When visiting the Kushiro Wetlands for your Hokkaido Winter Birding Photography Workshop, the all star of your visit will be the Red-crowned cranes that frequent the area. Situated south-east on Hokkaido, the wetlands and the Setsuri-gawa River are where the Red-crowned Cranes roost during the winter. The riverside also provides amazing photo ops for natural landscapes with the densely-wooded oak forests that hem in the area, almost providing a natural pen for the Red-crowned Cranes to settle in refresh after a long day of foraging.
This area has approximately 300 birds to photograph during the peak of the winter season. Your Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) Photography Workshop Leader has been visiting areas just like this one for over 20 years, so he will know where to take you capture that one quintessential image that you will want to keep and treasure. If you would like to know more about the cranes beyond their overflowing beauty, your JDS Photo Tour Guide will use his years of experience to give you whatever information you need. There are also resident rangers who can answer specific questions about the cranes native to the nature preserve in the wetlands.
The Kushiro Wetlands are especially significant to birding in Japan because it is the location where the Red-crowned Crane was brought back from near extinction. Due to overhunting and man-made changes to their habitat, the cranes were thought to be a casualty of man’s encroachment on nature, but in 1926, a small flock was discovered, and their preservation began. Now, their beautiful dances can be seen best during the winter season.