9 May 2007
Squirrels and other stuff
A Red Squirrel (?) at Onuma this morning. It sort of looks the same as the ones in the UK except not as red (the ones I saw in Bavaria were black). Lots of birds singing in the forest around the lake. Summer migrants included Brown and Japanese Thrush, Eastern Crowned and Sakhalin Leaf Warbler plus Blue & White and Narcissus Flycatchers. Russet Sparrow was abundant, there were 5 species of Tit, 4 species of Woodpecker including a female Black and several Grey Headed, Nuthatch, Treecreeper as well as several displaying male Mandarin Ducks on the lake.
The above Marsh and Varied Tits were easy to photograph but other birds weren't as confiding.
The male Narcissus Flycatcher is one of the most beautiful birds in Japan but all the ones I saw today weren't striking many photogenic poses. And why is a bird as colourful as a male Mandarin Duck so difficult to approach?
After Onuma we went to the western side of the peninsula to Asabu. Not too much here. A couple of Great White Egret, some Chestnut Eared Bunting and several Stonechat. We then headed south to Kikonai. There was another Egret here as well as a lone Whooper Swan and a hunting Osprey. 4 species of wader included Grey Tailed Tattler, Little Ringed Plover, Ruddy Turnstone and Common Sandpiper. My wife took the best Tattler picture and I'm too proud to use it so here's my best effort plus a losusy pic of the Osprey carrying a fish through downtown Kikonai.
Not fast enough for the Osprey. I tried digiscoping the Egret but it was just too dark for a decent pic. We headed back to Hakodate and got Brent Goose, Harlequin Duck, Red Breasted Merganser and Glaucous Gull on the coast. Back at Kamiso there was a female Smew, some more Tattlers and rafts of Scaup offshore.
I've been downloading lots of TV shows/movies again recently. Season 6 of The Shield is awesome and I just finished the first 2 seasons of Deadwood, Saxondale and season 2 of Life on Mars. On my computer I have This is England/Shameless seasons 1-3/Dead Man's Shoes/Dog Soldiers all to watch once the footy season is over.
Yes I do have a life as well.