I have had a thankful opportunity of paying a visit to Moscow and stayed there between May 29-June, 1972, also to Khabarovsk between June 14-16 of same year. The purpose of my visits to U. S. S. R., was to try my efforts for restoring an amiable friendship between the ornithologists of Soviet Union and Japan, which has long been interrupted in the past and to promote the interexchange of scientific knowledge and research works for the conservation of wildlife, also to push forward the closer cooperation between the bird experts of our two nations. It is my delightful privilege to say that I was able to fulfil all those long cherished desire in full every way, through the warm courtesies of many respectful persons I met at Moscow and Khabarovsk, all of whom cordially greeted me. Especially, I wish to acknowledge special obligation to Mr. L. K. Shaposhnikov, Dr. Y. V. Sapetin, and Dr. A. A. Kistchinski of the Central Laboratory on Conservation of Nature in the Ministry of Agriculture; Dr. Margarita Ivanova Levedeva, Director of the Bird Banding Centre in the Academy of Sience of U. S. S. R. My deep thanks are due also to Dr. Nazarenko, Dr. Firsova, Dr. Litvinenko, Dr. Shibaev and Dr. Shapilo, who has shown me a great kindness during my stay with them. Further, I would like to express my appreciation for the thougtfulness of the Institute of Zoology of Leningrad and the Library of Academy of Science of U. S. S. R., who was so kind as to sending us quite a few valuable literatures, as they promised me while I was in the Soviet Union as to exchange books and documental records each other. Also, the books and scientific papers we received from the U. S. S. R. authorities recently were very informative and up-to-date, most of the descriptions in which plainly explained about the things happened after 1969. All of them would unquestionably contribute a great deal on the studies of ornithology and for the movement of bird preservation in Japan in future. I certainly feel very grateful to all of them.
This is the 8th annual report of monthly census in the Imperial Palace from April 1972 to March 1973. The same route of 4.1km was censused from about 9.40-11.30a.m. as in the previous years. The results are tabulated in the same order of species only to add at the end additional species for the year. Tallies were made in two tables, one for wooded area with small ponds, the other with big moats used as duck resort in winter and heron colony in summer. The monthly species records in total area ranged 14-26 (Av. 20.1) and the number of individuals 185-697 (Av. 404.4). Two species Phylloscopus borealis (passage migrant) and Regulus regulus (rare winter visitor to this low plain) were added to the list, making a total of 52 species for 1972 and 85 species so far recorded. As in the previous year the avifauna of the Palace area was stable, although incidental larger flocks of Sturnus cineraceus, Corvus corone and Egretta garzetta were recorded than in 1971. Some observational reconds of the Great tit, Green Pheasant, fruits of trees eaten by birds, dead birds found, etc. were given in respective tables.
A big bamboo bush surrounding the duck-netting pond at Koshigaya, Saitama Pref., situated at southern central part of Kanto Plain, is used as winter roost by 30, 000-50, 000 Sturnus cineraceus (with annual difference in 1960, 1967, 1968). Its winter status has already been reported (Misc. Rep. Yam. Inst. No. 18, 1962), and here, the monthly fluctuation of the roosting flock in 1967-68 is described. Flocks returning to the roost were counted at a fixed observation point before the roost and were tallied later by 10 minutes intervals, and by directions. 1. The size of roosting flock fluctuated as follows: Oct. 16, 1967: 14, 840 birds, Nov. 23: 19, 510 birds, Dec. 13: 22, 553 birds, Jan. 10, 1968: 29, 398 birds (Feb. 2, 1960: 49, 700 birds), Feb. 14: 24, 150 birds, Mar. 3: 17, 016 birds, Mar. 17: 6, 995 birds, Apr. 6: 850 birds, May 6: 172 birds, June 5: 30 birds, July 10: 1, 183 birds, gathered, but not roosted, and flew to NE (to the summer roost at Omatsu), Aug. 5: Some 140 birds and other overflying flocks flew to NE., Oct. 21: In this year still only 500 birds roosted in this month (owing perhaps to new house construction before the roost), Nov. 11: 41, 959 birds roosted, but 2, 260 birds flew to NE (to summer roost), and other 2, 070 birds to another direction (to NW). The roost in this direction was not confirmed, but this may be a small subsidiary roost used when the main roost became too crowded. 2. Thus, the Koshigaya roost was confirmed to be a winter roost and summer roosts were found, as the result of roosting flight observations at various places of feeding area. 3. There were two summer roost sites, the one at Hirakata village 5km northward and the other at Omatsu 4km northeast. 4. The Hirakata roost consisted of three different bamboo bushes surrounded by trees or small cryptomeria wood (here some Little egrets and Night herons roosted). However, the bamboos were dying (it was dying over extensive area in Kanto plain in this year) and flocks that gathered were observed to move to Omatsu roost, 3km apart, but about 2, 500 birds remained to roost. 5. The Omatsu roost was a big one, formed in the bamboo bush of a temple where about 20, 000 birds gathered from all directions, including Koshigaya area. Thus, Koshigaya roost had in summer no more value than a mere feeding site or a gathering point on the roosting flyway to Omatsu. 6. The populational roost change by summer and winter may depend principally on the change of status of the feeding areas. The Koshigaya area is extensive rice fields which serve as the best winter feeding ground but after the rice has grown in early summer, the area no more fits as feeding ground and although some vegetable fields are mixed, they are dry. In the nerthern area, the vegetable fields are prevailing and are cultivated in well watered conditions. More over, villages are scattered with well wooded surroundings where much tree fruits are available as summer food. Thus, the population moves to this area and censequently the roost is sought in that area. It may seem that the roost has its significance only when the surroundings are fit for feeding grounds. 7. All the roosts were so situated as one side facing to a river with not easily accessible edge of the roost.