18 April 2007

Uncooperative Woodpeckers

One of several Black Woodpeckers we saw (or heard) today at Onuma. This appeared to be checking out a nesthole (Great Tits and Nuthtaches were investigating the same hole too). A female. Too many branches and too far off for a good shot really. By the time I got the Scope set up for a long range shot it had left. The smudge on its wings is a twig in the foreground. I don't photoshop well enough to remove it.

LOTS of Woodpeckers around today. Great Spotted were the commonest floowed by Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker.

1 Grey Headed Woodpecker didn't stick around long enough for a pic.

If Nuthatches ever got romantic it would probably look something like this.

I haven't got tired of posting Nuthatch pics yet. Here's a slightly experimental one.

The Marsh and Varied Tits were as commmon and tame as ever.

Lots of Mandarin Ducks at Onuma this afternoon (they look pretty odd perched 30 feet up in a tree) as well as Wigeon, Pintail, Coot, Goosander, Teal, Russet Sparrow, Stonechat, Long Tailed Tit, Kingfisher, Oriental Turtle Dove, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Stonechat and Treecreeper. Here's a view of Onuma at the end of the day.

Very predictable my posts these days. The same species finished up with a pic of Onuma.

Hakodate? Not much. I had a nasty cold and didn't go out on Monday/Tuesday. This morning Dusky Thrush, Stonechat and Bullheaded Shrike were near my apartment and the usual common Ducks/Gulls were at Kamiso.

There's another election going on right now. The last election was for all Hokkaido and this one is just Hakodate. It's even more annoying and noisy. They were electioneering in the Onuma area in their absurd little election cars with 4 morons hanging out of the windows waving in their bright yellow tops and white gloved hands and another even bigger moron bellowing inanities over and over again through a megaphone. Who did they think was going to vote for them? The Woodpeckers?

Memo to whichever corrupt middle aged man wins aforementioned election:

Please employ someone to pick up the litter that spoils Onuma. Go on. It's a national park after all. Not a dumping ground for hundreds of fridges/TVs and thousands of platic bottles.

In winter the garbage is hidden by the snow. In summer it's hidden by the greenery. In spring it's there for all to see.

Around April 18th down the years:

1985 (April 18) Penwortham. Singing Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap in the small woods near my parents. The woods are much smaller now due to a new housing estate (I shouldn't complain too hard as it's where my brother and old birding pal both live with their families now). I wonder if the birds are still there?

1987 (April 17) the Ribble at Penwortham. 3 Black Tern flying upstream on a beautiful spring day. I saw a colony of these birds at Stafflelsee in the Bavarian Alps sometime in the spring of 1998 during an idyllic rowing trip out to a small island in the centre of the lake. The terns were flying around our boat. Not too idyllic in the end though as a tick from the island later migrated to my groin area.

1989 (April 18) North Lancs/Lakes. An epic day's birding that saw me and the friend mentioned above miss out on Richard's Pipit (Inskip), American Wigeon (Duddon estuary) and Ringed Necked Duck (Coniston). We did however get the Ferruginous Duck (Brotherswater) and (for the first of only 2 times) the Golden Eagles at Haweswater. Also Long Tailed Duck and Sandwich Tern at Walney.

2002 (April 13th-I forgot the last time I did this) Tokyo Oi Yachi Koen. Azure Winged Magpie, Black Winged Stilt and lots of other Ducks/waders.

2004 (April 18th) Hakodate. Pale Thrush, Osprey, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Glaucous and Glaucous Winged Gull, Red Necked Grebe and Siskin.

2005 (April 20th) Hakodate. Whites Thrush, Rustic Bunting, Yellow Throated Bunting, Common Guilemot, Red Flanked Bluetail and Rhinoceros Auklet.

2006 (April 18th). Hakodate. 2 Black Winged Stilt at Kamiso.


  1. outstanding photos SCE. BW is a lifer for me. i may have to pay you a visit and put it on the list!!! The new camera is suiting very well. Amazing photos of Onuma...simply beautiful. Went birding today but nothing spectacular. JP Thrush, Narcissus and Brown Flycatchers, and Arctic Warblers were birds of the day. I did see JP Robin on my lunch break on Friday in Osaka-jo which was a lifer for me...nice. Hopefully get a shot tomorrow if it isn't raining

  2. Yes the birds are still there, we have goldfinches and chaffinches nesting in the copse over the road, 2 thrushes nesting in the garden and woodpeckers/owls visit quite often..


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