May 2018


Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.

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Birdwatching in Tokyo!

Aaron is an exchange student. One day Aaron spots Shuhei, his homestay host father, working on something on his PC in the living room.

Shuhei-san, what are you doing?
Aaron
Hi, Aaron. I’m organizing all the photos of birds I’ve taken on my travels. I don’t mean to brag, but they’re all great shots, aren’t they?
Shuhei
Shuhei-san, I didn’t know you were a birdwatcher. My Dad has the same hobby!
Aaron
No kidding! Well, that’s a coincidence! Now that you mention it, I’ve heard that birdwatching is a popular hobby in Taiwan. I’m glad to hear it!
Shuhei
My dad used to take me birdwatching all the time when I was little. But when I became a junior high school student, I got so busy with my friends, and I stopped going birdwatching altogether.
Aaron
Well, if it’s been so long, why don’t we go together? We don’t even have to go far. There are plenty of spots right here in Tokyo where we can observe birds in the wild.
Shuhei
Sounds great! Take me with you!
Aaron
All right. Let’s stay as close to home as possible this time. Let’s see, there’s Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park in Ota Ward, and there’s Kasairinkai Park in Edogawa Ward. We can also visit the Institute for Nature Study at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Minato Ward, Todoroki Valley Park in Setagaya Ward or Shakujii Park in Nerima Ward. Which one should we go to?
Shuhei
How about Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park?
Aaron
Great idea! Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park is one of the best birdwatching spots in Tokyo. They say that about 120 species of bird are spotted there every year.
Shuhei
That’s amazing! I can’t wait.
Aaron

On the weekend, Aaron and Shuhei made their way to Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park.

Look! The planes are flying overhead! We’re very close to Haneda Airport. Not only that, but there’s a big wholesale market next door, and large trucks travel back and forth on nearby highways.
Aaron
I’ll bet you never thought birds would gather in a place like this, did you?
Shuhei
No, I didn’t.
Aaron
At this spot, ponds and grasslands developed naturally on a landfill area of Tokyo Bay, and birds started gathering here, so it was turned into a park. One feature of the park is that it has both freshwater ponds, created by gathering rainwater, and a brackish pond, created by the mixture of seawater from Tokyo Bay and rainwater flowing in from the freshwater pond.
So you can observe the different types of birds that gather on the shores of each pond.
Shuhei
Which pond are we at now?
Aaron
This pond is a brackish pond. Look, here you can see a gray heron, and over there you can see great cormorants.
Shuhei
They’re all resting on top of stakes.
Aaron
We can see the tidal flats from that observation hut. Let’s go over there. In this season we should be able to see some relatives of the sandpiper and plover.
Shuhei
This is the observation hut? It’s nice! Not only do they lend out binoculars free of charge, but there are telescopes installed in the observation spots, too!
Aaron
We’re in luck! There’s a whimbrel and a gray-tailed tattler. I hope you won’t mind if I concentrate on my photography for a bit.
Shuhei
Not at all! I think I’ll take pictures with my smartphone and send them to my dad in Taiwan.
Aaron
Would you like to borrow my camera afterward? If you’re interested, I’ll teach you some of the finer points of photographing birds in the wild.
Shuhei
Do you mean it? Thanks, that would be great! My father will be amazed when he sees the great photos I’m going to take!
Aaron

Tokyo International Communication Committee

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