4 February 2007

Woodpecker, Waxwings and Harlequins.

Yet another Eagle pic from the other day. This was actually taken with my second camera-the Nikon Coolpix P4. It's not so good for digiscoping to be honest and I've gone back to my old Coolpix 4200 (which has half the megapixels, a much smaller LCD display yet is a better camera). Anyway the odd shot from the P4 is ok and at 8mp at least the pics can stand a bit of cropping.

Here are some pics from a very wintry Onuma this afternoon. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tit and Nuthatch.

This is a pic of the frozen lake.

Normal winter weather finally hit today. Nothing terribly interesting about this afternoon. The usual woodland species and raptors and nothing much on the coast either. The 3 White Fronted Geese were still at Kamiso. Last week in Hakodate I managed to snap this shot of 2 Japanese Waxwings near my flat. Only a handheld shot (no scope of course) and heavily zoomed/cropped but here you are.

The yellow markings and red tail spot are diagnostic (Bohemian Waxwing lack the yellow on the breast and have yellow spots on the tail and different wing markings). The one on the left appears to be an immature. These were the only Waxwing around last week and most of them appear to have upped and left town. They were in a tiny park about 2 minutes walk from my flat. I've seen lots of good stuff in the park (which is hardly bigger than the average garden from upper middle class folks in the UK) and last week there was Varied Tit, Daurian Redstart, Coal Tit, Dusky Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher (on the adjacent river). Some winters there are also Crossbill and last winter I got Whites Thrush there too.

The fishing harbour near Mt Hakodate is often worth checking out and last Thursday I had a quick look. Black Necked and Red Necked Grebes, Red Breasted Merganser, Brent Goose, Glaucous Winged Gull, Pelagic Cormorant and Harlequin Duck were all present. The latter species seem almost impossible for me to photograph well. I don't know why but my camera seems to hate them. These 2 were the best of a bad bunch.

I just downloaded lots of Aphex Twin stuff. About 5% is fantastic, 15% so-so and 80% unlistenable. Current faves on my ipod include "California Bound" by Frank Black and "Smile" by the Beta Band. My fave Aphex Twin track appears to go by the name "4".

Bad result for Liverpool last night. Quite funny to see Lehman's histrionics in the Arsenal game though.

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