I bought my DSLR last Monday. A Canon EOS 400D to give it its' European name (it's called the "EOS Kiss Digital X" in Japan). I got the standard 18-55mm Kit lens and ordered a cheap and cheerful 70-300mm Sigma telephoto lens to start taking bird pics. Annoyingly the big lens hasn't arrived yet so I haven't been able to take any decent bird pics yet. I've been chomping at the bit. The Night Heron stayed until Monday and this pic (with the standard lens) popped the camera's cherry. If you look very closely you can just about make out the Night Heron.
And heavily cropped on my PC here's the same pic. Definitely a Night Heron.
And extremely heavily cropped.
Of course the pics of the same bird with the cheap compact and tiny Scope from last week were much better. But that's not the point. Anyway the bast#*ds had better deliver my big lens before I start my 5 day break on Wednesday.
Birds this week in Hakodate included the first returning birds from southern Japan this spring. Grey Wagtail on the river near my house. Also 3 Night Herons flying over my flat. The Red Necked Grebe passage is in full swing offshore. A flock of 12 Japanese Waxwing were pressent today (and close enough to have managed a nice pic with my undelivered lens). Here's a couple of crappy pics from the week (handheld compact against tiny scope). Dusky Thrush and Blue Rock Thrush.
I stayed up until 5.30am (!) watching England's turgid display in Israel. It wasn't on live in Japan so I watched it via an internet feed from China (with Chinese commentary and a tiny picture). At least Kenya didn't knock us out of the cricket.
Here's a pic of me looking pensive at karaoke. I hate karaoke. I only went because it was my wife's birthday. She refuses to let me post pics of her online so you can't see her with mic in hand belting out classic J-pop anthems.
Around March 25th down the years:
1983 (March 25th). Hodder Valley. Goosander, Grey Wagtail, Willow Tit, Kingfisher and Dipper. Very similar (almost identical in fact) birds to what I've seen here in Japan this week.
1999 (March 27th). The grand total of 31 Oystercatcher in Penwortham.
2004 (March 24th) Hakodate. Whooper Swans flying north over town. Grey Headed Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Siskin and Brambling.
2005 (March 27th). Glaucous and Glaucous Winged Gulls on the river near my flat. Also Red Throated Diver offshore and Common Guilemot at the local cape.