Shimabara Peninsula Coast & Karako Lotus Ponds

This afternoon I went on a bit of a tour around the Shimabara Peninsula and then to the Karako Lotus Ponds. Basically this was just a scouting trip to see what stage the autumn migration was at with respect to shorebirds, ducks, etc. I ended up finding quite a good spot to watch for seabirds in the Ariake Sea – the lighthouse at Futsu Port.  Here I watched Streaked Shearwater and also spotted a 4W Mongolian Gull among a flock of Black-tailed Gull – a nice treat! Going around the peninsula there were plenty of gulls but other than the Streaked Shearwater and a few Brown Booby there was nothing much happening. I did observe some smaller, darker birds skimming the sea surface and thought they might be a storm petrel of some sort (probably Swinhoe’s given the location and time of year), but they were too far out to positively identify.