Trip of a LIFETIME!

If you are up for a unique adventure, join OM Director Walter Sturgeon, a crane expert in his own right, and zoologist Dave Davenport, President of EcoQuest Travel, as they lead an exciting 15 day birdwatching trip to Japan in December. This exciting trip includes stops in Hokkaido – known for its wilderness areas and famous for its population of red-crowned cranes. The red-crowned (also known as Japanese crane) is the largest of the crane species found in Japan and one of the rarest on earth.

Travelers will have the opportunity to view a diversity of cranes, waterfowl and even Snow monkeys!. Click to view trip details and a description of the itinerary. The group size for this exclusive tour will consist of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14 and currently 9 people have registered for this incredible trip.

EcoQuest Travel is proud to offer an incredible bird watching journey to the extraordinary country of Japan. From the crowded bustle of Tokyo and the glitter of skyscrapers to the still forests of Hokkaido and the quiet reverence of ancient temples, Japan is a land of contrasts. The Land of the Rising Sun is known more for its cultural riches, but the birdlife of Japan is rich and varied. We have chosen to travel in December to take advantage of the abundance and diversity of cranes and waterfowl in particular.

Our visit will include three of Japan’s main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido and Kyushu. We begin in the far north in a land blanketed by snow and chilled by Siberian winds. Hokkaido is a breathtakingly beautiful place and this is punctuated all the more by the sight of red-crowned cranes dancing against a backdrop of snow and green conifers.

Photograph © Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

Photograph © Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

No less spectacular is the huge gatherings of Steller’s sea-eagles; large rafts of harlequin ducks, scoters and alcids; and a chance to observe the rarely seen Blakiston’s fish-owl hunting.

From the cold expanses of Hokkaido we journey far to the south to the rice paddies and wetlands of Kyushu. The marshes of Arasaki are famous for their flocks of wintering cranes. Thousands of hooded and white-naped cranes are often joined by Eurasian, sandhill and sometimes even demoiselle and Siberian cranes. Ducks, cormorants, gulls and other water birds are also abundant, and along with the bugling cranes, add to the cacophony. From the south we will return to Honshu and travel up into the Japanese Alps to witness snow monkeys soaking winter’s chill away in the hot springs. The opportunity for dramatic photographs of the monkeys with snow and ice upon their fur is not to be missed.

We invite you to join us as we explore the fantastic birdlife, natural wonders, cultural sites and magic that is Japan.

Please contact Walter Sturgeon: sturgeon2@embarqmail.com or Dave Davenport: ddavenport@earthlink.net

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