29 September 2014

On this day (September 29th)...........................

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September 29th 2011

A Mongolian Plover in Hakodate 3 years ago. Most of my local wader shots are in Kamiiso and this was a surprise find on a beach where I'd never seen any waders before................plus it was quite late for this species in Hokkaido.

2010 and 2011 were both very good years for waders around Hakodate. 2012 and 2013 were nothing special and 2014 has been dreadful...............

25 September 2014

On this day (September 25th).............................

Pacific Golden Plover

September 25th 2011

A flock of Pacific Golden Plover in the ricefields just outside Hakodate 3 years ago today. I was actually looking for Sharp Tailed Sandpiper in the same area, but I couldn't find any (and I've yet to find any anywhere).

Not a great photo by any means but it did earn me $75 as it was used in an American birding magazine...............

8 September 2014

A lot of beaches but not a lot of birds

Over the last couple of days I spent a lot of time walking up and down beaches all over SW Hokkaido.......................

1 September 2014


One of many Red Necked Stints on the beach at Oshamanbe today. An immature I think. This is the 'default' common small wader in autumn. There were several loose skittish flocks strung out along the long beach. I had to use the 1.4 teleconverter and still needed to crop a bit. Other wader species mixed in among the stints included Terek Sandpiper, Mongolian Plover, Grey Tailed Tattler and Sanderling.

Not much else around. The first Glaucous Winged Gull of the 'winter' at Yakumo, a Peregrine carrying prey near our apartment..............

Summer seems to be coming to an end and it was the mildest (or coolest) I have experienced in Japan since I came here in 1999. Apart from one very hot week at the end of July/start of August the temperature has rarely climbed above 25 and we have hardly used our air conditioner at all (in summer we have one attached to the window in my working room). I'm not complaining by the way, I much prefer coolish summers to the usual hot humid ones we usually have to endure in Japan.

So war in Ukraine, religious terror in Iraq/Syria, ebola on the rampage in Africa, horrible sex abuse scandals in Yorkshire, fatal landslides in Japan....................but hey everyone lets cheer up: Man Utd are still as comically bad as last season and we should enjoy it as much as possible.

31 August 2014

Waderless weekend

Well I have 4 days off and the first 3 didn't produce much. I always take a few days off at this time as it is usually the wader peak but the only waders I saw were a few Common Sandpiper at Kamiiso. At Yakumo yesterday there were 3 species of egret including the above Great Egret but no waders anywhere. Black Headed Gulls have returned to Kamiiso and I also saw a Peregrine, Mandarin were at Yakumo and Osprey and  Kingfisher were at both.

Today I spent lazing about, hopefully September 1st will produce a few waders.

29 August 2014

On this day (August 29).............

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Long Toed Stint, August 29th 2011.

An immature Long Toed Stint at Kamiiso 3 years ago today. Normally this species seems to be extremely shy but not this individual. This pic was only at 300mm and is uncropped too.........

It had appeared the day before and was still around the day after too, 3 days hanging around in a rather dirty little stream flowing into the beach at Kamiiso.

28 August 2014

Terek Sandpiper

 A Terek Sandpiper at Kamiiso yesterday. There was also a small flock of Red Necked Stint, several Common Sandpiper, a lone Greenshank and an Osprey.

This species is very wary and flies off as soon as you approach (in stark contrast the the recent Great Knots)...........I managed to sneak up on this one but it's still cropped by about 50%.
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