13 June 2007

Summer stuff

A Little Ringed Plover Plover near Yakumo this afternoon. 2 adults with 2 youngsters in tow. It was rather warm today and the migration season has come to an end. Birding becomes fairly predictable from mid June in these parts. I did however discover adult Little Ringed Plovers can run faster than a car doing about 10 km/h.

We did a grand tour of Oshima today. First up was Asabu where there were lots of singing Oriental and Black Browed Reed Warbler, Chestnut Eared Bunting, Common and Oriental Cuckoos plus Siberian Stonechat. These birds are common pretty much everywhere across the region in summer. I got a Caspian Tern here last June but nothing quite so good today. An Oriental Honey Buzzard was the bird of the day en route to Yakumo. Yakumo had similar stuff to Asabu including several singing Grays Grasshopper Warbler and a few lingering winter ducks (including Scaup and Pochard). Ospreys were fishing in the river but too far away for a pic. Here's an Oriental Great Reed Warbler instead.

We finished at Onuma where the forest gets more amazonian every passing day. Several biders were waiting for the Ruddy Kingfishers to come back to their nesthole for the evening but there were too many bugs about for my taste. Dunno what this butterfly is (Swallowtail?) but it is something to photograph when there are no birds about.

Or I could try reptilia.

Lots of dead snakes on the mountain roads in summer.

I got a new bird last week. Little Cuckoo. I'd familiarised myself with their call and one was calling in the trees outside a friend's place where we were having a barbecue. It eventually flew off and allowed a brief view after my seventh beer. Oriental and Common Cuckoo were also singing. The next day at Menagawa there were TWO Little Cuckoos. A Hawfinch at my friend's feeder would have made a great pic if it hadn't been so late (ie it was getting dark and I'd already gotten drunk).

Some common roadside birds.A Chestnut Eared Bunting and some Stonechats.

So the footy season is over. Wonder if England will make it to Euro 2008? They'll have to win their 3 home games before they head to Moscow...............

I've been catching up with some of the torrents I've downloaded this spring. Blakes 7/Shameless/Dead Man's Shoes and Hot Fuzz have been the entertainment chez nous this week. I'd forgotten what a sarcastic bastard Avon was. And Hot Fuzz and Dead Man's Shoes offer somewhat differing vies of smalltown England.I missed Shameless (well I do live in Japan) the first time round.

Around June 13th down the years:

1987 (June 17th). Just after my A levels. Oh life was so easy then. St Bees Head and Leighton Moss. Shag, Fullmar, Gannet, Rock Pipit, Guilemot, Razorbill, Black Guilemot, Marsh Harrier and Reed Warbler.

1992 (June 16th). A 'big day' in Norfolk. Not very well planned and we failed to get 100 but still managed 3 lifers at the time. Barn Owl, Stone Curlew and Avocet. Also around were Bittern, Bearded Tit, Garganey, Little and Sandwich Tern, Egyptian Goose and Turtle Dove. One of only 2 visits to East Anglia in my life and my only visits to Cley and Titchwell.

1997 (June ?). A massive 5 day drinking binge in Prague. I was living in Munich at the time. Prague seemed a bit rundown after Bavaria or maybe I was just hungover the whole time. I lost the photos of this trip when I left Germany. Birds? On the bus back to Germany I saw a pair of White Storks atop a church in a quaint village somewhere in the Czech Republic.

2003 (June 15). Hakodate. An Intermediate Egret on the river near my flat.

2006 (June 18). Asabu. A Caspian Tern. Apparently a first for Hokkaido but I have no photo as proof. But it was. Oh yes.

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