Location: Niles Discovery Church 36600 Niles Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536
(corner of Nursery Ave. and Niles Blvd.)
Presenter: Alvaro Jaramillo
Come to experience some of what you could see in the Land of the Rising Sun--Japan, its culture, people and birding spectacles! Japan is a large mountainous archipelago offshore from China, the Koreas and Russia. It is a unique country not only for its gorgeous scenery but also its distinctive food and culture. Winter, although snowy and sometimes cold, is a fantastic time to visit to contemplate Japan’s natural beauty; especially for birders. Picture thousands upon thousands of Hooded and White-naped Cranes, rivaling the cranes migrations in Bosque del Apache or the Platte River in the United States. Moreover, the rare and beautiful Red-crowned Cranes, often dancing in the mist coming off the ice, can be seen farther north in Japan! The Steller’s Sea Eagle, the largest fish eagle in the world, comes to the northern island of Hokkaido in numbers in winter! With its huge beak, striking coloration, and that odd diamond shaped tail, it is without a doubt one of the top five raptors on earth. Other spectacles are the wintering flocks of waterfowl, with densities of Whooper Swan in Hokkaido, and Bewick’s Swans in the south. Some rarities in North America are common here, such as Pochard, Tufted Duck, and Eurasian Wigeon. Three of the most striking ducks anywhere are present in Japan, the Falcated Duck, named for its Scythe shaped (“falcum”) tertials, is a fantastic looking duck, perhaps outdone by the Baikal Teal, and then there is the rare and almost impossible Mandarin Duck – any one of these three is a stunner. And let’s not forget the Smew! There is so much to see for birders in Japan, from scenery to a rare flock of Japanese Waxwings, to the most impressive of owls – Blakiston’s Fish Owl.
Alvaro Jaramillo is a biologist, author, and a birding guide. Alvaro was born in Chile but began birding in Toronto, Canada, where he lived as a youth. He was trained in ecology and evolution with a particular interest in bird behavior. An expert on the birds of California and North America, he is the author of two books: The Birds of Chile and the ABA Field Guides to the Birds of California. A contributor to numerous field guides and popular publications, including the "Identify Yourself" column in Bird Watcher's Digest. Recently, he received the Eisenmann Medal of the Linnean Society of New York, established to honor those who excel in ornithology and encourage the amateur. Alvaro runs a birding and nature tour company, Alvaro’s Adventures, where the focus is to have fun, learn a thing or two and just enjoy birds and nature. Alvaro lives with his family in Half Moon Bay, California.
From the South or West via 880
Take Mowry Avenue exit. Follow Mowry across Fremont (toward the hills) to Mission Boulevard, turn left. You will pass Niles Blvd and the Sullivan Underpass. Turn left at Nursery Ave. Turn left on Niles Blvd. You will see the church just on the left after the turn.
From the North via 880
Take Alvarado Niles Boulevard (east): From the freeway exit, turn left to go over the overpass, then in approximately four miles (through Union City and into the Fremont city limits), you will see the church on your left (just after Nursery Ave.).
From Pleasanton or Livermore, or other points to the east of the hills
you can take 680 to the first Mission Boulevard exit, and turn right onto Mission. Stay on Mission until you get to Nursery Avenue, and turn left. Turn left on Niles Blvd. You will see the church just on the left after the turn.
From the North via Mission Boulevard
Turn right on Nursery, and left on Niles Boulevard. You will see the church just on the left after the turn.