventures for the website, so it was a really interesting to be on the other side of the lens. I was also able to get a few snaps over the weekend, when I wasn’t mugging for his camera. I interviewed Kikuta-san many years ago for Okinawa Living magazine, you can read the article here. You can find out more about his birdwatching tours and his artwork here. I didn’t mention it in the article, but we came across this dead Japanese bush warbler, that looked to have been just hit by a vehicle. The beautiful winding roads of northern Okinawa may seem like the perfect place to stretch the legs of your car or motorbike, but the local people and wildlife would prefer it if you slow down and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.
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.