30 July 2007
Hirundines and Chats
We went back to the road station at Kuramatsunai to take pictures of the (Barn) Swallows on their nests but instead got some Asian House Martin chicks only a few feet away from their hirundine cousins. At least 4 in the tiny nest and they appeared almost full-grown. The parents wouldn't feed them if I stood near the nest so I fired off a few shots and let them be.
They seem to breed earlier than the Swallows who didn't appear to be feeding any young yet.
It was a bit chilly down at Yakumo. Not much around here. A female Eastern Marsh Harrier seen from the car window was the bird of the day and there were the inevitable Ospreys fishing on the river and the Heronry was as busy as ever (no decent place to take photos though). These Stonechats posed fairly nicely for the camera.
We finished the day at Onuma. The Ruddy Kingfishers appear to have moved away from the nest (less photographers around and those that remained were a few hundred yards down the road). I could hear an unfamiliar bird song in the forest. A repeated two phrase song. I checked it when I got back and I think it may have been a Siberian Thrush. I've never seen one before (and the forest is so overgrown I don't think I could have located it even if I'd tried). Actually it's the only relatively 'common' passerine likely to occur in south Hokkaido I've yet to see.
After my problems the other day I ordered a new compact digicam. The Fuji Finepix F31fd. It seems to be rated very highly both as a point and shoot and also for digiscoping. Only 100 quid for camera/spare battery/1GB memory card.
Only 2 weeks until the footie season starts. Skyperfect TV (the satellite station here) haven't confirmed they're showing the Premier League yet! Of course all Celtic games are on (they have a Japanese player)............imagine if they have Scottish football but nothing from England. My god.