22 July 2007

Mothra outside my front door

A very tame Swallow sat atop a drinks vending machine last week. They were nesting in a service station type area about 2 hours north of Hakodate. A couple of great photo opps of Swallows atop nests were wasted as I messed around trying to get decent settings in macro mode.

Another poor attempt at macro photography was this thing.

Dunno what kind of Moth this is but it's been sitting motionless on the walkway in front of my apartment door for the last 24 hours. If I had a decent macro lens and could be bothered setting up the tripod I could have taken a much better picture. But it's only a moth.

Big ba*#ard though.

It was warm and humid today after 2 weeks of grotty weather . Not much bird activity recently. The Shrike families have fledged. The Oriental Great Reed Warblers have stopped singing. We drove to Niseko last week and this was (until today) the only blue sky I'd seen in ages.

Not much of interest at Onuma last week except mosquitoes. And more lotus.

I watched Japan beat Australia in the Asia Cup last night. Eerily reminiscent of England. Out on penalties in the QFs. I also started and finished the new Harry Potter book. Not that I normally read kiddies books of course. It's my wife's anyway. Last week I had a few days off but had a cold plus the weather was lousy so I caught up with some downloaded stuff on my hard drive. League of Gentlemen seasons 2 and 3.

Around July 22 down the years:

1984 (July 21/25) Penwortham. Corn Bunting, Bullfinch, Spotted Flycatcher were among the (then) common stuff around. 1984! Liverpool League and European Champions. England losing 5-0 to the Windies. A lifetime ago.

1987 (July 25) Seaforth. 8 Gull species including my first ever Med and also Little Gull and Kittiwake. Plus Curlew Sandpiper, Black Tailed Godwit and Ruff.

2001 (July 19-) Rishiri Island in north Hokkaido. We climbed the big mountain on the island (it was brutal). Japanese Accentor and Black Woodpecker were the highlights. Lots of strange stuff singing in the forests near our campsite that I now know to be Siberian Blue and/or Japanese Robin. From the ferry there were Short Tailed Shearwater, Fulmar, Rhinoceros Auklet and lots of Red Necked Pharalope.

2002 (July 26) Leighton Moss. First visit to this well known Lancashire spot for many many years. LOADS more birds than I remember. We only went to that small hide near the saltmarsh and there were 10 Avocet as well as Dunlin and Black Tailed Godwit. I can remember going to that hide in my youger days and there being literally nothing to see. A quick look at the huge Gull colony on Walney later on freaked my wife out.

2006 (July 26) Yakumo. Early wader passage included Red Necked stint, Dunlin, Greenshank and Eastern Curlew. Also around were Osprey, a few summering Scaup, White Throated Needletail and the usual summer passerines

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