24 August 2007
Waders, Foxes and Bugs.
This will be a long post. You have been warned.
A Red Necked Stint at Mukawa on Wednesday. I just got back bfrom a 2 night camping trip in Hidaka in central Hokkaido. We started off on Wednesday morning at Kamiso. 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, 2 Red Necked Stint and a Kingfisher were present. Heading northeast we stopped at Shiraoi for a break. Osprey, Eastern Marsh Harrier and lots of hirundines/Pacific Swifts were on the move. We also saw a Magpie near Tomakomai on the way back.
Anyone who has driven (or been driven) in this part of the world will remember this huge bear and crab atop a seafood etc souvenir emporium. And inside you can get bearmeat curry.
Don't fancy that? How about a seal curry? Mmmmmmmmm. Taste that spicy blubber.
And so on to Mukawa. We stopped off here both ways. The freshwater pools have almost all been drained leaving only a few puddles. It was very hot and bright both days and it was hard work finding any waders but there were some about. 10 or so Red Necked Stint, 5 or 6 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Eastern Curlew, 1 Grey Tailed Tattler, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Pacific Golden Plover, 1 unidentified snipe species (probably Lathams) and 2 Little Ringed (?) Plovers. There was another Harrier here and an immature Goshawk. The birds were pretty skittish and I got some lousy flight shots only.
We camped near Hidaka. Hawfinch, Eurasian Jay and Japanese Grosbeak were the most interesting birds around. There were however lots of bugs.
We spent a day up at Furano and Biei. These are very popular spots for Japanese tourist to, basically, come and look at trees in fields. There are sometimes flowers or lone trees standing in the middle of said fields. Coachloads of J-folk come and gawk. Souvenir stands blasting piped muzak pollute the ambience even more. The famous trees in question feature in Japanese tobacco advertising. Trees in fields. Great.
Furano is also famous for melons and lavender (and flowers generally). The lavender had gone but there were still lots of flowers which attracted lots of butterflies. Dunno what this one was (Blue Swallowtail?) but it wouldn't stay still.
And here's a other kind of Swallowtail.
A decent macro lens is on the list (about #6) of things to get. I didn't need a macro lens for this Red Fox which was hanging out on the road in the mountains.
The most numerous wildlife on the trip was this king of dragonfly. They were everywhere. We went over a mountain pass that was over 3000 feet up and they were abundant there too. There must be literally millions of them.
Listened to the ipod a lot in the car. Frank Black (lots of random tracks) , Neil Young (Decade) and The Stranglers (Rattus Norvegicus) were my faves this time round. Missed England v Germany (can't believe I didn't give a toss about the result in that game) but after the Liverpool v Chelsea travesty I needed a break from football anyway.