Cycling to Shinobazu Pond in Ueno for Bird Photography

December 1, 2008 · Print This Article


  • Distance: 12.38 miles
  • Time in Motion: 56 minutes 58 seconds
  • Average speed:  13.1 mph
  • Max Speed:  30.4 mph
This afternoon I rode my Trek 7.3 FX out to Ueno for the first time.  I met the Can out there to do some bird photography.  It was a brilliantly sunny fall afternoon in Tokyo, so the cycling was crisp but very pleasant.  I wore my winter Pearl Izum full-length cycling pants again and was only slightly warm on the ride out.  Even though I had never ridden to Ueno, I only made one slight wrong turn that was quickly remedied by backtracking.  It took only about 30 minutes to ride from Shinjuku to Ueno station.  There were plenty of ducks and seagulls in and around Shinobazu Pond, but few others of much excitement unfortunately.  

Still, it was at least good practice to try and get some bird shots, and even some practice getting bird-in-flight shots, the trickiest of all.  Other than the ducks and seagulls, we came across an egret and a few white wagtails trying to hide in a bush.

I guess I was expecting a whole range of exotic birds of some kind.  My imagination often doesn’t match reality concerning what kind of wildlife I might see in Tokyo or even the mountains of greater-Tokyo.  

The ride home, as always, was more irritating than the ride out as I always seem to encounter more fools on the road on the way home than the way out.  The fools weren’t that bad this time, still, I had to tell off a bus driver of all people for cutting me off on a left turn where I was clearly going strait and already ahead of the bus.

Nevertheless, it was a enjoyable day of shooting and cycling.

An egret starts to fly south for the winter Boom!  Caught a small fish. I felt really bad for this duck with the gimp left wheel.
Seagull soars over Shinobazu Pond This white wagtail looks a bit underfed Looks like this duck is swimming in pea soup
Egrets don't beg for food, they hunt for their own. This pigeon was stuffing its face in this bush. There are countless ducks standing and floating around Shinobazu Pond
A big white mallard tries to nap in the sun. Can it really be restful sleeping with one eye open? A white wagtail stuffs its face.
The water looks cleaner here than it does in reality. Sea gulls compete for perches This duck has a pretty badass stare.
The turtles to the right were a rare site today Is this duck sticking its tongue out at me?? Gulls really are classless birds.
I'm not even sure what this is, but it looks cool.    


3 Responses to “Cycling to Shinobazu Pond in Ueno for Bird Photography”

  1. on December 1st, 2008 8:50 PM

    Gulls are classless birds- you mean they have no class, or they have no peers? In that photo, they look pretty awesome.
    The staring duck got me good- if an Andy Warhol hitman were a duck- he’d be this duck.
    The tongue-out duck- is he also spitting a jet of water out of his mouth? Mad skills to do that without lips.
    Escaping egret- ftw.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    I mean that gulls have no class. I observed how they acted at the pond, and compared to the other birds they seemed to be utterly lacking class. Then I recalled something from my memory banks that confirmed their lack of class status. Then again, I saw some ducks acting pretty low-class as well.

    I wish I had gotten a better shot of the multi-talented spitting/tongue sticking out duck so we could more clearly see the true nature of its talents.

    Thanks about the egret escaping, maybe it will make Photo of the Week in Metropolis!


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