2 August 2007
Butterflies and Part 1 of a Summer Festival
They like their firework displays do the Japanese. Hakodate has several big ones a year and this week is the Minato Matsuri ('port festival'). I snapped these pics from my balcony (the firework display is about 2km away as the crow flies). This was an octopus. I missed the squid one (Hakodate is famous for squid). Still same difference. There's a big parade tomorrow which I'll go to. They do a squid 'dance'. Thousands of local people in formation prancing around like idiots. I'll be an observer only of course. No doubt I'll do a sarcastic post about it at the weekend.
Not much happening on the birding front so I took some more butterfly shots. My cheap DSLR lens has a handy macro feature (though it'd be good to own a real macro lens is far down the priority list of things I want to buy). Dunno which type this one is.
There'll be lots more bugs now the weather has started to warm up. Big fat badass spiders in a week or 2 and some more big moths perhaps.
The finale was pretty nice.
One huge firework display I can remember was Preston Guild in 1992. If you could ignore the cheesy Enyaesque music pumping out from the stage that is. I was pretty stoned I recall. In the pubs they had beer at 1972 prices and a late closing afterwards too. The next one is 2012.
Birds? Nowt. The Shrikes/Martins/Reed Warblers/Starlings are busy with family life. Flocks of Red Cheeked Starlings can be seen most in the evenings going to roost. Not as impressive as the huge Common Starling flocks I used to see at Preston Bus Station mind. Here's a small flock of mainly immature birds. They'll be off to the tropics in 6 or 7 weeks.
So I still don't know if the Premier League will be on TV in Japan this season. C'mon skyperfect. Sort yourselves out.
I watched '300' the other night. What absolute tosh. About the same level as 'Troy'. That guy who was Achilles' trusty sidekick in 'Troy' is the king of Sparta's trusty sidekick in '300'. It's the exact same actor. Lazy casting department.
Around August 2 down the years:
1982 (August ?). Somerset/Dorset. A family holiday down south. We visited Radipole where I got my first ever Kingfisher and Great Crested Grebe. At Poole I got my first ever Rock Pipit.
1983 (August 6-). North Yorkshire. Another family holiday. My first ever Green Woodpecker, Red Grouse and a few common seabirds around Whitby. Dunno why I've never been back to Whitby. Beautiful place.
1984 (August 2). Leighton Moss. This place seems to get pretty good birds these days but not back on this date in 1984. Winchat was the most interesting.
1986 (August 2). Mere Sands Wood. Little Ringed Plover, Cuckoo, Ruddy Duck......not much at Marshside either. Yellow Wagtail. A few days later (the 9th) I went on my first ever successful twitch. Spotted Sandpiper somewhere near Burnley.
1987 (August 2) Seaforth/Frodsham. Lots of Little Gull at Seaforth plus about a dozen or so of the commoner wader species.
2002 (31 July-) Kos Greece. Part of my honeymoon. Didn't do too much birding.The most dramatic thing that happened was I slipped in the shower and cracked my head open. I had to go the primitive hospital in Kos Town to get stitched up. My wife thought they would do a CAT scan. Until she saw the hospital that is. Eleanoras Falcon was seen most nights from the balcony, I also got Red Rumped Swallow, Bee-eater, Audouins and Yellow Legged Gull, lots of wheatears that may have been Isabellines and Corys Shearwater from the ferry to Turkey. Here's a picture of my romantically staring out over the olive groves.
2006 (Hakodate). Osprey and Night Heron on the river near my flat.
Labels: Red Cheeked Starling