1 April 2007
Spring in northern Japan
2 pics of 2 of the commonest residents in Hakodate. Slaty Backed Gull and Large billed Crow. Very easy to photograph and good practice for my new camera.
So spring is here. It's been raining on and off the last 3 days so I haven't done much birding. Next week is election time. Electioneering here consists of the candidates driving around in little convoys with a speaker attached to the roof. They are very very loud. "Vote for me! My name is Sato! Thank you! Good morning! Thank you! Vote for me!" etc etc. They do this all day. Another 7 days of this. I can't even vote (I'm a nasty suspicious foreigner you see) and even if I could I couldn't bring myself to vote for any of these bland grey-suited corrupt lackeys to the construction industry middle aged nobodies.
I found a feeding station in the forest at the botton of Hakodateyama. Lots of Tits (4 species), Nuthtaches, Woodpeckers (2 kinds) and also some Brambling. There's even a hide. Here's a pic of a Great and Coal Tit pecking at I don't know what.
And a perky but scruffy Coal Tit.
If you click on the above 2 you'll see I'm having a few resizing issues.
Annoyingly my brand new camera's memory card started playing up just as I was snapping away at a Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker. This is the second time it has happened and will result in a polite but firm and assertive trip to the electronics shop next week. I switched to my baby Scope and compact digicam and got these pics of a male Brambling and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Not too much around town this last few days. A female Red Flanked Bluetail and a handful of Japanese Waxwing didn't hang around in shot long enough for a photo. Glaucous Winged Gull are still about and there was this odd Gull on the beach. Probably just a Herring (Vega) Gull but it was much smaller than the other Herring and Slaty Backeds abd had yellow legs. Apparently some of them do.
Here's a Dusky Thrush near my flat today. It was tiny in the original but with heavy cropping and a little editing in my ancient copy of photoshop it's almost ok.
The fast shutter speeds on my new camera offer some intriguing possibilities with action shots. Here are a couple of experimental shots from today. A Teal taking off with a splash and 2 very distant Carrion Crows mugging a Black Kite.
A classic Crouch hat-trick against a team with major international defenders last night. Never thought I'd ever type that. If he can do it against Estonians that'd be nice too. Although it'd mean McClown keeping his job. Of course if there's an all out nuclear war with Iran all this will be irrelevant.